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Rocco Penny
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« on: June 06, 2010, 08:13:37 PM »
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I wanted to share a few in www
these are mostly done from close focus w/600mm manual focus (around 20 feet  *5 meters to be exact.)
I used to like to try and get in closer with my 10-20 or 50mm, now I hate disturbing the little wisps,
so I try and try from a distance now,
anyway today I saw a few and this is the best of them;
A California Sister


[attachment=22447:sister1445.jpg]
« Last Edit: June 13, 2010, 08:59:25 PM by Rocco Penny » Logged
Lloyd Mayeda
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2010, 06:31:41 AM »
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A very attractive picture of a very attractive "wisp".  Well done.  My longest lens is 125mm but I think I'll try it the next time I am out shooting butterflies.  If only they wouldn't flit around so much.
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2010, 02:10:41 PM »
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Quote from: LloydMayeda
A very attractive picture of a very attractive "wisp".  Well done.  My longest lens is 125mm but I think I'll try it the next time I am out shooting butterflies.  If only they wouldn't flit around so much.

Well, butterflies (like all insects) are poikilothermic, which is what most people think of as 'cold-blooded'.  Since their environment regulates their body temperature, go out looking for them in the morning before the air warms up too much.

Mike.
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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2010, 12:19:10 PM »
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Rocco,

Nice work on your butterfly shot. Don't worry about getting too close; I spend most of my time inches away with a macro lens. With some practice and understanding of behavior you can often get very close without disturbing them.

Also, your butterfly is not a California Sister (Adelpha californica) although they are easily confused. What you have is actually more exciting where I live, a Lorquin’s Admiral (Limenitis lorquini). How special a find it is depends a great deal of where you found it of course.

Congratulations!

David

http://www.solardarkroom.com/galleries/butterflies/


Quote from: Rocco Penny
I wanted to share a few in www
these are mostly done from close focus w/600mm manual focus (around 20 feet  *5 meters to be exact.)
I used to like to try and get in closer with my 10-20 or 50mm, now I hate disturbing the little wisps,
so I try and try from a distance now,
anyway today I saw a few and this is the best of them;
A California Sister


[attachment=22447:sister1445.jpg]
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Lloyd Mayeda
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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2010, 07:46:05 PM »
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Quote
Well, butterflies (like all insects) are poikilothermic, which is what most people think of as 'cold-blooded'. Since their environment regulates their body temperature, go out looking for them in the morning before the air warms up too much.

Mike.

Good point Mike. Thanks for the comment.   Morning light is often very flattering for nature shots as well.
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Rocco Penny
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2010, 05:33:29 PM »
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Hi guys and thank you for the interest!
I was so quick to misidentify this butterfly, I'll take more time to misidentify them in the future.
Thanks David for the kindness, I live on the N.Ca. coast.  I tramp up and down creek bottoms a lot, and found this Lorquin's Admiral about where the book says they should be found.(thanks again for helping me with proper ID)
I saw some large orange butterfly the same day, same habitat, maybe as orange as a question mark or a fritillary of some sort,
I don't think it was a checkerspot, and for sure not a monarch.
There were also large swallowtails in the air that day,
I didn't get one, but here's a smaller example from last month
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Rocco Penny
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2010, 10:42:29 PM »
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a few more,
there were so many I was overwhelmed, I saw and missed a red admiral, and have a few more lorquins to add
Is the bright orange one a comma?
Is the smaller one a checkerspot?
Thank you any responses welcome
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solardarkroom.com
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« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2010, 10:56:41 AM »
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Quote from: Rocco Penny
Hi guys and thank you for the interest!
I was so quick to misidentify this butterfly, I'll take more time to misidentify them in the future.
Thanks David for the kindness, I live on the N.Ca. coast.  I tramp up and down creek bottoms a lot, and found this Lorquin's Admiral about where the book says they should be found.(thanks again for helping me with proper ID)
I saw some large orange butterfly the same day, same habitat, maybe as orange as a question mark or a fritillary of some sort,
I don't think it was a checkerspot, and for sure not a monarch.
There were also large swallowtails in the air that day,
I didn't get one, but here's a smaller example from last month

Rocco,

This one is at such an angle that it's hard to be sure but I'd put a few dollars down and call it Papilio rutulus, the Western Tiger Swallowtail. They love streams and gardens with citrus and willow. As you get higher into canyons and mountain areas there are Pale Swallowtails (Papilio eurymedon) that are similar size but more of a creamy pale yellow. If you can get dorsal views that can be a great help in ID. Swallowtails often perch with wings open so get as many shots from as many angles as possible. Don't worry about making each shot artistic until you've covered the basics...that's of course if you care to ID them. I got hooked on that after trying to organize my first few thousand butterfly shots in Lightroom....

