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Author Topic: 100mm f/2.8L IS vs 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II for Macro  (Read 16214 times)

AudioGlenn

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100mm f/2.8L IS vs 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II for Macro
« on: August 18, 2012, 06:10:29 PM »
I am trying to decide on which lens to get next.  I want to play with Macro but I like the versatility of the 70-200.

My question is: wouldn't a 70-200mm at 200mm, even with a minimum focus distance of 4 ft., get me a closer look than a 100mm at a min. focus distance of 1 ft.?  Will the picture be sharper with the 100mm Macro? I don't know the math to calculate and I don't have the lenses on hand to test it out.

I'm leaning towards the 70-200 f/2.8L IS II.  From what I've read, images are very sharp through this lens.  They both have IS, they are both f/2.8 apertures.  I can use the 70-200 for portraits...i guess I can use the 100mm for portrait work as well.  But it seems the macro lens is a specialty lens.  Eventually, I'd like to own both but would the 70-200mm get me by on macro work at all?  (I hope this is not a stupid question!)

Yes, I've heard about the 180mm f/3.5L and I would be open to considering this lens.  I have a 24-105 so I'm also concerned about adding some variety to the focal lengths I already own.  I've got the wide end covered but am seriously lacking on the telephoto side.  It seems the 100mm macro would only be used for macro.

Any insight from experienced users would be great.  BTW, I'm shooting on a 60D.  I will eventually purchase a 5D mkiii and keep the 60D as a 2nd body.

Happy shooting to you all =).  I look forward to reading your replies.

5D mkIII  |  40 f/2.8 | 8-15 f/4L | 24-70 f/2.8L II | 70-200 f/2.8L IS II | 1.4x III TC | 600ex-rt | 430 ex ii | EOS M+22mm f/2 | EF to EF-M adapter

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100mm f/2.8L IS vs 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II for Macro
« on: August 18, 2012, 06:10:29 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: 100mm f/2.8L IS vs 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II for Macro
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2012, 06:30:36 PM »
My question is: wouldn't a 70-200mm at 200mm, even with a minimum focus distance of 4 ft., get me a closer look than a 100mm at a min. focus distance of 1 ft.?  Will the picture be sharper with the 100mm Macro? I don't know the math to calculate and I don't have the lenses on hand to test it out..

No, the 70-200 II delivers a max magnification of 0.21x, while the 100mm macro delivers 1.0x.  In fact, your 24-105 delivers a higher native max mag (0.23x) than the 70-200 II. Note that 0.2x - 0.25x is decent for flowers, etc., but often not enough for insects.

Natively, the 100L is very slightly sharper in the center but definitely softer away from the center, compared to the 70-200 II at 200mm. 

I've compared the 100L with the 70-200 II plus the 500D close-up lens, which delivers a 0.6x mag.  The IQ overall was very similar in real-world shots.  But, with the 500D you're limited to a specific 50cm (20") working distance, no more, no less - rather inconvenient. Without the 500D, your 24-105 is a better close up lens than the 70-200 II. 

Basically, if you want a versatile telezoom with top IQ, the 70-200 II is a great lens.  If you need true 1:1 macro or close to it, get a macro lens.  Regarding the 100mm vs. the 180mm L lenses, the latter gives you an extra 4.5" of working distance, useful for shy critters.
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jrh

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Re: 100mm f/2.8L IS vs 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II for Macro
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2012, 07:16:55 PM »
Good question AudioGlenn, I am in a smilar situation.  Have you looked at extension tubes with the 24-105 & 70-200?  Can any please advise?

neuroanatomist

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Re: 100mm f/2.8L IS vs 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II for Macro
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2012, 07:33:26 PM »
Good question AudioGlenn, I am in a smilar situation.  Have you looked at extension tubes with the 24-105 & 70-200?  Can any please advise?

Extension tube with the 24-105, close-up lens with the 70-200.  Tubes add mag as a ratio of the focal length, so they work best with wide lenses (but the wider, the shorter the working distance - sometimes almost touching the front element.

Both tubes and close-up lenses are budget options, with drawbacks. For occasional macro, that's fine if you can work around the limitations. On trips where space is limited, a 500D filter is easier to pack than another lens. But for frequent macro use, get a true macro lens.

If you're only shooting APS-C, the EF-S 60mm macro is a great option. Else, the 100L is wonderful (but the non-L isn't bad, either - similar IQ to the L, but no IS, or weather sealing).
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AudioGlenn

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Re: 100mm f/2.8L IS vs 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II for Macro
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2012, 10:25:01 PM »
My question is: wouldn't a 70-200mm at 200mm, even with a minimum focus distance of 4 ft., get me a closer look than a 100mm at a min. focus distance of 1 ft.?  Will the picture be sharper with the 100mm Macro? I don't know the math to calculate and I don't have the lenses on hand to test it out..

