Monday, April 26, 2010

The evergreen Canon EF50mm F2.5 compact macro

Ye olde faithful: the EF50mm F2.5 compact macro lens


Most of the dragonfly photos were shot with the 50mm macro lens


Despite its short focal length, the lens was able to capture some vivid details on this dragonfly which was found near my house in Subang Jaya...

THE Canon EF50mm F2.5 compact macro lens is one of the oldest close up lens in
Canon's EF lenses line-up.Its also one of the oldest around, surviving nearly two decades of existance. The 50mm has a 1:2 or 0.5x magnification quality which made it the shortest macro lens
around.Since its old technology, the EF50mm compact macro is clumsy and noisy when you flick in
its autofocus features.This is a lens meant for full-frame Canon film cameras that survived the digital age and with
a crop factor of 1.6x in APS-C sensor D-SLRs, the EF50mm has a focal length of 80mm,
but this doesn't yield enough if you expect to shoot bugs below 10mm in size.Ironically, the EF50mm macro lens was also my first Canon close-up lens and is still in use
for large objects.I won't put my money on this glass as a portraiture lens because its a first rate close-up tool.In the beginning, I've had much difficulty getting good close-up shots. I've even deployed a macro adaptor on the 50mm, but its just not good enough.To resolve the issue, I purchased a set of Kenko extension tubes (the best there is) to get
1.2x magnification.This is because the 50mm macro lens has an EF lifesize converter (very pricey piece of
accessory) that gives it a 1:1 magnification ratio.With the tubes, I shot some dragonflies and the results were simply stunning.Even at an extended focal length (close-up only), the 50mm was able to produce some vivid
details of the dragonfly's compound eyes.This cannot be achieved with the 1:2 ratio on the lens.Much of my learning experience on macro photography was made through the 50mm macro
and the results are shown on my work that focused specifically on dragonflies.I will not retire the EF50mm F2.5 compact macro because it will be very useful in capturing
products and this will the later phase in my pursuit in digital photography.

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