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Thread started 01 Sep 2009 (Tuesday) 10:30
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Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM

 
costojanku
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Post edited over 1 year ago by costojanku. (2 edits in all)
     
Sep 30, 2017 05:19 |  #6886

No doubt a great glass but here are my thoughts:

If you want to make really good macro shots (especially of living creatures), you only have two options:

a) use flash (no IS needed)
b) use tripod (no IS needed, you even have to turn it off)

So, paradoxically, the pro L version is more suited for the need of an amateur/hobbyist who can take better pictures with it due to IS but the pro should not care (I am implicitly talking about comparison with 100mm macro non-L). The remaining advantages are better image quality (no difference in real use, in my opinion) and weather sealing (I think 100 mm non-L can take some beating too, and who of us shoots in heavy rainfalls or dust storms anyway) which are likely not worth twice the price.

Of course, IS is helpful in "non-standard" use such as portraiture or candid shots but these are not what the glass is primarily made for.

Counterthoughts, anyone?


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Marm ­ O. ­ Set
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Post edited over 1 year ago by Marm O. Set. (3 edits in all)
     
Sep 30, 2017 06:17 |  #6887

Do you consider wedding photogs to be “Pros?” :-)

The L version is fantastic for wedding/event photogs. It is an extremely versatile solution for those who need flexibility and to travel light for efficient “run and gun” environments where time is of the essence and you need to be assured you got *the shot* in the bag with minimal hassle. There are hundreds (thousands?) of wedding photogs that lean heavily on this lens. I will probably upgrade at some point especially now that you can buy them used for under $600.

A few things this does well:
-Ring shots without a tripod
-Details like dress/shoes/cake/decor​ations
-Individual or couples’ portraits... but not group shots probably
-low light compatible since it has fantastic IS

Having said all that I still use the non-L for my macro work... during both traditional or event photography. The IS would be a welcome addition for my wedding work because it allows the lens to be used in more situations; you can’t always bounce a flash (think of outdoor shots) so IS quickly pays for itself if it lets you get the shot you need.

I get around not having the 100L by also carrying the 24-70 f/4 IS which has the same hybrid IS as the 100L as well as a macro mode that is good enough for most wedding situations since it does 0.7x. In fact, the 100 stays at home for the weddings that need the absolute lightest camera bags like the time I had to hike to a wedding on top of a mountain at sunset.

All other situations I have encountered the non-L is good enough.


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Archibald
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Sep 30, 2017 07:44 |  #6888

costojanku wrote in post #18463271 (external link)
No doubt a great glass but here are my thoughts:

If you want to make really good macro shots (especially of living creatures), you only have two options:

a) use flash (no IS needed)
b) use tripod (no IS needed, you even have to turn it off)

So, paradoxically, the pro L version is more suited to the need of an amateur/hobbyist who can take better pictures with it due to IS but the pro should not care (I am implicitly talking about comparison with 100mm macro non-L). The remaining advantages are better image quality (no difference in real use, in my opinion) and weather sealing (I think 100 mm non-L can take some beating too, and who of us shoots in heavy rainfalls or dust storms anyway) which are likely not worth twice the price.

Of course, IS is helpful in "non-standard" use such as portraiture or candid shots but these are not what the glass is primarily made for.

Counterthoughts, anyone?

There is also the option of hand-held macro shooting in available light (at high ISO), well worth exploring. Of course IS is very useful here.

I had the non-IS 100 and couldn't stand it. Exchanged it the next day for the 100L IS. The IS is very useful for steadying the subject in the viewfinder and for all available light shooting.


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MatthewK
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Sep 30, 2017 11:58 as a reply to  @ costojanku's post |  #6889

I agree with your assessment. The non-IS 100 Macro would work perfectly fine for all of the macro shots I've taken with flash, and in proper light it would do just as well as the L for the non-macro too. Thinking back, I couldn't tell you if the IS on my 100L allowed me to get a keeper vs. not having IS, but there's certainly use cases that having IS would be a benefit (Archibald and MarmOSet gave good examples). In addition to macro, I use mine for portrait work and travel. It's a brilliantly versatile lens.


