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Author Topic: Canon 100mm macro L or Zeiss 50mm makro?  (Read 4274 times)

Rocguy

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Canon 100mm macro L or Zeiss 50mm makro?
« on: June 16, 2013, 09:17:21 PM »
Hi all,

I wanted to hear if anyone has experience with both of these lenses. The Canon 100mm f2.8 L macro and the Zeiss 50mm f2 makro. I'm very interested in picking up a macro lens. And I have kind of narrowed it down to these 2. But I think they are pretty different lenses.

The macro is just something I want to try out really so I'm not 100% sure how I want to use it? I like the idea of the Zeiss being 50mm as I could also use it as my walkaround 50mm lens. I'm not sure if I can use the Canon macro for other than macro? And in any case I do have the 24-105 and I don't use it at the 105 end very often. So the Zeiss could be 2 lenses in one for me? I'm not afraid of the manual focus. But I don't want to go to the Zeiss route if the macro isn't that great. Maybe get the Canon and pick up a different 50mm(as I do want just a general purpose 50 too).

Any thoughts?

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Canon 100mm macro L or Zeiss 50mm makro?
« on: June 16, 2013, 09:17:21 PM »

drjlo

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Re: Canon 100mm macro L or Zeiss 50mm makro?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2013, 10:00:28 PM »
But I think they are pretty different lenses.


That may be the understatement of the week, mainly due to the fact Zeiss only has max. magnification of 1:2 where as Canon is a true 1:1 magnification macro lens.  The lack of AF and IS on the Zeiss is the next large difference, and the fact Canon 100L actually can be bough quite a bit cheaper is a consideration. 

If one wants mainly a "walkaround" normal lens and can manual-focus quick enough, the Zeiss would be a good choice, with the understanding you are not going to get 1:1 magnification. 


jdramirez

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Re: Canon 100mm macro L or Zeiss 50mm makro?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2013, 10:15:20 PM »
I have the 100 L &  zero experience with the  Zeiss.   I loved my 100  for a year before I got my 70-200 f2.8L is mkii.  I used it for everything,  from portraiture,  to sports photography,  walk around lens for street photography,  and of course some macro. 

 the 100  is a great lens,  though I believe I'm going to sell mine for a 135L.
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

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docholliday

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Re: Canon 100mm macro L or Zeiss 50mm makro?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2013, 11:47:25 PM »
The Canon 100 is great, sharp and useful. I've shot many a portrait, landscape, etc on it as well as macro work. The 1:1 vs 1:2 ratio for macro isn't as big a deal, as you can slip a cheap extension tube in your pocket and use it with the Zeiss 50 to get closer when necessary (Kenko air is just as good as Canon air, since there are no optics in the tube).

The Zeiss is a more "dimensional" lens - the microcontrast makes macro shot seem to have more depth (not that the Canon 100 is flat, it's pretty good). As a normal lens, the Zeiss is sharp and awesome.

The other advantage of the Zeiss is that you gain a stop in speed, which makes for abit of a brighter viewfinder. You loose IS, but at close distances, IS does absolutely nothing - it should be on a tripod in low light.

The loss of autofocus doesn't affect me either, I come from a Hasselblad background, so zone focusing for macro and moving the camera does just as good as autofocus if you know how to do it!

tiltshift

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Re: Canon 100mm macro L or Zeiss 50mm makro?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2013, 11:56:07 PM »
I have no experience with the zeiss 50mm macro but I have both the zeiss 50f1.4 and the canon 100L IS.

If I was getting a macro lens I personally would get the 100mm as I like that focal length for macro a bit more. But it really depends on what you want to do with macro.

the zeiss lenses are great. they are virtually indestructible (I have seriously tried to kill mine) the results are great, focusing with it is nice as the dampening is great. For me it is "exciting" to use, having not grown up with film cameras, the build quality and the feeling of using a zeiss lens is sometimes motivating.

If its your first macro and your just testing the waters then maybe the 50 is the way to go as it can then be used as a 50 walk around. something the 100 can do as well just if you don't use 100mm often...

bleephotography

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Re: Canon 100mm macro L or Zeiss 50mm makro?
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2013, 02:33:57 AM »
Hi all,

I wanted to hear if anyone has experience with both of these lenses. The Canon 100mm f2.8 L macro and the Zeiss 50mm f2 makro. I'm very interested in picking up a macro lens. And I have kind of narrowed it down to these 2. But I think they are pretty different lenses.

