Mp-e65 or Bellows?

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RobertoM
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Mp-e65 or Bellows?

Post by RobertoM »

This is the first time I write here.
Sorry for my english language... I write from Italy...
I have a Canon 30D, and a Canon EF 100 2/8 Macro Usm.
I want try to make some macrophoto.
I use a flash macro ring light (economic without automatism...)
I would want to buy Canon mp-e 65 macro but I have some doubt...
Which flash is better with mp-e 65?
Canon mt-24 twin lite or I can use Canon mt-14 or Sigma Flash macro EM-140 DG ?
Maybe I can use my 100 macro whit a Novoflex bellows (for the automatism) and one flash macro ring light (Canon or Sigma) and don't spend a lot of money...
I know with mp-e65 go to 1 x to 5 x magnification, with Bellows and my canon 100 macro, how can is the magnification?
Can you help me? Which configuration is better for me?
I'm not an expert, but I want spend the money only one time, I prefer spend now and not buy somethings and sell some time after for buy something other...
Thanks in advance...
Roberto.

Mike B in OKlahoma
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Post by Mike B in OKlahoma »

I think very highly of the MP-E-65. Here are some shots from it in our old forum:

http://www.photomacrography1.net/forum/ ... ight=mpe65

http://www.photomacrography1.net/forum/ ... ight=mpe65

http://www.photomacrography1.net/forum/ ... ight=mpe65

And here's one from our current forum that won "image of the month"! Wheee!

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... php?t=2114

For action shots of moving subjects like the one above, I take hundreds (literally) of shots for every one that turns out in-focus and with the subject in the frame (note that this doesn't mean one out of hundreds is a good picture, I just mean that one out of hundreds isn't fatally flawed and fit only for deletion. The lens takes a lot of patience to use!

Things you should know--

It is a rather long and clumsy lens with a VERY short working distance, about 1/10 meter or less.

The depth of field with the lens is very very small, no more than a couple of millimeters.

The combination of short working distance and shallow depth of field make it frustrating to work with outside of a controlled situation.

All the above problems will also be true of a bellows lens.

It can be done, but it is very difficult to use an MP-E-65 without a specialized macro flash. I use the Canon MT-24EX and am happy with it. The Canon ring flash (MR-14) should work, though it is less powerful than the MT-24 and I suspect the MT-24 would be better. The ring flash would also produce odd-shaped reflections on some subjects. I have no knowledge of the Sigma flash, though I suspect it would work. Attaching the Sigma flash to the MP-E-65 might be a problem, but the two Canon flashes will attach right onto the lens.

The MP-E-65 appears to me to be much more durable and easy-to-work with than a bellows, but you are stuck with the 65mm lens that is attached, you can't change lenses as you can with a bellows.

I'm not experienced with a bellows, but I believe you'll get better magnification working with a short focal length lens (20mm to 35mm) on a bellows, rather than your 100mm macro lens. There are several people here who are experienced with one and can tell you more about the bellows.

Before you go to the MP-E-65 (and probably the bellows), I'd suggest trying to shoot your 100mm macro lens with a 2x teleconverter and perhaps with some extension tubes attached at the same time. This will be much easier to use than the MP-E-65, and will give you some experience for what it is like before you spend the large amount of money for the new lens.
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

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Mike B in OKlahoma wrote:Before you go to the MP-E-65 (and probably the bellows), I'd suggest trying to shoot your 100mm macro lens with a 2x teleconverter and perhaps with some extension tubes attached at the same time. This will be much easier to use than the MP-E-65, and will give you some experience for what it is like before you spend the large amount of money for the new lens.
This is good advice.

I suggest also that before you buy anything new, you should experiment with cropping images from your current equipment.

The lens you have is very sharp, and it goes down to 1:1 magnification.

Think about the sizes involved. Your camera has a sensor that is 22.5 mm wide, with 3504 pixels (ref). Suppose you shoot at 1:1, then crop to 1200 pixels wide. Your subject width will be only 7.7 mm wide ((1200/3504)*22.5 mm = 7.705). Resize the result to 800 pixels wide for web display, and it will look almost as sharp as anything in our forums. All this, for free!

