SteB

SteB

Lives in United Kingdom North Shropshire, United Kingdom
Joined on Apr 3, 2007

Comments

Total: 245, showing: 1 – 20
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In reply to:

Charles Chien: It does not make sense to me why Sigma comes out with a macro lens without image stabilization these days.

As regards image stabilization in macro lenses. I'm an experienced field macro photographer. I've been taking macro photographs for 30 years or more. Image stabilization in macro lenses can be very useful for field macro photography, with certain caveats. At close to 1:1 it will not work like IS at ordinary distances. You will need the camera and lens to be braced to reduce movement to a minimum.

However, in certain circumstances, when you are lying down with your hand or arm braced on the ground, using a monopod, or Brian Valentine's stick method of bracing a lens, it can mean the difference between getting a keeper, or not getting a keeper. This is because without an image stabilized lens, at 1:1 or close to it, with a braced lens, you will with luck and lots of shots get one sharpish photo with a none IS lens. But in the same situation with an IS lens using IS, you will get far more keepers. This isn't forum hypothesizing, this is from experience.

Link | Posted on May 15, 2018 at 08:25 UTC
In reply to:

Charles Chien: It does not make sense to me why Sigma comes out with a macro lens without image stabilization these days.

I agree. Since getting the 100mm f2.8 L a few years back, I've come to appreciate IS. For some things like handholding for natural light photos of butterflies etc, IS can be a big bonus. I've got the old Sigma 70mm f2.8, and see nothing here which makes it worth updating, but with IS I might have been tempted.

Link | Posted on May 11, 2018 at 22:01 UTC
In reply to:

Stanchung: Possibly very sharp to get the Art designation.

However, terrible lens for live subjects.
The extension scares insects and other critters away not to mention suck in dust and moisture.

Shooting through aquarium glass will see it get a few knocks.
Limited use IMHO.

Nikon has it's 60 & 105 that does not extend. Still good. Sold the 60 since moving to FF due to the short working distance. The 105 is a good performer with VR.

Surprised newer premium lenses are poorer in mechanical/ergonomical spec.

Crop sensor camera owners will might like this lens if the IQ lives up to the Art designation. Don't think FF users will like the short working distance.

Both short working distances and extending designs can actually be an advantage in some ways for photographing insects. Light control from flash is easiest at short distances. With an extending lens it's easier to know what magnification you are at without having to take your eye from the viewfinder. Also you can find it easier to stabilise the end of your lens by bracing the hand steadying it on something.

Nevertheless, having said this IF lenses do have their advantages and so do longer working distances. It's just not all one way. I'd definitely recommend one of the 90-105mm lenses as a better all rounder, and admit I use my 60mm and 100mm Canon lenses more than the old 70mm Sigma macro. But if I want to have fun shooting some wide aperture macros, the 70 still has it's uses as it's so darn sharp, even wide open. It also has better bokeh than the 60mm, and much less bokeh CA than the 100mm L.

Link | Posted on May 11, 2018 at 21:57 UTC

I've got the old Sigma 70mm f2.8 macro, and it is an exceptionally sharp lens, with excellent performance from wide open. The old 70 was widely regarded as an exceptional lens, and I seem to remember Sigma themselves saying it was their sharpest lens. So this one is unlikely to be noticeably better. Even if it improves on IQ on some dimension, it won't be something you notice. Plus the lack of IS, and focus by wire, means I don't see any possible handling improvement.

The old 70 was a bit heavy for a 70mm lens, and this one is only 10g lighter.

Link | Posted on May 11, 2018 at 21:43 UTC as 12th comment | 6 replies
On article Yongnuo reveals YN 60mm F2 MF macro lens (90 comments in total)

This lens looks interesting. The combination of manual focus with an electronic diaphragm is a good combination for macro photography. With a DSLR especially, a manual diaphragm is a bit limiting, especially if you use the lens for handheld field macro photography. Whereas manual focus is often best for macro photography. Simply set the magnification you want and then move backwards and forwards to achieve perfect focus.

It all depends on the price and of course image quality. As long as the image quality is okay, and it is much cheaper than the camera manufacturer's own macro lenses and those from the likes of Tamron and Sigma, it will be an interesting choice for macro photographers on a budget.

Link | Posted on May 9, 2018 at 22:58 UTC as 16th comment

Good move. Please don't take this the wrong way. Dpreview has had good testers, but they've never been the performers in front of the camera, and Chris and Jordan's videos have always been some of the most watchable video reviews on the internet.

Link | Posted on Apr 29, 2018 at 11:13 UTC as 115th comment
In reply to:

ZilverHaylide: Do these lenses, especially the 100 macro, have automatic diaphram capability? A manual diaphram is not a problem for many uses, but for a macro lens at high magnifications, I want an automatic diaphram, so as to avoid having to touch the diaphram control ring after focusing.

I was about to make the same point. Those who do not do field macro photography often fail to understand the difficulty. The suggestion of using live view is not very realistic with a DSLR unless you are using the camera on a tripod, or have an EVF magnifier on.

