Canon EOS macro lens choice

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by user@domain.invalid, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. Guest

    I've decided I need a real macro lens for my Canon 30D.

    No more blue halos, an need relatively big mangification.
    (i.e. a 2 inch field of view will do, more or less.)

    So the choice is the EF f/2.8 100mm macro (to half life size) ... OR

    EF-S f/2.8 60 mm macro OR (possibly)

    EF f/2.5 50 mm macro

    The Canon web site seems to indicate from the MTF curves that the
    EF-S 60 mm is the best lens, and it goes to life size.

    The 100mm seems good too, and is life size, while the 50 mm
    isn't life size and seems to be of lesser quality. The 100mm costs
    more than the EF-S and the 50mm costs less.

    **IF** I were not drooling for the 5D Mk II I'd buy, no quibble, the
    60 mm EF-S. But I AM so drooling. I'm in no terrible hurry for it to appear.
    The EF-S won;t work on a full frame camera, so I'm still considering forking
    over for the 100mm. But 100mm is really too long for use as a "standard"
    lens on the 30D. The 60 mm is not, though it really is a tele on that camera.

    Decisions, decisions!

    Advice sought, though it looks like it won't help me, as this is
    a rather personal "feely" thing.

    How good, really, is the cheapie 50mm?

    Doug McDonald
     
    , Mar 14, 2008
    #1
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  2. Eatmorepies Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:fre2ms$hsg$...
    > I've decided I need a real macro lens for my Canon 30D.
    >
    > No more blue halos, an need relatively big mangification.
    > (i.e. a 2 inch field of view will do, more or less.)
    >
    > So the choice is the EF f/2.8 100mm macro (to half life size) ... OR
    >
    > EF-S f/2.8 60 mm macro OR (possibly)
    >
    > EF f/2.5 50 mm macro
    >
    > The Canon web site seems to indicate from the MTF curves that the
    > EF-S 60 mm is the best lens, and it goes to life size.
    >
    > The 100mm seems good too, and is life size, while the 50 mm
    > isn't life size and seems to be of lesser quality. The 100mm costs
    > more than the EF-S and the 50mm costs less.


    I have the 100mm f2.8 - an excellent lens.

    John
     
    Eatmorepies, Mar 14, 2008
    #2
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  3. Mardon Guest

    lid wrote in news:fre2ms$hsg$:

    > But 100mm is really too long for use as a "standard"
    > lens on the 30D.


    Your choice of lens depends a lot on what you want to photograph and you
    didn't mention anything about that. The longer focal lengths are often
    better for live subjects. In these situations, their longer working
    distances often provide a distinct advantage over shorter macro lenses.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "'standard' lens" but I've used a Canon 180mm
    macro on my 20D for a couple of years and I love the lens.

    Although it's probably not on your shopping list, the Canon MP-65mm 1x-5x
    macro is my favorite lens. I just love the close-ups of insects that it
    can produce. It's a specialty lens though and certainly not for everyone.
    It also demands a proper macro flash to go with it,
     
    Mardon, Mar 14, 2008
    #3
  4. Guest

    Mardon wrote:
    > lid wrote in news:fre2ms$hsg$:
    >
    >> But 100mm is really too long for use as a "standard"
    >> lens on the 30D.

    >
    > Your choice of lens depends a lot on what you want to photograph and you
    > didn't mention anything about that. The longer focal lengths are often
    > better for live subjects. In these situations, their longer working
    > distances often provide a distinct advantage over shorter macro lenses.


    For long distances, with a tripod, I find my 300 mm zoom works fine.

    >
    > I'm not sure what you mean by "'standard' lens" but I've used a Canon 180mm
    > macro on my 20D for a couple of years and I love the lens.


    By "standard" I mean just that, a lens that I can use for random subjects.
    180 mm is clearly a long tele, a special purpose lens. Any of the three
    macros I mention (less so the 100 mm on a 1.6 crop campera) CAN be used
    that way.

    >
    > Although it's probably not on your shopping list, the Canon MP-65mm 1x-5x
    > macro is my favorite lens.


    That's a super specialty, the usual realm of the bellows. That I have,
    with specialist Olympus (non-auto) lenses that do from 1/4 lifesize to
    20 times lifesize, diffraction limited sharp. What I need is
    a non-specialty lens that makes good picture of flowers and other small things.
    I'm not worried about even a 50 mm focal length.