The macro is just something I want to try out really so I'm not 100% sure how I want to use it? I like the idea of the Zeiss being 50mm as I could also use it as my walkaround 50mm lens. I'm not sure if I can use the Canon macro for other than macro? And in any case I do have the 24-105 and I don't use it at the 105 end very often. So the Zeiss could be 2 lenses in one for me? I'm not afraid of the manual focus. But I don't want to go to the Zeiss route if the macro isn't that great. Maybe get the Canon and pick up a different 50mm(as I do want just a general purpose 50 too).

Any thoughts?

I've had the Canon and I can honestly say that it was the sharpest L lens I ever used. The IS comes in handy and personally, the 100mm focal length is perfect for portraits. I have never used the Zeiss 50 Makro, but I do have the 100 and it is ever so slightly sharper than the Canon. I think those two lenses would be far more suitable for comparison, considering they are the same focal length. However, what really sets them apart is the bokeh and micro contrast, and in that respect the Zeiss is better (as many of the reviews out there mention). In comparing the Zeiss 100 to the Canon, here are the following factors that shaped my decision:

Canon 100L IS f/2.8:
  • Image Stabilization
  • Auto Focus
  • 1:1 reproduction
  • Less expensive

Zeiss 100 Makro-Planar T f/2:
  • Faster aperture
  • Slightly sharper
  • Better bokeh

In the end, the speed of the Zeiss combined with the better bokeh won, and I have not regrets. Although I do miss AF, I find MF'ing can be fun and makes me appreciate the final image that much more.

Now if you're still dead set on the Zeiss 50 instead of the 100, then the focal length should be your deciding factor. If you prefer the 50mm focal length, can tolerate ALWAYS manually focusing, don't mind 1:2 maximum reproduction instead of 1:1 (without extension tubing), find IS isn't really necessary (considering you'll probably be using a tripod for macro anyways), and you can endure the extra cost: then the Zeiss is a very feasible option.

I hope that helps somewhat.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 04:12:12 AM by bleephotography »
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hendrik-sg

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Re: Canon 100mm macro L or Zeiss 50mm makro?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2013, 03:58:08 AM »
maybe you want the 24-70 4.0 is lens, it gives you 1:1.4 magnification and replaces the zoom. if you dont need 105mm often, maybe 70mm is enough.

a fast 50mm costs nearly nothing, and for a fast lens AF is really helpfull.

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Re: Canon 100mm macro L or Zeiss 50mm makro?
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2013, 03:58:08 AM »

koolman

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Re: Canon 100mm macro L or Zeiss 50mm makro?
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2013, 05:06:56 AM »
I happen to own the Canon 100L and I had a chance to use the Zeiss Macro planar 50mm f/2 for a few months on loan from a family member. I have a 550d crop body.

The canon is simply a joy to use, as it has the IS, AF, and is VERY sharp and contrasty. For me the longer FL is an advantage for macro as well allowing me to stand back.

The Zeiss is built like a tank - and for studio macro shots, mounted on a tripod, and MF carefully in LV for perfect focus. Personally I do not see any real overall advantage of the Zeiss to the Canon, unless you want 50mm.

Jerusalem Photographer (canon t2i, 50 1.4, Tamron 17-50 non VC, canon 60mm, canon 35mm L,Samyang 14mm MF,Voigtlander 20mm MF)

Vossie

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Re: Canon 100mm macro L or Zeiss 50mm makro?
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2013, 07:18:31 AM »
a fast 50mm costs nearly nothing, and for a fast lens AF is really helpfull.

I agree. May also depend what body you will be using it on. To my understanding the matt screen of the 5D3 is non-interchangeable

Quote
we observed that Canon's new 5D Mark III incorporates a fixed focusing screen that optimizes brightness with deep depth of field(DOF), roughly f/2.8, which means even your lens is faster than f/2.8, you won't see the shallower DOF from the viewfinder
source: http://www.zeissrumors.com/2012/03/canons-new-5d-mk3-disadvantages-manual.html

I have the same experience as described in the link. Besides the focus-confirm function it is virtually impossible to achieve accurate MF on fast lenses (I've tried with my 50 1.4 and 85 1.2) by just looking through the viewfinder.