No, the 70-200 II delivers a max magnification of 0.21x, while the 100mm macro delivers 1.0x.  In fact, your 24-105 delivers a higher native max mag (0.23x) than the 70-200 II. Note that 0.2x - 0.25x is decent for flowers, etc., but often not enough for insects.

Natively, the 100L is very slightly sharper in the center but definitely softer away from the center, compared to the 70-200 II at 200mm. 

I've compared the 100L with the 70-200 II plus the 500D close-up lens, which delivers a 0.6x mag.  The IQ overall was very similar in real-world shots.  But, with the 500D you're limited to a specific 50cm (20") working distance, no more, no less - rather inconvenient. Without the 500D, your 24-105 is a better close up lens than the 70-200 II. 

Basically, if you want a versatile telezoom with top IQ, the 70-200 II is a great lens.  If you need true 1:1 macro or close to it, get a macro lens.  Regarding the 100mm vs. the 180mm L lenses, the latter gives you an extra 4.5" of working distance, useful for shy critters.

Thank you so much for your reply.  I got exactly the answer I needed.  I have to look at "magnification factors".  1.0x is what makes the 100mm Macro L a macro lens, NOT necessarily the focal length. 

As far as extension tubes, I haven't looked at those as an option.  from my understanding, they stop down the lens just by having them on and I would rather just get the right lens for the job first.  I understand these might be helpful with the long telephoto lenses but for my uses, a $300-500 adapter wouldn't be as efficient as just spending on the lens I need.  Now, if I had an $6000+ lens that I wanted to use at slightly longer focal length...maybe.  Can anyone chime in on this one?  I am most definitely a noob at all of this.
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neuroanatomist

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Re: 100mm f/2.8L IS vs 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II for Macro
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2012, 11:19:03 PM »
Sounds like you're confusing extenders (aka teleconverters) with extension tubes. 

Extenders multiply focal length, and contain lens elements (meaning you lose some IQ).  Canon makes 1.4x and 2x, and they cost you 1 or 2 stops of light, respectively.  Those do multiply the max mag as well, so for example, the 70-200/2.8 with a 2x becomes a 140-400mm f/5.6 with a max mag of 0.42x. 

Extension tubes contain no optics, just air. They move the lens further from the sensor, which 1) shortens the MFD, 2) shortens the max FD, i.e. you can't focus to infinity, and 3) costs you a bit of light (but not much).  Extension tubes are used with wide and normal lenses, and by shortening the MFD they allow closer focus and higher mag.  They're a lot cheaper than an extender, and unlike extenders where 3rd party brands are optically inferior to the Canon, 3rd party extenders are no different (to paraphrase Bryan at TDP, Canon air is no better than Kenko air...but you pay more for the Canon air!).
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Re: 100mm f/2.8L IS vs 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II for Macro
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2012, 11:34:46 PM »
There are at least 6 ways to go.
1.  Macro lens, all of them are excellent, you do not have to buy Canon.
2.  Teleconverter (Kenko).  The Canon TC only works with specific lenses, and not the 24-105mm , but the Kenko will fit almost all lenses.  Its less expensive, and excellent.  Use one with the 70-200mm II.
3.  Extension tubes - There are some very cheap ones (Its only air), get a reporting one with electrical contacts that pass thru..
4. Canon 500D or similar close up adapter.  You should get a good one, not a $15 special.
5.  Reverse Lens ring.  Great for a old 50mm Canon FL or FD Manual focus lens, same for older Nikon, Olympus, Minolta, and other fully manual lenses.  You buy a low cost adapter (~$10) to fit the filter threads on the front of the lens so it is mounted backwards on the camera.  You have to be pretty close, and focus by moving the camera forward or away from the subject.
6.  Bellows, essentially a extension tube, but easy to adjust magnification.  Cheap ones are found on ebay.
 

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Re: 100mm f/2.8L IS vs 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II for Macro
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2012, 11:34:46 PM »

Zusje

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Re: 100mm f/2.8L IS vs 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II for Macro
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2012, 01:21:51 AM »
I'm not as experienced or knowledgable about photography as the previous posters, however I own both these lenses. I'd only consider using the 70-200 f2.8Lis ii for macro if I didn't happen to have my 100 f2.8L is with me and just had to photograph that bug/butterfly/flower for example. However the 100 f2.8L is is surprisingly versatile, especially good for portraits, it certainly isn't restricted to macro use only, in fact I'd say I use mine for macro only 50% of the time.

