Canon has added yet another camera to their cinema line, the 1D C. This addition gives professional and novice filmmakers alike a formidable number of shooting choices, not to mention access to a wide variety of cine-lenses. It is also a very sports-friendly camera, shooting at 14 FPS for up to 400,000 cycles with its newly-designed shutter and carbon fiber blades. But what really stands out about this camera–especially when compared to the established C300 and the new C100 and C500? read more…
Photographer Marc Muench took a compelling photo while out in Death Valley National Park. The sun is setting and it appears as if the night is rolling in at hyper speed, allowing the stars and clouds to shine through the still-bright sky. This image is, indeed, a composite but not so much a composite of completely different images–it is more of a composite of time. This simple technique is what Muench likes to call “Time Bracketing”.
Steve McCurry is one of the most prolific photographers alive today. His photograph for National Geographic’s June 1985 cover of Sharbat Gula (also know as the “Afghan Girl”) is one of the most recognizable portraits in history, and his imagery has graced NatGeo’s pages many, many times since.
McCurry has repeatedly proven himself an absolute master of the portrait. His street portraiture, especially, carries tremendous impact. He has an uncanny ability to capture his subjects’ essence, distilling it in a split-second into an image that can range from haunting to exciting and everything in-between.
The Canon MP-E 65mm Macro Lens is one of BorrowLenses.com’s most unique lenses. The MP-E is more than a macro lens–it is a portable microscope with the ability to fill an entire 35mm frame with the texture of something as small as a grain of rice. Floating internal lens elements keep the resolution sharp throughout the range of focus at 1x, life-size, to 5x magnification, or 5 times life-size.
The Canon MP-E 65mm’s magnification essentially begins where other macro lenses, such as Canon’s 100mm, end. The focus distance range is very small–only 41mm at 5x–but this allows for tremendous detail of very small objects, including the tips of pens or the eyes of a butterfly. Since this is a dedicated macro lens, it cannot focus more than a few centimeters away from the front element. This is not your ordinary 65mm lens and to properly shoot with it you will need a couple of tools.
What You Need to Shoot
This lens is manual-focus only and you will need to use a macro rail, such as our StackShot Extended Macro Rail or our Mini Novoflex Focusing Rack. These provide essential support to prevent blur from lens shake (which is very noticeable at higher magnifications) and allows for micro adjustments in distance to and from your diminutive subject.
Macro Ring Lights
The effective aperture is going to be much smaller than what is displayed on your camera due to the extreme magnification of the lens. Keep this in mind when calculating your exposure–your aperture needs to be multiplied by the magnification, plus 1, that you are using. For example, if you are shooting a penny at 5x magnification at f/13, you are effectively shooting at f/78 (f stop x (magnification + 1).
As you can see in this picture of the penny, even with a 1 second exposure and an LED lamp, there is not a lot of light on the subject. Also, when hovering over a very small subject, you tend to cast a shadow on an already dark scene. A macro ring light is essential for combating these very small apertures. This lens is compatible with our Canon MT-24EX Macro Twin Ringlite Flash.
Patience for the Little Things
This is not a lens for the impatient! It may take several micro adjustments and a steady gaze to get your subject sharp but the rewards are as great as the details the Canon MP-E provides. Check out a few of our images taken with this lens below, shot between 2x and 4x magnification:
Other Macro Options
Canon’s 65mm MP-E is in a class of its own but there are other fantastic macro lenses to try out, especially if you are looking to just play around and don’t really want to commit to rails and macro lights–yet. Here are some of our recommended lenses:
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro USM
This is a 1:1 macro lens so you can still reproduce small items at life-size magnification. The Hybrid IS makes this lens a little easier to hand-hold than the MP-E and also doubles as a fantastic portrait lens.
Nikon 105mm f/2.8G AF-S VR IF-ED Micro
Another 1:1 magnification lens and also very sharp. The Vibration Reduction is helpful when hand-holding and it is also a great portrait lens. It is the favorite go-to lens for The Furrtographer for capturing both animal portraits and extreme close ups of their interesting features.
Sony 100mm f/2.8 Macro
Comparable to the Canon EF 100mm for its 1:1 magnification and portraiture use but also employs a double-floating element design similar to the MP-E.
Penxtax 100mm f/2.8 WR Macro
Much like the others above only this lens has 6 weather seals–very helpful when photographing bugs and flowers outside in all conditions. This lens also has a quick shift feature that allows you to alternate between manual and auto focus very easily.
Panasonic Leica 45mm f/2.8 Macro ASPH/MEGA O.I.S.
This lens is for the micro four thirds fans out there. It is the 35mm-equivalent of a 90mm lens on a full frame camera but still shoots at 1:1 and allows you to focus as close at 6″ from your subject. The Optical Image Stabilization helps with hand-holding and still doubles as a fine portrait lens.
There are many more great macro lenses to try out on our site!
Show Us What You Got
It’s a small world out there and we’d like to see how you capture it! Did you get interesting results from one of these (or other) macro/micro lenses? Feel free to share your images in the comments below.
When we recently received the Olympus OM-D E-M5 (there’s a mouthful for you) in our warehouse, I wasted absolutely no time in snagging one of the bodies and taking it for a whirl. My “whirls” usually last a few weeks so that I can put the camera to use in a variety of different ways, and given the feedback I’d heard from other photographers about this diminutive body, I was eager to put it through its paces.
Two weeks later, I have my conclusion: Olympus has an absolute winner on its hands.
The Micro-Four-Thirds platform isn’t a closed-loop system. Olympus and Panasonic both make bodies for it, and there’s even an MFT-based version of the enormously popular Blackmagic Cinema Camera on the way. Panasonic, particularly, has two lenses that I decided were going to be my go-to lenses for this test: the 12–35mm f/2.8 and the 35–100mm f/2.8 lenses.
Together, these cover the equivalent of the 24–70 and 70–200mm lenses in 35mm terms, giving me the focal lengths used by most photographers. Because the OM-D features a 5-axis, in-body stabilization, that entire focal length is stabilized as well. read more…
Welcome to Cool Stuff, a weekly feature where we post our favorite links from the past week, including our favorite articles and how-tos, videos, images and more.
- Canon’s new 1D C camera has arrived in our warehouse and is available for reservations. This is one camera you’re going to want to check out folks – have a look at the documentary below and you’ll see why.
- Speaking of Canon, DSLRNewsShooter.com has a nice piece about how Reuters turned to the 5D Mark III and a 60D for a documentary on education.
- Steve McCurry is one of the most prolific photographers of our generation – his image of the “Afghan Girl” still ranks as one of the most powerful works of portraiture out there. So when we saw that he had a new app out for the iPad that presented 200 of his portraits in a single collection, well, the $3.99 purchase was a no-brainer.
- German TV network Deutsche Welle has released two documentary videos about Legendary camera company Leica. Check out the first video below, then head over to Leica Rumors for the second one.
- And finally, via Chase Jarvis’ blog, comes an amazing look at how some artists see the drones used for military strikes around the world, in an outstanding example of the intersection of war and art.
That’s it for this week’s Cool Stuff. As always, questions and feedback are welcome in the comments below.