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Old Aug 10, 2011, 8:08 PM   #1
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Default 100mm Macro Choices (Tokina, Canon, Canon IS 100mm)

For my next lens, I thought I'd venture into the macro world--flowers, insects, etc--and am comparing options for my 7D. Best choices for now seem to be the Tokina 100mm 2.8 (cheapest with great reviews and few complaints), The older non-IS Canon of same spec, and the new IS Canon for roughly twice the price of the Tokina. It seems to me that the need for IS is much less for the type of shooting I'd use this. If it's portrait or indoor, I'd have a tripod. If I'm outdoor, then the light will allow me (in most cases I'd envision) to open it up and get a fast enough shutter speed to obviate the need for IS. Thoughts out there?

BTW, other lens are Tokina 11-16mm, Canon 50mm 1.8, Canon 15-85mm, Canon 70-200 4L IS and the quick link to my hobbiest work is here

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Old Aug 11, 2011, 2:01 AM   #2
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First, there are no bad macro lenses, so it's hard to go wrong.

Second, in macrophotography, Depth of Field can be a real pain, so shooting wide open isn't something that you'll probably do very much. So if you're shooting hand-held, IS might come in handy. It's not very useful at 1:1 magnification. (For that, you should use a tripod.) But for 1:2 or 1:3 , having it can be a lot better than not having it. If you'd like to find out for certain, you could rent a Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro and know for sure.
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Old Aug 11, 2011, 6:49 AM   #3
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The canon lenses focus a faster and it a bit quieter. Which can be helpful with insects.
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Old Aug 11, 2011, 6:56 AM   #4
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Hi docfrance

TCav has already given you some good advice. I second what he's said.

A while ago I was in a similar situation as you. I decided to go with the Canon 100mm f2.8 USM (non L / non IS). It's still a very sharp lens, and the contrast, colour and focus were great for what I need. The quality of images from it are very good.

I used the money difference between the Canon 100mm non L and the L version (almost $500 Aus price difference) - to buy a good solid Manfrotto tripod. Before that I had a weak, cheap tripod. The L version is a little bit better (just slightly sharper, slightly faster focus and slightly better build quality).

The cameras bodies I have are a Canon 7D as well as a Canon 350D. Also have various lenses (Sigma 10-20mm, Canon 15-85mm, Canon 50 f1.8, Canon 28-135mm, Canon 70-300mm L, etc). Some people say the 100mm f2.8 is 'slowish' to focus, but I find using the focus very good and using the limiter (ie to set focus to only search from 48cm min focus distance to infinity) works very well for impromptu portraits and subject isolation.

All the best with your purchase. Please let us know your decision and share some photos.

Regards

Paul
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Old Aug 11, 2011, 8:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docfrance View Post
Thoughts out there?
I think you are on the right track. The Tokina is well known as a star performer,
even when it is compared to lenses that cost twice as much.

I agree with TCav's comment. As long as you buy a macro lens and use
it exclusively for it's intend purpose, there are no bad macro lenses.
At typical macro apertures of f/11-f/22, they are all razor sharp.
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Old Aug 11, 2011, 10:46 AM   #6
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hello
i might be tempted to stick with the canon 100 mm non is macro
i tried an older version and it was tack sharp
just being sfae coz sometimes when canon upgrades the lenses give compatability probs
good luck
pete
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Old Aug 27, 2011, 5:54 PM   #7
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Default Took the Plunge

Just ordered the Tokina. I'll post a few test photos once it arrives. Plenty of subject around the house during the late summer, too.
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Old Aug 27, 2011, 7:09 PM   #8
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My first attempt at macrophotography was after I bought a bellows for my Minolta SRT-101. I spent a plesant evening and two rolls of 20 exp film shooting into a full ash tray.
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Old Aug 28, 2011, 3:27 PM   #9
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Docfrance, congratulations and please keep us posted. Right now I too am debating between macro lenses...
Have fun
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Old Aug 28, 2011, 4:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docfrance View Post
Just ordered the Tokina. I'll post a few test photos once it arrives. Plenty of subject around the house during the late summer, too.
Good luck with the new lens. I look forward to seeing your photos.
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