closeup lenses, ringlights, adapters w/canon 100L macro

Discussion in 'Macro' started by virginia sustarsic, May 18, 2017.

  1. Have been using a canon 100 macro lens and love it, but have a 100L macro with IS on the doing some extreme macro, would like to use my kenkko extension tubes along with closeup lenses on the front, and, sometimes, canon 14x ringlight. I am looking for the best possible closeup lenses to get, and have read that double element rather than single element will give better quality images, however it is not easy to tell which are double and which are single element. Recommendatons for closeup filters? Also, was looking at the Canon 500D and 250D closeup lenses. Since the diameter of the new lens is 67, and canon does not seem to make these in 67mm size, I was assuming that I would need to get a larger size closeup lens and an adapter, however someone at canon said, no, I can use a smaller diameter, such as 58mm, how would this not cause vignetting? also confused as to how the ringlight adapter will work, since the ringlight fit right onto my older 100macro lens with a 58mm diameter, so wouldn't this new 100L macro IS lens be larger, at 67mm, than the ringlight opening...also, would a 1.4 or 2x extender be helpful somewhere in the mix...I like to get really far into the details of tiny parts of flowers, sometimes grasshopper portraits, any suggestions will be appreciated, thanks!
  2. Adding any extra glass to the lens, either CU lenses or teleconverters, will degrade the image quality. What you're contemplating is turning a $1000 lens into a $200 lens by sticking a glorified magnifying glass onto it.

    A better option would be to buy a reversing ring that allows the lens to be fitted backwards to the camera or extension tubes. And an even better option would be to get a bellows as well. That's the way to do serious macro.

    The loss of autofocus is no big deal when you get closer than 1:1, since it really doesn't help much.

    CU lenses or "diopters" are meant as a quick 'n' dirty way to get a non-macro lens to focus a bit closer. They're easy to carry around in the field to allow closer focussing. That's about the limit of their usefulness IMO.
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
  3. With modern ISOs and such like conditions, there are some very inexpensive LED ring lights that will actually work. I got a set with lots of adapter rings and so forth for US$21, postpaid, on eBay and it actually produces enough light for modern digital cameras. It might be a little dim for old-fashioned film use though.

    Note that these are technically NOT flashes, you can simply use them as constant light, or as a "blink" system.
  4. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    At sometime you're probably going to need to quantify what "extreme Macro" means, perhaps in terms of magnification either a number or a comparative like "I need twice as much magnification to get the whole grasshopper's head to fill the frame" - and that's all going to come together after you start shooting some "extreme macro" (if you haven't had a crack at it already).

    My first advice is buy nothing extra until you whack the 63mm of Kenko extension tubes on your new lens macro. Obviously that will give you the same mag. as using you existing EF 100F/2.8 Macro lens with the same 63mm of tubes (in a number that is x1.63mag) - and if you've already done that and you know that you want more magnification.

    I also advise against buying Close Up Filters (or as Canon likes to term them Close Up Lenses). The salient points are:

    > probably the better (best) quality are the Canon Close Up Lenses and the most suitable one for the 100mm lens is the 250D, but as you already mention, I also don't think that the 250D is made in a 67mm Filter thread and moreover, attached to the100 Macro lens a 250D will only provide x1.41 mag. - which is less mag. than the 63mm of Kenko tubes that you already have;

    > as already mentioned, whacking ANY CU Lens in front of your $1000 macro lens you will get some Image Quality deterioration - a small crop in post production would cost you much less in all aspects: both money and IQ;

    > btw - I think the only Close Up Lens and Macro Lens combination which CPN (Canon Professional Network) particularly notes, (I guess that's a recommendation for use), is the combination of the EF 180 F/3.5L and the 500;

    > as I understand, the original TR&D of the Canon CU Lens was integral to their uses being with the longer (200mm+) telephoto lenses, even though the 240 and 250 CU Lenses were (subsequently?) designed for use with much shorter focal length lenses;

    > In any case, Canon themselves states (my bold for emphasis):
    “. . . a close-up lens takes up very little room, yet can transform the capabilities of your other lenses. It is an ideal accessory to carry when you want to travel light. . . . In simple terms, all single element lenses show aberrations, usually chromatic. By adding a second element, the aberrations from both elements can be made to cancel each other. The resulting double-element, or ‘doublet’ lens may not be completely free from of aberrations, but it will usually be a lot better than the single element lenses. . . “
    REF: CPN (Archived Newsletters, personal archive WW)

    BTW, Canon has made a range of different close-up lenses over many years; there are two designs, single element and double element and it is quite easy to tell which are double and which are single element - The double element items are identified by the letter ‘D’ as a suffix, so both the 250D and the 500D are double element designs.