    Doug McDonald
     
    , Mar 14, 2008
    #4
  5. Harry Poster Guest

    On Fri, 14 Mar 2008 13:50:22 -0500, lid wrote:

    >Mardon wrote:
    >> lid wrote in news:fre2ms$hsg$:
    >>
    >>> But 100mm is really too long for use as a "standard"
    >>> lens on the 30D.

    >>
    >> Your choice of lens depends a lot on what you want to photograph and you
    >> didn't mention anything about that. The longer focal lengths are often
    >> better for live subjects. In these situations, their longer working
    >> distances often provide a distinct advantage over shorter macro lenses.

    >
    >For long distances, with a tripod, I find my 300 mm zoom works fine.


    Maybe you mean 300 mm with a close-up lens or with extension tubes,
    because a 300 mm by itself isn't going to do much macro.
    >
    >> I'm not sure what you mean by "'standard' lens" but I've used a Canon 180mm
    >> macro on my 20D for a couple of years and I love the lens.

    >
    >By "standard" I mean just that, a lens that I can use for random subjects.
    >180 mm is clearly a long tele, a special purpose lens. Any of the three
    >macros I mention (less so the 100 mm on a 1.6 crop campera) CAN be used
    >that way.


    When somebody asks you what you meant by something, to reply "just
    that" usually means you don't know the meaning either. (Look the word
    up.) You probably mean "walkaround" or "generally useful".

    The 180mm is one of the most useful macro lenses for shooting live
    creatures because it provides for a lot of working distance. It is
    certainly a special purpose lens, as all macro lenses are.

    Generally speaking, go with the shortest macro that works with your
    photography, because short macros are cheaper. But short macros create
    problems because the working distance is short. It is hard to arrange
    lighting and you will scare away bugs. For greater versatility, choose
    a longer lens.

    For butterflies, dragonflies, and other bugs I use the 70-300mm IS
    with the 500D closeup lens and get great results.

    >> Although it's probably not on your shopping list, the Canon MP-65mm 1x-5x
    >> macro is my favorite lens.

    >
    >That's a super specialty, the usual realm of the bellows. That I have,
    >with specialist Olympus (non-auto) lenses that do from 1/4 lifesize to
    >20 times lifesize, diffraction limited sharp. What I need is
    >a non-specialty lens that makes good picture of flowers and other small things.
    >I'm not worried about even a 50 mm focal length.
    >
    >Doug McDonald
     
    Harry Poster, Mar 14, 2008
    #5
  6. dwight Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:fre2ms$hsg$...
    > I've decided I need a real macro lens for my Canon 30D.
    >
    > No more blue halos, an need relatively big mangification.
    > (i.e. a 2 inch field of view will do, more or less.)
    >
    > So the choice is the EF f/2.8 100mm macro (to half life size) ... OR
    >
    > EF-S f/2.8 60 mm macro OR (possibly)
    >
    > EF f/2.5 50 mm macro
    >
    > The Canon web site seems to indicate from the MTF curves that the
    > EF-S 60 mm is the best lens, and it goes to life size.
    >
    > The 100mm seems good too, and is life size, while the 50 mm
    > isn't life size and seems to be of lesser quality. The 100mm costs
    > more than the EF-S and the 50mm costs less.
    >
    > **IF** I were not drooling for the 5D Mk II I'd buy, no quibble, the
    > 60 mm EF-S. But I AM so drooling. I'm in no terrible hurry for it to
    > appear.
    > The EF-S won;t work on a full frame camera, so I'm still considering
    > forking
    > over for the 100mm. But 100mm is really too long for use as a "standard"
    > lens on the 30D. The 60 mm is not, though it really is a tele on that
    > camera.
    >
    > Decisions, decisions!
    >
    > Advice sought, though it looks like it won't help me, as this is
    > a rather personal "feely" thing.
    >
    > How good, really, is the cheapie 50mm?
    >
    > Doug McDonald


    I have the 50mm f/1.8, which was a no-brainer. Not a macro version, but damn
    good for the money. For macro, I made the mistake of actually renting the
    100mm f/2.8, and then I had to have one. No regrets.

    The 100mm was never intended to be my walk-about lens, and I consider it a
    specialty lens for special purposes. Still, it does well for portraits or
    scenes, in addition to macro.
    http://www.tfrog93.com/digitals/lenses/100mm/100mm.htm

    I've also just picked up the 17-40mm f/4L, which HAS become my walk-about.
    In the short (relatively) time that I've owned the Rebel XT, I now have five
    lenses, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.

