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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 03 Jun 2017 (Saturday) 01:59
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Which Macro Lens to pick for my 80D

 
Taylor29
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Jun 03, 2017 01:59 |  #1

Hello Everyone.

First off, I need to start with how happy I am to be a part of this forum and that I am looking forward to speaking with you all and hopefully finding answers to my problems.

When it comes down to photography, I consider myself a enthusiastic hobbyist. I mainly shoot landscapes and nature (flowers, leafs, small insects). I currently own a Canon EOS 80 D and a EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 lens.

Recently I started to do some "experimental" abstract shots like close ups of old leafs showing there structure and stuff like that. But the results are not very satisfying. So I figured out I may need a proper macro (zoom) lens.

So this week I did some research and checked out some websites for classified adds and I found a few lenses suitable for my camera on the for sales website http://www.for-sale.co.uk/canon-macro-zoom-lens (external link). After some more investigation I nailed it down to the following ones:

* Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro
* Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8
* Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG

So what do you think about these choices? Are they suitable for my purposes? And which one should I pick? Price-wise the Canon is the most expensive lens, followed by the Tamron. The Sigma costs slightly less than the Tamron. I also know both, the Canon and the Tamron, are weather sealed. I don't think I need that feature. So should I go for the Sigma?

To save some money I was also thinking about buying a used camera lens. This way I can maybe get a good lens at a good value. So any advice is greatly appreciated.

Taylor.




  
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Choderboy
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Jun 03, 2017 04:17 |  #2

Hello, welcome!

Macro choice is easy, there must be a dud macro lens, but I've never heard of it. They are all good.
There are 3 recent versions of the Tamron:
SP 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 VC USD Model # F017
SP 90mm F/2.8 Macro 1:1 Di VC USD Model # F004
SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Model # 272E

There is also the Canon 100 (non L) and the Canon EF-S 60.

I'd just buy which ever you can find the cheapest and or convenient / trustworthy seller.


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Bassat
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Jun 03, 2017 04:36 |  #3
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Taylor29 wrote in post #18369711 (external link)
Hello Everyone.

First off, I need to start with how happy I am to be a part of this forum and that I am looking forward to speaking with you all and hopefully finding answers to my problems.

When it comes down to photography, I consider myself a enthusiastic hobbyist. I mainly shoot landscapes and nature (flowers, leafs, small insects). I currently own a Canon EOS 80 D and a EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 lens.

Recently I started to do some “experimental” abstract shots like close ups of old leafs showing there structure and stuff like that. But the results are not very satisfying. So I figured out I may need a proper macro (zoom) lens.

So this week I did some research and checked out some websites for classified adds and I found a few lenses suitable for my camera. After some more investigation I nailed it down to the following ones:

* Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro
* Tamron SP 90mm f/2.8
* Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG

So what do you think about these choices? Are they suitable for my purposes? And which one should I pick? Price-wise the Canon is the most expensive lens, followed by the Tamron. The Sigma costs slightly less than the Tamron. I also know both, the Canon and the Tamron, are weather sealed. I don't think I need that feature. So should I go for the Sigma?

To save some money I was also thinking about buying a used camera lens. This way I can maybe get a good lens at a good value. So any advice is greatly appreciated.

Taylor.

There is no such thing as a true macro lens that zooms. There are no zooms with true macro capability.

You may want to also consider the Sigma OS models. They are better than the non-OS models, and accordingly more expensive. The only real difference between any of them is the focal length (the mm). Longer focal length allows you to shoot macro with more distance between your lens and the subject you are shooting.




  
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Michael456
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Jun 03, 2017 05:46 |  #4

Just some thoughts from me:
I have the Canon EF 100mm L and the Canon EF-S 60mm and like both a lot.

  • The IS of the 100mm can come in very handy and the 100mm does a better job at melting the background vs. the 60mm (especially if you have somewhat busy backgrounds and cannot increase the subject to background distance).
  • The 60mm is smaller, lighter and cheaper. Sometimes the shorter focal length is definitely and advantage. E.g. when shooting small flowers you can create interesting perspectives by tilting the camera up a bit - that's often impossible with the 100mm.
  • If you often shoot hand held and in less than ideal light, then having IS would defienitely be an advantage.

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Ramon-uk
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Jun 03, 2017 06:48 |  #5

I have the Canon 100mm USM (non L) and it is an amazing macro lens.
I have found that most macro shots need flash so haven't found the lack of IS to be a problem.


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Temma
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Jun 03, 2017 08:59 |  #6

I've got a Tokina 100mm macro. I've been very happy with it, both on my 350D and my T4i

At the time I purchased it, it was the best combination of price and performance I could find in a new macro lens.




  
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RMyers
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Jun 03, 2017 10:34 |  #7

I have the Sigma 105mm and it has been fantastic. Reviews I had seen when I was shopping had it rated close to the Canon 100L, but at the time it was $300 less. So that was my deciding factor.

I'm very happy with the longer lens over a 60mm. When shooting insects I don't have to get as close.


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Archibald
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Post edited over 5 years ago by Archibald. (3 edits in all)
     
Jun 03, 2017 11:17 |  #8

Working distance of a macro lens needs to be considered when deciding on a macro lens especially if you will be shooting bugs. There are two main reasons: 1) A longer working distance reduces the chance of spooking the bug and missing the shot; and 2) a shorter working distance is better if you will be using diffused flash, because the closer the diffused source, the softer the lighting. Working distance is a function of focal length. So, what focal length should you choose?

