CANON M50 + Vitrox booster + Canon f2.8 MACRO 100mm

Started 3 months ago | Questions thread
Marco Nero
Marco Nero Veteran Member • Posts: 7,566
CANON M + Canon f2.8 MACRO 100mm

cjgj wrote:

Hello, beginner to photography here.

I was hoping to use the M50/Vitrox booster as an EF mount camera, I mounted the Canon f2.8 MACRO 100mm and what's weird is that with the CANON f2.8 MACRO

100mm, on the viewfinder the photos look great but when I actually take the photos, they are pretty blurry and very grainy. (for example taking photos of the details of a watch, looks great in viewfinder but the actual photo is super grainy and little darker) - see below picture. Any idea why?

My reply covers two things....  I want to see if I might suggest a possible cause for your issues and I'd like to share a few things that I've tried with this lens. 
I rarely use a flash with it because I don't like the way the shadows are cast but a flash is normal use for a lot of Macro lenses.  I do sometimes use flicker-free LED flashlights for illumination.  There's a couple of EF 100mm lenses out there, including one that has no Image Stabilization.  The one most people are familiar with is the L-series version and I'm assuming this might be the one you are referring to, although both the non IS and IS L-series versions have an f/2.8 aperture.  Image quality should be very close to one another.  Grainy shots imply that your ISO is too high, probably to compensate for the narrow aperture you've selected.  Your sample shot appears to be a cropped image but has no EXIF data so it's hard to say what your settings were.

EOS M + EF 100mmL lens
really lovely bokeh and appealing images with non-Macro subjects.

This lens produces really nice portraits and its quite sharp, giving us lovely bokeh.  But it's able to take really beautiful non-Macro shots.  I'm curious to know if any of your non-macro images were ideal or if they too had some problems.  If they were ideal then the issue is almost certainly the use of a Speed Booster instead of a regular Lens Adapter.  But it may also be possible that the Speed Booster (which was not designed for Macro lenses) just doesn't want to give you the best Macro results.  If you enjoy Macro photography, this is a very good lens that produces virtually the same quality of image that the new RF lens (which won't fit on the EF-M mount) can produce.
I have used the EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro USM lens for numerous photographs using the EOS M camera... and on a few occasions the M6.  I actually bought this lens especially to use with the EOS M when I purchased the camera, thinking it might be fun to play with.  I know the problem you are describing but I did not encounter this with my own use of this lens.  I suspect that diffraction may be playing a part in your issues due to the extremely small aperture being used.  Each lens is different but the EF 100mmL lens is said to produce the sharpest response with f/5.6.  So using f/20 might give you more of the subject in focus by expanding the Depth Of Field, but the diffraction will soften the image and will likely trigger chromatic aberrations as well.

Another issue I'm having, when I try to take photos with wide depth of field (f20 ish) with shutter speed between 100-200 and auto ISO, the viewfinder goes really really dark to a point I can't see what I'm shooting. Is M50/Vitrox/Canon macro f2.8 combo not meant to be shot with f stop so high? This is a problem for me as I got the combo to do some wide field of depth shots that require f stop >20.

Thank you so much in advance!

Consider switching to the Touch-Screen Shutter Activation if you suspect that movement is a problem. Keep the camera still by bracing the lens on a surface, table, monopod or tripod if in low light or with very small apertures.  Speed Boosters are designed to increase the aperture range and widen the field of view.  The aperture at f/20 is likely to be producing diffraction which will impact image quality and will soften some aspects of the images.  The smallest apertures I will use with this lens tend to be around f/11 to f/16 but that requires a lot of bright light... in the form of artificial lighting and/or a flash.  That means longer exposures may be necessary so a tripod needs to be used.  Wider apertures are faster... and you may choose to stack several images together to produce a sharper image with a greater depth of field.  This will produce the same effect as using a tiny f/20 aperture, but you get to play with more light.  Some programs like 'Photoshop' can help you stack images and align them.  But you can use a program called 'Helicon' to stack images and increase the DOF automatically...however, Helicon requires the scene to be perfectly aligned with each image used.
The darkening of the viewfinder suggests to me that your camera has an exposure preview (Exposure Simulation - see your user manual) setting active to show you how bright or dark the image will when taken using your selected settings.  Your viewfinder should display a darker image if the exposure settings are too low or your ISO settings are not high enough to display the image ideally.  You can deactivate Exposure Simulation if you wish.  But I think it's useful to have it active so you don't waste shots.  Check that your Exposure Compensation dial is not set too low.  Either 0EV or -1EV is ideal for most photography.  If you've let the exposure dial move, there's a chance that this is now producing too dark an image, hence your display is appearing to be too dark.
Also check your Metering Method.  If you have selected the wrong metering method (which can be done by accidentally touching the wrong setting on the LCD) the images may suddenly appear darker or lighter in the Live View.  The center of your screen or one of your LCD icons should display which type of Metering is selected from the four available.
Viltrox are known for producing loosely fitting adapters and this in turn may flex when a larger or longer lens is mounted. That too may be the source of your issue.  Their adapters are also quite lightweight.  Canon's tend to be much tighter, more rigid and slightly heavier with better coated electrical contacts. They're usually not too bad though and I've used several of their products myself.
Using a Speed Booster will alter some aspects of the image by offering a wider aperture equivalent. This in turn will likely make the focus plane much more narrow, thus increasing the margin for error with focus when shooting very close subjects. Most people use Speed Boosters with wider lenses. Using one on an EF 100mmL lens may prove problematic.  I personally feel that the use of a Speed Booster might be problematic with a Macro lens that has a focal length of 100mm.  I might be wrong but I just think this might be the issue.  The Speed Booster is widening some aspects of your lens which normally produces 100mm on a Full Frame sensor and 160mm on an APS-C sensor.  It manages to pull back on some of that focal length and deliver something closer to what a Full Frame sensor might offer... but all that pulling and optical distortion might prove to be an issue when Macro is involved.

