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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 31 Mar 2016 (Thursday) 19:15
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What is your favorite macro lens ... + example?

 
MatthewK
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Apr 17, 2016 14:07 |  #31

I already voted but forgot to add some of mine from 100L. I won't be without it, truly a fun lens to work with. Somedays it's the only lens that motivates me to shoot.

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1610/26461539376_d4c9de0834_c.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/Gjji​Kw  (external link) My car spider & I (external link) by M K (external link), on Flickr

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Sibil
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Apr 18, 2016 18:26 |  #32

dan84 wrote in post #17963992 (external link)
Another vote for the 100L



Wow!!!




  
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artyH
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Apr 19, 2016 08:44 |  #33

I use the Canon 100 F2.8 and the Sigma 50F2.8 macro lenses. While I like the Canon, the Sigma is no slouch. It has excellent color and is very sharp stopped down. I don't get why it has been discontinued by Sigma. It is one of my favorite lenses.




  
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FEChariot
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Apr 19, 2016 09:28 |  #34

Wouldn't be spring in Colorado without tulips and snow.
100L with 7D @ f/5.6


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Canon 7D/350D, Σ17-50/2.8 OS, 18-55IS, 24-105/4 L IS, Σ30/1.4 EX, 50/1.8, C50/1.4, 55-250IS, 60/2.8, 70-200/4 L IS, 85/1.8, 100/2.8 IS L, 135/2 L 580EX II, 430EX II * 2, 270EX II.

  
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cal2016
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Apr 20, 2016 22:53 |  #35

Canon 100mm f2.8 Version 1. Would like to get the Canon 180mm EF180mm f3.5.


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amfoto1
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Apr 22, 2016 13:53 |  #36

I don't really have a "favorite" macro. I have several different ones serving different purposes.

My MOST USED macro is my Canon 100/2.8 USM...

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8200/8228395386_e09799f652.jpg

Great lens! Quite versatile and I have mine fitted with the optional tripod mounting ring (AFAIK, the two Canon 100mm are the only macro lenses shorter than 150/180mm that can be fitted with a tripod ring). There's a lot to like about it... IF (internal focusing) so that it doesn't increase in length when focused closer (though this does make it larger to start with). It's also got a focus limiter (2-stage... the 100L has a 3-stage), uses 58mm filters like many of my other Canon lenses (the 100L uses 62mm). And it's USM focus drive makes it reasonably quick (though like all macro lenses, not nearly as fast as non-macro lenses can be). Personally I have no need to spend the extra $250 to get IS or a red stripe on it, so haven't bothered to update to the 100L/IS. For one, at higher magnifications IS gives limited help (though the Canon Hybrid IS on the 100L is better than most) and it does nothing to help with subject movement. But, also, I tend to shoot macro with a tripod or at least a monopod most of the time, anyway.... and/or am using flash which reduces need for stabilization.

Not that the 100L isn't a great lens. It certainly is! It's just that in the factors important to me (image quality, build quality, tripod mounting ring), it's no better than the $250 cheaper lens.

But I also use other macro lenses, as well as do a lot of close-ups with non-macro lenses.

The Canon 180/3.5L is excellent, too. It's able to render amazingly shallow depth of field, though it's a bit more challenging to work with and slower focusing...
IMAGE: https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5093/5585285923_f2d1d237aa.jpg


More recently I got the Canon MP-E 65mm, which is in a whole different league. As a 1:1 to 5:1 lens, it picks up where most other macros leave off, and largely serves the purpose a bellows did in older systems (but is far less practical with the modern Canon electronically controlled EF/EOS system). It's manual focus only, not very hand-holdable and challenging to work with. Since it's not IF (internal focusing), it extends significantly and its effect f-stop changes with higher magnification. At full 5:1 the smallest f16 that's settable with the lens acts like an f96! So, it pretty much requires supplemental flash (I got the MR-14EX Ring Lite to use with it). This 3:1 shot of a tiny, newly hatched snail is from some early experimentation with the MP-E 65mm and ML-14EX...

IMAGE: https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7393/9971562424_0a09d672d2.jpg


In terms of image quality, there really aren't any "bad" macro lenses that I'm aware of. All the Canon are good. So are the alternatives from Tamron, Sigma and Tokina... possibly some others. It's mostly choices among focal length (working distance), other features and price that might make one or another preferable.