Another big difference between 50 and 100 mm for macro will be the working distance (even with my 180 mm macro I only have ~10-20cm between the front element and the subject). Shorter workingstances are more difficult for living subjects that may be scared by you and run/fly away and (in general) make it a bit more difficult to direct light onto the subject (more risk of blocking natural light + less space for flashes other than dedicated macro lights).
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Rocguy

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Re: Canon 100mm macro L or Zeiss 50mm makro?
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2013, 09:29:49 AM »
I guess I forgot to mention I will be using these on my 6D. Thanks for all the info so far.

sdsr

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Re: Canon 100mm macro L or Zeiss 50mm makro?
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2013, 11:33:04 AM »
You can certainly used the 100L for non-macro photography.  I almost never use mine for true macro work.  I sometimes use it as a walk-around lens (I tend to prefer longer to shorter lenses outdoors) but mostly use it for tight portraits of smallish things - flowers, kitten faces, etc. - where its combination of magnification, focal length and fairly wide aperture etc. result in superb background blurring combined with lovely bokeh (take a look at the current thread here where members have posted photos taken with it).  I've never used the Zeiss lens you mention, but to get comparable results in such situations I would need to get closer, which is not always feasible/desirable.  (I use mine on a 5DII or 6D.)

RGF

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Re: Canon 100mm macro L or Zeiss 50mm makro?
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2013, 12:14:48 PM »
If you mean to compare the Canon 100L macro with the Zeiss 50 macro, consider working distance and field of view.  Canon wins. 

mwh1964

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Re: Canon 100mm macro L or Zeiss 50mm makro?
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2013, 01:01:56 PM »
Canon 100L no doubt.
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Re: Canon 100mm macro L or Zeiss 50mm makro?
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2013, 01:01:56 PM »

FlowerPhotog

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Re: Canon 100mm macro L or Zeiss 50mm makro?
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2013, 02:16:19 PM »
I own both of these lenses, and as has been commented on above, they are both outstanding - two of my most used lenses.    I find myself using the Zeiss lens more for landscapes than I had originally thought I would.  It is so much sharper than the 24-105 5DM3 kits lens.  I recently purchased a 24-70 2.8L II, and the Zeiss is even sharper than it on the edges and about the same in the center.   The lack of AF isn't a big deal, as the focus confirmation beep works pretty well.  When I do use it for flower macros it is usually on a tripod where I can use Live View and really nail the focus.  As others have noted, there is something wonderful that is hard to describe about the image quality of the Zeiss - I guess it's the superb micro-contrast.  It also has great bokeh when shot at 2.0 to 4.0 or so.   I've recently started doing some landscape panoramics and using the Zeiss 50 in portrait mode is just about ideal.  I've gotten some incredible results stitching together 4 to 8 portrait images into a super sharp high resolution wide aspect ratio panoramic.
 
The Canon 100 2.8L, with it's superb sharpness and great 4 stop hybrid IS tends to be my go-to lens for shooting flower pictures. You don't need to get as close to the flower as with the Zeiss, and I can usually manage to get good shots handheld if the light isn't too dim.    My wife has a 60D and the EF-S 60 macro, but often asks if she can borrow the 100 due to the good IS and ability to standback a bit further from the subject.

Bottomline is you can't go wrong with either - if your primary use will be macro I would lean toward the Canon, but if you want a superb general purpose lens it is hard to beat the Zeiss.


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Re: Canon 100mm macro L or Zeiss 50mm makro?
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2013, 03:13:17 PM »
I dont have the Zeiss 50/f2 macro, but have the 50/1.4. Also, the Zeiss 100mp.I am not sure why you mention the Zeiss 50mp instead of the Zeiss 100mp, since you are comparing them to the 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro.But anyway, the 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro is a fantastic lens. So are the Zeiss 50 & 100. Just remember that the Zeiss are manual focus only. I understand that the Zeiss 50mp is an excellent lens.  You might end up using manual focus on the 100L if used as macro anyhow. You might want to visit some sites such as flickr, 500px, some Zeiss sites to see examples of images taken with all these lenses. As far as all-round quality, including build, iq, etc they are all excellent. The main differences are manual focus vs auto, and the Canon rendition vs the Zeiss rendition, and cost. I lean more toward the Zeiss look, but they are more expensive, and if you want to use them for other than macro, MF can take some getting used to.

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Re: Canon 100mm macro L or Zeiss 50mm makro?
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2013, 03:13:17 PM »