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MP-E 65 /2.8 Macro +
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Ib Mathiasen



Joined: 25 Nov 2006
Posts: 29
Location: Denmark

PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 3:37 pm    Post subject: MP-E 65 /2.8 Macro + Reply with quote

Now i have try with extensions-ring on my MP-E 65 /2.8 Macro with no effect

Supplementary lens or teleconverters ?
Is there any way to get more extensions out of MP-E 65 /2.8 or is it end of story with 5x extension
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Ib Mathiasen
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17699
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teleconverter should work OK to get more magnification.

But I am worried the magnification may be "empty" -- bigger image (smaller field), but no more detail. Last time I looked at MP-E 65 test images sent to me by somebody else, they were not sharp at the pixel level even at 5X.

I don't have lenses to do actual tests. Maybe one of our other members does?

--Rik
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 5641
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ib... I have the lens and while I have never done "side-by-side" tests with my other macro lenses my impression has been that it is excellent optically. (Not sure what Rik saw... maybe some "comparisons" are in order).

Like any setup that works at those magnifications you need to be very cautious when selecting the aperture. When I use it at a 4X and up, I try to use nothing smaller than a "marked" f5.6 (At 5:1, a "marked" f5.6 gives an "effective" aperture of about f34... so you are already into losing resolution due to diffraction!)

Extension tubes will increase the magnification, but you would need a fairly large amount to make much difference. Since this lens is already "stretched out" a long way when used at the higher magnifications I think that makes it too cumbersome. I have taken a few shots with the Canon 1.4X converter (used with a short tube) and the results were good. If you feel the need for higher magnifications with this lens that is probably the method I would try. I would forget about supplementary close up lenses. (although now you've made me curious what a 50mm f2.8 enlarging lens might do reversed onto the front Wink)

Realistically when you go to magnifications over 5:1 the most practical way is using shorter focal length lenses designed for the purpose.
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Mike B in OKlahoma



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 1048
Location: Oklahoma City

PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 10:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find 5x doable, but very difficult to work with on the MP-E-65, so I haven't tried it with extension rings or a teleconverter. Those will lose you light, and make critical focusing even harder, and depth of field even shallower.

For the type of macro photography I do (handheld or at best on tripod for insects and similar subjects out in the field, often moving) 5x is at the very limit of what is doable for me (and I still have far more pictures completely out of focus than are in focus. If you're doing shooting under more controlled conditions, I'm sure higher magnifications are feasible, but I agree with the suggestions to use a short-focal length lens, and bellows, or similar setup to capture them.

I can testify that the MP-E-65 is NOT sharp at 5x and f/16 (set in camera). It improves at lesser f/stops, but I haven't shot it enough at those to pass judgement on it except to say that it is tolerably sharp. For a long time I was reflexively shooting it at f/16, not the best strategy. At lesser magnifications (1 or 2x) I'd say it is a perfectly acceptable, but not outstandingly sharp lens. I posted a couple of 100% samples from the MP-E-65 on the old forum here:

http://www.photomacrography1.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4422&highlight=mpe65

It occurred to me while reading an internet discussion on the lens awhile back that I didn't take my MP-E-65 to the field at all last summer! Now I'm all fired up to get back to the high-magnification bugs when things warm up again.
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Mike Broderick
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charles Krebs wrote:
(Not sure what Rik saw... maybe some "comparisons" are in order).

Like any setup that works at those magnifications you need to be very cautious when selecting the aperture. When I use it at a 4X and up, I try to use nothing smaller than a "marked" f5.6 (At 5:1, a "marked" f5.6 gives an "effective" aperture of about f34... so you are already into losing resolution due to diffraction!).

I believe that's exactly what I saw. At 5:1, the aperture setting marked f/5.6 was still a bit fuzzy from diffraction, and opening farther made the image fuzzier, not sharper. It struck me very much like what happens any time you magnify enough that the sensor reaches the limit of the lens's resolution -- after that you can get bigger, but you can't see any more detail.

I rummaged around a bit and found the series that the fellow sent me. This is an actual-pixels crop at f/5.6.



