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Old 21-10-2011, 01:10 AM
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PCH (Paul)
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Canon Macro Lens

Hi Guys,

can anyone suggest a not-so-pricey alternative to the Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS USM macro lens? Or am I expecting too much?

Cheers
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  #2  
Old 21-10-2011, 06:47 AM
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Check out the Tamron 90mm or the Sigma 105mm. They don't have IS, but much better bang for buck IMO and optically excellent.
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Old 21-10-2011, 08:00 AM
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What about the non-IS Canon, 100mm f/2.8? It's an awesome lens, and can be had for pretty decent prices second hand, or even new from the grey importers.

Cheers,
Jason.
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Old 21-10-2011, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koputai View Post
What about the non-IS Canon, 100mm f/2.8? It's an awesome lens, and can be had for pretty decent prices second hand, or even new from the grey importers.

Cheers,
Jason.
+1 - I should have included the non-IS version. Sorry about that.

That being said, I'd still go for the Tamron and Sigmas first, they're still cheaper than the Canon non-IS and are equal in optical quality IMO. I've owned the Canon and the Sigma, and have friends with the Tamron.
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Old 21-10-2011, 08:48 AM
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I'd consider the Sigma 105mm. Excellent piece of glass for the money.
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Old 21-10-2011, 10:15 AM
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Tamron 90mm is an amaizing lens for the money
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Old 21-10-2011, 12:58 PM
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I can vouch for the non-IS Canon 100 mm macro too - I had one for five years, then switched to the IS version about a year ago. The IS version has a lot of nice features (amazing IS, significantly faster focusing, better focus limiter, marginally sharper, etc) but most of them don't matter for macro.

A really economical way to get started would be some extension tubes (still useful for a "proper" macro lens) or a reversed 50 mm lens (Google it if you don't know what I'm talking about).
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Old 21-10-2011, 01:22 PM
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Troy, Jason, Bo, Mark and Dave

thanks so much for thos suggestions. I'll look into them more over the weekend.

And Dave, yes I had heard of the reversed 50mm lens before. I even went as far as trying it with the stock 55mm lens that came with the camera. It worked - sort of, but I didn't really like the idea of plastering tape all over the camera. Hence the exercise to try and find a reasonably priced proper lens.

Thanks so much again guys
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Old 21-10-2011, 04:24 PM
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Here is a pic taken with the 90mm Tamron , I have used or owned most macro lens over the last few yrs and I have had 2 of these.
Attached Thumbnails
Click for full-size image (Cicada_11.jpg)
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Old 21-10-2011, 05:11 PM
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Crikey Mate,

that is an unbelievable picture. The detail is just awesome. Wow! - is all I can say.

I'm gona search for this lens this weekend

Cheers,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marke View Post
Here is a pic taken with the 90mm Tamron , I have used or owned most macro lens over the last few yrs and I have had 2 of these.
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Old 21-10-2011, 05:26 PM
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Mark,

how far from the subject would you have been with this pic? Or just generally, how close can you get? The specs seem to show about 11 inches, but this pic seems much closer. Can you please clarify?

Cheers,

Quote:
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Here is a pic taken with the 90mm Tamron , I have used or owned most macro lens over the last few yrs and I have had 2 of these.
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Old 21-10-2011, 05:38 PM
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Working distances quoted are normally from the camera not the front element , so at 1:1 your working distance is about 6" . I took a whole series of the cicada at night but they weret at full 1:1 so working distance in this case was more like 10" or so.

Mark
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Old 21-10-2011, 05:40 PM
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Thanks Mark,

this item seems to be about $365 to $389 ish from the Chinese and HK sweatshops. Any probs buying from these mobs do you think? My camera came from this sort of place, and there haven't been any issues.
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Old 21-10-2011, 05:45 PM
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Mark,

I'm sure it's obvious by now that I don't know much about taking pics. Dumb question number four hundred coming up....

When you compare, say, the 90mm (macro) lens with the 180mm (macro) lens, what are the differences? In other words, what can you do with a 180mm that you can't with a 90? Is there a simple laymans answer?

Also, a review of the 90mm says..."takes great portraits". Is this meaning regular people type portraits, or is portraits a 'tradie' term for the type of pic you took of the cicada?

Cheers
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Old 21-10-2011, 06:02 PM
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I can vouch for the 90mm Tamron F/2.8. Good macro lens, but I have also found it is one of my sharpest lenses for wide(ish)field astro shots, especially when stopped down to F/5 or so.
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Old 21-10-2011, 06:11 PM
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The only difference between a 90mm and a 180mm macro lens of same quality is the working distance. If you are chasing things that are very nervous like dragonflies then the more working distance the better but
apart from that no difference except price. As for a portrait lens it is great for that too because it has a wonderful bokeh , that is the out of focus background looks very soft and smooth which is a good thing and being a f2.8 you can use that nice shallow dof for portraits .

Mark
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Old 21-10-2011, 06:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PCH View Post
Mark,

I'm sure it's obvious by now that I don't know much about taking pics. Dumb question number four hundred coming up....

When you compare, say, the 90mm (macro) lens with the 180mm (macro) lens, what are the differences? In other words, what can you do with a 180mm that you can't with a 90? Is there a simple laymans answer?

Also, a review of the 90mm says..."takes great portraits". Is this meaning regular people type portraits, or is portraits a 'tradie' term for the type of pic you took of the cicada?

Cheers
Conventional wisdom is that a lens of around 100mm focal length is best for portraits ... and by portraits I mean pictures of people in the conventional sense. Wide angle lenses tend to exaggerate features (making noses appear bigger than they are for example) and are not particularly flattering.
A 180mm lens is probably a bit on the long side for portraiture ... you would need to move back a fair way to get a head shot, however I often use a 200mm for head shots with good success.

The Canon 180mm L series macro is a great lens but it's not for the faint hearted. It takes a lot of getting used to.

The Canon 100mm macro (non IS) is reasonably priced and has excellent optical quality. I would suggest starting with that lens and if you are bitten by the macro bug perhaps update in the future.

I can't comment on the third-party lenses. I only ever use Canon lenses.

Last edited by AndyK; 21-10-2011 at 06:40 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 21-10-2011, 06:32 PM
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Andy, Mark and Greg

thanks a million for those insightful opinions and suggestions. Hmmm ..... the plot thickens. I might just have to jump in and start "somewhere".
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Old 21-10-2011, 08:01 PM
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Hi Guys,

can anyone suggest a not-so-pricey alternative to the Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS USM macro lens? Or am I expecting too much?

Cheers
Just get the Canon 100mm F2.8 non IS lens,its one of the very best lenses you will ever have.I have the 60 mm Canon and its magic,the 100 gives you a bit more distance which is handy for insects,but I'm not into macro in a big way,if I was I'd get the 100,last time I looked about $600 new from DWI.
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Old 21-10-2011, 08:43 PM
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Hi Chris,

thanks so much for your valued opinion. I think I will go for that lens. it's currently $495 plus forty bucks freight. I'm just checking stock as the DWI screen doesn't seem to offer a stock status.

The other guys that offered thoughts and suggestions, Andy, Mark, Greg, Dave - do you guys agree or disagree with this course of action?

Cheers
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