Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here

Exclusive 25% off Affinity Photo: Professional photo editing with no subscription!

Favourite Lens?

If you'd like to join this group, either login or register with ePHOTOzine.

alistairfarrugia 5 164 88 Malta
12 Dec 2012 9:10AM
I'm in the market for a new lens, and will probably go for a Macro lens. I have the 600D body and was considering the 100mm L-series from Canon. Do you suggest I go ahead and get this one, or should I maybe look into other options? What's your take?



Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
12 Dec 2012 9:53AM
That is a fantastic lens - one of the sharpest lenses in the range and a very good IS system.
Tamron have just released an image-stabilised (VC) version of their 90mm macro but at the moment there does not seem to be the price advantage seen with their non-VC version.
brian1208 Plus
15 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
12 Dec 2012 9:56AM
I used to own this lens and if you can afford it you won't be disappointed.

There are however lenses with similar optical quality (but no IS) which are signifcantly cheaper, such as the canon f2.8 USM macro (and don't discount the 3rd party offerings from sigma and tamron either)
hobbo Plus
7 1.2k 2 England
12 Dec 2012 10:30AM
I am currently using my SONY 2.8/100 Macro lens for a street Photography, after watching a recent Canon video featuring top pro, Don Mc Cullen in which he said a 2.8/100 was one of his favourite lenses for Street work.....he is dead right.

I ave been pleasantly surprised by results produced.....you just have to adapt to the lens being zoomed to start with and that the closer you get to the subject the barrel zooms out, backwards to the norm.

The other bonus is.....that if you do happen upon a good Macro opportunity then you are prepared......lovely portrait lens too.

Look back through my portfolio for my insect shots, and at recent posts that mention the lens.

alansnap 14 577 26 United Kingdom
12 Dec 2012 1:03PM
I would go for the Canon 100 2.8. Now whether you go for the L series or not is a matter of personal choice (and budget). I use the "standard" lens on my 5D mkII and it is incredible. There are several shots in my portfolio using this lens. Here is a good example, the final image on view being cropped from the original. There's no IS like on the L series, but for the money it's still a super lens, and I think beats the independents.
alistairfarrugia 5 164 88 Malta
14 Dec 2012 9:23AM
How hard is it to take steady pictures, out in the open (without tripod that is) without the IS? Both my lenses have IS and I have very limited experience on non-IS lenses, so I wouldn't know really. But there's quite a huge price difference between the L and non-L variant of the 100mm macro lens.
brian1208 Plus
15 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
14 Dec 2012 9:50AM
If you can get the light its not that difficult but when shooting macro hand-held (which a lot of people will say you shouldn't / can't do Smile ) I found the IS in the 100mm f2.8LIS was invaluable, even down to 1:1.

(If you can get the shutter speed up to at least 1/100th sec (1/200th+ being better) then you should have a good chance of getting sharp images (free from movement blur) with the 100 f2.8 USM )
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
14 Dec 2012 9:58AM
The ususal limit is 1/focal length so for a 100mm lens you should not go below 1/100 sec but even this needs good technique. Regular macro shooters who use a flash as part of their routine say that IS becomes less important because the flash enables them to keep shutter speeds in 'hand held' territory. I am only just gettinginto flash photography amd I use a tripod whenever you can though this is not really feasible if chasing butterflies round a field Wink (BTDT and got the T-shirt)

At 'normal' distance the L version has 4 stops IS but at macro this drops to 2 stops so the advantage is not as great as you would think. However the L version was one of the first with a hybrid IS that not only corrects for camera shake but also back/front movement of the lens which can help with macro stuff because at macro distances the depth of field can get very narrow. If I have not got my tripod with me, one technique I find useful with narrow DOF on my 7D is to set the camera to 8fps, focus manually then press the shutter button while moving backwards and forward slightly around the focus point.

I think the priority of the L version depends on what you want to take macro photos of.
alistairfarrugia 5 164 88 Malta
14 Dec 2012 10:08AM
Once again, thanks for the prompt feedback. I think the IS will definitely help me then. I intend to use it most while out in the countryside chasing wasps, bees, ants, butterflies, dragonflies and the lot. Flowers of course too, though for those even my 55-250 lens could do as I typically go for the whole flower showing in the picture rather than just portions of it, so macro as such wouldn't be high-priority. Back on insects, for most of these shots I don't see myself repositioning the tripod all the time as it's not the compact type of tripod. It's a bit heavy and bulky and I see myself leaving it behind on some trips. So, I'm guessing I'd be better off spending more in the long run.

Plus, the 1/focal length for me would be 1/160 with a 100mm I guess, given the 1.6 crop factor. With two stops, I'd be able to shoot at 1/40 handheld right?
brian1208 Plus
15 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
14 Dec 2012 10:35AM

Quote:With two stops, I'd be able to shoot at 1/40 handheld right?

that's a definite maybe Grin

So much depends on your technique, physical ability to hand-hold without shake etc. but yes, I have shot down to 1/10th sec in the past and got sharp images.

Another thought, if you don't want to spend the extra money, have you tried using a monopod for macro work? Its easier to get into tight spaces and less intrusive than a tripod and can give you around 2 stops advantage.

I find close focus macro work hand-held is very intense and tiring and if I'm doing a long shoot have started using the monopod to compensate for the ravages of old age Wink
alistairfarrugia 5 164 88 Malta
14 Dec 2012 10:40AM
Never gave it a thought until a few minutes ago as I was typing my comment above. Actually I thought in terms of a smaller tripod, but a monopod would probably make more sense as you said. Again, I'm quite new to all this so I wouldn't know just how effective I would be hand-held and when using monopod. Guess I'll have to try some experiments with my 55-250 using the IS and without it, and check what I end up with.

Thanks once again for all the tips.
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
14 Dec 2012 11:31AM


Plus, the 1/focal length for me would be 1/160 with a 100mm I guess, given the 1.6 crop factor. With two stops, I'd be able to shoot at 1/40 handheld right?

You are right - I forgot to correct for the APS-C sensor.

I have recently bought a shoulder brace which is working well - I got the Manfrotto in a closing downsale (but I think others are available) and even without attaching it to the monopod it helps steady the camera using it like a rifle butt
Sooty_1 8 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
14 Dec 2012 1:31PM
The problem with macro is as much about forward and back movement as sideways or up and down, which is more associated with camera shake. The IS will help shake, but not change of distance, and that, with the narrow focus zone at short distances will contribute as much as anything to unsharp shots and focal plane in the wrong place. Monopods will only go so far to steady this plane of movement.
If handholding is the way you want to do it, consider using flash (ring flash or an off-camera set up).

alistairfarrugia 5 164 88 Malta
14 Dec 2012 1:44PM
Just had a look at Canon's Ring flash offering and the price is a whopping 10 times more than third party offerings. Anyone with experience of ring-flashes made by third parties? would consider buying a ring flash if it's cheap and good, otherwise a flash that's costing me as much as the lens is a no-go for now.
brian1208 Plus
15 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
14 Dec 2012 1:56PM
I used the Sigma macro flash with my canon system and it proved very useful and reliable

(a friend tried the Nissin offering on his system and found it less than ideal)

for interest, there are a few of my hand-held macros from my canon days here


and a similar offering of hand-held macros from my new EM5 [link=http://imagesfromnature.foliopic.com/gallery/olympus-60mm-f2-8-macro-images-15725]here

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.