Canon 100mm IS USM or Canon 100mm USM?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Dextor143, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. Dextor143 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I cant wait to do some macro phototgraphy and looking at these two lenses. As you all know IS USM is almost double the USM price? since most of you guys know a lot about macro, can you suggest which one to get?

    Do I really need IS feature?
     
  2. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #2
    I only have IS teles, but I can say I do get 2 or 3 stops advantage with them. If you're going to be handholding, I think you'll get a lot of use out of the IS feature.
     
  3. Techhie macrumors 65816

    Techhie

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    #3
    most people who do macro photography use tripods and hs flashes, so it all depends on what kind of work you anticipate doing.
     
  4. Dextor143 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I am thinking mostly doing outside, like bugs and dragon fly etc.

    I dont think I will be walking with tripod all the time but can you tell me if IS really important?

    thanks
     
  5. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #5
    Unless you've used an IS lens, it's hard to describe. I know for myself, going from 1/60th to 1/250th (for instance) made a HUGE difference in eliminating (or greatly reducing) motion blur (as you'd expect). It's especially important at 300mm (I have the 70-300mm). If shutter speed isn't an issue [for a particular shot], you also have the option of stopping down for increased DOF [at the same shutter speed].

    Try and find a retailer where you can go and play with an IS lens (any model). You'll be able to see what it can give you much more easily than from what I can describe here.
     
  6. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

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    #6
    sorry IS is nearly useless on that macro

    I had the 100mm L macro for a little while and I can tell you from experience, the IS is nearly useless when shooting close ups. It does not work properly all the time and a lot of reviews come to the same conclusions (dp amongst others).

    I sold mine and got the old 100mm macro which is a NICE deal for what it costs now. The clarity , if you are just starting, is indistinguishable from the L version and as I said, IS is nearly useless in Macro, especially in 1:1.
     
  7. Dextor143 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I have 70-300 IS USM and I have used the IS version or I must say it is "on" all the time.
     
  8. Dextor143 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Why? what kind of experience did you get with IS? and now what is the same without IS?
     
  9. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #9
    That's a good bit of info and review. My only IS lenses have been teles and I've never seriously considered an IS macro or normal or other short lens. At short focal lengths, my ability to handhold goes up significantly (YMMV), and so I've thought it wiser to invest in a fixed larger aperture zoom "L" or fixed focal length at large aperture. As you probably know (OP), shorter focal lengths don't suffer from camera motion the way long teles do because of angular velocity magnification. The 100mm macro is going to be 3x less prone to shake as the 300mm tele. Coincidentally, that's in the range of stabilization factor you can easily get from the IS at that focal length (3x slower shutters speeds). I suppose that also means you could be 3x more likely to be able to handhold the shot using the 100mm ;) .

    My "normal" is the Canon 17-40mm fixed f/4 L series; my macro is a Sigma 50mm f/2.8 (though a bit short, I do get better than 1:1 with it (taking into account sensor size factor).

    edit: I saw your later post that you do have the 70-300 IS USM. So, you do have a good feel for what IS is all about. My first paragraph in this post sorta goes over the basic differences between the "long and short" of it. About the only other thing I might add is if you can afford the IS, get it. There's very little difference in performance between an IS and non-IS these days. See what the reviews are saying too, remembering there are many more negative reviews on anything than positive... ;)
     
  10. Kronie macrumors 6502a

    Kronie

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    #10
    Where the IS comes in handy is for far away. If your close to the MFD the IS wont do much... if anything. Three feet away or more you will see a benefit. My 100mm macro was one of my favorite portrait lenses it would have been awesome with IS. Now I have a Sigma 150 macro and a full frame camera and my 150 is one of my favorite portrait lenses. No IS though.

    I would just get the non IS unless money isn't an issue then get the IS version by all means.
     
  11. Dextor143 thread starter macrumors 6502

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  12. Dextor143 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Also, If I get Canon 100mm...Is it also a normal every day lens for potrait and etc.
    I do see a lot of people saying that

    Thanks for your reply
     
  13. zero85ZEN macrumors regular

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    #13
    I don't think IS for the purpose of close-up work is a good reason for buying this lens compared to the non IS version. However, as many reviews have mentioned and as a previous poster touched upon, the IS will be useful for "regular" shooting. I have this lens on my 1Ds body and it is a great portrait lens with a little bit of reach.

    Every review I read before I purchased mine absolutely raved about it's performance and, in my limited experience with it so far, I have to concur.

    Keep in mind that on your crop body it will limit you in some situations...it will be pretty tight for indoor use I'd think.
     
  14. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    #14
    The IS should be a very nice feature for those who shoot spiders, frogs, and such in the forest where often one can't use a tripod. Some spiders and frogs won't stand still waiting for you to set a tripod. However, IS may be very useful when not shooting macro, since 100mm f/2.8 is a great telephoto lens.

    There is a guy who posts in this forum (dllavaneras, I believe is his name), who photographs insects and other subjects in the Central American forests. He often does not use a tripod, and may be able to tell you why in more detail.

