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Old Dec 19, 2011, 8:30 PM   #1
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Default Normal to Short Tele macro primes

What is the prime macro of choice in the 50-80mm range? The Sigma 50 or 80 looks like a contender, along with the Canon 60mm, but I'm open to all opinions at this point.

The end use would be 'a little bit of everything'. A little macro, a little portraiture, whatever else wanders in front of the camera.
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Old Dec 19, 2011, 8:34 PM   #2
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50 tends to be really limited on the working distance. I would look at the sig 80 or better yet the tamron 90 as the price is pretty close. They are more usable for macro. The canon 60 is a very good lens and so is the new tamron 60.
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Old Dec 19, 2011, 11:58 PM   #3
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To add to the list of excellent macro lenses that you and shoturtle mentioned, I'll add the Sigma 70/2.8, which is actually one of the best lenses made.

(Sigma 80?)

But if you want something stabilized, there's only Canon's 100/2.8 and Sigma's 105/2.8.
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Old Dec 20, 2011, 5:47 PM   #4
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Looks like the Tamron 60mm is better than the Canon 60. The Sigma 70 is the sharpest, but the Tamron is just a notch below it and is a stop faster. At the moment, with rebate, the Tamron is cheaper:$375 vs $500 for the Sigma.

But the Sigma will carry over to a 5D.

Any thoughts on the Tamron vs Sigma?
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Old Dec 20, 2011, 5:54 PM   #5
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The FF issue is only an issue if you plan on going to invest in FF.
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Old Dec 20, 2011, 5:57 PM   #6
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PS is you were going the FF route, I would look at a 100mm as it is more workable then a shorter lens.
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Old Dec 20, 2011, 5:59 PM   #7
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I'm a "medium telephoto" kinda guy. I prefer my 85/1.8 to my 50/1.8, so I think I'd go for the 70 as a general purpose, "A little macro, a little portraiture, whatever else wanders in front of the camera" type lens. But for macro, I'd prefer something longer, and stabilized too.
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Old Dec 20, 2011, 6:29 PM   #8
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Do you plan to take macro shots of living insects? If so, I would go for longer than 60mm. 60mm is good for static objects macro that don't get scared and run/fly away. The Canon USM macro lenses have full time manual focus which is handy if you use AF and then fine tune with manual without having to flip a switch or ring to switch to manual all the time.
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Old Dec 20, 2011, 7:03 PM   #9
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Thought provoking feedback. I don't fancy insect shots so much, but I do like the low light ability of the Tamron and the more general purpose focal length.

A stabilized macro is in another price range, beyond what I'm looking for today.

The full frame option is a few years away and is a consideration but not a deal breaker.

In the final analysis, I want a low light tack sharp normal lens that can also go macro. I think the Tamron 60 is the closest to that description so far. But I'm still listening - please keep the input coming!
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Old Dec 20, 2011, 7:20 PM   #10
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You realize on FF 60 is not a medium telephoto. Considerng 28 is wide. And 17 is ultra wide.
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