    To fit your existing Canon Ringlight x14 onto your new 100mm Macro lens you need the Canon 67 Macrolite Adapter.

    Considering you have 63mm of Extension Tube adding a set of bellows (say 150mm) will give you just over x3.0mag. or adding another set of tubes (63mm) will get you to about x2.25mag. That s awfully close macro. But you might need some bracing for that extension rig, because there will be a lot of bayonet mount joints, which can make the lens' structure become quite floppy.

    Frankly, I am not that keen on reverse mounting specifically the EF 100 F/2.8 L USM lens: the main reason being it is an Automatic Aperture Lens and if you go that route and if you want to shoot at a smaller than F/2.8 you will need to know how to stop down the lens and lock it - which is not difficult (ask if you want to know how) but can be a pesky and time consuming addition to the macro shooting process - also you'd need to build or buy (I don't think that there is one, so I think you'd need to 'build') a ring light mount to attach to the Bayonet end of the lens: reverse mounting any lens apropos the Aperture control and selection of Aperture for shooting, is much easier with any Manual Aperture Lenses.

    Your idea of using a Tele-Extender is OK, but again, as already mentioned, there will be some image Quality deterioration. If you go that route then I would suggest only using the Canon Extenders EF MkII or MkIII and again the salient point is you do NOT get that much more magnification for your dollar outlay.

    If you already own the Extender(s), then give them a try, but I suggest you do NOT go out and buy one especially for this task.

    In any case the Extenders EF are NOT suitable to mount directly onto the EF 100F/2.8L, and of all the options, for most shooting scenarios, it is best to use the 12mm tube between the Extender and the Lens (i.e. the mounting line is - CAMERA BODY || EXTENDER EF || 12mm TUBE || 100MACRO LENS.

    As for other ideas for relatively easy 'extreme macro':

    - consider buying the EF 50 F/2.5 and the Life Size Adapter, add that to your 63mm of tubes and you have x2.26 mag and your existing ringlight fits without the adapter. Obviously adding bellows onto that rig the mag. increases more dramatically than with using the 100mm Macro Lens. (NB with a reduction in Working Distance)

    - for the 'ultimate', consider looking at the MP-E65mm F/2.8 1-5x Macro Lens.

    But doing 'extreme macro' really is not all that 'easy' - note that at 'extreme macro': the rig arrangement; the stability of it; the ease of micro focusing; the nuances of your lighting usually become more critical.

    So if you don't already have, you'll probably be investing in: Tripod(s), Heads, Focusing Rails and possible a Bellows/Tube to Lens support structure and maybe a more sophisticated Speedlite arrangement than just the one RingFlash (tends to make "flat" lighting) - and if shooting certain types of bugs then possibly a bug anæsthetic or movement imobilizer. .

  5. First, thanks to everyone who responded. Maybe I wasn't as clear as I could be, and my post was kind of long. This is not new to me, I have been doing this for several years, using my 100 macro, kenkko tubes and Nikon closeup diopters, occasionally the 14 canon ringlight. I already know how much magnification I need for what I am doing. I also knew the canon 500D and 250D, the D stands for dual element, I was wanting to know what other manufacturers' closeup lenses are dual rather than single element and which are the highest quality...I have the mpe 65 ultimate lens, but for some days I like to just bring the 100 with accessories for its flexibility...I haven't used bellows, that may be too clumsy for me. Now that the 100L IS USM macro will be arriving, probably today, is 67 instead of the 58 mm, am thinking of some new accessories, can still use the tubes, will consider other possibilities, but wondering what size and brand of the diopters or closeup lenses will have the sharpest results for the occasional experience where I want to go deeper than the macro lens and kenko tubes will take me, thanks
  6. The effective focal length of that Canon macro lens is more like 75mm at closest focus, thanks to its internal focus design. This throws off any calculation of magnification based on its nominal 100mm FL.

    63mm of extra extension will actually get you more like 1.8x rather than 1.6x magnification.

    Adding a 250mm (4 dioptre) magnifier lens brings the EFL down to around 58mm and gets you a magnification in the region of 2.7x, or a 50% further increase in image size. That's not to be sniffed at, but it's to be wondered whether a simple crop wouldn't achieve the same overall quality.

    Anyway, all that aside: By all accounts there's no optical difference between the L version and "ordinary" version of Canon's 100mm macro. Therefore there should be no reason why a 58mm filter would vignette on the L lens any more than on the previous version.