    But Spring is coming, and there will be times when I definitely have to go
    macro. And the 100mm is wonderful.

    dwight
    www.tfrog.com
     
    dwight, Mar 15, 2008
    #6
  7. Robert Coe Guest

    On Fri, 14 Mar 2008 09:36:38 -0500, lid wrote:
    : I've decided I need a real macro lens for my Canon 30D.
    :
    : No more blue halos, an need relatively big mangification.
    : (i.e. a 2 inch field of view will do, more or less.)
    :
    : So the choice is the EF f/2.8 100mm macro (to half life size) ... OR
    :
    : EF-S f/2.8 60 mm macro ...

    I got my wife the 60mm for her XTi, and she has gotten some very nice pictures
    therewithal. It's a good lens and not overpriced. I recommend it.

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Mar 15, 2008
    #7
  8. Robert Coe Guest

    On Fri, 14 Mar 2008 21:48:57 GMT, Harry Poster <> wrote:
    : On Fri, 14 Mar 2008 13:50:22 -0500, lid wrote:
    :
    : >Mardon wrote:
    : >> lid wrote in news:fre2ms$hsg$:
    : >>
    : >>> But 100mm is really too long for use as a "standard"
    : >>> lens on the 30D.
    : >>
    : >> Your choice of lens depends a lot on what you want to photograph and you
    : >> didn't mention anything about that. The longer focal lengths are often
    : >> better for live subjects. In these situations, their longer working
    : >> distances often provide a distinct advantage over shorter macro lenses.
    : >
    : >For long distances, with a tripod, I find my 300 mm zoom works fine.
    :
    : Maybe you mean 300 mm with a close-up lens or with extension tubes,
    : because a 300 mm by itself isn't going to do much macro.
    : >
    : >> I'm not sure what you mean by "'standard' lens" but I've used a Canon 180mm
    : >> macro on my 20D for a couple of years and I love the lens.
    : >
    : >By "standard" I mean just that, a lens that I can use for random subjects.
    : >180 mm is clearly a long tele, a special purpose lens. Any of the three
    : >macros I mention (less so the 100 mm on a 1.6 crop campera) CAN be used
    : >that way.
    :
    : When somebody asks you what you meant by something, to reply "just
    : that" usually means you don't know the meaning either. (Look the word
    : up.) You probably mean "walkaround" or "generally useful".

    That's a bit pompous, isn't it? Where would you suggest looking up the word
    "walkaround"?

    : The 180mm is one of the most useful macro lenses for shooting live
    : creatures because it provides for a lot of working distance. It is
    : certainly a special purpose lens, as all macro lenses are.
    :
    : Generally speaking, go with the shortest macro that works with your
    : photography, because short macros are cheaper. But short macros create
    : problems because the working distance is short. It is hard to arrange
    : lighting and you will scare away bugs. For greater versatility, choose
    : a longer lens.

    Believe it or not, some pretty good photographers never photograph bugs. (That
    said, my wife's Canon 60mm f/2.8 has captured a grasshopper or two very nicely
    on flowers that she's photographed.)

    Bob
     
    Robert Coe, Mar 15, 2008
    #8
  9. jean Guest

    <> a écrit dans le message de news:
    fre2ms$hsg$...
    > I've decided I need a real macro lens for my Canon 30D.
    >
    > No more blue halos, an need relatively big mangification.
    > (i.e. a 2 inch field of view will do, more or less.)
    >
    > So the choice is the EF f/2.8 100mm macro (to half life size) ... OR
    >
    > EF-S f/2.8 60 mm macro OR (possibly)
    >
    > EF f/2.5 50 mm macro
    >
    > The Canon web site seems to indicate from the MTF curves that the
    > EF-S 60 mm is the best lens, and it goes to life size.
    >
    > The 100mm seems good too, and is life size, while the 50 mm
    > isn't life size and seems to be of lesser quality. The 100mm costs
    > more than the EF-S and the 50mm costs less.
    >
    > **IF** I were not drooling for the 5D Mk II I'd buy, no quibble, the
    > 60 mm EF-S. But I AM so drooling. I'm in no terrible hurry for it to
    > appear.
    > The EF-S won;t work on a full frame camera, so I'm still considering
    > forking
    > over for the 100mm. But 100mm is really too long for use as a "standard"
    > lens on the 30D. The 60 mm is not, though it really is a tele on that
    > camera.
    >
    > Decisions, decisions!
    >
    > Advice sought, though it looks like it won't help me, as this is
    > a rather personal "feely" thing.