My cheapest macro lens is a vintage (circa 1985), manual focus and manual aperture Tamron 90mm SP f2.5. I found it locally in a second-hand store... for all of $20 (with caps, hood, 1:1 adapter, and Nikon mount). It's a Adaptall2 interchangeable mount lens, so can easily be set up to use on many different camera systems. I ordered a Chinese-made Adaptall for EOS off eBay, for $40 incl. shipping. Works perfectly. In addition to that EOS, I've got Adaptall mounts for vintage Canon FD, Nikon F, Olympus OM, Pentax PK and Konica K/AR.... so far.

Unlike it's modern AF counterparts, the vintage Tamron 90mm is a 1:2 lens (half life size) on it's own... can be used with a matched adapter for 1:1. But I just use standard macro extension tubes (Kenko and Canon). I'd used other Tamron 90mm in the past, so knew it was a great lens, although being fully manual makes it slower to shoot with. Still, for $60 I couldn't pass it up, it's quite compact and versatile thanks to it's adaptability.

Here's a photo of the lens on one of my Canon cameras, another showing the lens with the EOS mount installed and a Nikon Adaptall alongside, and a sample image taken with it (with a 20mm extension tube)...

IMAGE: https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5017/5453385847_10a2a40bec_n.jpg

IMAGE: https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5253/5431808414_f7b31fe45e_n.jpg

IMAGE: https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5125/5283068575_5d2187dd6f.jpg

A modern Tamron SP 60mm f2.0 is another lens added to my kit fairly recently. It's a crop-only lens (like the Canon EF-S 60/2.8 USM), but quite compact. I opted for the Tamron because it's f2 aperture also makes a very useful for portraits, too. There are very few macro with faster than f2.8. It is not an action lens... micro motor AF drive is just too slow for that. But it's fine for macro and portrait shooting... And fairly light and compact. I carry it in my bag "just in case", when it usually takes the place of my Canon 100/2.8 macro, as well as 50/1.4 and 85/1.8 that I use a lot for portraiture. One lens instead of three (one about the same size/weight and two of which are larger and heavier). I don't presently have any macro shots taken with it anywhere online. But this shot was done with the Tamron...

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2891/9545959419_1cf621e813.jpg

I also use a lot of non-macro lenses for close-up and macro work.

For small product shots, tabletop studio work I use the Canon 45mm TS-E a lot on crop cameras and the 90mm TS-E on full frame. Both are quite close focusing already, but can be made more-so with macro extension tubes. These are manual focus only lenses too. The shift and tilt features can be very handy and the focal lengths allow for close enough work to be able to reach out and rearrange things while looking through the viewfinder, which can be a real time saver when doing a long series of small product shots.

Sometimes a longer lens is really nice, too... outdoors with shy subjects or those that sting or bite. Among their primes longer than 180/200mm... the Canon EF 300/4L IS is one of the closest focusing, even without a macro extension tube...

IMAGE: https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8180/8004813561_3049812755.jpg

I've also used Canon 300/2.8 and 500/4 for close-ups, though generally need to use extension tubes and teleconverters with them.

Among their zooms any of the Canon 24-70, 24-105 and 28-105 are quite close-up capable. Any of the 70-200s, too. They all work very well with extension tubes, too.

The 100-400 Mark II is one of the closest focusing zooms. Even on it's own, it gets close to 1:3. Just got this lens and I have no doubt I'll use it for close-up work, among other things.

Another macro lens I'm considering is the Venus Optics Laowa 15mm f/4 1:1 Wide Angle Macro. AFAIK, there's no other macro like itf. I've done some wide angle macro/close-ups by putting short extension tubes behind wide lenses... which is always challenging because there's little working distance. But the Laowa 15/4 also can serve as a standard ultrawide on full frame (I've considered a 14mm) and it has shift capability (though I'm sure the Canon 17/4L can be expected to produce much finer images). It's manual focus and aperture only, but neither of those is a big deal for the type of shots I'd use this lens to make. Here's a link to an article about the Laowa 15/4 (external link).