--Rik
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Ib Mathiasen



Joined: 25 Nov 2006
Posts: 29
Location: Denmark

PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for all the answer - it´s very usefull

I try with 50/2.5 Macro lens reversed handhold onto the front, and it not work for me - if its different with a normal 50 mm i can not say

I also borrow a Kenko konverter1.4x, and the simpel test looks nice, and mayby a possibility to get a littel more extension - 5 x 1.4 = 7x ?


MP-E 65 /2.8 Macro x4 - f/5.6 - a littel USM



MP-E 65 /2.8 Macro x4 - f/5.6 - 100% crop - a littel USM



MP-E 65 /2.8 Macro x4 - Kenko konverter1.4x - f/5.6 - 100% crop - a littel USM
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Ib Mathiasen
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting, and very encouraging! It does appear that you're picking up some extra detail with the teleconverter in place.

--Rik
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 5641
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK Rik... you've nudged me back into lens testing!
This is what that does to my eyes ...

Actually, the description of the examples you saw from the 65MPE did not seem to jive with what I have experienced. So I figured I would take a closer look.

Here are a some shots taken at 5X. I have included f2.8 through f8 in larger sections and through f11 in the smaller sections (third shot). As would be expected at 5:1, anything smaller than f8 suffers too much from diffraction to be useful. All these sections are 100% crops from the full 4368x2912 pixel images taken with a Canon 5D. They were shot in raw format and opened in Photoshop with slight sharpening applied. The subject is a small piece of lichen growing on a small maple twig.







I did the same thing at 3X and the result is here (1 composite image):

http://www.krebsmicro.com/forumpix/60mpe_3X.jpg

My take on what I see....
Just about what I expected from a very good lens at these magnifications. F2.8 is very good, albeit with extremely shallow DOF. F4 is clearly the best choice and shows excellent detail. F5.6 is usable, diffraction starting to take it's toll. F8, noticeable loss in resolution from diffraction, but if I could only do 1 shot (ie: no stacking) and really needed the DOF I would probably go with it. Below that things get too mushy for my taste.

If you look at the 3X sample it also performs as I would expect. Would probably work at f5.6 if possible, and hold my nose and use f11 if DOF is absolutely needed and I've got only 1 shot.

Ib... Now that this is set up I'll try to get something to look at with the teleconverters. Just for fun I reversed a 50/2.8 El Nikkor to the front and you really do get more magnification, but the working distance was much too short for comfort. At least with converters you keep whatever working distance you have. It looks like you have been able to pull out a little more useful magnification using the Kenko 1.4X. Now I am curious to take a close look.
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Mike B in OKlahoma



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 1048
Location: Oklahoma City

PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been on a landscape kick the past year, and didn't use my MP-E-65 at all this Summer....Now after all this discussion I'm slobbering at the mouth to go do some good high-magnification bug shots! Come on, warm weather!
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Mike Broderick
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Constructive critiques of my pictures, and reposts in this forum for purposes of critique are welcome

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--Calvin
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charlie,

A huge THANKS! for posting those test results. Your images make me a lot more enthusiastic about getting one of those MP-E 65's than anything I've seen before.

Of course now you've got me wondering what the other fellow did wrong, but there's no way I'll ever find out about that.

Most reassuring!

(Now let's see, how do I go about justifying yet another expensive lens...?)

--Rik
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 5641
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rik...

I know that you realize we are being pretty "picky" about aperture selection, and some may think we are being a little too obsessive.

I though it might be useful to in this thread mention that for some purposes, such as posting pictures on the web, this may well be a bit too obsessive. You can select apertures that -- when scrutinized critically at 100%-- have obviously lost something to diffraction effects. When you take the entire frame, size it for the internet, and do reasonable sharpening the result can be fine. If DOF is super critical to the image it might even be preferable.

