Macro lens, or close-up for beginner on 6D?

Started Apr 13, 2013 | Questions thread
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rocktheroad New Member • Posts: 7
Macro lens, or close-up for beginner on 6D?

I am upgrading my Canon 10D, aiming for 10th anniversary to switch to 6D. Lens that I have are also 10 year old, in same class as 10D (28-135 IS, 100-300 USM), so I decided to upgrade them as well.

Right now I have ordered 24-105 4L (in kit), 70-200 2.8L IS II, and I will probably order 50 1.4, and Rokinon 14 2.8.

I will keep remote trigger, Kenko set of tubes, and regular non macro Metz 58 AF-1 flash, and 1.4 Tamron teleconverter. I don't have anything else that might be useful for Macro photography.

I am new and interested in Macro photography, not that I am never done it but I consider myself as true beginner. I had Sigma 50 2.8 Macro, and I've played with it a little bit before I sold lens. It was exceptional lens, but I didn't liked working distance as I had to be so close to the subject.

I need recommendation about next step. I believe there is two ways in front of me, and some very subjective pros and cons from my point of view:

1) Dedicated Macro lens (100+ mm)
+ Best IQ sharpness
+ Easiest use out of the box, no messing with tubes/filters
- Great lens for portrait, but I have 70-200 to cover that
- Since I will be lugging 70-200, Macro lens will hardly find its place in light travel pack
- Price: Canons start from 500 to 1000 USD for L, not sure about 3rd party options

2) Close-up lens (500 D)/Tubes
+ Much cheaper than dedicated lens, not a big trade off if I don't find Macro interesting
+ Lighter and I can carry it in lightest setups
- Degrade IQ
- Not so easy to use, AF won't be usable or parameters are distorted
- Don't even know is it possible to reach 1:1 with my lens

Right now I am leaning toward Close-Up lens, but I am not sure is it possible to reach 1:1. Tubes are best for shorter focus length, close-up lens for longer. I don't like much messing with tubes, as I don't like dealing with dust which is more or less inevitable if you have dozen of pieces instead one macro lens. Not sure that I ever read about using tubes and filter in combination.

If I go other way, I am not sure that 500D US lens will suit me. There is no IS, so I am afraid that either tripod or Macro flash are needed to have some decent shots. I don't have bugs neither flowers in home, so I guess most shots will be in nature. I do have some sturdy tripod that never left my home and he will probably stay there. I plan to get one of mini Joby tripods, but not sure are they usable for Macro.

I already spent a lot of money, and going closer to 1k USD for something that might be hit or miss - it's a bit challenge. No matter how much I tend to reassure myself that I've been saving 10 years for this upgrade, I still think it might be too big step.

I will order Canon 90ex for fill in flash, it can be used to remotely trigger Metz 58, but I haven't seen lot of macro shots with side flash (probably with reason). So not sure will that help at all. I don't even consider real Macro flash, may some of LED rings if they prove to be usable.

I would like to hear some feedback from guys that went similar route, faced similar decision and also from others that have similar setups.


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Canon EOS 10D Canon EOS 500D (EOS Rebel T1i / EOS Kiss X3) Canon EOS 6D
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