Why does Canon not have an EF 60mm macro?

Started Oct 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
misolo
Contributing MemberPosts: 830Gear list
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Re: Get two lenses
In reply to meland, Oct 6, 2012

meland wrote:

misolo wrote:


If the problem is that you're running out of space to back away from the painting, it sounds like you don't really need a macro lens... (Also note that a full frame camera needs less resolution from the lens than an APS-C sensor: at f/5.6 and f/8 the 50/2.5 has more resolution than any of the 5D series cameras need, even if if that's not the case with an APS-C sensor.)

In any case, I'd suggest you'd be better off with two lenses: a standard lens for large paintings, and a macro for smaller paintings and for when you want to photograph details. The macro should be longer so that you have some working distance for lighting. As for the standard lens, about any will do: the cheap 50/1.8, the 50/1.4, the 35/2, and the 40/2.8 are all very sharp when stopped down to f/5.6 or f/8, and for all of them the area in the frame is 25cm/10in or less in width when at the closest focus distance.

He doesn't need a Macro lens for its extreme close up ability but he will benefit from the macro's flat field and certainly from its lack of distortion.  As you rightly say the 50/1.8, the 50/1.4, the 35/2, and the 40/2.8 are all very sharp when stopped down to f/5.6 or f/8 and that can compensate for the curvature of field but they are not as well corrected as, say, the 50/2.5 Macro for keeping straight lines straight.  Correcting barrel or pincushion distortion on a series of paintings could well turn out to be an extreme pain and something you don't have to do with the 50/2.5 Macro.  Or with the TS 45mm, which might be another excellent option, albeit quite an expensive one.

By the way did you ever try the EF50/2.5 Macro with a full frame camera?  It actually performs very well and it sounds like you certainly don't need 1:1 anyway.

Fair point. These days I don't think much about distortion anymore, on account the automatic software correction (in theory you lose some resolution in the corners, but I've found that to be negligible to the point that I can't see it even at 100%). I should point out, though, that of the lenses I listed Canon only supports automatic correction for the 50/1.4 (I use automatic correction regularly with the 50/1.2 and the 16-35/2.8).

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