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Author Topic: 100mm macro VS 180mm macro  (Read 2946 times)

Jay Khaos

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100mm macro VS 180mm macro
« on: December 05, 2012, 07:46:20 PM »
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.

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100mm macro VS 180mm macro
« on: December 05, 2012, 07:46:20 PM »

rpt

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Re: 100mm macro VS 180mm macro
« Reply #1 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.

neuroanatomist

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Re: 100mm macro VS 180mm macro
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2012, 08:43:49 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.

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.
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Jay Khaos

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Re: 100mm macro VS 180mm macro
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2012, 09:59:26 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.

That makes sense... IS is definitely a plus

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.

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.

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!
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PackLight

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Re: 100mm macro VS 180mm macro
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2012, 12:20:13 AM »
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.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 12:22:10 AM by PackLight »

AdamJ

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Re: 100mm macro VS 180mm macro
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2012, 04:51:28 PM »
If you plan to use the lens only on a tripod, the difference between 100mm L vs 100mm non-L won't be easily discernible. But if you want a lens with more flexibility than just tripod-mounted macro work, I'd recommend the 100mm L which is undoubtedly easier to use for hand-held macro or as a standard telephoto.

(I've never used the 180mm so so I can't comment on that).

TommyLee

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Re: 100mm macro VS 180mm macro
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2012, 06:03:22 PM »
I had both 100mm macro ...and 100mm L macro..
they have  about the same quality...

I sold the non-I.S. ... non-L....  because I walk around to shoot bugs.. I.S. is useful to me
the original ...... @ $450 or less used...is just fine if you do NOT want I.S.  ...

a little more $$ gets you to the L - new- with I.S. ...
maybe the I.S. is useful for you ...you decide
New one is a good , tough product.. so maybe worth it for the feature you MAY use...

--

whatever your choice ....they are very close in performance...
My I.S version (L) is worth it to me because I need the I.S. to stretch the shutter speed limits...while walking in the garden

on a tripod..
the original could sit there and never show any diff from the 'L' version..

No one in my family wanted an slr macro lens... so I just sold it..
they missed out.... as a gift
a..VERY nice deal for someone...
get one of those for close to $400...

but both are workable
--

I never used the 180..it is welded to a tripod - IMO
I will buy a new 180/200 Macro if it has I.S.


also a great portrait lens ...either model
so useful for lots of things
once you are within the focus range... approx... it snaps into focus.. NOT slow like ALL the other macros...

either one is like this ..................new one is  even faster...

3 portraits from the OLD non-L model...

and on the NEW I.S. 'L' model
one Hummer shot at 4000 ISO ..
so the I.S. is useful to ME here...


TOM




« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 06:20:23 PM by TommyLee »

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Re: 100mm macro VS 180mm macro
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2012, 06:03:22 PM »

vlad

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Re: 100mm macro VS 180mm macro
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2012, 07:09:36 PM »
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.

+1 on this.

I've been using the non-L 100 for food photography recently, and as long as it's on a tripod, it's amazingly sharp.  At 1:1, it can be a little too much detail, with every piece of fuzz, every spec of dust, every pore visible.  But to get more than a couple of inches of sharp DoF, I need to stop it down to F13+.  I haven't really seen the image quality degrade much, but it does make the flashes work harder, or forces an ISO bump.  This is why I'm seriously considering the TS-E 90 now.

alan_k

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Re: 100mm macro VS 180mm macro
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2012, 07:51:23 PM »
I haven't used the L, but I've got one coming from Canon Refurb as we speak.  ;D The 100 USM is a lot of fun.

I'm upgrading because of
-build quality
-IS for macro (when I don't have my tripod, flash, and bracket with me)
-superior for non-macro uses (IS, AF, etc).

If your use is primarily macro in your studio, I haven't seen much to suggest a huge benefit to the L.
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Re: 100mm macro VS 180mm macro
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2012, 08:07:38 PM »
I owned all 3. Only have the 180L left.... I felt it was sharper than the other 2. However it is a tad heavy and yes my best shots are using it on a tripod.
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Re: 100mm macro VS 180mm macro
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2012, 08:07:38 PM »