David

PS for comparison here is the Western Tiger Swallowtail:

http://www.solardarkroom.com/galleries/but...wallowtail_3021

and the Pale Swallowtail:

http://www.solardarkroom.com/galleries/but...wallowtail_2980

They're shot in the same light and locations minutes apart so the slight color difference should be noticeable. Beyond that there are distinct wing marks that help if you get a good open-wing dorsal shot.
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« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2010, 11:42:21 AM »
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Quote from: Rocco Penny
a few more,
there were so many I was overwhelmed, I saw and missed a red admiral, and have a few more lorquins to add
Is the bright orange one a comma?
Is the smaller one a checkerspot?
Thank you any responses welcome

Rocco,

The first of your 4 images is a Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia). They are common in Malibu Canyons near where I live and tend to hang out on dirt, grass and short flowers. They're always down low and it's difficult to get a glamor shot. They can be seen in butterfly calendars on beautiful flowers and that's usually a sign that the photographer put it in the freezer for a few minutes and posed in the studio!

2 is likely a Crescent not a Checkerspot
3 looks like a Satyr Comma (Polygonia satyrus)
4 is a Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio rutulus)

I'll update the Crescent ID if I find time tonight...

If you're catching the bug I highly recommend the Brock-Kaufman Guide:

http://www.amazon.com/Butterflies-North-Am...3403&sr=8-1

It's highly regarded by even professional Lepidopterists and it's about the only guide I use anymore.

Regards,

David
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2010, 10:25:16 AM »
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Quote from: Rocco Penny
I wanted to share a few in www
these are mostly done from close focus w/600mm manual focus (around 20 feet  *5 meters to be exact.)
I used to like to try and get in closer with my 10-20 or 50mm, now I hate disturbing the little wisps,
so I try and try from a distance now,
anyway today I saw a few and this is the best of them;
A California Sister


You will find better results (and be able to get better and more creative angles) if you purchase a dedicated macro lens.

It is simply impossible to get a good, creative angle on a butterfly ... from 20' away.

By contrast, with a macro lens, you can get under it ... over it ... or any number of different side-angle shots ... as well as achieve a blackened background with a flash.

Jack



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wolfnowl
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« Reply #10 on: June 25, 2010, 03:36:08 PM »
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Quote from: JohnKoerner
You will find better results (and be able to get better and more creative angles) if you purchase a dedicated macro lens.

It is simply impossible to get a good, creative angle on a butterfly ... from 20' away.

By contrast, with a macro lens, you can get under it ... over it ... or any number of different side-angle shots ... as well as achieve a blackened background with a flash.

True.

One thing you might try is if you have a small extension tube you can change the minimum focusing distance on a long lens.  I admit I've never tried this with an autofocus lens, but back in the day I used to carry one when I was out with my 400 mm lens in case I came across something 'macro' unexpectedly.

Mike.
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« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2010, 05:22:58 PM »
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Quote from: wolfnowl
True.

One thing you might try is if you have a small extension tube you can change the minimum focusing distance on a long lens.  I admit I've never tried this with an autofocus lens, but back in the day I used to carry one when I was out with my 400 mm lens in case I came across something 'macro' unexpectedly.

Mike.

I've seen some amazing butterfly shots by someone who was rigged for small birds, with a 600mm and tubes. I've used a Canon 300mm f4 without tubes and that was fine for average to large size butterflies as well. When you get down to the small bugs - 1/2" to 1" like the Blues, Coppers, Hairstreaks etc then a true macro is best. The small ones are usually close to the ground on small shrubs and grass so all the more reason to leave the big glass behind.

Arguably the best overall is a 180mm macro. I love the IQ of the old Canon but auto focus needs lots of help getting started. If they make a new one with the fancy IS I'll be all over it.

