Full Frame Herp Lens?

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MattSullivan
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Full Frame Herp Lens?

Post by MattSullivan » June 23rd, 2013, 2:37 pm

Anybody here have any opinions on the best herp lens for Full frame cameras? i have a canon 5d mark iii. Im going to replace the canon 100mm macro that i flooded. Any tips on any of the best herp in habitat shots? I had the tokina 10-17mm but its not fully compatible with full frame cameras. any other lenses in general?
thanks
Matt

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Re: Full Frame Herp Lens?

Post by Aaron Mills » June 23rd, 2013, 5:31 pm

How much are you looking to spend? I shoot the 100mm L on a 6d, and in my opinion, it is by far the best lens for most herp shots. If you're looking for a herp in habitat lens, the 16-35mm L is probably the best, unless you're looking to dump a bunch of money on the 14mm L. The 17-40mm L is quite a bit cheaper, and is a solid lens as well.

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chrish
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Re: Full Frame Herp Lens?

Post by chrish » June 23rd, 2013, 7:19 pm

I don't shoot canon, but back when I shot full frame (i.e. film), my favorite herp in habitat lens was a close focusing 24mm. Not sure if Canon offers that option.

Somewhere between 90 and 105 mm is a good full frame herp lens. Some people preferred a 150 on a 35mm sized film/sensor, but I found a 90mm allowed me to control the animal better because I was closer.

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Re: Full Frame Herp Lens?

Post by fvachss » June 23rd, 2013, 8:53 pm

On a 5D2 I've had reasonable success using either a 180L macro or a 300/4IS for herping. Eventually I found that the extra working distance (and IS) on the 300 more than made up for the ability to get down to 1:1. Either one is dead sharp on a full frame body. These choices work for me since I seem to be most comfortable with primes. I know of others who use the 70-300L and 100-400L zooms in this application just as successfully.

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MattSullivan
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Re: Full Frame Herp Lens?

Post by MattSullivan » June 24th, 2013, 8:44 am

alright thanks guys! The 100mmL is already ordered i ordered that right away and i love it. Also considering extension tubes. The 16-35 is much more than i'd prefer to spend haha i like the 17-40L thats the one i had been looking at originally. Id also be able to use it underwater also.

My guess is that the sigma 15mm would be too wide for most herps unless they are large or close?

I also love the 300f4 but i can't afford that yet in addition to everything else :/

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Re: Full Frame Herp Lens?

Post by Rothdigga » June 27th, 2013, 1:37 pm

Matt,
I have a 17-40mm that I picked up used from a friend last year. It's very solid and I use it for all of my full frame and landscape shots. It would really work well underwater for those shots as well as a solid UW video lens (if you use video much).
I pretty much stopped using my 24-105 as soon as I got it. Now I have 3 lenses in roatation...100-400mm, 100mm macro and the 17-40. Time to probably sell the 24-105 as it gets little use from me.

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Re: Full Frame Herp Lens?

Post by MattSullivan » June 27th, 2013, 2:01 pm

thanks dude! the 17-40 is the one im looking at because itd be good for underwater and its a ton cheaper than the 16-35. Im looking forward to my 100mm macro coming in for now i just have my tokina 10-17 which on FF can only be used from 14-17mm. Im not a huge fan of the 100-400 i like the 300f4 better

have you ever used extension tubes on the macro?

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Re: Full Frame Herp Lens?

Post by Rothdigga » June 27th, 2013, 2:18 pm

Never tried extension tubes but I really haven't felt like it was necessary for anything I've shot yet.

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Re: Full Frame Herp Lens?

Post by fvachss » June 28th, 2013, 9:15 am

Extension tubes work fine on a macro lens and can provide nice sharp results, but take away some of the flexibility in magnification that a macro lens provides without giving much of an improvement in magnification. To get from 1:1 up to 1.5:1 on a 100L lens requires something like 50mm of additional extension and would limit you to a magnification range between about 0.5:1 and 1.5:1 (i.e. you lose the ability to focus to infinity). If you're going to use tubes I'd recommend an aftermarket brand like Kenko. They work just as well as Canon and cost a lot less.

There's lots of other ways to get higher levels of magnification. Using 1.4x or 2.0x teleconverters increases the magnification by the converter factor without losing infinity focus. Much of the image quality concerns associated with TC usage are avoided in macro applications as you'll be stopped way down anyway. Unfortunately, here too you need to consider aftermarket converters as I don't think Canon's converters will mount directly on the 100L. There are more exotic approaches as well (macro converters like Canon's LSC and dedicated high magnification lenses like the MPE, etc.) but they're more money and pretty specialized in their application. Better I think to mess around with the 100L by itself for a while and see how hard the macro bug bites.

