It's a great joy to capture small creatures big on the screen without them even noticing it. There are several ways to do that. I used to utilize my old Panasonic FZ-18 bridge camera with a close up lens. Preferably #2 or 2 dioptries or 50 cm focus distance, with a moderate zoom 8-12x you get nice results. Then came the Canon 450D and the same close up lens on the 70-300mm tele zoom at around 220 mm focus would give roughly the same magnification and shooting distance, however it's a lot to carry all day. Then I decided to go for the 100mm macro lens, which is a bit a beast to handle with the large focus range. I kept wondering however if it was worthwhile. So today I did some comparison shots of a small (ca 5mm) spider and Althea flowers with all three configurations, all free hand. I compared 100% crops of the three, left the FZ18 with close up lens. In the center the canon with 100mm macro and to the right the70-300 zoom with close up lens. I think I'm happy with the 100mm macro lens, while it's not a good idea to use the tele with close up lens instead. Although I may settle for the FZ-18, if dragging equipment around was a factor. All are unedited original jpgs Original with the FZ18 (20% size): The 100% crops: Original with the FZ18 (20% size): The 100% crops Notice little difference in the petal due to the limited depth of field. But notice the difference of the pollen grains on the stamen. Anybody with similar experiences?