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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 20 Feb 2018 (Tuesday) 11:21
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100mm Macro as "normal" lens

 
Ltdave
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Feb 20, 2018 11:21 |  #1

I started reading here about the macro lenses and shooting macro images and quite frankly, I just about fell asleep...

I'm wondering if the 100mm macro lenses can be used for general non-macro photography i.e. 35mm shorter than a 135mm or say 15mm longer than one of the 85s...

If it's pretty much limited to just being used as a macro for macro photography, I might just as well start with a set of extension tubes and get a 135mm lens for that focal length...




  
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kmilo
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Feb 20, 2018 11:24 |  #2

yes, you can absolutely use a 100mm macro lens as an over priced normal lens


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aquaforester
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Feb 20, 2018 11:26 |  #3

No, it's used all the time for portraits, since it's extremely sharp and has the f2.8, but you could really use it for anything. That being said I have the 60mm macro and it's much smaller and easier to walk around with if you want to shoot things other than macro.


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Wilt
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Feb 20, 2018 11:30 |  #4

Macro lenses are fully usable as conventional non-macro lenses, generically speaking

  • for distances greater than about 10*FL or to put it another way
  • for repro factors less than about 1:3 (1/3 life size)


Macro lenses are simply lenses which are also optimized to

  • better focus (than conventional non-macro lenses) at very close distances
  • have better 'flat field' characteristics to better photograph documents


To have macro capability, you generally have to put up with a smaller max aperture (slower lens) and slower focus mechanism

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aquaforester
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Feb 20, 2018 13:51 |  #5

Wilt wrote in post #18568257 (external link)
...

To have macro capability, you generally have to put up with a smaller max aperture (slower lens) and slower focus mechanism

Is F2.8 Considered slow?


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agedbriar
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Feb 20, 2018 14:09 |  #6

aquaforester wrote in post #18568377 (external link)
Is F2.8 Considered slow?

With portraits, many people like to use a thinner DOF than that from an f/2.8 aperture.




  
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Feb 20, 2018 14:32 |  #7

Peter Hurley, a well-known, maybe even famous headshot photographer says it is his lens of choice for his work. Go to the 2-minute mark on THIS (external link) video to hear it straight from him.


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aquaforester
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Feb 20, 2018 14:35 |  #8

agedbriar wrote in post #18568397 (external link)
With portraits, many people like to use a thinner DOF than that from an f/2.8 aperture.

That's a niche. The OP is referring to just general use. Most people I don't think shoot with anything faster than 2.8. With that being said see post #7.


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Nethawked
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Feb 20, 2018 14:39 |  #9

The Canon 100mm macro is a great portrait lens. There may be better, more beautiful bokeh from some of Canon's other lenses but you can't beat it for nice sharp pictures and beautiful color saturation.




  
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Bassat
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Feb 20, 2018 14:52 |  #10

I have an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens. It only gets mounted when I want to do macro/closeup work. It can, and does, do a fine job as a 100mm short-telephoto. I just don't use it as such. There are two very good reasons for that:

1.) I own an 85 1.8. The FL difference is 15mm, which is insignificant. The 85 focuses faster. The 85 is 2/3 the size and half the weight of the macro. The 85 is 1-1/3 stops faster.

2.) I own a 135L.


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Wilt
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Feb 20, 2018 16:16 |  #11

aquaforester wrote in post #18568377 (external link)
Is F2.8 Considered slow?

Well, if you were comparing 50mm f/2.8 macro vs.[50mm f/1.2 or 50mm f/1.4], the macro lens is slow by comparison!

I can shoot photos successfully at f/1.2 or f/1.4 which might force me to use not-available ISO when shooting with f/2.8


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johnf3f
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Feb 20, 2018 16:33 |  #12

I mainly use my Canon 100 F2.8 Macro for landscapes and it does a very nice job too! Very handy lens if there are some co-operative insects around as well.


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Eric ­ Hopp
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Feb 22, 2018 14:42 |  #13

I took a single camera body and three lenses--a 24mm stm, a 50mm f1.8, and the 100mm Macro--back to Iowa for a family reunion trip back in August 2017. I used the 100mm macro lens more than the other two. Great close-up lens for taking flower shots, and medium telephoto stuff. Great portrait lens. You could probably use it as a cheap, low light level lens--if you do not want to invest in the faster L primes.




  
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John ­ from ­ PA
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Post edited 3 months ago by John from PA. (2 edits in all)
     
Feb 22, 2018 15:46 |  #14

Nethawked wrote in post #18568419 (external link)
The Canon 100mm macro is a great portrait lens. There may be better, more beautiful bokeh from some of Canon's other lenses but you can't beat it for nice sharp pictures and beautiful color saturation.

The OP asked

I'm wondering if the 100mm macro lenses can be used for general non-macro photography...

I'd like to ask the OP, do you really have all that equipment in your profile? I didn't check, but it looks close to every camera Canon has ever made!




  
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ejenner
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Post edited 3 months ago by ejenner. (2 edits in all)
     
Feb 23, 2018 00:28 |  #15

Bassat wrote in post #18568428 (external link)
2.) I own a 135L.


This.

Also the 135, unlike say the 70-200 zooms has decent sharpness near MFD.

Having said that I use mine more for when I think I might want to do 'close-up' stuff than true macro.

Ltdave wrote in post #18568243 (external link)
I might just as well start with a set of extension tubes and get a 135mm lens for that focal length...

That would certainly not be the worst thing you could do. A stop faster, awesome bokeh, faster AF (at least a significantly faster than the 100L if shooting sports).


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100mm Macro as "normal" lens
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