The difficulty with shooting small subjects is very shallow depth of field. This problem is not changed very much by different lenses or by cropping. Better lenses will give you a slightly sharper image. But just cropping will give you a lot of good experience without spending any money at all.

I was interested to see Mike's picture of the wood tick at http://www.photomacrography1.net/forum/ ... php?t=2261, shot with the MP-E-65.

See also the picture I posted out tonight, at http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... php?t=2875. Very different cameras, very different technique, very similar issues with depth of field

Please, show us some shots using your current equipment. Perhaps we can get a better feel for what you like to do, and can give better advice. :D

--Rik

salden
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Post by salden »

I use a Canon 1D Mark II N and the 100mm Macro 2.8 and I am pleased with this combination.

Take a look at these posting I recently made in the macro foruom, all taken with the 100mm and I use the Canon 550EX flash unit with flash brackets.

http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... php?t=2862
http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... php?t=2861

Post a few images and we will take a look your results and see if we can give you some constructive advise.

Your English is fine, better than my Italian. No apologies necessary.
Sue Alden

Sven Bernert
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Post by Sven Bernert »

Hi Roberto and welcome to the forums.

I’d only switch to the MP-E65 if you are safe in using an 100, 150 or 180 mil lenses (with converters). The MP-E65 is not an easy lens to operate and one needs practice to get good results out of it. Many people are buying this lens and selling it quickly afterwards because (in their hands) it doesn’t deliver what they were expecting.

The ring-flash is a good match to the MP-E65 because it lights subjects that are directly in front of your front element (which is essentially when using the MP-E65 because of its small working distance. The twin-flash is a better match for lenses with higher MFDs like the 180 mil Canon with 48 cm MFD (minimum focus distance). When using a twin flash with the MP-E65 you might run into problems illuminating your subject.

And for the question “bellows or MP-E65”: if the main part of your macro work is on static subjects then get a bellow, if you want a more universal solution for moving and static subjects then get a MP-E65.

And as Mike said:
Mike B in OKlahoma wrote:The MP-E-65 appears to me to be much more durable and easy-to-work with than a bellows, but you are stuck with the 65mm lens that is attached, you can't change lenses as you can with a bellows.
Best,
Sven
If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you're not out there, you'll only hear about it. - Jay Maisel

RobertoM
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Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 6:21 am

Thanks

Post by RobertoM »

Thanks a lot for the answer...
I know MP_E65 is not easy for a beginner and I'm a beginner... but I think I seem a drugged man... I must have that lens... :-)
I think when use MP-E65 at the maximum magnification, the light is little, the MT-24 Twin lite I believe have two continue light for easy focus, the ring-flash don't have.
It's true?
Maybe I buy towards the end of the month... flash and lens....
My shot now aren't good for put on the forum, but I promise when do good photo, I post a few images....
Thanks and sorry for my english language....
Roberto

Mike B in OKlahoma
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Location: Oklahoma City

Re: Thanks

Post by Mike B in OKlahoma »

RobertoM wrote: I think when use MP-E65 at the maximum magnification, the light is little, the MT-24 Twin lite I believe have two continue light for easy focus, the ring-flash don't have.
It's true?
Hi Roberto....I visited a small town Northern Italy last year and found that my Italian is very, very, very, bad! Next to me, your English is fine.

The MT-24 is set up for "modeling flash". What this means is that if you press a button on the camera, the flash will light up at low power for a few seconds. I think this is the feature you mean. I have tried using this to focus, and it does not work for me. The "modeling flash" light doesn't stay on long enough for me to get a good focus. Perhaps someone who was very fast and accurate at manual focusing could do it, but I don't think many people could.

Also, the instructions for the flash say that using the "modeling flash" several times close together can hurt the flash. It generates a lot of heat.

