By virtue of its 50mm focal length (75mm equivalent in 35mm terms) and first-rate lens focusing at a short distance, the Sigma DP3 Merrill is natively well suited to close-up work, and this ability can be enhanced by using a close-up lens.
When doing macro shots, the photographer is seeking to capture the finest details, so the Foveon sensor is particularly relevant here.
Lots of cheap close-up lenses exist, but the Canon models are better corrected (achromatic) and as good as they come, but inevitably more expensive. Needless to say, using a lesser close-up lens wastes the potential of the DP3 Merrill and its combination of true-color sensor and top-notch lens.
With lenses of 85mm and below, an extension tube (fitting between the lens and the camera body) provides more magnification than a close-up lens. However, one easily understands that it is not a solution with the Sigma DP3 Merrill.
So what can we expect to gain with a 4-diopter close-up lens like the Canon 250D?
Sigma DP3 Merrill at minimum focusing distance: fills a frame of approx. 65 x 43mm (2.56 x 1.70 in)
Sigma DP3 Merrill at MFD + Canon 250D close-up lens: fills a frame of approx. 42 x 28mm (1.65 x 1.10 in)
For the record, most true macro lenses fill a 36 x 24mm frame (when used on a full-frame camera).
In practice, the magnification advantage is much more impressive than what the numbers suggest, so let’s see some visual evidence.
Click on “Compare Images”.
Shooting shy insects can be challenging due to the short focusing distance, but it is doable with the usual patience required in this practice. Lighting is a non-issue with a tall flash unit like the Sigma EF-610 DG Super.
Scroll your mouse over a picture to see an enlarged portion, or click to make it fit your screen and see picture info.
Good to know
- Canon has an extended range of close-up lenses from 52 to 77mm, though omitting the common 67mm filter size. The 500D lenses (unrelated to the EOS 500D camera) have less magnifying power than the 250D models.
- If you intend to buy the upcoming Sigma dp3 Quattro, opt for the 58mm Canon 250D close-up lens and mount it on your DP3 Merrill through a 52-58mm step-up ring.
- These lenses limit the focusing range, so only close-up shots are possible.
- Autofocus is operational, but the live view manual focusing of the DP3 Merrill offers the best control.
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