David
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Rocco Penny
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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2010, 06:13:05 PM »
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I'm so excited anyone responded at all!
I am at a loss for good things to say,
so I'll let the comments you all have sink in for a bit.
An extension tube?
Oh yes this sounds delightful.
I also need a polarizer for the same 600 f/5.6
If it were nicer Ida gone to the fishbowl today-
I hope it clears up.
I want to see another 4.5 inch swallowtail soon.
Or a four plus inch monarch.
I've only seen a few monarchs this year, here's one from a few months ago
and a 4+ inch pretty one from last year.
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2010, 08:51:34 AM »
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Quote from: solardarkroom.com
I've seen some amazing butterfly shots by someone who was rigged for small birds, with a 600mm and tubes. I've used a Canon 300mm f4 without tubes and that was fine for average to large size butterflies as well. When you get down to the small bugs - 1/2" to 1" like the Blues, Coppers, Hairstreaks etc then a true macro is best. The small ones are usually close to the ground on small shrubs and grass so all the more reason to leave the big glass behind.

I don't doubt that it is "possible" to obtain a very nice butterfly shot with a 600mm lens ... IF the angle is right, IF you have the distance, IF the lighting is right, etc. But the simple fact is a 600mm lens is a severely-limited tool for macro-photography. I mean, let's face it, the only reason a 600mm lens exists at all is to allow a person to photograph a subject from a far distance away, and a person is inclined to do this only because ( a ) the subject will not allow a close approach and/or ( b ) the subject is too dangerous to approach. Thus a person is essentially "forced" to buy such a huge piece of glass in order that he may capture the subject at all. However, even with such subjects normally captured with a 600mm lens, if close approach were possible, it would still be better for a photographer to be closer to the subject and use a smaller lens. So, again, we only use such big pieces of glass because we can't be close. But if we can be close, why use such a big lens at all?

In the same fashion, I am sure it is "possible" to obtain a nice human portrait shot with a 600mm lens ... again IF the angle is right, IF you have the distance, IF the lighting is right, etc. But, once again, the simple fact is a 600mm lens is a severely-limited tool for portrait photography, for precisely the same reasons it is a severely-limited tool for macro-photography. Denial of this obvious fact isn't rebuttal; it is only denial.

The glaring fact remains that if a person is serious about portraiture, then he needs to buy a dedicated portait lens, in the 50-85mm range, if he wants to have total creative freedom as well as more lighting options with flash, etc. And this same glaring fact applies to macro-butterfly photography: if a person is serious he should not bring a 600mm lens; he should buy a dedicated macro lens. The ease-of-use is better and the opportunities for creative angles (and flash use) are better. There's really nothing to debate.

Sure, if a person just wants to snap an occasional fun macro shot, that's one thing, but if they're serious about getting really macro good shots on a consistent basis, then they simply need to buy the appropriate tools for the job.




Quote from: solardarkroom.com
Arguably the best overall is a 180mm macro. I love the IQ of the old Canon but auto focus needs lots of help getting started. If they make a new one with the fancy IS I'll be all over it.

I am waiting for the second-generation 180mm macro as well ... but I have also heard that Zeiss is coming out with a 200mm macro of their own. If Zeiss does come out with a 200mm macro, and if it is a true 1:1 lens, then it may hurt my wallet (LOL), but I will definitely get it ... and will probably never put my camera down again

Jack




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« Last Edit: June 26, 2010, 08:53:07 AM by JohnKoerner » Logged
wolfnowl
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« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2010, 05:21:42 PM »
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Jack:  One quick comment, which is that my 400mm lens I used mostly with a shoulder stock, and my macro work was done with a macro lens, tripod and/or a bellows unit, often adding flash units and cables as well.  I wouldn't carry both sets of equipment with me at the same time, but if I was going out with my long lens a short extension tube fit in my pocket and I could add it to the back of the lens quickly in a pinch if I came across something interesting.  It was never designed to be a dedicated macro setup.

Mike.
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« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2010, 10:27:42 PM »
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Quote from: JohnKoerner
I don't doubt that it is "possible" to obtain a very nice butterfly shot with a 600mm lens ... IF the angle is right, IF you have the distance, IF the lighting is right, etc. But the simple fact is a 600mm lens is a severely-limited tool for macro-photography. I mean, let's face it, the only reason a 600mm lens exists at all is to allow a person to photograph a subject from a far distance away, and a person is inclined to do this only because ( a ) the subject will not allow a close approach and/or ( b ) the subject is too dangerous to approach. Thus a person is essentially "forced" to buy such a huge piece of glass in order that he may capture the subject at all. However, even with such subjects normally captured with a 600mm lens, if close approach were possible, it would still be better for a photographer to be closer to the subject and use a smaller lens. So, again, we only use such big pieces of glass because we can't be close. But if we can be close, why use such a big lens at all?