Canon's MA67 Macro Adapter Ring.
A useful tool if you want to add 58mm Closeup Filters

MA67 Macrolite Adapter RING
Consider using a regular lens adapter. Just an EF-to-EF-M adapter without a Speedbooster. If you want to get closer to the subject for even tighter macros, consider using a Closeup Lens. If you can't find one in the 100mm lens' filter size (which is 67mm), then consider buying the MA-67 Macrolite Adapter ring which is designed to allow a Ringlight to clip to the lens... but it also has a 58mm filter thread on the front/inside. This enables you to source and use the more easily found 58mm closeup filters. And they don't vignette on the 100mmL lens, which is surprising.

An example of the (now hard to source) Canon 58mm Closeup Filter (250D)
There's another called the 500D which i often prefer to use.  You can also stack them together.  HOYA make their own versions which are good and less expensive than Canon.   These 58mm Closeup filters can fitted to the MA67 Adapter ring and stacked with other filters if desired.

HOYA's 58mm +4 Closeup Filter alongside the Canon 58mm 500D Closeup filter.

Quite a few brands carry or produce these.  Canon may still produce them these days and theirs are superb, using their finest optical glass. But they are a little pricey, yet far cheaper than a lens.  They were designed for use on Non-Macro lenses but just happen to work well with the 100mm Macro lenses.  The 'D' stands for Double Element.  Double Element Closeup Filters tend to produce less Chromatic Aberration by correcting the CA from the first element with the second.  HOYA and several other brands made their own, usually with a single element.  The Canon 250D was designed for wider lenses and the 500D was designed for longer lenses. RAYNOX make a 150 and a 250 Closeup Lens.  Oddly enough, the 250D seems to allow me to get closer to the subject and this increases the size of the subject during macro photography by allowing it to fill the frame more than if no Closeup Filter is used.
Another alternative is to use Teleconverter Tubes. These are not "Extenders" (which have optical lenses inside) but are Teletconverter tubes. These have no optical elements inside but produce more distance between the lens and the camera sensor, and this in turn will allow you to get closer, especially with non-macro lenses... and to magnify or enlarge the subject slightly.
The only downside of adding a Teleconveter is that you loose a small amount of light since less of the image projection from the lens is striking the sensor. The downside of using Closeup Filters is that lesser quality ones produce LOCA and stacking too many together will often increase diffraction properties.

Pushing my luck with an EOS M + EF 100mmL lens + 3 Teletubes. Note the MA-67 ring mounted on the front of the lens.  Consider a Lens Ring for this lens.  You don't have to buy a Canon brand lens ring and non-brand models are quite affordable. I SHOULD have been using the foot on the lens ring here for this shot but needed to get closer to the tree due to the Teleconverter Tubes attached.

A handy and cheap (but flimsy) "Extension Tube" (Teleconverter) triple set. I've since bought a Canon brand EF12 Telextender to use because these cheap ones were a bit flimsy and lightweight. 

EOS M + EF 100mmL + 58mm Canon "500D + 250D" Closeup Filters

EOS M + EF 100mmL + 58mm Canon "500D" Closeup Filter

EOS M + EF 100mmL + 58mm Canon "500D" Closeup Filter

EOS M + EF 100mmL + 58mm Canon "250D" Closeup Filter.  A tripod and remote flash was used for taking this image.  The flash was set up underneath the branch on the ground, pointed up.

Wider apertures might be favored to allow more light but using wider apertures will often limit the plane of focus to a very narrow (thin) zone.  With macro shots this can be problematic for some photographers.  If you suspect your subject is in a critically thin zone and that you might miss the focus, rest the front edge of your lens (or the MA67 ring if mounted) on a surface and slide your lens slowly towards the subject. Consider using the Magnify Feature in the lower right hand corner of the LCD to see a magnified Live View preview of the subject.  Take a few shots and pick out the ones you like.  If your lens moves even a millimeter as you take the shot, the focus may be lost.  This is why I prefer to use the Magnify feature when shooting Macro, whenever possible.  If you notice that your shots should be in focus but are not when you review them, then there's a problem that will need to be addressed.

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Marco Nero.

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