After examining the detail from the various apertures at 100% in the above samples, I thought it might be interesting to see three "full" shots at 5X... at f4, f8, and f11, sized to 1100 pixels and sharpened. For this use, the results might seem surprising... the f11 shot does just fine!

http://www.krebsmicro.com/forumpix/60mpe_5X_f4.jpg
http://www.krebsmicro.com/forumpix/60mpe_5X_f8.jpg
http://www.krebsmicro.com/forumpix/60mpe_5X_f11.jpg

One thing about this lens is that you really need to work at keeping it steady at the higher mags. It really extends, and hangs way out there in front of the tripod collar! The tripod collar is OK but not great. (What is it with Canon tripod collars on the "smaller" lenses!?!).
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Mike B in OKlahoma



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
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Location: Oklahoma City

PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The tripod collar also won't fit on the lens on a Canon 1Ds. Grrr....The mount goes down where the battery sticks out the front of the camera.
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Mike Broderick
Oklahoma City, OK, USA

Constructive critiques of my pictures, and reposts in this forum for purposes of critique are welcome

"I must obey the inscrutable exhortations of my soul....My mandate includes weird bugs."
--Calvin
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charles Krebs wrote:
Rik...

I know that you realize we are being pretty "picky" about aperture selection, and some may think we are being a little too obsessive.

I though it might be useful to in this thread mention that for some purposes, such as posting pictures on the web, this may well be a bit too obsessive. You can select apertures that -- when scrutinized critically at 100%-- have obviously lost something to diffraction effects. When you take the entire frame, size it for the internet, and do reasonable sharpening the result can be fine. If DOF is super critical to the image it might even be preferable.

After examining the detail from the various apertures at 100% in the above samples, I thought it might be interesting to see three "full" shots at 5X... at f4, f8, and f11, sized to 1100 pixels and sharpened. For this use, the results might seem surprising... the f11 shot does just fine!

Charlie,

You make an excellent point that bears emphasizing:

What aperture is "best" depends entirely on how the image will be used.

Historically, the usual presumption is that we're making a print to be viewed up close, maybe with reading glasses but without a magnifier.

In that case, the standard for "sharp" is around 6 line pairs per millimeter, roughly corresponding to normal adult vision. In the digital world, that means at least 12 pixels/mm.

For an 7x10 inch print, 12 pixels per mm multiplies out to 2100 x 3000 pixels.

So when I worry about getting detail at the pixel level with my Digital Rebel, what I'm really worrying about is being able to make a sharp 7x10 inch print.

In the world of prints, that doesn't seem obsessive...uh...excessive. Wink

But in the world of the web, it surely is!

In fact, it's excessive by a factor of 3000/image_width.

If the final display will be only 1000 pixels instead of 3000, then it's fair game to stop down by another 3X -- for example turning f/4 into f/12.

Thanks for pointing this out. There are a lot of tradeoffs to keep straight!

--Rik
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Wayne Baker



Joined: 26 Nov 2008
Posts: 47
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike B in OKlahoma wrote:
The tripod collar also won't fit on the lens on a Canon 1Ds. Grrr....The mount goes down where the battery sticks out the front of the camera.

You can remove the mount. You don't really need it on the MP-E 65mm as it's not that heavy. I don't use it on my bench setup - I use the camera tripod mount.

Very Happy Very Happy
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DaveW



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 1702
Location: Nottingham, UK

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2009 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Of course now you've got me wondering what the other fellow did wrong, but there's no way I'll ever find out about that."

Could one of the problems often be vibration at the larger magnifications with the MP-E? I would presume for sharpest results at such magnifications the lens would need to be pretty well "bolted down" and with some support under the extended front, not just relying on the tripod collar?

You only have to see examples with long telephotos of blow up's of part of the image just relying on the tripod collar compared to if a second tripod was placed under the overhanging lens front to support it to see the vast improvement in the image. Most photographers just want speed and that's what manufacturers cater for. Having to use a lens on two tripods, or supporting it at the front would be a turn-off for most buyers, many of which are reluctant to even use a tripod.

I have always thought past above about 2X magnification hand holding is not really practical for best image quality, and shortly after that you are into studio, not outdoors territory for best results at higher magnifications?

The trouble with a lens like the MP-E is it encourages people to handhold at greater magnifications than a conventional macro lens which only goes to 1:1 and not use a tripod or take the anti-vibration measures they would with other set-up's like bellows.

There is probably a very good reason most manufacturers stop their consumer macro lenses at 1:1, not just from optical design standpoint, but they know most photographers would try and hand hold at greater magnifications with poor results and so get their equipment a bad name.

DaveW
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