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Re: 100mm f/2.8L IS vs 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II for Macro
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2012, 01:45:12 AM »
Thanx Neuro, I have mulling over Extension tubes, Teleconverters and the 500D filter lately.  You summed up the options pretty well.

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Re: 100mm f/2.8L IS vs 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II for Macro
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2012, 01:52:50 AM »
I didn't read all the responses, but from the title I will say this:  a non-macro lens will not come close to a true macro lens in terms of macro photography.

Also, the 100mm non L gives about as sharp of an image as you are going to get.  The L might be sharper, but you're really paying the extra $ for the IS and weather sealing (but mostly that red ring). 

If you want a versatile lens and money isn't an issue go for the 70-200.  If you want a macro lens get the 100mm non-L.  It is one of the sharpest lenses I have seen.  Also, IS for macros isn't that useful, especially if you have a nice camera.  The problem with macros is that the wind is blowing things or the damn things (bugs) are moving.  If money isn't an issue and you really want a macro then by all means get the L.  However, for the same price you can get a sweet flash and the non-L, and that will be a much better value.
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keithfullermusic

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Re: 100mm f/2.8L IS vs 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II for Macro
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2012, 01:54:05 AM »
I'm not as experienced or knowledgable about photography as the previous posters, however I own both these lenses. I'd only consider using the 70-200 f2.8Lis ii for macro if I didn't happen to have my 100 f2.8L is with me and just had to photograph that bug/butterfly/flower for example. However the 100 f2.8L is is surprisingly versatile, especially good for portraits, it certainly isn't restricted to macro use only, in fact I'd say I use mine for macro only 50% of the time.

+1

I try and use my 100 (non-L) any time I can because it is so sharp and clean.
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Marsu42

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Re: 100mm f/2.8L IS vs 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II for Macro
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2012, 02:47:13 AM »
I am trying to decide on which lens to get next.  I want to play with Macro but I like the versatility of the 70-200.

+1 for getting *two* lenses - the 70-200L and the inexpensive (used?) *non-L* macro with is practically identical to the L at sane apertures like f5.6-f11 except for a little less nice bokeh. The IS of the 100L doesn't help you at very close distances, it only gives you a soothing IS sound a adds a component that could break. Another difference is that the L is sharper wide open and thus works better with the Kenko 1.4x tc.

I've got the 70-300L and thus upgraded to the L macro, but if you really want a 70-200L despite the weight (and price) the non-L macro is a great budget addition.

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Re: 100mm f/2.8L IS vs 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II for Macro
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2012, 04:54:07 AM »
I'd say get the 70-200 now and consider a used 100 2.8 non L Macro in the near future unless you need the built quality and IS on the L lens. In that case, still get the the 70-200 now and save a bit longer and get the L.

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Re: 100mm f/2.8L IS vs 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II for Macro
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2012, 04:54:07 AM »

Marsu42

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Re: 100mm f/2.8L IS vs 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II for Macro
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2012, 05:25:31 AM »
unless you need the built quality and IS on the L lens

... concerning the build quality: the 100L is just a plastic lens, too - which is good because otherwise Canon would take $1000 more for it. But it won't take impacts well, and the hybrid IS is more delicate which maybe is the reason Canon uses it in few lenses. The main physical advantage of the L is dust and moisture sealing, which is important when you shoot outdoors and near the ground a lot.

neuroanatomist

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Re: 100mm f/2.8L IS vs 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II for Macro
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2012, 06:57:02 AM »
... the hybrid IS is more delicate which maybe is the reason Canon uses it in few lenses

What evidence is there that Hybrid IS is 'more delicate'?  Care to share some data (maybe something from lensrentals.com, etc.)?

The reason Hybrid IS is used in few lenses is that the 'hybrid' part refers to compensating for translational movement, in addition to angular movement for which normal IS compensates.  Translational movement is significant only with very close subjects, so the benefit is minimal-to-none on lenses with typical MFDs.  As for not using it in many lenses, in terms of units produced, I'd bet Canon uses Hybrid IS in more units than the total number of L lenses made - several of the PowerShot cameras feature Hybrid IS, because of the short MFDs on those lenses for 'macro' capability (and incidentally, use in a tiny camera intended for purse/pocket seems to contradict the 'delicate' idea).
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Re: 100mm f/2.8L IS vs 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II for Macro
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2012, 06:57:02 AM »