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Needing some advice re purchase of macro lens
Hi All,

I recently bought a Canon 600D with a Tamron 18-270mm lens.
Previously I was using an Olympus SP570UZ compact camera, however I used to own a SLR film camera and learnt how to use the manual functions so have not had too much trouble converting to DSLR.

I love the 18-270 lens as it's so versatile. It only has one shortcoming (at least that I've found so far!) I can't shoot macro! I really enjoy photographing bugs and also other tiny things in nature. I don't do much with my photos other than share some with friends on Facebook and Flickr. So although budget is not a problem, I can't really justify spending a huge amount of money on a lens I'm only going to use occasionally.

Getting close to my subject is not a problem. I have found that if you are really quiet and move really slowly, you can get close to anything. I have even had my camera 1 or 2cms from those little garden skinks that usually run away before you even see them properly!

I enjoy bushwalking and photographing things in the bush where the light is often not good, so I imagine Image Stablisation would be a big plus there.

I wonder how the Tamron and Sigma lenses compare and I've also seen some attachments you can screw on the end of your normal lens. They are quite cheap, I wonder how good they are? I'm not looking for professional results, just something that will take a nice clear photo.

Any comments or advice would be appreciated!

Thank you Smile

(Feb 24, 2012, 06:45)matthew Wrote: But the best of them all is the Canon 500D – not to be confused with the Rebel T1i

You confused me for a second there - I thought you were talking about the camera. Big Grin

Here's what he's actually referring to - the Canon 500D Close-Up "Lens":
Thank you for the suggestions, Matthew, the info you gave me is really helpful.

I think I'll have a look at the Tamron 90mm and the Canon 500D lens that you mentioned.

The Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro is a wonderful lens. A couple of the regulars here (myself and Zig) own this lens and you simply can't go wrong for the price. It is sharp as a tack with wonderful bokeh and true 1:1 macro.

Highly recommended!
Thank you for the recommendation, Toad. I wonder if you or Zig have posted any photos taken with the Tamron 90mm lens? It would be nice to see an example.

Whilst I have not ruled out buying a dedicated macro lens, I have done a little research on the 500D close up lens and it appeals to me because it's something that would be light and easy to carry. Unfortunately it it comes in 52mm, 58mm, 72mm and 77mm diameters and my Tamron lens is 62mm. Would I better to look for another brand that has a 62mm option, or could I use a converter for the Canon attachment? If I did use a converter, should I use the 58mm or 72mm attachment? I expect I should go larger? I'm new to this... so don't be afraid to speak to me like I know nothing! Smile

Thanks again for all your advice and recommendations.
Anne: Zig has some wonderful landscapes done with this lens (maybe he can share a link or 2). I am attaching this one, not because it is a particularly great shot or even because it is a very close macro (nowhere near as close as the Tamron can go), but because I think it shows something of the *character* of the lens and its resolving power. 

The fact that this is a photo of a different lens taken to show the quality of this lens is confusing, I know...

I've personally use a Canon EF-s 60mm f2.8. You don't get as much reach as the 90mm or 105mms but I find that with the 1.5x crop it can double as a nice portrait lens or something a bit more usable indoors.

I must admit though I don't use it as much as I should...

Any idea what kinds of subjects you'll be shooting macros of, Anne?
Hi Anne, I've got the Canon 100mm 2.8 NON IS and I love it... but I've also heard great things about the Tamron Smile. I was fence sitting for ages between those 2 and the canon 60mm. I'm glad that I went with the 100, but I think I would be happy with any... Now I'm thinking I really should get it out and use it more!
With regard to the kind of subjects I'll be shooting, here is a link to my macro album on Flickr (all pics taken with my compact camera)

To sum up, I enjoy photographying nature. Photographing insects is very addictive, but I also enjoy photographing flowers and plants and other small things.

Being new to DSLR, I have not used a macro lens before and therefore don't know about the other uses of these type of lens - eg. portrait or landscape.

I talked to my uncle last night, he has used lots of different cameras and lenses and he highly recommends the Tamron 90mm so it's nice that I'm getting pointed in the same direction by a number of people! Good to hear all the different suggestions though; I appreciate everyone's comments.

Yes, Angela, you should definitely get out and use your lens more! Smile
I found some samples shots for the Tamron 90mm lens here.

The decision has been made!! I have just purchased the Tamron 90mm lens on ebay... now I can't wait for it to arrive Smile
A little nervous after making my first (camera related) ebay purchase though! Confused

$389 compared to $549 though, so I think it is worth the risk!

Look forward to sharing some pics with you when it arrives!

Thanks again for all your comments and suggestions, it was really helpful in making my decision.

Congrats on the purchase! I'm sure that you've got nothing to worry about re. buying off ebay either, that's a bit of a saving Smile

Can't wait to see some pics!
Yay, I'm glad for you Anne - hope you find it useful... looking forward very much to your thoughts once you get it.
(Feb 27, 2012, 04:19)Anne Wrote: The decision has been made!! I have just purchased the Tamron 90mm lens on ebay.....$389 compared to $549 though, so I think it is worth the risk!

Congrats - you will like it very much, I think..

I think my macro lens should arrive tomorrow! Can't wait! Smile
Soo.... is it here yet? I'm so excited for you! Big Grin
Great decision - the tamron is a great lens. You can also always buy an extension tube if you want to convert your regular lens to a macro - just remember you will lose some light when using it.
Canon stuff.
Hi, sorry it took me so long to come back ... the lens did arrive! I have been busy and also away for a week, but have been experimenting with the lens and am happy with it. Funnily enough, I have been using it more for a portrait lens than a macro lens! Really love it for taking photos of my nephew! With regard to macro, it takes a good clear shot with plenty of detail, but the most difficult thing is holding it steady enough. In that regard, I am finding that it's no easier to take a macro shot with this lens than it was with my old compact camera. I have to take quite a few shots to get a good one, or else I just fluke a lucky shot! However I am improving with practice Smile
Hey Anne, thanks for the update and glad you're having fun with your new lens!

Yes, macros are definitely hard especially hand holding - and things like the slightest breeze can make flowers sway uncontrollably. Are you using a tripod? I find that helps a bit - also manual focusing too.

Would love to see some of your pics if you don't mind sharing...
Almost impossible to hand hold a close macro. A minute shake translates to a big blur when you are looking at something very small. Should use a tripod for best results.

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