Which lens for macro?

Discussion in 'Macro Photography' started by Andyvy, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. Andyvy

    Andyvy TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    I'm very much interested in macro photography but I wondered which lens I should buy. I have a canon 50D and I'm doubting between

    canon 100mm 2.8
    canon 100mm 2.8L (IS version)
    sigma 150mm 2.8

    I heard great things about the sigma, but is it as good as the canons? And what's the quality difference between canon 100mm and 100mm L (I know that L lenses are really great)?

    I might consider to use it sometimes for portrait as well... Or should I buy the canon 85mm 1.8?

    Sincerely,

    Andy
     
  2. bmorrisdavies

    bmorrisdavies TPF Noob!

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    Hey!

    I'm no expert on lenses but what I do know is that Canon lenses *tend* to work better on a canon camera than a sigma, I use sigma lenses though and it works absolutely perfectly on my canon camera.

    For macro I tend to use extension tube rings, which is an incredibly cheap alternative, but on the downside there are a few things you have to compromise, like light (I always have to use a torch to light my subject). I'd suggest starting out with the rings though (that you can pick up for a bout £15 on amazon), and if you like it move on to a macro lens because it's a fair bit better.:mrgreen:

    Flickr: bmorrisdavies' Photostream
     
  3. oldmacman

    oldmacman TPF Noob!

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    I don't have any experience with the sigma, but I love the value of the 100mm macro. It can be had for $500 or less used in Canada. I think IS is wasted on a tool that demands a tripod, although I am not sure if going L means it is now weather sealed. If I was spending $1200 on the 100L, I would be tempted to spend the $1400ish and get the 180mm macro.
     
  4. Andyvy

    Andyvy TPF Noob!

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    Well, the difference between the 100mm and 100mm L is rather small (485 euros and 799 euros, knowing that the L lens had a lens hood delivered (I guess, since it's an L lens) the difference is less then 300 euros). For the 180 mm, one should pay 1389 euros, which is too much at the moment..

    I'll read about the extension tubes, but now I only have the 18-200mm, which is rather poor in quality (that's why I'm looking for alternatives, among others a macro lens, but also a portrait lens...).

    Thanks for the suggestions!
     
  5. oldmacman

    oldmacman TPF Noob!

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    Wow. As it translates to Canadian dollars:
    485 = $650 CDN
    799 = $1070 CDN

    $650 is about right for a new 100mm, but the cheapest I can find the 100mmL is $1170 (about 880 euro). I guess that's a pretty good deal, but at a 300 Euro difference, I'd be tempted to stick with non L version. I'd also look used as they seem to be for sale often enough around here.
     
  6. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What camera do you have? These three lenses will offer very different FOVs depending on what the crop factor of your body is..

    Mark
     
  7. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    I have the 100 f/2.8 and it is a wonderful lens (I bought it before the "L" version came out but have no intention of buying the new one). The only thing I can say, is that your subject makes a big difference. If you're seriously interested in bugs and little critters, I'd consider a 150-180mm lens (wish I had one). The Canon 180 is outstanding, but expensive. Sigma makes an excellent one.
     
  8. iamsneaky13

    iamsneaky13 TPF Noob!

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    i know this isnt the most seemingly helpful post but you really shouldn't really worry about it too much, its not about the gear nearly as much as you, the photographer.someone could take just as good of a picture with the sigma as the canon. anyways, a flash is more important for macro in my opinion than a lens, so i would go for a flash and some extension tubes.
     
  9. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Optical quality wise, I think most of the dedicated macro lenses are pretty good.

    So I believe the only differences between the 2 Canon 100mm lens are build quality (slightly better in L), IS and weather seal. If money is not an issue, of course go with the L. But I doubt you will see much different in optical quality. In fact, I have the older generation of the EF 100mm non-USM macro lens, it is pretty sharp as well.

    Example :http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/macro-photography/215485-skipper-butterfly-head-shot.html


    As for other focal length. Sometimes, I wish I have a longer focal length macro lens. It's because at 1:1 ratio, the subject is only about 1 foot from the camera. Either I scared the insect away, or I got scared. LOL Especially when the busy bee disappeared from the viewfinder and I heard a buzzing sound around my ears!

    So 150mm sounds pretty good to me.
     
  10. dantambok

    dantambok TPF Noob!

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    I just recently bought the 100mm 2.8 L and I am not regreting spending more. IS really helps in taking macro shots especially hand-held. I use it with the canon 25 extender and it just works great! :D
     
  11. Mustlovedragons

    Mustlovedragons TPF Noob!

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    I love, love, LOVE the 100mm 2.8L IS lens. It's the one lens that I would never part with...but almost all my main work is macro. If your body is new, using a Sigma lens voids the warranty, as I painfully discovered when I very first started out.
     
  12. Hardrock

    Hardrock TPF Noob!

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    99% of my macro shots are handheld(I shoot mostly bugs) and I use the Canon 100mm F2.8 lens. It is very difficult to setup a tripod with out scaring off the bugs, So even if its a reduced IS it still may be vary helpful. But that is a decision you need to make. Optically they are very very close if not identical(both 100mm lens). Sometimes I do wish I had a longer macro(Canon 180) lens but for the price you cant beat the 100mm F2.8. As far as third party Im not a big fan but there are many users on here that use them and have outstanding results.
     

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