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costojanku
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Post edited over 1 year ago by costojanku.
     
Sep 30, 2017 13:48 |  #6890

Thank you for your reactions.

@ Marm O. Set - sure I consider wedding photogs to be pros, especially those ones who make a living out of that. Your described use is a bit non-standard for macro lens (in traditional sense as who needs ratios close to 1:1 for weddings) but hell yes, due to IS 100 mm macro probably enters another niche the older version was not much seen in (we also have 100 mm f/2 at half the L price).

@Archibald - this is a valid point but I was more concerned about "really good"/pro-looking macro shots taken by "pros" towards whom the L-market is sort of oriented. But for those shots you need low ISO and relatively high DoF (achieved by either focus stacking = tripod or high f-numbers = flash or tripod), which leads to a sort of a paradox I tried to describe.

Overall I think my main motive for writing the previous post was my mild surprise at how successful the new version is (judging by twice the number of posts and views compared to 100 mm macro non-L that has been around for so many years), given the price difference between the two versions.


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Marm ­ O. ­ Set
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Sep 30, 2017 13:58 |  #6891

Why is this thread twice as long?
More expensive = always better... right?
:p

Most people can’t see through marketing lingo in order to determine what is really best for them. Many people would be perfectly fine with the old version. Kudos to you for recognizing it!


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Sep 30, 2017 14:14 |  #6892

Marm O. Set wrote in post #18463479 (external link)
Most people can’t see through marketing lingo in order to determine what is really best for them.

Very true...

I'm very happy with the 100L IS macro, though. (But usually shoot with a cheap 18-55mm STM instead of the expensive 17-55mm/2.8, which I also own.)


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costojanku
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Post edited over 1 year ago by costojanku. (3 edits in all)
     
Sep 30, 2017 14:26 as a reply to  @ Marm O. Set's post |  #6893

I would not be that harsh towards those who bought it instead of the non-L version and accuse (most of) them of not being able to see through the lingo (not even mentioning the fact that many people ARE better off with the IS). My general opinion is that by the time people buy relatively expensive L-glasses they understand photography enough in order to make their own informed decisions.

But sometimes you have those situations. For instance I own Canon 7D, Canon 5D and 85mm f/1.8. For almost ten years I had been contemplating whether to buy adored 135mm f/2 to complement my 5D given that 7D+85mm combo should give about the same results. I think I read every forum under the Sun discussing this topic; quite a lot of people claimed that 5D+135mm blows 7D+85mm combo out of the water, relatively few people suggested there won´t be much of a difference. In the end I bit the bullet and bought 135mm - although used one, it was not a cheap buy. And now, in real use I don´t see much difference, if any. I think the only difference relates to effective f-numbers (f/2 vs f/1.8 *1.6 = 2.88, which is actually not that much of a difference), the rest is marginal. Still, I do not regret the buy because I somehow wanted the glass due to its reputation and simply feel good owning it. Now I can be 100% sure that my equipment is not a limiting factor, only I am. So does it mean I can´t see through the lingo? Who knows.


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welshwizard1971
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Sep 30, 2017 14:54 |  #6894

I had the 100mm, I upgraded to the L, no lingo, no ignorance, I wanted IS to improve hand held macro shots.Is it better for me, yes, am I glad I bought it, yes. No lingo there....


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Marm ­ O. ­ Set
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Post edited over 1 year ago by Marm O. Set. (3 edits in all)
     
Sep 30, 2017 15:22 as a reply to  @ costojanku's post |  #6895

LOL
I'm not being harsh.
Some people are better off with the 100L.
Some people are better off with the original 100mm.

I was only trying to say that people automatically assume that the more expensive lenses are always better.

