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Old 1st of October 2010 (Fri)   #1
JayJay
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Default Which macro: EF 100mm f/2.8L or 100mm/2.8

I'm trying to decide between which of the Canon macro 100mm lenses to choose.

The L is almost double the price but has IS and better quality. I want to use this lens to photograph flowers, insect life and jewellery, and as an added bonus, portraits. I'm really tempted to buy the non-L and put the rest towards a secondhand full frame body, but I would be interested to hear what others think.

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Old 1st of October 2010 (Fri)   #2
Shadowblade
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Default Re: Which macro: EF 100mm f/2.8L or 100mm/2.8

If you're shooting portraits as well, you'll benefit from the IS on the L version. Otherwise, they're pretty similar - the L is a tiny bit sharper at f/2.8 and is weather-sealed, but that's just about it.
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Old 1st of October 2010 (Fri)   #3
Katalyst
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Default Re: Which macro: EF 100mm f/2.8L or 100mm/2.8

I had the same problem as you and I went for the non L version, as you said it saves almost half the money and if you're going to shoot portraits I'd use a tripod anyway!
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Old 1st of October 2010 (Fri)   #4
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Default Re: Which macro: EF 100mm f/2.8L or 100mm/2.8

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Originally Posted by Katalyst View Post
I had the same problem as you and I went for the non L version, as you said it saves almost half the money and if you're going to shoot portraits I'd use a tripod anyway!
I had the same ideas as you and I went for the L version.

Shooting portraits with a tripod is too much work if you're out and about, and being able to shoot at 1/30 shutter speed was worthwhile for me. The IS isn't all that great for macro purposes.

That being said, I don't really enjoy using it for portraiture, so I will toss in a consideration of 100 non-L for macro, and Rokinon 85 1.4 for portraiture, all for cheaper than the L version.
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Old 1st of October 2010 (Fri)   #5
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Default Re: Which macro: EF 100mm f/2.8L or 100mm/2.8

Since I use my 70-200 2.8 IS II for portraits I never use my 100 macro for that purpose. I have owned both the 100mm macros, and ended up keeping my non-L. I didnt like the Hybrid IS system in the 100L. Sounded clunky and I didnt like how it flops around a bit inside the lens barrel when the lens is unmounted. I didnt like the build quality, IMO is was not up to L standards. As mentioned ealier, IS doesnt really help with macro photography if you use a flash, which I always do. I didnt like that I had to buy an additional $40 adapter to use the 100L with my MT-24EX flash. I didnt like that the 100L was not a standard filter size like 58mm or 77mm which ALL my other lenses match. And lastly, since the IQ for macro is very much the same, there was no gain in IQ from the 100L. Needless to say I returned the 100L and kept my non-L.
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Old 1st of October 2010 (Fri)   #6
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Default Re: Which macro: EF 100mm f/2.8L or 100mm/2.8

buy the non L, and with your savings buy a flash...
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Old 1st of October 2010 (Fri)   #7
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Default Re: Which macro: EF 100mm f/2.8L or 100mm/2.8

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buy the non L, and with your savings buy a flash...
+1 to that!
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Old 1st of October 2010 (Fri)   #8
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Default Re: Which macro: EF 100mm f/2.8L or 100mm/2.8

Yeah, you need the flash for bug macro, and other types of macro.

You could also get the 85 1.8 for portraits, and a Kenko extension tube set for macro.

Tamron makes a 60mm f/2 macro which looks pretty nice and is a good portrait length on crop sensors.

Tamron also makes the nice 90mm 2.8 macro. Don't forget Sigma's macro offerings.

I purchased the non L 100mm macro since imo the IS is a waste of money for most macro purposes.
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Old 2nd of October 2010 (Sat)   #9
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Default Re: Which macro: EF 100mm f/2.8L or 100mm/2.8

many thanks for so much considered advice. I've made my decision now, the Non L it will be, plus the flash. merci!
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Old 2nd of October 2010 (Sat)   #10
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Default Re: Which macro: EF 100mm f/2.8L or 100mm/2.8

I never pulled the trigger on the 100 macro until L and IS. Better IQ, IS to help when I do macro w/o a tripod (which is most of the time), and I appreciate the lighter weight.
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