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Macro Lens to shoot a single eye

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Jonathan Buck
Macro Lens to shoot a single eye
on Jan 18, 2016 at 3:20:32 am

Hi all,

I'm working on a project that requires several shots of an individual eye. Can anyone recommend a great macro lens for shooting this working on an APS-C sensor? My budget is about $700 max.


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Todd Terry
Re: Macro Lens to shoot a single eye
on Jan 18, 2016 at 6:10:57 am

Well, you didn't tell us what camera you'd be using, so that could greatly affect the choice (depending on the camera's lens mount)...

There's also the challenge of looking for a "great macro lens" on a pretty tight budget.

My suggested solution isn't to use a macro lens at all. Instead I'd suggest getting a front-of-lens closeup filter. I'm usually not a fan of using a lens "add on" in lieu of using the "proper" lens to do that (such as front-of-lens anamorphic adapters or front-of-lens DoF adapters), but for this case for just a few shots it would be a good an economical solution. That's what I do in the rare instances that I need a super-close shot. The advantage is (other than low cost) is that I can use it on any of my primes so I have a variety of focal lengths to choose from, for far less than the cost of buying even one macro lens in a single focal length. And if you are shooting with, say, a matched set of primes, then you know the closeup shots will match as well, since you're still using your own original lenses... there's no chance for any difference in color or contrast that would be almost inevitable with a non-matched lens.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Jonathan Buck
Re: Macro Lens to shoot a single eye
on Jan 18, 2016 at 2:40:02 pm

Hi Todd,

That's great thank you for the detailed response. Is there any particular brand for this filter that you would recommend? It's an EOS APS-C sensor with a 1.6 crop.


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Todd Terry
Re: Macro Lens to shoot a single eye
on Jan 18, 2016 at 3:56:29 pm

Hi Jonathan...

No, no particular recommendations...

The one I use is made by Tiffen...



This one is a +3... and it's done everything I've ever needed (although I'll admit I haven't needed it too much). As you can see the filter itself is very thin, not much thicker than a regular filter. It's a Series9 filter so it basically just has a clean metal edge (no threads), you put it in a Series9 filter holder (the rings you see) so that you can use it with a variety of lenses with the proper mounts or adapters. Frankly, I kinda have to half-ass rig that... my lenses are real cine primes so they do not have any kind of threading or anything (you'd only use filters in a matte box). But, as luck would have it, the threads on the Series9 holder just barely (and tightly) fit inside the standard 80mm front of the cine primes, so I basically just stick it in there then put a couple of tiny pieces of gaffer tape on it to hold it in. If I used it much, I'd get a proper mount.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Matthew Ross
Re: Macro Lens to shoot a single eye
on Jan 18, 2016 at 3:06:29 pm

Another consideration especially since we're talking about a few shots on one project: rent a macro lens. Place like LensRentals.com and BorrowLenses.com have a number of macro options. Not sure where you're located, though, so that may be a factor if you're outside the US. Not sure if other countries have similar sites to rent from.


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Erik Anschicks
Re: Macro Lens to shoot a single eye
on Jan 22, 2016 at 3:37:06 am

The advice for a closeup filter or rental for this one project are sound, I'll just throw out a couple lens options.

A 1.6x crop on an APS-C sensor will help as it'll add length to whichever lens you choose. Most any real, dedicated macro lens will do, but I'm guessing you don't want to be right on top of the talent. In that case, I'd recommend a macro with at least a 100mm distance. Since you're using an EOS mount, you'll probably be limited to a still photo lens, and a Zeiss ZF.2 100mm Makro lens would be great for rental. Well over $700 to buy, but an outstanding lens. It's actually the only photo lens in the Zeiss lineup to base its optical design on the Arri Master Prime 100mm Cine lens, so it's got tremendous lineage, a great look, and can open up to an f2. I use it a lot. Another option is the Canon 180mm macro, which is also excellent and will give you more length, but it's fairly large and a tad on the slow side at an f3.5.

BUT, if you're dead set on purchasing, one excellent budget option is the Tokina 100mm macro. Opens to f2.8, so right in the middle of the others. TACK sharp, excellent color reproduction, great depth and bokeh, true 1:1 size reproduction. You can find it for around $400, which is an absolute steal in price/performance terms. I have one in the Nikon build with an EOS adapter, this way it comes with a fully manual aperture ring which is much better for motion-picture applications.


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