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Re: Full Frame Herp Lens?

Post by MattSullivan » June 28th, 2013, 11:07 am

fvachss wrote:Extension tubes work fine on a macro lens and can provide nice sharp results, but take away some of the flexibility in magnification that a macro lens provides without giving much of an improvement in magnification. To get from 1:1 up to 1.5:1 on a 100L lens requires something like 50mm of additional extension and would limit you to a magnification range between about 0.5:1 and 1.5:1 (i.e. you lose the ability to focus to infinity). If you're going to use tubes I'd recommend an aftermarket brand like Kenko. They work just as well as Canon and cost a lot less.

There's lots of other ways to get higher levels of magnification. Using 1.4x or 2.0x teleconverters increases the magnification by the converter factor without losing infinity focus. Much of the image quality concerns associated with TC usage are avoided in macro applications as you'll be stopped way down anyway. Unfortunately, here too you need to consider aftermarket converters as I don't think Canon's converters will mount directly on the 100L. There are more exotic approaches as well (macro converters like Canon's LSC and dedicated high magnification lenses like the MPE, etc.) but they're more money and pretty specialized in their application. Better I think to mess around with the 100L by itself for a while and see how hard the macro bug bites.
haha the macro bug bit hard a long long time ago. its 95% of what i shoot. Ive been considering the kenkos and the kenko 1.4tc also ill probably just end up getting both haha

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Re: Full Frame Herp Lens?

Post by Aaron Mills » June 28th, 2013, 4:48 pm

The 65mm MP-E is one of my favorite lenses. It blew me away the first time I used mine. It opens up a whole new aspect to photography. I highly recommend it!

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Re: Full Frame Herp Lens?

Post by fvachss » June 29th, 2013, 3:20 pm

Aaron Mills wrote:The 65mm MP-E is one of my favorite lenses. It blew me away the first time I used mine. It opens up a whole new aspect to photography. I highly recommend it!
As do I, but emphatically not as a first macro lens. Shooting at much over 1:1 takes a lot of practice (and usually additional gear as well). The MP-E is great fun, but I'm glad I spent a couple of years screwing around with my 100/2.8 first.

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Re: Full Frame Herp Lens?

Post by reptileexperts » August 5th, 2013, 12:03 pm

Just to add to the point -

Yes the 100mm F2.8 works wonderfully with the Kenko extension tubes. You do lose your ability to focus to infinity, which hurts you a lot more than you may think, because your focal distances - the front side and the back - are changed dramatically. So they will not work in all situations.

I use my smallest extension tube on the 17-40 F4 with some success depending on the subject. When I photographed a sidewinder in California using that exact setup, the furthest focal distance was at the front of the glass element. This required me to shoot with the camera physically touching the snake (tongue licked the front glass). I'll have to post the shot from home, since I do not have access to it from work. But it's a tough combo when used, but can provide some generally interesting results.

My favorite combo for my 5D Mark II right now though for herp photography is simply the 70-200 F4 L lens. It's cheap, provides excellent focal depth, and gets the job done sharp.

Image
70-200 F4 on 5D MK II with extension tube

Image
70-200 F4 on 1D EOS Mark III (1.3x APS-H sensor) no extension tubes at night with 1 flash wireless triggered off camera.

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Re: Full Frame Herp Lens?

Post by MattSullivan » August 5th, 2013, 3:38 pm

yeah the 17-40 is a lens im looking at and since i posted this i go the 100mm L and canon extension tube. You'll definitely have to post that shot of the sidewinder licking the glass. so with extension tubes on the 17-40 the max focus distance is on the glass?

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Re: Full Frame Herp Lens?

Post by reptileexperts » August 6th, 2013, 2:18 am

Yes with the I believe 12mm extender (smallest) you can get focus with a full frame camera at the front of the lens. Makes for some difficult shots but interesting effects. Ill try to put the shot up on Flickr or pbase this morning with it actually in practice. I used the same setup with a western cottonmouth but it was not quite as "eager" to behave.

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Re: Full Frame Herp Lens?

Post by reptileexperts » August 6th, 2013, 4:42 am

Image
Not the sharpest image - needs some more post processing, but shows how images CAN look with this set up.

Again, this was with the Canon 5D Mark II, and the 17-40mm F4 USM L, @ 17mm with 12mm extension tube added

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