The Canon MP-E65mm f/2.8 1-5x Macro Photo lens is not your typical macro lens where you can simply point and shoot. Not only do you need plenty of experience as a lens man, you also need loads of patience to obtain the “wow” factor in your images with this lens. 

At one point, I nearly gave up when I could not get any decent macro shots. This lens replaced my previous EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM macro lens as I wanted more magnification. Fortunately, with some perseverance and a few searches on Google, I managed to tap the power of this lens.

“Invading privacy”

EOS 5D Mark III | F/16 | ISO 1600 | 1/10s

Handheld shot with Speedlite 580EX II flash while my right arm was resting firmly on a tripod.  The mounted flash was triggered remotely as I did not have a macro flash. It is difficult to set the camera on a tripod as these bugs were moving frequently. This was taken at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

“The grid”

EOS 5D Mark III | F/6.3 | ISO 800 | 1/30s

This handheld shot was set at a higher magnification with Speedlite 580EX II flash.  Fortunately, this bug did not mind the close-up range.

“Empty armour”

EOS 5D Mark III | F/5.6 | ISO 1600 | 1/250s

Handheld shot of cicada shell. I placed this shell on a tree trunk where the afternoon sun lit its back. 

“Hairy scary”

EOS 5D Mark III | F/8 | ISO 1600 | 1/200s

Handheld shot of a jumping spider under bright sunlight.  I spotted this bug hiding behind some big leaves at Singapore Botanic Gardens.

“Unshaven”

EOS 5D Mark III | F/8 | ISO 1600 | 1/100s

Handheld shot in ambient afternoon light.  I had to hold my breath for a second to achieve the sharpness as my hands were not resting on anything. I laid on the ground as this dragonfly was half a metre from the ground. 

“Giant ant?”

EOS 5D Mark III | F/16 | ISO 100 | 1/50s

Singapore is such a very clean city and so it is hard to find bugs. One way is to bring them home to shoot.  I picked up a pair of red ants from our void deck and using a sturdy tripod, I managed to get a magnified view of this hardworking bug.  Shot with Speedlite 580EX II flash triggered remotely. 

Other than bugs, the MP-E65mm f/2.8-1.5x Macro Photo is also good at capturing other subjects. Here are some other macro photos taken at home with a sturdy tripod.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/16 | ISO 50 | 2.5s

EOS 5D Mark III | F/16 | ISO 50 | 6s

EOS 5D Mark III | F/6.3 | ISO 100 | 20s

EOS 5D Mark III | F/8 | ISO 50 | 88s