Best canon lens for Macro

Discussion in 'Canon Lenses' started by fragle2112, Dec 31, 2016.

  1. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Yes, the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 IF USM model...internal focusing system, USM focus motor, also called "the second version", the one with the internal focusing system, not the one that the barrel extends way out on at minimum focus distance...I owned one for years, sharp lens, but kind of ugly sharp-sided bokeh balls on OOF highlights due to its 8-bladed diaphragm opening. In many close-up situations, there will be visible out of focus bokeh balls from this lens. Focusing is also somewhat slow-ish for a USM prime lens, but the used market price is low on this lens.

    Look also at the Tamron 90mm AF-SP macro, in any of three versions made over the last 15 years or so. Tokina's 100mm f/2.8 AT-X Pro model has received pretty good reviews as a value lens with good image quality. Not sure why anybody would limit themselves to Canon-only macro lenses: the Tamron 90 is clearly superior to the 100/2.8 EF I mentioned above, and is like the eighth refinement of a design that Tamron originated in the 1970's. Tamron's 90 AF-SP is probably their absolute crown jewel, and has been for 30 years, whereas Canon's V1 and V2 100/2.8 macros were seemingly afterthoughts.

    Canon's aged 180mm macro is the lens they are best known for over the longest time frame in the macro lens realm. Long macro lenses have a lot of usefulness too, with 1:1 somewhere around 18 inches from the sensor plane of the camera, which is very handy.


     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  2. beagle100

    beagle100 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    the OP is probably long gone but here's an example of that "ugly bokeh" with the Canon 100mm 2.8 macro non-L

    [​IMG]Untitled by c w, on Flickr


    ghastly horrible isn't it?
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    43674784._MG_1171_efMacro.jpg Be honest--and show what I specifically mentioned: OOF highlights in the background.

    This is crappy bokeh, from the Canon 100 EF macro... 43674781._MG_1162_efmacro.jpg

    43674782._MG_1163_ef_macro.jpg




    I'm not swayed from my assessment of this lens, especially by an image that camouflages the bokeh the Canon 100/2.8 is known for. I posted an honest comment about the harsh, sharp-sided bokeh balls that I specifically mentioned are the signature of this lens. At close-up ranges and on shots where there are out of focus highlights in the image--as there are in many floral type close-up scenarios, this lens creates sharp-sided, ugly, bokeh balls. Look at them. Look at MY example images, and re-read what I wrote.

    I sold this lens off with the rest of my Canon equipment. It is a sharp lens. It autofocuses somewhat slowly,and hunts a bit too at times. I do not like this type of OOF background rendering in a macro lens, which will often be shot against the light.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
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  4. beagle100

    beagle100 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's a good thing I sold off my Nikon macro lens to get this 'cheap' gem of a lens !

    those fug ugly bokeh balls .... horrible ... just horrible.

    [​IMG]Untitled by c w, on Flickr

    ugh - spiders and ugly bokeh .... makes me want to puke.
     
  5. seandeeeezy

    seandeeeezy TPF Noob!

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    I didn't want to create a new thread because this is basically on the same topic.

    I'm interested in getting a macro lens for my Canon 70D. I'd want it to shoot insects and plants. So from this thread, is the Canon 100mm f/2.8 the go-to lens to for quality/affordability? I'm a broke college student trying to create masterpieces.

    Also, what kind of lighting setup do I need in order to shoot insects in an outdoor situation?
     
  6. table1349

    table1349 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Well if you are a broke college student you might read this post. Best canon lens for Macro

    As for lighting, whats you budget. I used to use a couple of 580exII's now I use a couple of 270EX's on a twin flash bracket for macro. My bracket is similar to this one.

    You could use one 270ex and a small reflector on the other arm of the bracket. I actually prefer my 270's over a ring flash.
     
  7. jcdeboever

    jcdeboever TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    @Derrel is talking about out of focus highlights that the create the ugly balls (I agree), yours have no out of focus highlights. I am a flower shooter and it is a deal breaker for me. I think Derrel pointed out a valid characteristic that may be a consideration for the potential buyer.
     
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  8. beagle100

    beagle100 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    but does the OP want to shoot macro bokeh subjects with a $250 (used) lens ?
    And do they rate the "bokeh" ?

    Canon 100mm 2.8 macro non-L
    the horrible "out of focus" highlights ........ beware the bokeh !!!!

    [​IMG]Untitled by c w, on Flickr
     
  9. TCampbell

    TCampbell Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    One of the side-effects of shooting very close up is that the depth of field becomes extremely shallow.

    To combat the shallow depth of field, a very high focal ratio (e.g. f/16 or f/22... or even f/32) might be selected.

    But this solves one problem while creating another... now the focal ratio so high that hardly any light is gathered when the shutter is open.

    You can either use a tripod (assuming your subject isn't moving) or you can boost the light by using a macro light setup.

    The Macro lights are usually either a twin-light system or a "ring" type light.

    Canon's "macro" light rigs include either:

    a) Canon Macro Ring Lite MR14-EX II (about $550)
    or
    b) Canon Twin Lite MT24-EX (about $830)

    But you can find 3rd party macro lights with similar functionality. For example Yongnuo makes a ring-light YN14-EX-C which looks a lot like the Canon and it's about $99.

    The ring lights seem to be more popular than the twin lights (possibly due to cost).

    When most people start doing macro photography, they don't own macro lights. They're just using the lens and available light. This works well if you have a tripod and a non-moving subject.
     
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