The other limitation of stopped down focusing that which often isn't understood by none field macro photographers is this. It is much easier to understand where the plane of focus is with wide open metering. If you are photographing an active insect or spider you are often looking for a particular pose, angle or alignment of the plane of focus. This may only happen very briefly, and you need to anticipate it. It's is harder to know where the precise plane of focus is if the lens is stopped right down.

Link | Posted on Apr 20, 2018 at 16:05 UTC
In reply to:

anticipation_of: I gotta say, as a tills photographer some of the gear available to videographers makes me a bit jealous! It really just seems like there's constant innovation going on on the video side of things, while stills cameras seem about 5 years behind the curve in a lot of ways (Hello dim, low-resolution LCDs with touchscreens that only kinda work!) and are still rife with inexplicable misfeatures like clunky menu systems and controls that only work sometimes under some situations, or lack obvious features like intervalometers or in-camera focus stacking for which the hardware is present but nobody has bothered to write corresponding software. It's a bit maddening when even I as a fairly basic user can see all kinds of low-hanging fruit being totally ignored by camera manufacturers. If the people making stills gear had half the drive to innovate that video engineers apparently do, the camera landscape would be a lot more exciting.

I couldn't agree more with your points. Things like built in intervalometers and in camera focus stacking have been latent in camera hardware for quite some time. Same with focus peaking etc. The fact that Magic Lantern has been able to unlock many of these features in Canon DSLRs made many years ago, proves that the problem is an unwillingness to implement them, not any technological limitations. What we see is huge innovation in motion picture devices, and the deliberate handicapping of stills camera features.

A good example is what happened with the Panasonic GH2 hacks. Panasonic had deliberately kept the features low, so videographers fixed it themselves, and now Panasonic makes GH cameras that rival or outperform video specific cameras.

Link | Posted on Apr 11, 2018 at 14:04 UTC

I don't see much point. Maybe a toy for some. It's at least 15 years too late to be useful or have any point. What I mean by that is that when digital backs for film SLR cameras were first mooted, there was a point. There were lots of film SLRs in circulation and still being used, along with their lens systems. DSLRs were expensive and often just adaptations of film SLRs anyway.

However, now that you can buy a 10+ year old DSLR for very little money, and it will be way better than this in terms of image quality, functionality etc, what is the point, except as a gimmick?

Link | Posted on Mar 13, 2018 at 08:38 UTC as 40th comment
In reply to:

sh10453: Questions:
Why should I use this lens, or any similar 3rd party lens, instead of using billows and a native lens?

That is the technical reason why this type of lens exists. It is the reason Canon made the Canon MP-E 65mm f2.8 1-5x lens, and before that Olympus made their telescopic auto extension tube. I appreciate it might not be a limitation to yourself if you don't use macro lenses out in the field.

Link | Posted on Mar 10, 2018 at 16:07 UTC
In reply to:

sh10453: Questions:
Why should I use this lens, or any similar 3rd party lens, instead of using billows and a native lens?

Because bellows are large, and if used in the field are very vulnerable to tearing, being punctured by thorns etc.

Link | Posted on Mar 10, 2018 at 10:54 UTC
In reply to:

SteB: Overall this looks like an excellent lens, and I particular like the narrow end of the lens. Anyone who has used a macro lens at these magnifications knows that if you are shooting small objects of a flat surface, say Springtails, it can be difficult to get low enough for a side view as the edge of the lens can foul the surface.

The only limitation is that the lens is not auto stop-down. This means that with an optical viewfinder on a DSLR at 5x and at the taking aperture the viewfinder will be very dark, almost black. So you either you will need to use quite a bright LCD to focus, or live view. The problem won't be as bad on a mirrorless camera as the viewfinder can gain up, but rigging a focus lamp will improve the EVF image. This is where the Canon MP-E 65mm has an advantage for handheld shooting using a flash. Seeing the image with the lens wide open makes it a bit easier to judge where the plane of focus is.

I suspect the bayonet fitting is for the lens cap. I saw a video hands on with this lens, and it mentioned it had a fancy metal lens cap.

Link | Posted on Mar 7, 2018 at 23:14 UTC

Overall this looks like an excellent lens, and I particular like the narrow end of the lens. Anyone who has used a macro lens at these magnifications knows that if you are shooting small objects of a flat surface, say Springtails, it can be difficult to get low enough for a side view as the edge of the lens can foul the surface.

The only limitation is that the lens is not auto stop-down. This means that with an optical viewfinder on a DSLR at 5x and at the taking aperture the viewfinder will be very dark, almost black. So you either you will need to use quite a bright LCD to focus, or live view. The problem won't be as bad on a mirrorless camera as the viewfinder can gain up, but rigging a focus lamp will improve the EVF image. This is where the Canon MP-E 65mm has an advantage for handheld shooting using a flash. Seeing the image with the lens wide open makes it a bit easier to judge where the plane of focus is.