Case in point:
try shooting indoor basketball with the 85mmL f/1.2 vs the 85mm f/1.8 and tell me which is better :)
The f/1.8 is less than 20% the price of the f/1.2
I own both of those lenses and I assure you the f/1.8 is by far the better choice for many situations!

summary:
don't be fooled by price or marketing lingo and claims.
I'm neither an expensive lens snob nor a cheap lens snob. I'm an advocate for being realistic about what you shoot and buying the right tool for the job.

Archibald-
I have the 18-55 (of course) and the Sigma 17-50 f/2.8
The Canon is fine but I like the Sigma much better for general uses. The 18-55 & Rebel gets the nod when I need to travel light. 17-50 for pretty much everything else. There are 3 things that bug me about the 18-55:
- sticky zoom, not smooth (probably unique to mine)
- noisy micro-motor
- slow & variable aperture
Like you I think these 18-55 lenses are underappreciated. The IQ is just fine and they are great choices... in the right situations!

Costojanku-
the 135 is my fav lens of all time. Mostly because of "the look" it gives. You are right, the 85 f/1.8 on a cropper is great. In fact, that lens on my 7D mark II rarely EVER misses focus even when you have fast moving subjects. Cant beat that! Except when you put the 135mm on the 7D mark II ;)


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costojanku
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Post edited over 1 year ago by costojanku.
     
Sep 30, 2017 15:36 as a reply to  @ Marm O. Set's post |  #6896

That´s a fairly specific case where much cheaper non-L glass has superior autofocus. But for this pair that is a well-known fact and no one would claim otherwise, I would say.
Also I am a bit lazy to look for Canon ads but I doubt they stress how good the f/1.2 AF is and suggest the lens is well suited for indoor sports shooting, speaking of marketing lingo and claims.


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Marm ­ O. ­ Set
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Sep 30, 2017 15:41 |  #6897

50 f/1.4 vs 50 f/1.2 is in the same boat but not as drastic.
The 1.4 is faster than the 1.2... by a little.
The 1.2 has a ton of glass to shift around.


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Phoenixkh
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Sep 30, 2017 15:45 |  #6898

Marm O. Set wrote in post #18463479 (external link)
Why is this thread twice as long?
More expensive = always better... right?
:p

Most people can’t see through marketing lingo in order to determine what is really best for them. Many people would be perfectly fine with the old version. Kudos to you for recognizing it!

I hate to admit it... but I factored in the look of the L IS.... The non-L has a smaller diameter front lens than the body: the L is more symmetrical. Very stupid reason, but I prefer the way the L looks. Now I can claim the IS helps me get the shot. ;)

Actually, I have used the lens for more than just macro. It's a very useful lens to have in my gear bag.


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costojanku
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Sep 30, 2017 15:54 |  #6899

Phoenixkh wrote in post #18463550 (external link)
I hate to admit it... but I factored in the look of the L IS.... The non-L has a smaller diameter front lens than the body: the L is more symmetrical. Very stupid reason, but I prefer the way the L looks.

Heh, yeah, the same for me with 5D+135L vs 7D+85f/1.8. I even sent some messages to my friends about how sexy my new lens looks when I bought it.


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Phoenixkh
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Post edited over 1 year ago by Phoenixkh. (3 edits in all)
     
Sep 30, 2017 16:58 |  #6900

costojanku wrote in post #18463555 (external link)
Heh, yeah, the same for me with 5D+135L vs 7D+85f/1.8. I even sent some messages to my friends about how sexy my new lens looks when I bought it.

LOL... first impressions.....

Our youngest son talked me out of buying a 135 f/2... and into buying a 70-200 f/2.8 IS ll.

I think I'll have both.. eventually.


Kim (the male variety) Canon 1DX2 | 1D IV | 16-35 f/4 IS | 24-105 f/4 IS | 100L IS macro | 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II | 100-400Lii | 50 f/1.8 STM | Canon 1.4X III
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