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-   -   What lens on 5D to take video/photo of human eye? (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/canon-eos-full-frame-hd/484574-what-lens-5d-take-video-photo-human-eye.html)

Silas Barker September 11th, 2010 12:33 AM

What lens on 5D to take video/photo of human eye?
Looking to do some special effect video shooting on 5D and need a lens that can capture one whole human eye and fill the entire frame with it......suggestions? Something that is pretty close might to filling whole screen with eye might work too.


Manus Sweeney September 11th, 2010 04:25 AM

You need a Macro lens, lots to choose from.. You could find for example the old Nikkor Micro Manual lenses very cheaply.

Eric Darling September 11th, 2010 09:23 AM

Canon 100mm f2.8 L Macro with IS. Very fun lens!

Of all the lenses with IS, I think Macros benefit the most from it.

Jon Fairhurst September 11th, 2010 04:55 PM

IS isn't critical for this application. You will definitely want to be on a tripod or other solid support.

Chris Hurd September 11th, 2010 05:37 PM

Eric is right though, the new EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM is the perfect lens for what Silas wants to do. There's also an EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM, but the 100mm Macro will most likely get the job done just fine.

Jon Fairhurst September 11th, 2010 06:35 PM

I've got the older, non-IS EF 100/2.8 Macro. It would do a nice job for this - as long as the camera's on a tripod. I picked up the lens for $400 used.

The challenge will be to keep the person's eye steady. Not only for up/down and left/right, but for in/out. With a macro at close distances, the DOF will be extremely shallow - even with lots of light and the lens stopped down.

Visually, the older lens will be just fine. It's nice and sharp. Falloff isn't bad even wide open. Stop it down to f/8 for this shot and falloff will be invisible. You will only be able to stop down so far though. Expect the actor not to be happy about the brightness of the light.

The weakest aspect of this lens is that it breathes a lot (zooms when adjusting focus.) For your shot, you will set and forget focus. Hit fine focus by moving the actor, not the camera or focus ring. And make sure that the actor has something to anchor him/herself to.

The IS lens is the way to go if you also plan to use it for general handheld video or for macro photos. But it's a lot more expensive than the non-IS if you plan to use it on a tripod.

Chris mentioned the EF 180/3.5, which would let you position the lens farther from the subject. With the 100mm lens, you'll end up about a half foot from the actor.

There is also the MP-E 65mm 1-5x. This is a specialty lens that starts at the highest magnification of the 100/2.8 and goes up five times from that. It's used for photographing super closeups of bugs. Dentists also use it. You would use it for showing the finest details of the iris as well as the veins of the whites. The lens would be *right* in the actor's face. You'd probably want a continuous ring light for the shot, since the lens itself will block a lot of outside light.

Here's an example of the MP-E. It's pretty extreme!

Eric Darling September 12th, 2010 10:59 AM

I think you're right, Jon. IS isn't critical for this shot. But, I wanted my only Macro lens to be able to be used for walkaround stills as well. Without IS in a Macro shot, at this focal length especially, you're never going to get tack sharp results.

Honestly, IS helps on sticks, too, when little adjustments are made to the focal point - or even if just your hand is resting on the tripod's arm. A lot of shooters don't realize how much camera movement is magnified in the lens when shooting macro.

Silas Barker September 12th, 2010 12:38 PM

Thanks everyone for the replys!

I just thought I would send this link of a photo of about how close I need the shot to be, in fact even closer would be nice, of showing JUST the eyeball and white around it! : http://comps.fotosearch.com/comp/RBL...an_~b01132.jpg

You sure the 100mm macro would do this?

I already have the 24-105mm, and the 70-300mm lens but neither of those is macro and does not get in this close.

Eric Darling September 12th, 2010 12:46 PM

Yes - the 100mm macro should do that and closer, still.

Mike Watson September 12th, 2010 12:53 PM


Originally Posted by Silas Barker (Post 1568606)
I just thought I would send this link of a photo of about how close I need the shot to be, in fact even closer would be nice, of showing JUST the eyeball and white around it! : http://comps.fotosearch.com/comp/RBL...an_~b01132.jpg

For this, just about any telephoto lens would do.

For what Jon posted, you'd need the 100mm macro.

Best of luck.

Silas Barker September 12th, 2010 01:11 PM

Sweet, one last thing, with a macro lens, can you also use it for non close ups? (head shots, and wider shots if the camera is far away from the talent)

Looks like the 100mm macro does close ups with an object 1' away, and I was not sure what the far end is......100', 1000', etc?


Jon Fairhurst September 12th, 2010 06:47 PM

Macro lenses will focus out to infinity. Not all of them are as well behaved out there though. They're really optimized for the close stuff. The 100mm is pretty clean all the way through. As mentioned before, its biggest sin is that it breathes quite a lot when changing focus. It's my worst lens in that regards.

Still, if you don't need anything faster than f/2.8 starting with a macro as your short-telephoto lens is a great way to go. And that gets back to IS. If the lens will be for general purpose video use, IS could really be worth it, if it doesn't bust the budget.

Dennis Wood September 18th, 2010 10:04 PM

A macro "filter" on the front of a zoom lens would be another alternative. This pic was shot by a 7D, 25-135 kit lens and our 72mm +5 macro. This is a very tiny bug :-) This post caught my attention as we had a customer do the exact same shot you're proposing in this way.



Glen Elliott September 24th, 2010 07:16 PM

Ewwww, a stink bug. They seem to be EVERYWHERE around as of late!

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