Link | Posted on Mar 7, 2018 at 22:03 UTC as 23rd comment | 9 replies
In reply to:

tedolf: 25mm is awfully short for a macro lens.

What is the working distance from the front element?

tEdolph

The working distance is not bad, and not that different to the Canon MP-E 65mm f2.8 1-5x macro lens at comparable magnifications. The working distance of the Canon MP-E 65mm is 41mm at 5x, 51mm at 3x and 63mm at 2x (the Laowa lens starts at 2.5x, and the working distances are marked on the Canon lens, but only for full increments, and not half distances).

Link | Posted on Mar 7, 2018 at 21:31 UTC

The photo showing the lens attached to a camera and compared to the Canon MP-E 65mm is taken from John Hallmen's blog. This is in Swedish, but if you put it in Google translate, it's quite readable. There are just a few terms which don't translate well. For instance with Google translate "auto stop-down" translates as auto-dimming. It's well worth reading John's blog because he is an expert macro-photographer, one of the best. The Google translate John has put at the top of the blog didn't work for me, so just drop in the URL yourself into Google translate.
http://makrofokus.se/blogg/2018/2/7/forsta-intryck-laowa-2528.html

Link | Posted on Mar 7, 2018 at 20:56 UTC as 28th comment | 2 replies
In reply to:

Jan Madsen: Trying hard to justify buying the new 70mm... The existing 70mm is my most used lens for macro - it is difficult to imagine better optics, as it is sharp all over at all apertures, and even the AF is precise (albeit not exactly elegant with the bzzz micro motor).

I agree completely about the existing 70mm macro.

Link | Posted on Mar 4, 2018 at 15:28 UTC

These are the best videos I've ever seen for conveying both the reality, and emotion of wildlife and nature photography in practise.

Link | Posted on Mar 4, 2018 at 11:50 UTC as 15th comment
In reply to:

SteB: The 25mm f2.8 2.5-5x lens will be most useful on mirrorless cameras due to the lack of automatic stop down. In this magnification range an optical viewfinder will look incredibly dark at anything but wide open, which will still be quite dark. Many people like myself use the Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x lens handheld with flash. This is dooable for small insects etc, at smaller apertures for single exposures.

Obviously there is considerable diffraction softening because the effective aperture is much smaller than the nominal aperture, however with heavy sharpening and noise removal in combination it is possible to get good looking images. However, even with auto-stop down on the Canon MP-E 65mm, the viewfinder is very dark at higher magnifications. From experience for single exposures you going to have to use f8 or smaller for any sort of DoF. It's a pity because I like the narrow design of this lens.

Hi Max Iso

Just carry on making a fool of yourself.

Link | Posted on Feb 27, 2018 at 17:36 UTC
In reply to:

SteB: The 25mm f2.8 2.5-5x lens will be most useful on mirrorless cameras due to the lack of automatic stop down. In this magnification range an optical viewfinder will look incredibly dark at anything but wide open, which will still be quite dark. Many people like myself use the Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x lens handheld with flash. This is dooable for small insects etc, at smaller apertures for single exposures.

Obviously there is considerable diffraction softening because the effective aperture is much smaller than the nominal aperture, however with heavy sharpening and noise removal in combination it is possible to get good looking images. However, even with auto-stop down on the Canon MP-E 65mm, the viewfinder is very dark at higher magnifications. From experience for single exposures you going to have to use f8 or smaller for any sort of DoF. It's a pity because I like the narrow design of this lens.

You can't use focus stacking to capture highly active live insects. And as for the trolling of Max Iso, just how pathetic.

Link | Posted on Feb 27, 2018 at 09:36 UTC
In reply to:

SteB: The 25mm f2.8 2.5-5x lens will be most useful on mirrorless cameras due to the lack of automatic stop down. In this magnification range an optical viewfinder will look incredibly dark at anything but wide open, which will still be quite dark. Many people like myself use the Canon MP-E 65mm 1-5x lens handheld with flash. This is dooable for small insects etc, at smaller apertures for single exposures.

Obviously there is considerable diffraction softening because the effective aperture is much smaller than the nominal aperture, however with heavy sharpening and noise removal in combination it is possible to get good looking images. However, even with auto-stop down on the Canon MP-E 65mm, the viewfinder is very dark at higher magnifications. From experience for single exposures you going to have to use f8 or smaller for any sort of DoF. It's a pity because I like the narrow design of this lens.

Hi Max ISO

I guess you have absolutely no experience photographing live active insects at high magnification, or you'd understand why the camera LCD is fairly useless for this purpose.

Why don't you link to some of the photos you take to see just how experienced you really are? I searched through your profile and gallery, and found only 2 photos of insects, so crap I'd have deleted them right away.

Do you have any photographs like the one linked to below? Please feel free to check out my Flickr Photostream linked to in my profile. You see I'm a very experienced macro photographer, and self-evidently you are not.
https://flic.kr/p/ad48kK

Link | Posted on Feb 26, 2018 at 21:15 UTC
Total: 245, showing: 1 – 20
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