In the same fashion, I am sure it is "possible" to obtain a nice human portrait shot with a 600mm lens ... again IF the angle is right, IF you have the distance, IF the lighting is right, etc. But, once again, the simple fact is a 600mm lens is a severely-limited tool for portrait photography, for precisely the same reasons it is a severely-limited tool for macro-photography. Denial of this obvious fact isn't rebuttal; it is only denial.

The glaring fact remains that if a person is serious about portraiture, then he needs to buy a dedicated portait lens, in the 50-85mm range, if he wants to have total creative freedom as well as more lighting options with flash, etc. And this same glaring fact applies to macro-butterfly photography: if a person is serious he should not bring a 600mm lens; he should buy a dedicated macro lens. The ease-of-use is better and the opportunities for creative angles (and flash use) are better. There's really nothing to debate.

Sure, if a person just wants to snap an occasional fun macro shot, that's one thing, but if they're serious about getting really macro good shots on a consistent basis, then they simply need to buy the appropriate tools for the job.






I am waiting for the second-generation 180mm macro as well ... but I have also heard that Zeiss is coming out with a 200mm macro of their own. If Zeiss does come out with a 200mm macro, and if it is a true 1:1 lens, then it may hurt my wallet (LOL), but I will definitely get it ... and will probably never put my camera down again

Jack




.

Jack,

Agreed on all points. I'll just add that butterflies kind of straddle the transition from close up to macro in the sense that there's such a huge difference in size among the different families. The photos I saw with a long lens were all large Swallowtails with wingspans of several inches. When I'm photographing a Western Pygmy Blue (Brephidium exilis) I can't fill the frame of my 5Dmk2 with my macro lens: the wingspan is less than 1/2". Next time I shoot those I'll want to use extension tubes or better yet that crazy Canon lens that does 5x marco! Add to that a gyro for stability...

Regarding the 200mm Zeiss: Is that for Sony mount or Canon? The Canon are all manual focus for whatever reason and I'm never going to be interested in that. I have a bunch of old Zeiss glass from my contax days adapted for EOS and I rarely use it...eyes not what they used to be.
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Rocco Penny
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« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2010, 09:59:49 AM »
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Thanks you folks for your indulgence, as the conversations between all y'all are far more interesting than anything I come up with.
As a beginner,
I had/have choices to make every step of the way.
Equipment aside,
I want to capture even just one of those golden moments I occasionally see.
All the animals are just a distraction from my goal.
A fine distraction though.
Hence the 600.  Only speaking from memory isn't my 5.6=1:1 ?
And exactly what does that mean in the real world?
I have a zoom I get in closer with,
and have been thinking of primes is right.
And exactly what is macro please
Thank you all,
I'm off to spy on bugs...
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Rob C
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« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2010, 10:21:05 AM »
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Quote from: JohnKoerner
The glaring fact remains that if a person is serious about portraiture, then he needs to buy a dedicated portait lens, in the 50-85mm range, if he wants to have total creative freedom as well as more lighting options with flash, etc. And this same glaring fact applies to macro-butterfly photography: if a person is serious he should not bring a 600mm lens; he should buy a dedicated macro lens. The ease-of-use is better and the opportunities for creative angles (and flash use) are better. There's really nothing to debate.

Jack



Strange thing, certainty: as one who earned his bread and butter as well as his Champagne from portraits, full-length, half-lengths and anything human between or beyond, I find the claims made for the 50mm to 85mm truly amazing, considering nothing in that range would have ever made it onto my tripod for such a purpose. Oh - I'm mistaken (you see about certainty?) - I did once use a 1.8/85mm on a tripod for a self-portrait in a mirror, just to see how the thing worked. It didn't, and neither did I, with it, after that.

Funny old world.

Rob C





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wolfnowl
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« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2010, 01:27:39 AM »
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Quote from: Rocco Penny
Hence the 600.  Only speaking from memory isn't my 5.6=1:1 ?
And exactly what does that mean in the real world?

Ever look at a  topographic map that had a scale of 50,000:1?  Basically, 50,000 units on the ground = 1 unit on paper.

