Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro
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(From Canon lens literature) 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.
Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro User Reviews
10 out of 10 points and recommended by lensreporter (12 reviews)5:1, excellent imagequality, nice bokehfrom 3:1 very dificult to handle - you need macroflash and millimetric-plate
One of the very best macro-lenses, starts where other stop, 3:1 up to 5:1 onother world..... but you need some accessories like macroflash and a millimetric plate and a lot of patience.....reviewed March 19th, 2012
10 out of 10 points and recommended by Wojtek (8 reviews)The sharpest of all Canon Macro lensesCould be a higher focal length (objects must be ridiculously close to the lens)
The lens sharpness test is posted on http://pikespeakphoto.com/tests/canonlens_mp-e.htmlreviewed February 28th, 2009 (purchased for $800)
This is the best quality macro lens Canon has to offer. The image quality it delivers surpasses Canon's 180 mm macro lens. The only draw-back is the lowest magnification ratio, that is still very high, so that for the objects taller or wider than one inch you must use other lenses. Contrary to a common opinion that you have to have a specialized macro flash, I still got away without it and doing just fine, but I can't imagine not having the software that efficiently enhances the DOF. This is true, however, that the distance between the object and the lens must be low (10cm for 1:1 and 4cm for 5:1), so that a lens with a longer focal length would be much easier to use with an external flash system. It is an excellent choice for a serious macro work.
10 out of 10 points and recommended by lextalionis (82 reviews)Execelent results for the proDifficult for beginer
Brian Valentine "LordV" was kind enough to show some of his work using this lens on a Canon 20D. See these fabulous sample high-resolution shots here:reviewed November 7th, 2007
Canon MP-E 65mm f/2.8 1-5X Macro Sample Photos
10 out of 10 points and recommended by rainerknappe (24 reviews)incredible good lensmay be a bit heavy
This lens is a real adventure - 1:1 is good, 2:1 is great, 3:1 is incredible, 4:1 is sensacional and 5:1 blows out your mind!!reviewed May 17th, 2007 (purchased for $850)
A whole new world to discover!
If you are a "real macro-freak" you have to, yes you really have to buy this fantastic lens!
Great optics and great construccion - but you need a stabilization-system and a macro-flash.
Of course its not a cheap lens but worth every penny!
9 out of 10 points and recommended by JimsMaher (3 reviews)Zooms from 1:1 to 5:1 magnification, nice bokeh, SHARPFixed focus, shallow DOF
1:1 means the subject is the size of the sensor.reviewed July 30th, 2006 (purchased for $800)
5:1 the subject is 1/5th the size of the sensor ... 5x magnification
... an 8x10 of lincoln's copper beard.
This lens can't take shots of things (in focus) more than a few inches in front of it.
When zoomed out to 5x the lens is about twice as long as it is at 1x.
No front element rotation.
You have to move the whole camera or change the zoom (not recommended for most situations) or move the subject ... to focus. Single focal plane (fixed focus). No focus ring, just the zoom ring.
The focal distances from the front of the lens at given magnifications, As written on lens under the zoom ring:
5x 41mm 1.6"
4x 44mm 1.7"
3x 51mm 2.0"
2x 63mm 2.5"
1x W.D. 101mm / 4.0 inch
It loses about 2-3 stops of light from 1x - 5x.
Doesn't work well with hot-shoe mounted flash.
This lens wants a macro flash.
It also likes a tripod that can put the camera hovering just off the ground (the MP-E 65mm's packaged Tripod Mount Ring B is nice ... and removable)
When in focus, pictures are very sharp with nice bokeh from 2.8 to16
(note: aperture range does not extend to 64 as stated above under "Specifications", though it should)
All around, a highly specialized lens that does the job it's supposed to.
9 out of 10 points and recommended by method (1 reviews)For extreme macro photography this is *the* lens.Difficult to use. Limited Depth of Field
This lens is one of the more unusual produced. It is not just manual focus, it has no focus ring at all! Instead you have to move in and out to find the right focus.reviewed October 24th, 2005 (purchased for $799)
The ring on the lens is for zooming. In its closed state the lens produces life size images 1:1. Zoomed to its maximum it produces 5:1 images. In essence this is like no other macro lens!
The image is sharp but the depth of field extremely shallow. This is not a general purpose lens, more a specialist optic.
Generally it needs to be used with a flash setup, I use the Canon MR-14 ringflash. The amount of light on the subject is very low at the larger magnifications, so flash becomes essential.
I tend to use Manual Mode on the camera, shooting at 1/160th sec @ f16. On the camera (a 20D) I also set +1 FEC. The Ringflash is set on E-TTL.
One of the great exponents of this lens online is Frank Phillips http://www.beautifulbugs.com/
Here are two examples of a gnat shot with this lens/flash combo: