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Old Nov 7, 2007, 5:48 PM   #1
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I am interested in getting a macro lens for taking flower and bug pictures. Looking for good IQ with correct/quick focus ability.

I am open to other recommendations if you have usedthem with good results.
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Old Nov 7, 2007, 6:15 PM   #2
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harana wrote:
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Looking for good IQ with correct/quick focus ability...
-> You mean manual focus right?

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Old Nov 7, 2007, 6:41 PM   #3
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NHL wrote:
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harana wrote:
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Looking for good IQ with correct/quick focus ability...
-> You mean manual focus right?
Sure...:idea:
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Old Nov 8, 2007, 2:33 AM   #4
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Go for Canon 100, it features fast USM focus - although not needed for macro photography, it makes this lens very versatile and fast little tele-lens (160mm f2.8 on APS-C).

It's very sharp and provides beautiful bokeh, where USM will also be of great advantage while shooting portraits.

Price difference is not such a big deal. 100 also doesn't extend while focusing, quite superior design.
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Old Nov 8, 2007, 4:42 PM   #5
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If you're already in the price range for the Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro then the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX macro is a much better alternative: Lighter and faster than an EF-180mm f/3.5 L macro, comes with the ultrasonic HSM focus and it should also gives you a better stand-off distance than a 100mm:

http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...uct/180/cat/30





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Old Nov 8, 2007, 5:57 PM   #6
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NHL wrote:
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If you're already in the price range for the Canon 100mm f/2.8 macro then the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX macro is a much better alternative: Lighter and faster than an EF-180mm f/3.5 L macro, comes with the ultrasonic HSM focus and it should also gives you a better stand-off distance than a 100mm:

http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showp...uct/180/cat/30
Awesome pictures! Two drawbacks for Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX macro are too much money and weight. I am looking for a lighter lens which i can carry and use all day. Sigma 105mm macro has 12.3 in. min focus. That sounds like a good working distance to me. Canon 100mm macro say only 6 in. min focus distance. But I read that Sigma extends near close focus???
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Old Nov 8, 2007, 6:31 PM   #7
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Awesome shots NHL!
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Old Nov 9, 2007, 9:18 AM   #8
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harana wrote:
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Awesome pictures! Two drawbacks for Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX macro are too much money and weight. I am looking for a lighter lens which i can carry and use all day. Sigma 105mm macro has 12.3 in. min focus. That sounds like a good working distance to me. Canon 100mm macro say only 6 in. min focus distance. But I read that Sigma extends near close focus???
Well there are some practical things you may want consider before giving up on a longer macro (and why they cost more):

1. How are you going to light the subject at such a close distance?
-> Adding a macro-flash to the front will negate the weight (and $) advantage of the 100mm especially on the Canon which is only about 200g less... than the Sigma

2. If you have to get that close, such a stand-off distance will scare the critter from running/flying away, so you would get to take the shot in the 1st place. (Imagine shooting a bird with a 200mm instead of a 400mm) - Only if you can get close...

3. For flowers you don't really need a macro - In fact the EF 28-135 IS USM will do just fine (it focuses to down to 18in.):


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Old Nov 9, 2007, 9:30 AM   #9
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cmoy wrote:
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Awesome shots NHL!
Thank - It's just not me... The lens has a lot to do with it:


"The Competition
The Sigma 150mm f/2.8 competes in a tough arena, there are a lot of very high quality lenses in this focal length range on the market, but this Sigma seems to compete very strongly.
In the Canon line, its closest competitor is probably the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM, which we haven't tested as yet. Readers report this lens is very good optically, but very heavy and relatively slow to focus. It's also slower by about 2/3 of a stop, and sells for twice the cost of the Sigma.
In the Nikon lineup, we recently tested the Nikkor 180mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF, which proved to be an excellent lens, albeit not quite as prickly sharp as the Sigma 150, and with slightly higher CA and distortion numbers. The Nikon lens sells online for $100-200 more than the Sigma.
Nikon also makes a 200mm f/4 ED-IF AF that we haven't tested yet. Readers report that this lens is very sharp, but also heavy and somewhat slow to focus. It sells for more than twice the price of the Sigma 180 f/2.8.
For the Sony/Konica-Minolta platform, there's the Sony 135mm f/2.8 (T4.5) STF, that we haven't tested nor have our readers reviewed. It sells for about twice the price of the Sigma 150 f/2.8.
Conclusion
At the end of the day, the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 macro seems to offer the best bang of just about anything in its focal length/aperture range. If you're interested in shooting really close-up macro, yet with a reasonable working range, the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 looks to be a really excellent choice."
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Old Nov 9, 2007, 11:42 AM   #10
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Just trying to educate myself.

Why are macro lenses 2.8 - just for increased focus ability? I mean do you ever actually use an aperture of 2.8 for a macro shot (with a true macro lens )?

I guess i'm asking - why not f4? It would seem to cut down on the weight/cost

Just curious.

Also, NHL, do you use a macro flash or something else for the bug work (excellent spider shot by the way)? Do you use manual settings or TTL?
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