Newbie needs help with macro lens for t3i

Drummer829

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Ok, me and my woman are expecting a child and for her push present I REALLY wanted to get her a macro lens for her t3i. From doing some reading I have seen that the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS is one of the nicest, but unfortunately I dont have $900-1000 for it. My price range is more around $600. I would prefer to have an IS, but from what I understand that jacks up the price on these lenses. So I am hoping to get some ideas from some of you professionals :mrgreen:
 

rgregoryb

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I use the Canon 100mm macro (non L) it does pretty much anything the L can. Most macro is done on a tripod so the IS is not even needed.
 

TCampbell

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I own the EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM. But I also previously owned the EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM. I've since given that lens to a relative as I no longer own a crop-frame body.

That EF-S 60mm USM macro (about $400-450 if I recall) is an EXTREMELY nice lens. I think it's one of the best values in the EF-S lineup. It has staggering resolving power and easily competes with the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM that I'm currently using today ... but costs about half as much.

A T3i is a crop-frame body, so the crop-factor works out to about 96mm (roughly 100mm). Basically the 60mm on a crop frame is extremely close to the perspective you'd get with a 100mm on a full-frame body (my current bodies are full-frame).

I used the 60mm macro mostly for food -- I liked the comfortable lens to subject distance.
 

RedRobin

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I use the Canon 100mm macro (non L) it does pretty much anything the L can. Most macro is done on a tripod so the IS is not even needed.

....IS allows you not to have to hump around a tripod and scare your subjects away if you are in the field and shoot wildlife such as insects and dragonflies etc.

So much depends on exactly what each of us as individual photographers prefers to shoot.
 

RedRobin

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I own the EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM. But I also previously owned the EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM. I've since given that lens to a relative as I no longer own a crop-frame body.

That EF-S 60mm USM macro (about $400-450 if I recall) is an EXTREMELY nice lens. I think it's one of the best values in the EF-S lineup. It has staggering resolving power and easily competes with the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM that I'm currently using today ... but costs about half as much.

A T3i is a crop-frame body, so the crop-factor works out to about 96mm (roughly 100mm). Basically the 60mm on a crop frame is extremely close to the perspective you'd get with a 100mm on a full-frame body (my current bodies are full-frame).

I used the 60mm macro mostly for food -- I liked the comfortable lens to subject distance.

....But surely you need to compare the Canon 60mm Macro with the Canon 100mm Macro on the same body - Either both on a crop-frame or both on a full-frame in order to arrive at distance power comparisons.

You find the 60mm better for food but I would find the 100mm better for insect wildlife out in the field (without tripod etc).
 

iolair

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I owned the 60mm macro but while it's a great lens, I'd advise getting one of the longer alternatives because to get maximum magnification the working distance is too close (disturbing insects and getting in the way of natural light falling on the subject).

Both Canon 100mm's are great (haven't tried them but have seen plenty of reviews and plenty of amazing results). If you want to shoot insects hand-held then IS would be a big benefit - shooting macro you generally want to stop down the aperture to increase depth of field, and that can lead to some rather slow shutter speeds.

I've also heard very good things about Tamron's 90mm macro.
 

TCampbell

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I owned the 60mm macro but while it's a great lens, I'd advise getting one of the longer alternatives because to get maximum magnification the working distance is too close (disturbing insects and getting in the way of natural light falling on the subject).

Both Canon 100mm's are great (haven't tried them but have seen plenty of reviews and plenty of amazing results). If you want to shoot insects hand-held then IS would be a big benefit - shooting macro you generally want to stop down the aperture to increase depth of field, and that can lead to some rather slow shutter speeds.

I've also heard very good things about Tamron's 90mm macro.

If you're using a macro lens at the true 1:1 scale, the depth of field gets REALLY thin. It's tough to hand-hold the camera for these shots because the tiniest little sway forward or backward after you lock focus will throw the intended subject outside the depth of field. If you use a focus rail and do focus stacking you have to be able to control the precise focusing distance and it's not realistic to do that by hand-holding the camera.

A 60mm macro on a crop frame body is basically the equivalent of a 100mm macro on a full-frame body.

After you adjust for the crop factor, the 60mm works out to have the same angle of view as a 96mm lens on a full-frame body -- which is why they make an EF-S 60mm macro.
 

RedRobin

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A 60mm macro on a crop frame body is basically the equivalent of a 100mm macro on a full-frame body.

After you adjust for the crop factor, the 60mm works out to have the same angle of view as a 96mm lens on a full-frame body -- which is why they make an EF-S 60mm macro.

....Doesn't having a 100mm Macro lens, irrespective of crop-frame or full-frame, allow the photographer to stay further away from a wildlife subject which is usually keen on not having its personal space invaded, than a 60mm Macro lens?
 

toughsamurai

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Go for Canon EF 100mm f2.8 USM macro, you will not be disappointed with its performance and well it sits inside your budget. You can use this for macro as well as outdoor/indoor (if enough space) portrait. I own this for years and I am satisfied with this. I have attached some of my shots with this lens and all are hand held and I don’t fell the absence of IS unless in extreme low light. $9195110505_8272c2f89d_b.jpg$9195113477_307372f71f_b.jpg
 

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