Gear Talk > Lenses

100mm macro VS 180mm macro

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Jay Khaos:
Sorry in advance if this topic already exists, but I can't find it if it does.  I can't seem to find any solid info comparing these lenses.  A lot of opinions I've read online are completely different regarding the two 100mm lenses.  Some say the L version isn't worth it unless you're completely bent on having IS, and that the non-L had equal or possibly better IQ if its on a tripod (for any situation where ultimate IQ is necessary, Id be using a tripod anyway).  Others swear by the L as if the non-L isn't even worth considering.  Am I missing something significant that differentiates the L other than slightly better build quality and weather sealing?

Also, on paper the 180mm doesn't really seem enticing next to the 100mm considering its price difference.  And it seems less available in the used market, so I'm judging their price difference as higher than the difference between their retail prices.  But the few times I've seen it mentioned online, people seem to swear by it.  Is there any benefit of owning the 180 over the 100 other than it's reach (which I probably dont need... necessarily...)?

I plan on using whichever lens I get for food/product shots...  I feel like the non-L 100mm is probably enough for my needs... but as always, I'm tempted by my curse to feel like I need "the best"... the L.  (or 180L?!?!?)  :-X

I'd especially appreciate advice from anyone who has used at least 2 of the 3 I'm considering.  I've read multiple separate reviews on each lens online, and watched the digitalrev 100mm comparison (but I feel like Kai always leans toward the expensive option).

I'm not really looking for votes as much as I'm looking for piece of info that I might have not considered before making a final decision.  Im using a 5DmkIII if that matters.

 :) ;) :D ;D :-[ ??? 8) :o :-\ :-* :'( :-X :-[ :P


rpt:
I have only used the 100L IS. The reason I chose it is I hand shoot with it and wanted the IS. Also after using the 24-105, I felt most of my shots that were hand held did not need more than 100mm. The 180L is heavier and pricier by about 50%. So that was my reason to buy the 100L IS.

Hope this helps.

neuroanatomist:

--- Quote from: Jay Khaos on December 05, 2012, 07:46:20 PM ---I plan on using whichever lens I get for food/product shots...I'm looking for piece of info that I might have not considered before making a final decision.

--- End quote ---

I'd really recommend considering the TS-E 90mm f/2.8 for food/product photography - it's really the lens of choice for that application.  The problem with a macro lens is DoF - it's either too thin, or you have to stop down well into apertures narrow enough to soften the image with diffraction.  The tilt feature of a TS-E lens gives you control over DoF, and allows you to get a deeper DoF at wider apertures.

Jay Khaos:

--- Quote from: rpt on December 05, 2012, 08:28:43 PM ---I have only used the 100L IS. The reason I chose it is I hand shoot with it and wanted the IS. Also after using the 24-105, I felt most of my shots that were hand held did not need more than 100mm. The 180L is heavier and pricier by about 50%. So that was my reason to buy the 100L IS.

Hope this helps.

--- End quote ---

That makes sense... IS is definitely a plus


--- Quote from: neuroanatomist on December 05, 2012, 08:43:49 PM ---
--- Quote from: Jay Khaos on December 05, 2012, 07:46:20 PM ---I plan on using whichever lens I get for food/product shots...I'm looking for piece of info that I might have not considered before making a final decision.

--- End quote ---

I'd really recommend considering the TS-E 90mm f/2.8 for food/product photography - it's really the lens of choice for that application.  The problem with a macro lens is DoF - it's either too thin, or you have to stop down well into apertures narrow enough to soften the image with diffraction.  The tilt feature of a TS-E lens gives you control over DoF, and allows you to get a deeper DoF at wider apertures.

--- End quote ---

I didn't really get into more expensive gear until recently so I never really researched tilt-shift before...  I read about it just now and it seems perfect actually.  In fact this could probably be the single most useful lens for what I do (stock photos and occasional portraits).  Thanks for the tip!

PackLight:
The 100mm macro IS and the 180mm are both L lenses.
I own both.

The 180mm will give you better image quality, better bokeh. For the most part you can consider it a tripod lens. It is great at shooting bugs and such and not having to get as close, but the AF is slow so you have to figure on focusing manually. The norm is to use live view at 10x for focusing.
You can count this as a specialty lens because while it can do telephoto work the AF is to slow.

The 100mm is a good walk around macro, good if you do not want to use a tripod and can be hand held. It is a great lens and has other uses.
If you want a do all lens it is the way to go.

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