Help me scratch my macro itch

Started Dec 8, 2012 | Discussions thread
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bvphotos
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Help me scratch my macro itch
Dec 8, 2012

I used to own a Canon 100mm non-IS macro. But I found macro work to be hard and frustrating: limited patience, didn't use a diffuser with my flash, not long enough for field work, etc. So I ended up selling the lens and getting a Raynox closeup lens. I have used it occasionally for flowers, but it has obvious limitations.

While I'm still short on patience, I'm fascinated by the wonderful macro shots floating around on the internet. So I've begun to reconsider my relationship with macro and give it another shot.

I don't want to lug around a tripod, so whatever I do will be hand-held

While 100mm is the default choice, the last time around I did find the working distance in the jungles of Costa Rica to be limiting. When I slapped on the 1.4 converter, it gave me more distance, but the AF was lousy.

This time around, I do plan to buy a set of extension tubes to be used with my existing lenses and with a macro lens I want to buy. The questions I have are:

- has anybody tried to use the 1.4x converter + extension tubes? If so, would you recommend it?

- Which flash diffuser would you recommend? Dual purpose for portraits and macro would be nice. I know the Gary Fongs come highly recommended, but which of the cheaper alternatives should I consider?

- Would you recommend that I get the Sigma 150mm or stick with the 100mm (perhaps the IS version) and achieve greater working distance with the converter? And address the degrading AF performance by using MF and a focus screen.

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http://bvphotos.smugmug.com
Canon 5D, Canon 50D, Canon 100 f2, Canon 100-400 IS, Canon 50 1.4, Canon 24-105mm IS, Canon 70-200mm f4 IS, Tamron Pro 1.4TC, Speedlite 430EX, Feisol 3402 + Giotto ballhead.

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