    So my advice would be to spend nothing on further CU filters until you've bought a simple 67-to-58mm reducing ring and tried it. Or just stick your existing 58mm magnifying glasses in front of the new lens and see if there's any vignetting.

    BTW. I'm surprised that you found any Nikon filters in a 58mm thread. Nikon standardised on 52, 62 and 72mm front threads for a long time. So if your Nikon CU filters are actually 62mm, then that's not such a big stretch to 67mm and they should be fine with just a reducing adapter.
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
    William Michael likes this.
  7. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Aside: forgot to do rough calculate using effective FL - thanks.
  8. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Virginia, yes your OP was confusing, to me at least, thanks for clarifying.

    I concur with Rodeo Joe - use the Nikon CU Lens that you have and see how you go. As I originally mentioned I would be comparing that to cropping in post production anyway.

    To answer your direct question about other brands of CU Lenses: I have not found any other CU Lenses that give as good results as the Canon 250D and 500D - and I have used several "third party" brands (but not the Nikon) but also I do not use either the 250D or the 500D on either of my Macro Lenses, so it is really not a like comparison. I use the 250D and the 500D on a telephoto lens - usually a 200mm or a 300mm - and the purpose is just to get a "Close Up", not to get more magnification in a Macro shot.

    Further, I am not sure whether or not the 'third party' CU Lenses that I have used are Duplets, but I think that the "Hoya Pro 1 Digital" might be: - it worked quite well on shorter telephoto lenses, such as 85mm and 135mm. Certainly the cheaper CU Lenses appear not.

  9. Thanks again, William, and everyone else who is taking the time to respond, I no longer have the Nikon closeup lenses, they were stolen, are no longer made, and the diameter would have been too small anyway I think because I was using them with the 58 mm canon 100 macro and will be using th 100L IS which has 67 mm threads... are you familiar with the dorr, marumi, century, raynox, or xpro...these are all listed as achromatic dual element, would these also cause noticeable degradation, how would they compare with the canon 500d and 250d, and wondering if those canon cu lenses will cause degrading of the image when used with the canon 100 macro
  10. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    I have used Hoya, Marumi, Raynox and Canon. I have not made definitive A/B comparisons so I cannot rate those lenses in any order and in any case the CU lenses that I might have used (especially the Marumi and Raynox) probably have now been superseded with newer models.

    I can report that all the CU Lenses that I have used (including the Canon) cause some Image Quality degradation, which presents generally as Chromatic Aberration and Image Softness, both of which are more noticeable at the edges of the image.

    I think that it is impossible to determine in this conversation, whether the resultant Image Quality degradation caused by any CU Lens will or will not be acceptable for your purposes.

    I am happy using a Canon 500D with a telephoto lens, now and again, for a “Close Up shot”.

    But, generally I would not be happy putting a CU Lens on either of my ‘specialty’ Macro Lenses, which I purposely bought for their acute and excellent Image Quality.

    What I mean is, if I am going to the trouble of using a purpose built Macro Lens, then I have a specific outcome in mind and I really don’t want to compromise that extraordinary image quality with what amounts to (in my mind) putting a Coke-a-cola bottle in front of an excellent lens.

    On the other hand, I quite understand that others might be out in the field with macro lens and want to document something that “little bit closer” and for that they want to choose to carry a light weight CU Lens: I think in this case one “gets what you pay for” – and any of the achromatic dual element CU lenses sporting an array of good reviews will do that job quite well.

    But as I mentioned earlier, I would try cropping the image file: if you are using a recent issue DSLR, especially for example a recent model 5D Series, and can use it at a low ISO and have a good exposure, then cropping in post production will likely be, easier, cheaper and as good as or better quality, than using a CU Lens.

  11. thank you William, this post is helpful in knowing what to expect, have a marumi plus 3 on the way,
  12. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    OK. Good. Please let us know you opinion after using it.

  13. Saw Century Brand diopters, apparently made by Schneider Optics, B + W, with Schott glass, dual element achromatic closeup, with excellent reviews, however, am confused because they are listed in some places as being for videography...wondering if they are for still photography also, as the quality seems superb
  14. Videography - stills - same difference these days with DSLR and mirrorless cameras being increasingly used for video at 4K resolution.

    Time was when video cameras usually had a smaller lens diameter than a still camera and a lower image quality requirement. No longer the case.
  15. Here is a Popular Photography sum-up from back in the day when:
    PP 2004-02

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