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Author Topic: Worth upgrading from 100mm macro to version II?  (Read 1253 times)

ereka

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Worth upgrading from 100mm macro to version II?
« on: March 22, 2012, 03:48:33 PM »
[Edit: as has been kindly pointed out, there is no "version II" as such. What I'm referring to in the title is the 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro versus its non-L non-IS predecessor].

I already have the 100mm f/2.8 macro and have always found it difficult to obtain sharp hand held images. I'll be travelling soon and I'm wondering if it would be worth upgrading to the 100mm f/2.8L II IS, particularly as I probably won't be lugging a tripod everywhere with me and in any event as I'll be with my family I probably won't have the time to think too much when macro photo opportunities arise, least of all set up a tripod.

Does anyone have direct hands on experience with both lenses and if so, I'll be grateful for some feedback on how they both perform in the field and whether the upgrade is worth the additional cost.

Also, I'm wondering if 100mm is sufficient for 1:1 images of nervous flighty things e.g. flies, dragonflies etc or whether a longer focal length lens would be better. Having said that though, the 180mm macro costs twice as much and also doesn't have image stabilisation - coupled with the longer focal length, I should think that would make it even more difficult to hand hold?

I'm erring towards investing in the 100mm f/2.8L II IS, but what do you think?
« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 04:35:09 PM by ereka »

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Worth upgrading from 100mm macro to version II?
« on: March 22, 2012, 03:48:33 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Worth upgrading from 100mm macro to version II?
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2012, 04:23:48 PM »
I've never heard of a version II of the L lens, only the original.
 
There are three Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 lenses produced over the years.  All were sharp and excellent lenses. The first is non USM, the second adds USM, and the third and latest adds the "L" badge and IS.
 
What you gain with the "L" version is better build, faster autofocus, and very good IS that works handheld for close focusing. 
 
I'd only consider upgrading to it if you use your macro handheld.  On a tripod, there is no advantage, the lens might even be a tad worse IQ than the 100mm f/2.8 USM.
 
Good Luck, I hope you get the one that works best for the way you will use it.

unfocused

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Re: Worth upgrading from 100mm macro to version II?
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2012, 04:26:18 PM »
No experience with the non "L" version. I own the "L."

Here is my opinion: Image stabilization is good for hand-held shots at close up (non-macro) range but not so much for true macro. For 1:1 or similar magnification, it's almost impossible (for me at least) to keep the critter in focus handheld at high magnification.

I love the 100 "L" and I love the IS, but I love it as much for its versatility as an all-around short telephoto as I do for its macro abilities. I've shot dragonflies, spiders and other smallish critters handheld, but not at true macro. If you really need or want 1:1, I'm guessing you'll usually want a tripod and will need to turn off IS.
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ereka

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Re: Worth upgrading from 100mm macro to version II?
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2012, 04:28:29 PM »
I've never heard of a version II of the L lens, only the original.

Sorry, I meant the 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro (I mistakenly referred to it as version II).

ereka

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Re: Worth upgrading from 100mm macro to version II?
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2012, 04:33:05 PM »
Here is my opinion: Image stabilization is good for hand-held shots at close up (non-macro) range but not so much for true macro. For 1:1 or similar magnification, it's almost impossible (for me at least) to keep the critter in focus handheld at high magnification. I love the 100 "L" and I love the IS, but I love it as much for its versatility as an all-around short telephoto as I do for its macro abilities. I've shot dragonflies, spiders and other smallish critters handheld, but not at true macro. If you really need or want 1:1, I'm guessing you'll usually want a tripod and will need to turn off IS.

Showing my ignorance here, but will the critters stay in one place long enough for a tripod to be set up? Seems I have a bit of a learning curve to negotiate insofar as macro photography is concerned! I admit I don't have much experience in that field. Does anyone know of any good learning resources e.g. books, tutorials etc?  :-[
« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 04:35:47 PM by ereka »

rj79in

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Re: Worth upgrading from 100mm macro to version II?
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2012, 12:30:21 AM »
Here is my opinion: Image stabilization is good for hand-held shots at close up (non-macro) range but not so much for true macro. For 1:1 or similar magnification, it's almost impossible (for me at least) to keep the critter in focus handheld at high magnification. I love the 100 "L" and I love the IS, but I love it as much for its versatility as an all-around short telephoto as I do for its macro abilities. I've shot dragonflies, spiders and other smallish critters handheld, but not at true macro. If you really need or want 1:1, I'm guessing you'll usually want a tripod and will need to turn off IS.

Showing my ignorance here, but will the critters stay in one place long enough for a tripod to be set up? Seems I have a bit of a learning curve to negotiate insofar as macro photography is concerned! I admit I don't have much experience in that field. Does anyone know of any good learning resources e.g. books, tutorials etc?  :-[

1:1 macro is near impossible without a Tripod. I prefer to manual focus and move the tripod looking at the live-view screen to ensure the subject is in focus ... still learning BTW ;)

As a resource, I've found "Close Up and Macro Photography" by Adrian Davies to be an interesting read.

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Re: Worth upgrading from 100mm macro to version II?
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2012, 12:30:21 AM »