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Macro capabilities in Canon Rebel Xti "P" mode?

M K , Sep 18, 2007; 03:44 p.m.

I saw this on a flickr discussion. A bunch of people trying to convince a poster that one can take macro photos in the "P" mode of a Rebel XT (I have an Rebel XTi). After reading this, I sat down with my manual & camera to see if it was possible on my XTi but zilch! I'm so stumped. What did I miss? The picture of the bee in the discussion (link below) is actually pretty good. Maybe not as good as could have been taken with a true Macro lens but still pretty good. Anyone know how to acheive that in the "creative modes"? Of course there was no mention of a lens anywhere.


Thanks :) Manasi


Brian Pape , Sep 18, 2007; 04:04 p.m.

There is, of course, no such thing as a "macro mode" on a Rebel XT (or any DSLR that I'm aware of, for that matter). The discussion you referenced seems to be the blind leading the blind.

If you want a macro shot, you'll have to have a macro lens, extension tubes on an appropriate lens, a reverse mounted lens, etc. You are simply bound by the parameters you can control which affect the size of the image on your sensor (which is the lens), how close that lens can focus, and the aperture you choose, within limits of what the lens supports.

Ralph Jensen , Sep 18, 2007; 04:05 p.m.

It should be a simple matter to shoot macro in "P" mode.

"Macro" is a description of how close the camera focuses, which in an SLR is determined entirely by the lens.

"P" is simply an exposure mode.

If you get a macro lens - or extension tubes or close-up lenses with a non-macro lens - you can focus as close as you want. (You may want to go to "Av" or "Tv" mode to have more control over aperture and shutter speed, respectively, than you have in "P" mode.)

If you are unable to take macro photos in "P" mode, in other words, it's because your *lens* doesn't focus closely enough, not because of restrictions being imposed by the *camera.*

M K , Sep 18, 2007; 04:32 p.m.

Ok. For a little bit I was going nuts thinking I'd not read the manual carefully enough.

I did buy a Canon EF-S 60/2.8 Macro Lens 2 days ago. I haven't explored it thoroughly yet. This was me trying to make sure I wasn't missing something I shouldn't be.

Thank you all very much. Manasi

John Hanlon , Sep 18, 2007; 07:40 p.m.

Mansi, most of what you read on most photo/camera forums is clueless drivel.

If you want accurate and authoritative information stick with photo.net. Any inaccurate or misleading posts or trolls on photo.net are quickly shot down by people who know what they're talking about. I'm not saying that photo.net is perfect but it is one of the most reliable. Another excellent forum can be found at bobatkins.com.

John Hanlon , Sep 18, 2007; 07:43 p.m.

Sorry, I should have addressed you as Manasi. My apologies.

Jason Hall , Sep 18, 2007; 09:26 p.m.

Well the camera does have a mode called "macro mode" or "closeup mode". It is the one with the small flower.

As with all auto modes, it is useless. As the others stated actual macro photography requires a lens that will allows close focuseing and so the mode can do nothing about that. The auto modes are suppose to best suited to expose your photo in the situation that it referres to. Personally after owning 5 SLRs (2 film, 3 Digital) I have never used an auto mode even once. To me it defeats the purpose of haveing an SLR.

Infact I had to go look at my 30D to see if it had that flower on it. It does and the manual calls it "close up" mode. It says that it sets the AF to ONE SHOT, the drive to single frame, and the metering mode to Evaluative. Thats it.

So unless you have a macro lens(or equivalent) you will not get a macro shot. You really need to use Av or M mode so you can control depth of field.


M K , Sep 18, 2007; 09:39 p.m.

John: I also believe the same of photo.net -thanks for saying it out loud :). Hence the querry was posted here. I've found every single question of mine examined to the core & answered here.

Jason: I spent a good 2 hours shooting w/ my new macro lens today. There is indeed no comparison with the "tulip" mode.

Arie Vandervelden , Sep 20, 2007; 07:17 p.m.

The people at flickr were trying to figure out how to shoot without getting the flash to pop up. IMO the bee pic could have used a little fill flash....

In any case - Manasi, congrats on your 60/2.8. I suggest picking a small subject, put the camera on AV, spin the dial until the display reads f/2.8, expose. Repeat for f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16. Pop up the flash and go through the series again. Have a look and see what happened to your depth-of-field... Then have a look at the flash pics, and try to decide if it helped or not and/or if the flash needs to be diffused (softer light). Or maybe the natural lighting could have been improved.

Try again for a slightly larger object, then maybe a headshot, then maybe a distant shot.

M K , Sep 20, 2007; 08:25 p.m.

Arie, that sequence was on my mind. This weekend I shall be doing exactly that. There's so little light left in the evenings after work that the lens literally 'grunts' while trying to focus. Thanks :)

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