Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Macro with the 18-55 3.5-5.6 II


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 d4erla

d4erla

    Lionfish

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 60 posts
  • Location:New York

Posted 13 March 2006 - 12:35 PM

Hi,

I'm planning to house my 350D. The two options I consider are:

EF-S 60 mm and a flat port

Would result in great macro performance, of course.

OR

Stick with the kit lens + dome to make it usable over the complete zoom range.

Would be:
Cheap
Still some WA capability

but most of all: when I use the 18-55 on land, I find the macro performance quite good! It can't go quite as close as the EF-S 60, but still close enough for e.g. "medium size" nudibrances. And, when I close it down to f/11 or so, which I would probably do when shoothing macro with flash, it is not so far away from the EF-S 60 in sharpness!

Have a look at the blur index graphs:
EF-S 60
18-55

Of course, the smaller aperture would result in worse low light focus capabilities, that could be a problem.

Any comments? Anyone has experience of shooting macro with the 18-55? Will I get as good performance with a dome as a flat port?
Erik Larsson
erikjlarsson.com

EOS-350D, Ikelite housing
C-4040Z, ES-150DS, Epoque WA

#2 lanierb

lanierb

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 47 posts
  • Location:Palo Alto, CA

Posted 13 March 2006 - 01:04 PM

Is it an either/or? The Ikelite ports are about $135 so for that much extra you get the 60 and still use the kit lens once in a while. My feeling is that the 60 is much better than the kit lens for macro and fish portraits. The kit lens isn't really great for anything, including wide angle.

#3 Starbuck

Starbuck

    Manta Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 471 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Lancaster, Pa

Posted 13 March 2006 - 01:13 PM

Someone else should comment on their lens testing methodology..since they rated the highly revered Nikon 60mm micro as "mediocre"
Michael V. Palasz
www.fishlens.com
D2X and D80 / Nexus / Ikelite / Inon / Heinrichs iTTL controller

#4 d4erla

d4erla

    Lionfish

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 60 posts
  • Location:New York

Posted 13 March 2006 - 01:13 PM

In reply to Lanierb: I guess, but I don't own the 60 mm yet! :blink: After looking at the "blur index" measurements, I was just amazed by how sharp the 18-55 really is at 55 mm when you close the aperture to f/8 or f/11 - quite typical settings for flash macro.

Being able to use that lens would save me a lot of money, plus I can do some kind of WA on the same dive...


About the tests: don't know how reliable their tests are, but seems like they know what they're doing. At least they conclude the equally highly regarded EF-S 60 to have excellent performance (10/10 image quality).
Erik Larsson
erikjlarsson.com

EOS-350D, Ikelite housing
C-4040Z, ES-150DS, Epoque WA

#5 lanierb

lanierb

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 47 posts
  • Location:Palo Alto, CA

Posted 13 March 2006 - 07:59 PM

It depends what you want. If you want an "all around" lens that will let you do a lot of things not very well the 18-55 is fine. For macro it's not very sharp (at close focus and/or wider apertures), and can't focus very close. For wide angle it's not very sharp and not very wide. It might be worth experimenting with for a while, but I think you'll find the 60 to be a big improvement.

#6 d4erla

d4erla

    Lionfish

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 60 posts
  • Location:New York

Posted 13 March 2006 - 10:56 PM

Ok, so the sharpness can be affected by the focusing distance? What about the port, will a 18-55 port perform worse at 55 mm than a flat port? Thanks for your reply.
Erik Larsson
erikjlarsson.com

EOS-350D, Ikelite housing
C-4040Z, ES-150DS, Epoque WA

#7 betti154

betti154

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 342 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 14 March 2006 - 01:45 AM

Hi,

I've both the 18-55 and 60mm lenses, and have used them both behind the same Ike flat port.

The in my opinion 60mm is without question vastly superior, both in image quality and focusing. The 18-55mm just cannot focus close enough to get any wow shots, so images don't seem to pop as much as those taken with the 60mm.

I took some very unscientific test shots, getting as close as I could with both lenses. Settings were the same, only diff was the distance from subject to camera.

Settings: 1/200s at f/16 ISO100 (Built in strobe on 350D)

18-55mm

60mm

In saying that, if budget is your issue then the 18-55mm might just have to do. I've not used it behind a dome yet, so cannot be of help there as I've the 10-22mm for WA.

DAmien
Damien Siviero
Canon 5DmkIII + 7D. Aquatica Housing. Ikelite + Inon Strobes. Canon + Tokina Glass.
http://damiensiviero.com

#8 tkr

tkr

    Lionfish

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 67 posts

Posted 14 March 2006 - 04:25 AM

I have been using the 60mm and 18-55 Nikkors. Although they not the same as Canons it is a similar dilema in knowing which to prefer. The Canon 60mm is a much newer lens than the 60 Nikkor as it is designed specifficaly for the smaller sensor Canons

I have to say I really like the Nikkor 18-55 f3.5-5.6. The more I use it, the more impresed I am with it. It appears to me to focus as well as the 60mm in very low light and is faster and quieter in doing it. Reading Wet Pixel will of course tell you that if you want to be serious - this if by far the more inferior lens compared to the 60mm.

