Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5X Macro Lens for Canon SLR Cameras – Product Description:
A unique manual-focus lens designed exclusively for macro shooting, between life-size (1x) and 5x life-size – at its maximum magnification, you can fill a 35mm frame with a grain of rice. Compatible with the Macro Ring Lites and new Macro Twin Lite, it eliminates the need for awkward bellows accessories for many macro shooters. A floating system preserves optical quality at different focusing distances, and features a UD-glass element.
|Product Features :
Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5X Macro Lens for Canon SLR Cameras – Review:
AMAZING LENS, AMAZING FUN!
I got this lens a couple years ago and use it extensively. It is well constructed and easy to use with any Canon EOS body, though it must be focused manually. This is the only tool I know of that enables easy *field* photography above 2x magnification. I have stalked the tiniest insects and peered into the hearts of flowers with this astounding lens, and my images are crisp and clean every time. It comes with Tripod Ring B (same one as several other Canon lenses use, just in black), which greatly aids switching to a vertical format without having to reposition everything.
Buy the MR-14EX ring flash with this, as it is impossible to see *anything* in normal daylight conditions at 5x. Its focus lamps frequently help in obtaining sharp pictures, though even they can’t provide enough light to help you much when the lens is stopped down. A focus rail is also helpful–I use the Velbon macro slider since it moves in two directions, not just one. Tripod use is essential, as 5x magnification only covers an area about 5mm by 7mm, and a macro rail will greatly aid focusing.
Since first penning this review, I have worked at using this lens with the 2x Canon teleconverter. This combination can be used, but one must be careful to not stop the lens down very far as diffraction effects quickly degrade image quality. Instead, compose the image with the lens wide open, and use adjacent f-stops to add just a touch more depth of field. With this setup, the object being photographed is too close for the Canon ring flash to illuminate, so you’ll want a standard flash attached to an accessory cord to provide sufficient lighting. With the zoom racked out to 5x, one can achieve photos less than 2mm wide on an APS-C sensor, or somewhere between 15x and 20x. I recently photographed a cluster of spider mites this way.
The biggest advantage to owning this lens is that I travel less to do photography–I spent several hours on my patio this winter photographing white flies, moss, spiders, and anything else that visited the potted plants there. Plunk down in a field and *stay there* a while, and you’ll start to notice the small things around you.