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Old July 8th, 2009, 03:35 PM   #1
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Best macro solution...

I really want a macro lens for my new 5DMkII, I have the Canon 70-200L 2.8 and I can't decide if i should buy this: (100mm f2.8 Macro)
Canon | 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Autofocus Lens | 4657A006 | B&H

or if I should buy an extension tube for my 70-200mm. If the extension tube makes more sense, which one works best with the 70-200mm; the 12 or 25?

Too many choices... I'm an indecisive person!

-Steve
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Old July 8th, 2009, 06:17 PM   #2
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Do you want quality or cash? A macro lens will be better with more light, but tubes are less expensive. If you want 1:1 macro, you really want the lens.

You might look at non-Canon stuff as well. With macro, you really need to take your time to set up the shot. Auto modes and auto focus have little value when shooting macro.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 07:12 PM   #3
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I would suggest the 100mm lens... it will compliment your other lens ( 70-200mm)
even though the 70-200mm has 100mm in its range...

The 100mm is designed for macro work... canon has different lenses that are
dedicated to macro work... 50mm, 60mm,65,mm,100mm and 180mm... why the choices ???
because of lens reach... for example, if you were out shooting spiders that may harm
you... you'd be best to put on the 100mm or 180mm due to the reach of the lens at a given focus point...

The advantage that the 100mm macro has is...

1) Its very very sharp
2) It has good reach and works very well not only as a macro but at the 100mm mark it
makes a very good portrait lens.
3) Canon makes a special ring flash that works fantastic on that lens if you want to go
that route.
4) You can add extension tubes to the 100mm also...

Even though the 100mm macro is not a "L" lens, many photographers think it should get
that distinction because it is that good...

I like the 70-200mm lens for event work... it too has great capability for portrait work
and of course has more reach at 200mm, but its not a macro lens....

If you need more input then here's a few folks that will tell you about the lens...

http://www.fredmiranda.com/reviews/s...7&cat=2&page=1

Last edited by Ray Bell; July 8th, 2009 at 08:44 PM.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 07:29 PM   #4
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I'd suggest you rent first and find out what works for your work flow.

A buddy rented what he told me was a 65mm macro (I never confirmed, but it was an older lens). We were, believe it or not, shooting fleas (he's one of the foremost authorities on flea circuses). The DOF was SO shallow that using the lens's f1.8, if the flea turned its head one way, it was in focus, if it went the other way, it was out. It was a mild nightmare until we decided to dump much more light on the beasts (floro light, of course - we can't cook our talent!) and I was able to stop down to f10. This helped a LOT.

Anyway, this is all to suggest you rent first and see if the lens works for what you're aiming to do. It may save you in the long run.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 11:25 PM   #5
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Are you looking for video or for stills? If you want to do stills or both then there are advantages to having the Canon glass (like auto-focus) but for video Nikon has some really nice older manual macros (their called Micro in Nikon terminology) that are really nice. I own the 55mm F2.8 Micro and it's fantastic. I got it in practically brand new condition for $100 on ebay. Nikon also makes a really cool 200mm f/4 Micro-Nikkor IF AIS. That will get you crazy Macro from a safer distance.

This is what Ken Rockwell has to say about the 55mm

Nikon 55mm f/2.8 AI-s
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Old July 9th, 2009, 10:41 AM   #6
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Steve,

I've got both the 5D2 and the 100mm macro. The combo works great. Much better to have a dedicated lens for macro.

Best of luck in your decision.

Rog
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Old July 10th, 2009, 12:29 AM   #7
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My wife has the Canon 100mm macro lens & loves it. It's not only a great macro lens it is a great lens for many other uses especially as noted portraits. I saw a review which said that it was the most fun per dollar of any Canon lens & can only agree.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 12:14 AM   #8
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I've had the EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro on my B&H wishlist for about 5 years now. However, I just noticed that it's currently back-ordered from Canon, with no delivery date. Not to start a rumor or anything, but I've never seen this lens back-ordered before... I wonder if Canon has a new 100mm Macro lens coming out? Or maybe I just haven't been paying enough attention?

Julian
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Old July 14th, 2009, 09:02 AM   #9
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Steve,

Let me give my 2 cents here since I own quite a few macro lenses for both my 5D2 (stills) and H1(video).

1) MPE65: This is a totally difficult lens to use and for my stills, I use it only WITH flash. This is a light eater and due to the amount of extension at 5X lifesize, you really need a copious amount of light. I will be bringing it to my office soon to try it with the 5D2 and light subjects with a 800W HMI to see what apertures I am getting. One word, not your normal macro lens since the working distance is really short and this lens CANNOT focus to infinity, thus you can't use it for anything other than close-distance macro stuff.

2) Voightlander 125 macro: I got this lens despite owning the 180 L as the focus throw is really long...it took me more than 1 and a half turns to reach infinity (from MFD) and you will really need that if you are shooting video. I was doing macro with my 180/XLH1 combo and the act of follow focusing was a pain since a tiny touch will alter the focusing distance by a big margin and that is not what you want. Thus came the V125 and the focusing is superbly smooth and the image quality is just excellent. I would really recommend this as your first macro lens (instead of the Canon 100) which will have the same focusing issues as the Canon 180 L.

3) Canon 180 L: Excellent image quality and works well with a 1.4X teleconverter (for stills its good but not so for video with the H1). Much heavier than the V125 but you will be using it on a tripod for macro anyway so weight should not be an issue. Tripod collar stablizes the system nicely. Main issue is mentioned above and the V125 thrashes it for that.

The Canon 60mm is a EF-S lens and is NOT usable on the 5D2. Matthew's 65mm macro is most probably the MPE and does not go to 1.8. Its a 2.8 lens and diffractions sets in pretty quickly at f/9 and above. Stopping down is not advisable for risk of diffraction and the amount of DOF gained at 5X life-size is not worth it.

Extension tubes with any zooms are a pain since zooming will change the mag rate which in turn will change your focusing distance. One can go crazy messing about with them. If a long zoom is the choice then a good quality closeup filter such as Canon's 500D is great. The working distance is respectable, you do not lose any light and the image quality loss is so minimal that you will not notice it.

Hope this helps!

Cheers

Weehan
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Old September 1st, 2009, 04:16 PM   #10
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I was right!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julian Frost View Post
I've had the EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro on my B&H wishlist for about 5 years now. However, I just noticed that it's currently back-ordered from Canon, with no delivery date. Not to start a rumor or anything, but I've never seen this lens back-ordered before... I wonder if Canon has a new 100mm Macro lens coming out? Or maybe I just haven't been paying enough attention?

Julian
Damn... I'm good! :-)

Canon released a new 100mm f/2.8 Macro with hybrid IS today.

I guess I'll wait even a bit longer before buying my macro lens.

Julian
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Old September 1st, 2009, 06:03 PM   #11
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Dpreview is saying the new 100mm F2.8L USM Macro is supplementing, not replacing the old 100mm F2.8 USM Macro.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 07:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Van Le View Post
Dpreview is saying the new 100mm F2.8L USM Macro is supplementing, not replacing the old 100mm F2.8 USM Macro.
Yeah, like I said, "I wonder if Canon has a new 100mm Macro lens coming out?" Glad they're not replacing it, since the new one is nearly 3x the price since it's an L series and has image stabilization. I look forward to the forthcoming lens tests (and subsequent pixel peeping!).

Julian
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