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Author Topic: EF 100mm Macro 2.8/L IS, or 100mm macro non-L + EF 85mm 1.8  (Read 2968 times)

Scarpz13

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Hello All

Frequent visitor of this forum, first time posting... sorry if this has been beaten to death but I was hoping to gather the opinion of those more familiar with the above lenses.

I am just a hobbyist- mostly taking pics on my daughter, family vacations, the odd landscape. Getting into photography more & more and just wondering how to next add to my lens kit before the rebates end.

I currently have had the 60D for about a year; 18-200 kit lens that came with it. While I know it's not great, the real estate it covers for family outings is great. I also have the tamron 17-50 2.8 non VC, and the Canon EF 50mm 1.4 so far.

Quit smoking when my daughter was born, been putting that money aside, so ever 7 or 8 months or so I have about $1000 to blow on my new hobby. I was thinking about a macro lens, but I also want to do some more potraits as my daughter gets older.

Long story short- for my $1000 I am not sure if I should spring for the one EF 100 Macro "L" with IS, or the other two lenses. I think I'd want to get the 85mm 1.8 eventually too... but for now, is the L Macro worth the 400 dollar premium over the non L? How useful is IS on this lens? I manage without it on the Tamron but again that is a much shorter focal length.

Or am I barking up the wrong tree completely and should I be looking at upgrading my zooms? I was thinking of selling the Tamron down the road for the canon 17-40L so if I go full frame down the road I have a wide angle lens... but I don't really have to do that now...

anyway, any help/advice is much appreciated!

-S
5D MkIII  |  60D  |  EF 17-40 F4L |  EF 24-105 F4L IS  | EF 70-200 F4L IS  | EF 40 f/2.8  |  EF 50 f/1.4 |  EF 85 f/1.8  | 580EX II

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squarebox

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Re: EF 100mm Macro 2.8/L IS, or 100mm macro non-L + EF 85mm 1.8
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2012, 12:07:50 PM »
I just picked up the non-usm 100mm  macro lens from camera for $300.  It works great.  However, if you do not plan on shooting on a tripod, I would highly recommend getting the L with the IS.  Because of the shallow depth of field, you are most likely going to be punching the f-stop up into the F12-16 which can result in some long shutter speeds that will need IS if you are hand-holding.  If you are just going to be using a tripod all the time, I would opt for the non-is one.

Don't forget there is also the EF-S 60mm macro which would also be the perfect focal length for a portrait lens.
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danski0224

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Re: EF 100mm Macro 2.8/L IS, or 100mm macro non-L + EF 85mm 1.8
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2012, 12:12:49 PM »
Well, the 60D is a 1.6x crop camera.

I suspect that you will find 100mm a bit on the long side (160mm FF equivalent).

The 60mm EF-S macro will give you a 96mm equivalent, which may prove to be more useful for portraits than the 160mm equivalent from the 100mm macro.

The 60mm EF-S is also optimized for the EF-S format: it is quite sharp.

I guess you could try setting your zoom at 100mm and see how that fits for portraits and then compare that with an indicated 60mm.

This is one of those times where renting the lens choices may be helpful.
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RichATL

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Re: EF 100mm Macro 2.8/L IS, or 100mm macro non-L + EF 85mm 1.8
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2012, 12:21:17 PM »
I've had the 100mm non L 2.8 for years (on Rebels), and love it...
but used it for beauty headshots, and not so much for portraits.
I got a great copy that is super duper sharp.

On the FF 5d3, it's still just as amazing, but better for portraits.

I'd recommend getting the non-L, and maybe another lens...
the 85 1.8 is great for the price, but I imagine you'll use one (either the 85 or 100) more than the other, and one will just sit with no use.
But with that logic you'd think I'd say go with the L version... but I think you'd be happy with the NON and saving the money for something else like a sweet tripod or something


neuroanatomist

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Re: EF 100mm Macro 2.8/L IS, or 100mm macro non-L + EF 85mm 1.8
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2012, 12:22:52 PM »
For portraits on APS-C like the 60D, I'd recommend faster than f/2.8.  The 85mm f/1.8 is a great lens on APS-C for tight portraits. 

For example:


Rebel T1i, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, 1/2000 s, f/1.8, ISO 100

You could do the 85/1.8 and the EF-S 60mm f/2.8 lens for under $1K.
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gary

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Re: EF 100mm Macro 2.8/L IS, or 100mm macro non-L + EF 85mm 1.8
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2012, 12:31:03 PM »
If you are even thinking of going full frame then keep to EF rather than the EF-S format otherwise you will be left trying to sell later. I have had all three and can say that the 85mm 1.8 is a really nice portrait lens and you won't be disappointed. I gave one to my daughter who shoots professionally some years ago and she still uses it. I used mine on a 50d and did not find the 1.6 crop a big problem. I think this is the best value for money lens in the Canon line up. I now have a 100mm L IS macro having traded the non L. The massive difference is the walk around ability with the L + IS. Its a great lens with exceptional IQ for the price, helpfully the value as a portrait lens is really really good. The only thing that lets it down is the plastic feel, I would have liked it a bit more sturdy. So my advice for what its worth is take the 85mm save for a 100L and enjoy 
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Re: EF 100mm Macro 2.8/L IS, or 100mm macro non-L + EF 85mm 1.8
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2012, 01:06:25 PM »
If you're not planning on moving to FF any time soon, I would not recommend getting FF lenses just for compatibility down the road.  The 17-40L is used for FF landscapes, but your 17-50 is more versatile (faster, sharper, cheaper) than the 17-40L.

I would also suggest getting a 70-200L first before getting the macro/mid-focal length prime.  A 70-200L works well for outdoor situations once your daughter gets a little older, and it will allow you to replace the 18-200.  That will leave you with 3 very good lenses, 17-50, 50 f/1.4 and 70-200 (the gap between 50 and 70mm is not worth covering) that will cover almost all of your shooting needs.  There are many 70-200L variants, and it really depends on your style.  If money and weight are not big concerns, then the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II is a great lens.  The f/4 versions are lighter and cheaper but also delivery excellent results.  If you get the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II, then the 100L becomes less appealing because you already have a great option at the focal length and you can save money by opting for the 100mm macro (non-L).  If you choose the f/4, then primes and the 100L make more sense because there is a larger separation between your primes and zooms.

Each person has their favorite portrait focal length.  I find I like 50-85mm on a full frame (35-50 on a crop), but you might like something longer.  If you like the 50 f/1.4 on the crop, I'd skip the 85 f/1.8 because that would be another lens to carry and you wouldn't use it much.  If you find the 50 f/1.4 too short, then by all means look at the 85 f/1.8. 

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Re: EF 100mm Macro 2.8/L IS, or 100mm macro non-L + EF 85mm 1.8
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2012, 01:06:25 PM »

Scarpz13

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Re: EF 100mm Macro 2.8/L IS, or 100mm macro non-L + EF 85mm 1.8
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2012, 09:49:12 AM »
Wow- thank you all for your advice!
I may re-think the whole process now, and maybe use my 1k to get either the 85mm or 100m Macro, PLUS the basic 70-200 F4 lens. Hopefully that will round out my kit nicely until my next purchase.

thanks again for the input!  :)
5D MkIII  |  60D  |  EF 17-40 F4L |  EF 24-105 F4L IS  | EF 70-200 F4L IS  | EF 40 f/2.8  |  EF 50 f/1.4 |  EF 85 f/1.8  | 580EX II

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Re: EF 100mm Macro 2.8/L IS, or 100mm macro non-L + EF 85mm 1.8
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2012, 09:49:12 AM »