Same sort of thing for lenses.  If a lens does 1:1, it means that an object 1 unit long in reality comes out 1 unit long on the film or sensor.  If it does less, say 2 units long in reality becomes 1 unit on the film or sensor, then it's 2:1.  If you have a bellows unit for example that goes bigger than life size, then 1 unit in reality may become 2 units on the film or sensor, or 1:2.

And so on.  What you're thinking of is the magnification value of the 600mm lens.  Again, this relates to sensor size.  I'm old so I'll use 35mm cameras as a reference, and for a 35mm camera, a lens in the range of say 45-55mm will render an image as having a 'normal' perspective - it sees the world roughly the same way your eyes do.  A telephoto lens makes the scene look magnified or closer, and a wide angle lens makes it look wider or farther away in terms of perspective.  So, if 50mm is 'normal' for 35mm, then 600mm would be 12x magnification (600/50=12).  On medium format, ~80mm is considered 'normal' because of the larger film or sensor.

Mike.
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2010, 07:33:36 AM »
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Quote from: solardarkroom.com
Agreed on all points. I'll just add that butterflies kind of straddle the transition from close up to macro in the sense that there's such a huge difference in size among the different families. The photos I saw with a long lens were all large Swallowtails with wingspans of several inches. When I'm photographing a Western Pygmy Blue (Brephidium exilis) I can't fill the frame of my 5Dmk2 with my macro lens: the wingspan is less than 1/2". Next time I shoot those I'll want to use extension tubes or better yet that crazy Canon lens that does 5x marco! Add to that a gyro for stability...

Good points on being able to fill a frame with really tiny subjects, even when using a true 1:1! I chose the 7D for the reason that it accentuates my macro shots by its 1.6 conversion factor, but even here there are times where it simply does not ... and, as a matter of fact, I myself have extension tubes for just this purpose. However, like you, I am also seriously considering getting the MP-E 65mm for ultra-close detail, rather than relying on tubes.




Quote from: solardarkroom.com
Regarding the 200mm Zeiss: Is that for Sony mount or Canon? The Canon are all manual focus for whatever reason and I'm never going to be interested in that. I have a bunch of old Zeiss glass from my contax days adapted for EOS and I rarely use it...eyes not what they used to be.

I do not know if the Zeiss will be in multiple mounts or not (or even if it will ever come to exist for that matter), but I would imagine that it would, seeing as they have now converted the mount to their existing macro lenses to fit the Canon.

I hear you on the manual-versus-autofocus aspect of the lens. However, in my case, I already have the new "L" 100mm macro lens, and while it is a great lens in many respects, in others I find it to be worse than the elder macro. It seems to me that, while there are many situations where the new IS and the new AF can enable a shot to be captured that might not have been possible otherwise, the flipside to this is that Canon's total focus on the "automated" aspect of its lens severely limits those instances where manual focus is called-for. With my lens, for example, even when I shut-off the AF and the IS, and attempt to focus manually, two things occur simultaneously that I find very troubling: (1) the motors to these automated mechanisms still "try" to work [you can actually hear the strained sounds] and this fact sometimes slightly changes my own handheld focus setting; and (2) the focusing ring itself does way too much with far too little rotation. A 1/4-inch turn with the Canon focusing ring effects dramatic focus changes, whereas with the elder Zeiss lens it doesn't do as much. I believe the actual numbers state that the you can complete the entire range of focus with the Canon, from close-up to infinity, with a mere 180-degree rotation ... while it takes the Zeiss lens 720-degrees of rotation (or 4x as much rotation) to go from close-up to infinity. The Canon's manual focusing ring, in being so sensitive as to allow automated/mechanized turning, essentially becomes ridiculous for manual focusing. I have repeatedly found that if I turn the Canon focusing ring just a little bit, I often go "passed" the correct focusing point ... and if I turn it just a little bit in the other direction, I go right passed the proper point again, in the other direction. It almost seems like the new Canon lens forces a person to use AF all the time. By contrast, because the Zeiss focusing ring must be turned-and-turned-and-turned to achieve the proper focus point, a person is able to really get to the exact focus point with manual rotation. Thus, for extreme precision manual focusing efforts, the Zeiss is simply a better tool for the job.

It is for this reason that I would probably go with the Zeiss, as I already have the new-generation AF/IS from Canon, but for those instances where extreme precision manual focusing is called-for, I just don't think the Canon AF lenses are the best tools for the job. What they are is the best tools for hand-held AF macro fieldwork.

Jack




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