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I have been into photography for a couple of years and enjoy a wide range of subjects from Landscapes to portraits and I have been usinig a canon 70 - 300mm as a macro lens with (in my opinion) limited results. I like taking close ups of flora and fauna (when I get close enough) but I would also like to try more abstract images. I have just received a decent annual bonus and have decided to invest in a dedicated Macro lens. I have a Canon 400D and am looking to spend in the region of £350. Can someone advise on which is the best lens to go for. I have seen the Canon EF-S 60mm macro and the 105mm Sigma macro both on offer for £299 from Jessops. Both offer f2.8 and 1:1 image size but which is best? Or is there an alternative I haven't looked at? Also do either of these lenses have uses outside of Macro or are they limited?
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With your budget I'd go for the Canon 100mm macro lens or if you can stretch to a little more/or find a good deal I'd go for the Sigma 150mm macro lens.
Jessop's prices are usually the worst so if you shop around you should find a better deal than what they can offer. Warehouse Express are an excellent retailer or if you enter Camera price buster into Google, a price comparison site will show you the best prices around.
In your price range I can think of two sigmas, the 70mm macro and the 105mm macro, plus a Tamron 90mm and from Canon the 60mm EF-S or outside your price range the 100mm macro.
The problem of the 60mm is it is an EF-S lens only, so of limitted value if you upgrade to a full framer, so I would forget about it. Sigmas 70mm will confer a similar view, but it can be used on full frame also.
The Tamoron 90mm and Sigma 105mm are both well though of, and both make good buy's. I would say look at the prices and see what offer you get. Canon's 100mm is also opticaly good, but has a faster AF and is the only one not to grow in length as you focus. So I would say the Canon is more vesatile, but it costs more.
you can use them for portraits, and I have also used mine for isolating subjects in landscape with low DoF. I have the sigma 105 BTW.
Quote: or outside your price range the 100mm macro
The 100mm macro isn't outside the budget. The lens can be bought for £330 or less if you shop around.
You are correct, just seen it for under £320
£242 for the Sigma 105 £249 for the Tamron.
Can highly recommend the Sigma 105 and the Sigma 150mm, but if I was limited to just one I'd probably go for the 150. This can be had from DigitalRev in HK for about £345 which includes import duty. Also worth checking Microglobe for prices.
I wouldn't worry too much about f2.8 for the macro lens - at 1:1 you have virtually no DoF at f2.8. The Siggy 105 is great image quality - I've heard that the Tamron 90mm macro is very good also - very very sharp.
If you're taking flaura and fauna I guess I'd be asking myself whether a macro lens is really needed, or whether I'd be better off with a walk-around lens that close focuses. Big thing will be a reasonable tripod for macro work - slightest movement will cause problems with sharpness regardless of the lens (I finally learned after many many disappointing shots!) - is there a chance this is why you've had limited success with the 70-300?
Example of the 105mm Sigma sharpness:
105mm Sigma Example
Also by comaprison an example from the Sigma 70-300:
Quote: I wouldn't worry too much about f2.8 for the macro lens - at 1:1 you have virtually no DoF at f2.8.
But it does make MF so much easier, which is pretty important for macro work.
If you are serious about flowers the canons your baby, some of my best shots have been at f2.8, its not so much about the depth of field as to the results you can create
Good point Chris, there is a tendancy for people to shoot at f22 or higher in macro, f16 is as far as I ever close down and it is usually less than this as in most cases I want the background thrown well out of focus.
I have a Sigma 105mm Macro and it perfect for me. Most of my photos are done using it. A super lens. JNC
The Tamron 90mm is an amazing lens. I really really love it. Not only do you get great results, it's solidly built and is super super cool to operate. It gives new meaning to the term "shooting" because of the sliding collar that lets you switch from AF to MF.. you feel almost like you're cocking a shotgun hahaha.
The tamron, though considered a budget lens, is rated over the sigma in terms of sharpness and bokeh.
Great great lens. And great for portraits also! I love mine, can't wait until spring!
Oh, and I used the sigma 70-300mm for macro work before I got 'serious' and went for the tamron. I cannot stress how much better the results are with the tamron. The sigma may be multi-purpose, but if you're serious about macro then you're going to be wanting something sharper before you know it and are just going to end up going out to buy another lens.. like the tamron.
just to assist you into depression, i have the sigma 50, canon 100 macro and canon 180 macro, the 180 blows all other lenses out of the water especially for hitting the sweet spot and putting the rest of the image out of focus, it is without doubt incomparable but then so is the price, go for the 100 you wont be sorry and that is sigma or canon if you can afford it
Quote: the 180 blows all other lenses out of the water
I should hope so - at the price (knocking on for £1000)!
Depends what sort of macro work you want to do. But if you want a macro lens which can double up as an portrait lens the Canon 100mm is a vastly cheaper option.
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