That's what I had to decide a few years ago, and I chose for 100mm. It gives a working distance of about 15 cm (6") when shooting at 1:1 and is a good compromise. I don't scare bugs away most of the time. And I have an effective diffuser that gives soft light with this working distance.

The other issue is IS. You could say IS is not necessary if you shoot with flash, because the flash will stop motion. But IS is still quite useful for giving a steadier view in the viewfinder, and that helps a lot when drawing a bead on your subject. Also, in bright light, there will be some ghosting from the natural light, and IS will reduce that. Plus, you might shoot with natural light at times, or even a lot, and then IS is a big advantage.

I actually bought the Canon non-IS first and found it frustrating to use. Returned it the next day and got the IS model.

As others have said, all macro lenses are sharp. Don't base a decision on sharpness.

Also, bear in mind that the lens is only one part of getting good macro shots. Lighting is probably more important, and also more complicated than lens choice.


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Post edited over 5 years ago by Wilt.
     
Jun 03, 2017 11:32 |  #9

You've gotten good input thus far. I will add a comment or two...


  • Many AF macro lenses are NOT the rated FL at macro distances! Due to the need of the AF lens maker to reduce the battery consumed by moving optics farther away for macro shooting, instead they play games with the FL of the lens. For example, the Canon 100mm macro is said to actually have a FL of about 75mm in order to accomplish its 1:1 reproduction factor without need for an extension tube!
  • Most macro shooters who shoot with AF cameras have discovered that when shooting macro they actually do NOT use AF, but simply vary the shooting distance by moving the entire camera+lens back and forth to bring the subject into focus.


more about point 1 above...
Ordinarily, in order to get 1:1 repro factor with a lens whose focal length = FL, the subject-to-focal-plane distance is 4*FL
Yet the Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro will have an image distance of 150mm, plus an object distance of 150mm, which means its subject-to-focal-plane distance is 300mm or 4*FL, so its FL must be only 75mm at 1:1!

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Jun 03, 2017 11:42 |  #10

Wilt wrote in post #18369949 (external link)
You've gotten good input thus far. I will add a comment or two...


  • Many AF macro lenses are NOT the rated FL at macro distances! Due to the need of the AF lens maker to reduce the battery consumed by moving optics farther away for macro shooting, instead they play games with the FL of the lens. For example, the Canon 100mm macro is said to actually have a FL of about 75mm in order to accomplish its 1:1 reproduction factor without need for an extension tube!
  • Most macro shooters who shoot with AF cameras have discovered that when shooting macro they actually do NOT use AF, but simply vary the shooting distance by moving the entire camera+lens back and forth to bring the subject into focus.

Both points are valid IMO, but

- The focal length doesn't matter

and

- I use AF routinely because it facilitates approaching a bug from a distance and then moving in, and this helps in locating a tiny subject in the viewfinder. Once I am at the right framing, I will often switch to manual focus. This is all made easier if you do BBF (back button focus).


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Post edited over 5 years ago by Wilt. (3 edits in all)
     
Jun 03, 2017 12:12 |  #11

Archibald wrote in post #18369959 (external link)
Both points are valid IMO, but

- The focal length doesn't matter

True, actual FL value does not matter in practice...yet it does have a direct bearing on your distance from your subject. In the case of the 100mm Canon macro, you are 300mm away rather than 400mm away. If you had mounted a manual focus lens adapted to fit the Canon body, you would indeed be 400mm away (as expected per 4*FL rule).

OTOH, knowing the true FL matters when you want to know what length of extension tube to add, to get the lens to focus and result in a 2:1 (2X) macro shot of the subject...you add 75mm of extension, not 100mm of extension that would be true if the lens were actual 100mm FL!


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Jun 03, 2017 12:16 |  #12

Wilt wrote in post #18369978 (external link)
True, actual FL value does not matter in practice...yet it does have a direct bearing on your distance from your subject. In the case of the 100mm Canon macro, you are 300mm away rather than 400mm away. If you had mounted a manual focus lens adapted to fit the Canon body, you would indeed be 400mm away (as expected per 4*FL rule).

"Distance from subject" - you are referring to the distance between subject and sensor. That is much less important in macro photography than working distance, which is the distance between subject and front of lens.


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Jun 03, 2017 12:21 as a reply to  @ Archibald's post |  #13

Depends upon the point of view of the photographer...a large format shooter wanting to achieve a specific magnification image WANTS to know where the rear standard needs to be to achieve that scale!

The insect photographer cares about working distance, but IMHO the stamp photographer or coin photographer cares not so much.


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Jun 03, 2017 14:18 |  #14

Wilt wrote in post #18369984 (external link)
The insect photographer cares about working distance, but IMHO the stamp photographer or coin photographer cares not so much.

However, too close a working distance can interfere with illumination in studio macro, particularly with continuous light.




  
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ed ­ rader
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Jun 03, 2017 22:07 |  #15

the new 35mm STM with light looks interesting and can double as a walkaround


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Which Macro Lens to pick for my 80D
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