Gear Talk > Lenses

Macro Recommendation

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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.

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)

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"

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

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.


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