From my own experience so far I'm wondering if getting a 60mm macro lens is a lens I may grow to dislike using. The versatility of the mid range zoom seems better for fish, large animals and a bit of psedo macro - and for more exciting macro I might be better off with a 105 macro lens. Time will tell.

I am not sure if the 18mm end of the zoom beind a flat port is very clever though. Edge sharpness may be an issue. As yet I have not tried this zoom beind a dome port.

#9 d4erla

d4erla

    Lionfish

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 60 posts
  • Location:New York

Posted 14 March 2006 - 05:33 AM

That comparison was really interesting to see. As expected, you get closer with the 60 mm macro. But you can still go surprisingly close with the 18-55. I can however see that this can make a big difference depending on the subject. And although it's hard to compare on a scaled down image, both look very sharp. A 100 % crop could perhaps reveal weaknesses of the 18-55, although according to the test above the should be virtually no difference at the aperture. So if it's just about the image quality (at f/11 or f/16), it seems like a waste to spend money on the 60 mm.

Perhaps tkr has a point - a ~100 mm macro lens would really make a huge difference compared to the 18-55.

Can anyone comment on the difference between a flat port and a dome at 55 mm? If I can get good closeups with a dome and the 18-55, I might just start with this combination, although I won't be able to go quite as close as with the 60 mm.
Erik Larsson
erikjlarsson.com

EOS-350D, Ikelite housing
C-4040Z, ES-150DS, Epoque WA

#10 lanierb

lanierb

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 47 posts
  • Location:Palo Alto, CA

Posted 14 March 2006 - 01:17 PM

"So if it's just about the image quality (at f/11 or f/16), it seems like a waste to spend money on the 60 mm."

There are many situations in which the 60 is vastly sharper than the 18-55, including anything at a wide aperture or close focus. At f/16 on a 1.6 crop camera all lenses are essentially equally sharp (because they are diffraction limited), which is why those shots show no differences.

Note also that there are some other issues when you use lenses underwater. Flat ports add substantial chromatic aberration on wide angles so you won't want to use the 18-55 behind a flat port.

You sound like you want to try the 18-55 first. Why not just try it? The dome is only $135. My guess is you will quickly see its limitations and want something better.

#11 betti154

betti154

    Eagle Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 342 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sydney, Australia

Posted 14 March 2006 - 03:40 PM

With regards to growing in/out of the 60mm lens, I like it that much I just bought the 100mm, though haven't used it yet. There is a huge difference there, but the 60mm still has it place for portraits.

If someone with mor technicaly knowledge can point out a simple test between the 18-55mm and 60mm, I'd be happy to run it and post the results in full res.

ds
Damien Siviero
Canon 5DmkIII + 7D. Aquatica Housing. Ikelite + Inon Strobes. Canon + Tokina Glass.
http://damiensiviero.com

#12 Dive Rat

Dive Rat

    Clownfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 25 posts
  • Location:Idaho Falls, Idaho USA
  • Interests:Diving, hunting & fishing

Posted 14 March 2006 - 04:31 PM

Now that many people have jumped in on the question, I have another related one.

How about The Olympus 14-45mm vs. 50mm macro lenses? Are the diferrences the same as with the Canon lenses?

I now have the kit 14-45 and have ordered a dome port for it, but should I be seriously considering the 50mm an a flat port?

Sorry to ask on this thread but it is so close to the origional question that I just had to ask.

Thanks for any replies!

#13 d4erla

d4erla

    Lionfish

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 60 posts
  • Location:New York

Posted 15 March 2006 - 04:22 AM

Thanks for your reply lanierb. Just one question: can the sharpness be affected by the focusing distance, or do you simply mean that going closer than the shortest focusing distance will make it unsharp?

I think you're right, I'll just try the 18-55 and see, and probably I will eventually want to go closer than what the 18-55 allows. As for the sharpness, I don't think it will be an issue, since close-up flash photography will almost always be at small apertures.
Erik Larsson
erikjlarsson.com

EOS-350D, Ikelite housing
C-4040Z, ES-150DS, Epoque WA

#14 lanierb

lanierb

    Triggerfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 47 posts
  • Location:Palo Alto, CA

Posted 15 March 2006 - 01:15 PM

"can the sharpness be affected by the focusing distance"?

The short answer is yes. Normal lenses are designed to minimize aberrations at infinity focus, whereas macro lenses are designed to minimize aberrations throughout the range (and sometimes only at close focus).