    Although not mentionned by anyone, Canon's 300mm f4 L IS will focus close
    enough to fill the frame with a butterfly (OK, a big one), it needs to be
    closed down to get depth of field, at 6 feet and f16, there is only 3/4" of
    DOF, good enough for a bug laying flat ;-) Sure it's not a dedicated macro
    lens, but it will do in a pinch for the odd time I will need to photograph
    something like butterflies. I have a friend who is a macro nut, she has the
    MP-E along with the MT-24EX flash, great stuff for heavy use but expensive
    for the odd time use.

    Jean
     
    jean, Mar 15, 2008
    #9
  10. Shawn Hirn Guest

    In article <fre2ms$hsg$>, lid wrote:

    > I've decided I need a real macro lens for my Canon 30D.


    Check the Canon lens forum on http://www.dpreview.com where the
    subscribers there review lots of lenses and offer insightful comments.
     
    Shawn Hirn, Mar 15, 2008
    #10
  11. Paul Furman Guest

    lid wrote:
    > I've decided I need a real macro lens for my Canon 30D.
    >
    > No more blue halos, an need relatively big mangification.
    > (i.e. a 2 inch field of view will do, more or less.)
    >
    > So the choice is the EF f/2.8 100mm macro (to half life size) ... OR
    >
    > EF-S f/2.8 60 mm macro OR (possibly)
    >
    > EF f/2.5 50 mm macro
    >
    > The Canon web site seems to indicate from the MTF curves that the
    > EF-S 60 mm is the best lens, and it goes to life size.
    >
    > The 100mm seems good too, and is life size, while the 50 mm
    > isn't life size and seems to be of lesser quality. The 100mm costs
    > more than the EF-S and the 50mm costs less.


    Unless you are using it for vertical copy-stand work where a shorter
    lens is needed, the longer macro lens will be more useful. You can't
    really have too long of a closeup lens because it's nice to get working
    distance for comfort with a tripod and to not cast shadows, etc. Longer
    macros do cost more though.

    At closeup magnifications the focal length doesn't effect hand holding
    shutter times; 1:1 is 1:1 at any focal length. The shorter lens will
    show more context and a more in-focus background but that's rarely
    useful for closeups. If I want context, I'll use a true wide angle with
    close range correction and extension tubes.

    > **IF** I were not drooling for the 5D Mk II I'd buy, no quibble, the
    > 60 mm EF-S. But I AM so drooling. I'm in no terrible hurry for it to
    > appear.
    > The EF-S won;t work on a full frame camera, so I'm still considering
    > forking
    > over for the 100mm. But 100mm is really too long for use as a "standard"
    > lens on the 30D. The 60 mm is not, though it really is a tele on that
    > camera.
    >
    > Decisions, decisions!
    >
    > Advice sought, though it looks like it won't help me, as this is
    > a rather personal "feely" thing.
    >
    > How good, really, is the cheapie 50mm?
    >
    > Doug McDonald
     
    Paul Furman, Mar 15, 2008
    #11
  12. default Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:fre2ms$hsg$...
    > So the choice is the EF f/2.8 100mm macro (to half life size) ... OR
    >
    > EF-S f/2.8 60 mm macro OR (possibly)
    >
    > EF f/2.5 50 mm macro


    >
    > **IF** I were not drooling for the 5D Mk II I'd buy, no quibble, the
    > 60 mm EF-S. But I AM so drooling. I'm in no terrible hurry for it to
    > appear.
    > The EF-S won;t work on a full frame camera, so I'm still considering
    > forking
    > over for the 100mm. But 100mm is really too long for use as a "standard"
    > lens on the 30D. The 60 mm is not, though it really is a tele on that
    > camera.


    I have the 50, 60 and 100mm Canon macros and have used all three extensivly.
    You could also save a few bucks and look for a used EF 100mm 1:2.8 macro
    (non usm).

    Anyway the 50 is extremely good and amazingly sharp, however it does extend
    when focusing. The 60 and 100 USM do not have external moving parts during
    focusing.