So the answer to your question is no, the light on the flash doesn't help focusing, at least for me.
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

RobertoM
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Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 6:21 am

Post by RobertoM »

What do you use for focuing when the light is little?
Imagine at the 5 x magnification...
This morning I was go in a shop and I try the mp-e... is not easy and when I go to 5 x (in the shop without tripod...) is wery hard to ficusing something... but I'm crazy and I know... I buy...

Sven Bernert
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Re: Thanks

Post by Sven Bernert »

Mike B in OKlahoma wrote:So the answer to your question is no, the light on the flash doesn't help focusing, at least for me.
Same here. The focus assist light isn't very useful. And you are lost with moving subjects since there is simply no time. The MR-14 ringflash btw. has the same functionality ..

Sven
If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you're not out there, you'll only hear about it. - Jay Maisel

Sven Bernert
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Post by Sven Bernert »

RobertoM wrote:What do you use for focuing when the light is little?
A small maglite.
If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you're not out there, you'll only hear about it. - Jay Maisel

DaveW
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Post by DaveW »

The MP-65E does come up quite regularly on EBAY when people cannot live with it any more. I just did a search and found these new ones, but secondhand ones are usually offered cheaper:-

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/CANON-MP-E-65MM-F ... dZViewItem

Try putting "Canon Macro Lens" into EBAY's "Search" and you may come up with a secondhand one in your country. You can also get EBAY to automatically e-mail you when one is posted.

DaveW

Mike B in OKlahoma
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Post by Mike B in OKlahoma »

I've had pretty good luck focusing the MP-E-65 in even fairly dim light, but occasionally I have used a flashlight also to help focus. Having a secure place to set the flashlight and have it pointed at the subject can be a problem, though.

If you have or can borrow a 2x teleconverter and some extension tubes, I think trying out your 100mm macro lens together with these would be helpful for you in deciding whether the MP-E is a wise choice for you. This combination will be easier to use than the MP-E, so if you find it a usable setup, the MP-E might be a good choice. If you find the combination of 100mm macro, 2x teleconverter, and an extension tube to be frustrating or difficult to work with, getting the MP-E might not be a good choice. Or you might find that the combination is all you need!

If all you want is web-sized shots, Rik's suggestion of using crops from your 100mm shot is a good one.

I'm encouraging you to try alternatives before spending your hard-earned Lira, because I know several good photographers who have bought the MP-E and given up in frustration. That can be an expensive mistake, so I'm encouraging you to explore alternatives first.

On the other hand, if you do get the lens and an adequate lighting system of some sort, and you are persistent and willing to put up with lots of missed shots, you probably can make it work.
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

RobertoM
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Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 6:21 am

Post by RobertoM »

I posted some photo in the gallery...
Please, do you can give me some constructive advise.
But the idea MP-E65 is into my brain... :-)
Roberto.

RobertoM
Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2007 6:21 am

Post by RobertoM »

Another question:
For protect the MP-E65 can I put in front of the lens a neutral filter or isn't good?
Roberto.

Mike B in OKlahoma
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Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 10:32 pm
Location: Oklahoma City

Post by Mike B in OKlahoma »

There are threads for a filter on the front of the lens, but I don't recommend it. I've done it a couple of times when I wanted to use a polarizing filter. My memory (I'm not absolutely positive, but I think is right) is that you can't mount the MT-24 flash on the front if a filter is there, also with the amount of flash needed to use this lens, and as close as the light must be to the front of the lens, I think with a filter you run a high risk of light glaring off the filter and making white spots in your photograph ("Flare").

The mount for the MT-24 sticks out enough to give a fair amount of protection to the front glass, or if you feel the need for it, I've noticed that some stores (B&H photo in the USA, for instance) sell a specially designed hood for this lens. I've never felt the need to buy the hood, however.

If you want the hood, here is a link to the hood. The "manufacturer number" listed in the link would probably help your local dealer locate this. But if you have the MT-24 flash, I don't think you need this hood.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/2 ... _Hood.html
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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