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Ctrack May 5, 2005 10:29 AM

I would like to add a macro lens to use with my20D. My problem is deciding which one to buy. I am considering the Canon EF 100 USM macro but wonder if the 1.6 x factor will make handholding difficult. Would it be better to get the EF-S 60 Macro or the EF 50mm Macro (not usm). The 50mm is cheaper and the 100 and 60 about the same price. My research tells me that about 100mm is a good all purpose for macro lenses. I am assuming that Canon is trying to replicate the 100mm factor with the release of the EFS 60mm USM. Canany one shed any more light on Macro photography. Thanks!

[email protected] May 8, 2005 6:27 PM

I have the 60mm and it is a great lense. I have posted this elsewhere but here is the link for a review for you.

Yes it does give the equivalent of the 100mm when you take into account the multiplier. This makes it ideal for portraits etc.

The only draw back is that you have to work at about 4 inches from subject for 1:1 macro. This is not too much of an issue but unless you have a ring flash you will have to use an 580 EX or equivalent that offers the 7 degree down tilt. The cheaper flush guns do not have the down tilt and will not illuminate the subject at that distance. I have used the on-camera flash on the 20D with this lens down toF22 but the light is a little harsh.

The 100mm Macro is a nice lens but when you add the 1.6 multiplier it makes it a bit too long for portraits. However, it does mean you can work a bit further away at 1:1 Macro. (Yes, it will be harder to hand hold).

In summary, the 60mm will give you all the benefits that made the 100mm so popular on full frame cameras (Canons top selling prime). The 100mm on a 20D is equivalent to 160mm. If canon ever made a 160mm Macro, it wasn't that popular.

The 50mm Macro will not give you the 1:1, it only offers 1:2 ( images will appear half the size on the sensor). That may beideal for what you want to use it for. Have you got a project in mind yet?

Striderxl May 8, 2005 7:56 PM

1 piece of advise for macro photography - Always use a tripod if you can.For any indoor macro photography I use a tripod,I also use on if possible outside.Dont have any of these lenses yet but the one that lets you get closer to the subject is the 1 I would use.


gaida May 8, 2005 9:06 PM

I've heard very good things about the Tamron 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro lens.

Ctrack May 10, 2005 12:38 AM

Judging by the reviews and comments the 60mm may be the one to get. Canon may keep the APS-C sensor for a while, I hope. Besides, I am quite pleased with 13x19 printsfrom my D-Reb. I haven't printed any from the 20D but I can't imagine that I would be any less pleased.

I have purchased 3rd party lenses but they don't seem to be as smooth or fast focusing as the Canon USMs. Though 3rd party lenses may be just as sharp. I don't have any particular projects in mind but I've been intrigued with the idea since I took some shots with my old Nikon 990. I've kept that camera because of it's maco capability. Seems like an area that can be fun.

Thanks for all the comments.

NHL May 10, 2005 5:15 AM

Ctrack wrote:

I have purchased 3rd party lenses but they don't seem to be as smooth or fast focusing as the Canon USMs. Though 3rd party lenses may be just as sharp.
Pick among the Sigma EX's, their 'Pro' line: they also have 'HSM' which are utrasonic fast/quiet with full-time manual overide ;)

IMO - this lens allows much better working distance, and lighting (and you don't have to worry about the APS-C sensor):

[email protected] May 10, 2005 2:43 PM


Seems like an area that can be fun

Yes, it is loads of fun but you will find yourself crawling around in strange places trying to find bugs to photograph.

You also start to see things differently. Check out the counter-balance gizmo under the Bee's wing

Ooops, I tried to post the image here but it didn't work, so here is the link:

djb May 10, 2005 3:13 PM

Wes, i think your picture is actually some kind of fly. I haven't seen those "gyro stabillizers" on bees that i can remamber. I heard of someone taking off those "gyro stabillizers" and the fly spun violently in circles. nice shot.


[email protected] May 10, 2005 7:13 PM

That sound cruel.

You have got me thinking though, I did a quick search of the web and couldn't find the gyros on any Bee anatomy pictures.

I guess I should buy a book on bugs and learn a little more about the subject.

If anyone recognises this Bee/Fly please let me know :?

PeterP May 10, 2005 8:26 PM

Are you buying a macro lens, or a portrait lens? Those are two very different functions.

If you are interested in macro photography then the longer focal lengths (150mm-180mm) are preferable. They give you a decent working distance! That keeps you safe from some critters that may object, and allows you to perform your macro shooting without causing undue stress to your subject as the aforementioned 4 inches of the ef-s 60 would to any animal.

If your action causes your subject to flee or change what they are doing you are causing stress.

This weekend I hope to be out shooting orchids and rattlers (interesting combination?), I would not want to try for a close up using the short working distance of that 60mm,
No trouble getting safely to life-sized with the 180mm.

If you are shooting portraits, a lens in the 50mm-120mm range would be good, and for portraits you do not want a sharp lens. For portraits softar filters were a common attachment on medium format cameras, you don't want to make peoples blemishes and imperfections stand out.
Of course in the digital age we have software to soften, diffuse, and fix-up the skin as needed.


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