    The EF-S 60mm macro has quite a large image circle. If you mount it on an
    EF 12 II extension tube, it will mount of the 5D. I've taken some nice
    Velvia slides with it on my Elan IIe film camera. There was no vignetting
    and the lens worked fully. Of course it doesn't have infinity focus this
    way. Magnification varies from 0.2 to 1.28 with a 12mm tube and 0.44 to
    1.61 with a 25mm tube. The version II tubes are needed for EF-S lenses and
    allow them to be mounted on full frame.

    The 100mm USM macro is a superb lens and can take a tripod ring too which
    allows rotating the camera about the lens axis for easily switching between
    horizontal and vertical formats without having to realign the camera to the
    subject.

    The 50 is the lightest and smallest which may be an issue for you.

    I prefer the 60mm to the 100 oftentimes because by getting closer, you get a
    more dramatic perspective. Bugs look more interesting very close. The
    100mm forces you to be a bit further away which produces a more normal
    looking view which isn't as exciting since it is more common. The 50 is
    good this way too for getting close. If you don't want to scare the bugs
    with the focusing on the 50, then preset the magnification and move the
    camera to focus.

    More working distance isn't always an improvement. Choose the focal length
    based on the field of view and distance that you want to get the kind of
    pictures that you enjoy looking at.
     
    default, Mar 16, 2008
    #12
  13. Guest

    default wrote:

    >
    > The 100mm USM macro is a superb lens and can take a tripod ring too which
    > allows rotating the camera about the lens axis for easily switching between
    > horizontal and vertical formats without having to realign the camera to the
    > subject.
    >
    > The 50 is the lightest and smallest which may be an issue for you.
    >
    >


    It was an issue, but I have finally decided on the 100. The weight is an
    issue, but so is my craving for a full-frame lens (focused at infinity).
    Cost is less a concern.

    My 24-105 f/4L is a wonderful lens ... at infinity. As a macro
    it suffers from a blue flare.

    It will be nice having f/1.7 at 50 mm and f/2.8 at 100 mm
    in pin-sharp lenses, though having IS would be nice too.
    IS at macro range sounds iffy since lateral movement would
    matter as well as angular.

    Doug McDonald
     
    , Mar 16, 2008
    #13
  14. default Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:frj5co$355$...
    > It was an issue, but I have finally decided on the 100. The weight is an
    > issue, but so is my craving for a full-frame lens (focused at infinity).
    > Cost is less a concern.
    >
    > My 24-105 f/4L is a wonderful lens ... at infinity. As a macro
    > it suffers from a blue flare.
    >
    > It will be nice having f/1.7 at 50 mm and f/2.8 at 100 mm
    > in pin-sharp lenses, though having IS would be nice too.
    > IS at macro range sounds iffy since lateral movement would
    > matter as well as angular.
    >



    The 100mm f/2.8 is really good from 1:1 to infinity. The 50mm f/2.5 is full
    frame as well but not as versatile and needs the life-size converter or a
    25mm extension tube to get to 1:1. I personally like the shorter lenses and
    getting closer for a more "in your face" kind of perspective but you will
    get more keepers with a longer lens. Often I scare away the bugs with the
    short lenses. You might prefer less dramatic, more environmental type shots
    anyway.

    IS would only help a little for hand-held photography since it doesn't do
    much to help lateral motion. Axial motion is an even bigger problem, where
    your shake bring you closer and further from the subject. You can see the
    plane of best focus moving in the viewfinder. Sometimes AI servo focus can
    correct this motion if you aren't moving too fast. IS also works by
    decentering so I wonder if it affects sharpness too when near the limits of
    its excursion.

    It also works to watch the image on the ground glass carefully and press the
    shutter just as the focus is where you want it. The flash freezes motion
    anyway so the main thing is to get the plane of best focus right where you
    want it and a small enough aperture to get the required depth of field.
    F/14-22 is often needed for bugs. Flowers sometimes need up to f/32. Flat
    subjects like coins, stamps, photographs etc. can be f/8.

    Sometimes you see the 50mm f/2.5 going cheap in the newspaper since short
    macro lenses are not very desirable anymore and that lens is very old. Some
    copies date back to 1987. Pick one up in the future when you see one for
    half of the new price and enjoy the 100mm now.

    One thing about the 100mm macro is that it takes a very deep hood (ET-67)
    that will often prevent getting close enough for 1:1. If you want to take
    macro shots but still use a hood, the ET-67B for the EF-S 60mm will also fit
    the 100mm macro (and vice versa) but it is plenty short enough to still use
    at 1:1 assuming that your light source won't be blocked.
     
    default, Mar 16, 2008
    #14
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