Alan Myers (external link) "Walk softly and carry a big lens."
5DII, 7DII(x2), 7D(x2) & other cameras. 10-22mm, Tokina 12-24/4, 20/2.8, TS 24/3.5L, 24-70/2.8L, 28/1.8, 28-135 IS (x2), TS 45/2.8, 50/1.4, Tamron 60/2.0, 70-200/4L IS, 70-200/2.8 IS, 85/1.8, Tamron 90/2.5 Macro, 100/2.8 USM, 100-400L II, 135/2L, 180/3.5L, 300/4L IS (x2), 300/2.8L IS, 500/4L IS, EF 1.4X II, EF 2X II. Flashes, studio strobes & various access. - FLICKR (external link) - ZENFOLIO (external link)

  
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pulsar123
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Apr 22, 2016 14:03 |  #37

amfoto: If you'll end up getting the Laowa 15mm lens, you might consider a DIY flash project I carried out:

https://photography-on-the.net …/showthread.php​?t=1457719


6D, Tamron 24-70 f2.8 VC, 135L, 70-200 f4L, Laowa 15mm 1:1 macro, 50mm f1.8 STM, Samyang 8mm fisheye, home studio

  
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Dave3222
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Apr 22, 2016 23:15 |  #38

The Tokina 35mm is a nice walk around lens that is also a 1:1 macro.

IMAGE: https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1617/26476257612_d9d6ac8003_b.jpg

IMAGE: https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1671/26568719175_0c699d529a_b.jpg



  
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Gigas
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Apr 22, 2016 23:39 |  #39

100mm f/2.8 L is by far my favorite macro lens. It's sharp, easily held, works great with canon extension tubes and has amazing IS. I have had great success using two 25mm and one 12mm canon extension tubes for extreme close ups of corals. I'm always impressed when I can see variations within the pigment of the symbiotic algae inside of the coral tissue. Color rendition is also very accurate. I consider this to be the difference between capturing a subtle powder blue coloration and having the coloration render as cream or tan in color.

Corals are also very hard to capture due to the pigments and subtleties within their tissue. I find the 100mm L to be the best for this purpose. In a more general sense, the lens is also great for portraits and even landscape if you really want to photograph a specific area. For example, if you want to focus on one mountain or a mountain top, you can.

The 100mm L is by far my most used lens, although that title may go to my new 100-400mm II.


Canon 8-15mm f/4 L, Canon 100mm f/2.8 L, Canon 100-400mm f/4-5.6 Is II L, Canon 400mm f/5.6 L

  
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MatthewK
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Apr 25, 2016 05:05 |  #40

Dave3222 wrote in post #17981585 (external link)
The Tokina 35mm is a nice walk around lens that is also a 1:1 macro.
QUOTED IMAGE


QUOTED IMAGE

Crispy shots, very nice!


Gigas wrote in post #17981612 (external link)
100mm f/2.8 L is by far my favorite macro lens. It's sharp, easily held, works great with canon extension tubes and has amazing IS. I have had great success using two 25mm and one 12mm canon extension tubes for extreme close ups of corals. I'm always impressed when I can see variations within the pigment of the symbiotic algae inside of the coral tissue. Color rendition is also very accurate. I consider this to be the difference between capturing a subtle powder blue coloration and having the coloration render as cream or tan in color.

Corals are also very hard to capture due to the pigments and subtleties within their tissue. I find the 100mm L to be the best for this purpose. In a more general sense, the lens is also great for portraits and even landscape if you really want to photograph a specific area. For example, if you want to focus on one mountain or a mountain top, you can.

The 100mm L is by far my most used lens, although that title may go to my new 100-400mm II.

I find your use of the macro lens intriguing. Very cool insight regarding shooting corals and the challenges of capturing the nuanced coloring! Do you have any examples of your work that you've shared on the forum or on Flickr?

+1 on that last sentence: this time of year I bounce back and forth between the 100L and 100-400 II... birds and bugs :) While the 100-400 has a super close MFD, it can't touch the 100L for those up close shots.



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Dave3222
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Apr 25, 2016 11:00 |  #41

MatthewK wrote in post #17984086 (external link)
Crispy shots, very nice!

Thank you.




  
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What is your favorite macro lens ... + example?
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