canon rumors FORUM

Gear Talk => Lenses => Topic started by: CTJohn on February 24, 2012, 10:37:44 AM

Title: Macro Recommendation
Post by: CTJohn on February 24, 2012, 10:37:44 AM
I'm interested in getting into macro photography.  I've got a 7D, and have played around with my EF 24-105mm f/4L IS and EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS lenses taking close up shots, with and without a Canon EF25 II extension tube.  The images look good, but I think I'd be better off looking at a real macro lens .  I've researched some lens options and am closing in on either the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS macro or the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS Macro.  Both seem to get very good reviews, and there's a deal on the Sigma now at B&H until the end of March. 

I'd be interested in experience with either lens, and any recommendations.
Title: Re: Macro Recommendation
Post by: sb on February 24, 2012, 11:14:22 AM
I have the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS macro and it's crazy sharp wide open. It is one of the sharpest Canon primes that I've used. I use it for portraits more than I do for any macro stuff really. Most of my closeup photography revolves around wedding ring shots, and for that, it is truly amazing. I don't know anything about that particular Sigma lens you mentioned (I was just never thrilled with IQ of  Sigmas in general to be honest), but I would say you can't go wrong with Canon.

However, even with the macro lens, I don't think you'll be throwing away your extension tubes. They are really quite useful for getting even closer (I have a full set of Kenkos and I still use them after getting the macro lens)
Title: Re: Macro Recommendation
Post by: fsu_dan17 on February 24, 2012, 11:39:52 AM
I own the Canon 100mm f/2.8 (non-L) lens.  I got it about 4 years ago and it works great.  It is a low cost option to the L lens (500 new / 350+ ebay).  My wife uses it for portraits also.  Really good macro if you don't need the IS and don't want to pay for the "L"
Title: Re: Macro Recommendation
Post by: labbai on February 24, 2012, 11:41:55 AM
I have the MP-E 65/2.8 macro lens and Macro Ring Lite MR-14ex. It start's where the other Canon macro lenses stop... 1-5x magnification, all manual. So if you want a macro lens just for close-ups, I recommend though it might be too macro for 7D (I use 5DmkII). No portraits with this lens... :D
Title: Re: Macro Recommendation
Post by: jm345 on February 24, 2012, 11:48:24 AM
I haven't used the Sigma but can highly recommend the Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS macro. Very sharp wide open and the IS makes handheld macro much more possible. It can also be used as a nice portrait lens and with IS a great medium tele walk-around lens.
Title: Re: Macro Recommendation
Post by: neuroanatomist on February 24, 2012, 12:06:14 PM
+1 on the recommendation for the Canon 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS - it's great for macro and portraits (although getting on the long side for portraits on an APS-C camera).

Here are a few samples with the Canon 100mm L on a 7D.  All of these were shot handheld.

(http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4085/4843787549_fd986cb03b_z.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_brain/4843787549/in/set-72157624491646603/lightbox/)
EOS 7D, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, 1/30 s, f/8, ISO 100

(http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4127/4843787535_c424699577_z.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_brain/4843787535/in/set-72157624491646603/lightbox/)
EOS 7D, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, 1/150 s, f/13, ISO 100

(http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4144/4947783293_25d1958725_z.jpg) (http://www.flickr.com/photos/dr_brain/4947783293/in/set-72157624616379818/lightbox/)
EOS 7D, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, 1/160 s, f/11, ISO 640
Title: Re: Macro Recommendation
Post by: CTJohn on February 24, 2012, 04:35:43 PM
I appreciate the responses!  Thanks.
Title: Re: Macro Recommendation
Post by: DeadPixel on February 24, 2012, 06:12:10 PM
CTJohn,

Not exactly 100% sure of your target to shoot - but recently I was in the same situation as you and ended up getting the 100mm L 2.8, I mostly use tripods and indoors, but the thought of going out and snapping some of the crazy outdoor pictures I see someday intrigues me.  I'm using a T3i.  As you probably already know, the depth of field is low on this one up close!

I included a couple shots for refernce - but i'm a happy owner.  I cannot speak intelligently to the Sigma unit of course.  The first of the red surface mount circuit board is not down to 1:1, but fairly close.  I included a 100% crop below it.

Good luck!

DeadPixel
Title: Re: Macro Recommendation
Post by: mb66energy on February 24, 2012, 06:42:03 PM
I think it really depends on your approach to macro photography.

The EF-S 2.8/60 is a very versatile lens due to its 100mm equivalent - for me! It gives more depth of field and allows for a larger field of view if you direct your camera downwards. I like to take photos of structures like autumn leaves. This EF-S macro would be the lens if I had to choose just one lens. Another advantage: This lens is  really compact compared to the 100mm macros - a good walk around lens!
It just isn't compatible to FF bodies. So I bought the EF 100 (non-L) before it vanishes. It's great to have that alternative - it is the right choice if I have a "tele-day".

Sorry for bringing another option into the discussion,
best - Michael