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Category: All About Photography : Photographic Field Techniques

Photography Question 
Rob Warwick
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/27/2009

Macro Photography

I'm thinking of buying a Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 compact macro lens for my Rebel. Two questions: Is this a quality lens; and, is a Canon Extension Tube EF25 II compatible?
Thanks for any help.

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1/25/2010 12:12:23 PM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  Yes, it's a quality lens, and Canon's extension tube is compatiple with it and the other EF lenses. Canon also makes a life-size converter for the 50mm macro. Something else to consider.

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1/25/2010 12:42:36 PM

Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member Since: 5/18/2000
  Yes, it is high quality lens, at least optically. It's build and autofocus mechanism are a bit dated, though. It only focuses close enough to produce 1/2 life-size image on the sensor. Yes, it is compatible with the Canon EF extension tubes EF 12 II and EF 25 II. There is also an accessory Life Size Converter EF for this lens that acts as combination extension tube and teleconverter that gives up to 1:1 life size.
If your "Rebel" is a digital Rebel, then the EF-S 60 f/2.8 USM Macro is preferred over the EF 50 f/2.5 Compact Macro in every way.

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1/25/2010 12:44:48 PM

Rob Warwick
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/27/2009
  Gregory and Jon,

Thanks very much for your prompt replies.


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1/25/2010 12:54:53 PM

Lynn R. Powers
Contact Lynn
Lynn's Gallery
  Beware! The Life Size converter costs almost as much as the lens. The lens without the converter is only 1:2, 1/2, life size. I feel you would be better off finding a non 'L' 100mm f2.8 macro for just a little more money. Of course, if you have the money, the 100 f2.8L II IS would be great! If starting in Macro, it is preferred to learn with a longer lens than 50-60mm.
Good ones are in the 90-105mm range. These give you a greater range so you don't spook the bugs or get stung by one.

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1/25/2010 4:54:03 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Lynn is correct. A 50mm with a converter (or extension tube) will reach its closest focus point a few inches from the subject. This will work OK for flower close-ups but is not practical for bug photography.
Unless you catch them early in the morning (before they wake up), there are few insects who will sit still long enough for you to get that close.

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1/26/2010 4:16:13 AM

Rob Warwick
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/27/2009
  Thank you all for the good advice and food for thought. Will post what I finally purchased.

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1/29/2010 9:54:30 AM

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