    Some of his photos:
    http://dllavaneras.deviantart.com/
     
  15. FX120 macrumors 65816

    FX120

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    #15
    If you're shooting macro and nothing but macro, then get the non-is 100mm and a ring flash.
     
  16. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #16
    Oh, the IS definitely helps on macro shots. I have the new IS version, and have gotten some nice handheld macro shots with it--shots I could not have gotten without stabilization. A tripod will provide much better results, but for those situations where tripod use is impossible or very impractical, this is your lens.

    Nonetheless, I didn't buy it for doing macro work handheld. I wanted the IS primarily for portrait shots (of statues in museums, where tripods are almost always forbidden). I used this lens extensively in Rome last month and found that I could get handheld shots consistently sharp at about 1/30s on my 7D (prevailing wisdom would dictate about 1/160s for a cropped sensor), so maybe not the advertised four stops, but sharp to me means tripod sharp, so I'm picky.

    The IS version is also slightly sharper and is weather sealed. I've made good use of that weather sealing too:

    [​IMG]
     
  17. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

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    #17
    Weather seal I can agree with but then the IS was really dodgy on my copy because at 1:1 the IS goes nuts and shifts on its own. Might have something to do with the fact that you are magnifying so much that an IS system would have to shift WAY too much to compensate.
     
  18. Grimace macrumors 68040

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    #18
    Hey gang - you're supposed to turn off the IS if its on a tripod - the IS is primarily for handheld shots where tripods are not possible or practical.
     
  19. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

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    #19
    Macro is my photographic raison d'être. I currently have the non IS version of the EF 100mm USM macro and the EF-S 60mm macro. Some general thoughts on the 100mm lens and the new IS version, in no particular order:

    • On a crop sensor camera, I don't find the 100mm length to be that versatile outside of macro use. It could just be the way I "see" shots, but outside of macro ranges I find I don't use it much. OTOH, it's a nicer focal length on a full frame.
    • The lack of IS on mine makes it even less versatile, I've tried the IS version for normal shots and I'd use that a *lot* more for non-macro shooting if I owned one. Without IS I have to resort to a bounce flash which can wreck the mood of an indoor event IMO.
    • Either version of the EF 100mm USM is sharp, sharp, sharp! Love that about these lenses.
    • For botanicals, etc. you can probably get by without a ring light for many shots; for bugs, etc. it's a different story and IS won't help you nearly as much as more light and a 1/200 shutter speed will.
    • 1:1 shots have a razor thin DoF, so you wind up using f/11 (or whatever f/stop your camera supports before diffraction starts to set in) which means you'll need more light than whatever ambient light you might have available. To combat this, I personally own an MR-14EX ringlight.
    • OBTW, macro is the one area where the deeper DoF of a crop sensor camera can work in your favor.
    • @AlaskaMoose: I believe that dllavaneras frequently uses both a ringlight *and* an off-camera speedlite via Stroboframe bracket on a Rebel to get sufficient light and shutter speeds for his amazing (!) bug shots. That starts to move into heavier rig territory; YMMV.
    • IIRC correctly, due to the larger filter thread diameter of the IS version of the 100mm USM, you'll need one of the little macrolite adapters to use the MR-14EX ringlite or MT-24EX twinlite (BTW, so does the non-IS version if you use filters, not a huge deal).
    • The cables on the Canon ringlite or twinlite are a total pain (this is a huge deal); I'm 100% jealous of the Nikon R1 and R1C1 wireless twinlite-style flash units. If I buy the follow-on replacement for the D700, a wireless twinlite and their 105mm macro lens would be my next purchase. Canon could easily add this to bodies with on-camera flash, esp. the 7D. :mad:
    • Do not, under any circumstances, mount a heavy ringlite (or twinlite) on a non-true-USM lens like the 50mm f/1.4 unless you want it to become a manual focus only lens. :(
    • The longer 150mm or 180mm macro lenses give you a longer working distance from your subject, but that will also mean more camera shake and require more light. On a 1.6 crop sensor, the 180mm prevents you from getting a 1/(effective focal length) second shutter speed synced with a ringlite. You could work around this with HSS and a couple of 580EXIIs, but it wouldn't exactly be handholdable (and HSS isn't as bright).
    • Tamron makes an f/2 60mm macro lens for Canon mounts, but at 1:1 the DoF is so thin that you wind up using smaller apertures (larger f/numbers) so I'm not sure what the point with that lens is outside of portraiture. For a crop sensor body, the EF-S 60mm macro is better, but neither is going to have much in the way of working distance. Bad for bug photography, but good for product shots, etc.
    That's all that comes to mind for now...
     
  20. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Excellent point:D
     
  21. AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

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    #21
    The IS should work when shooting offhand. Try moving back from the subject a little with the lest at f/2.8. Is it possible that you are getting the lens too close to the subject? The non-IS macro will focus as close as 12". That's its minimum focusing distance, and I imagine that it's the same for the IS version.

    Is it possible that the problem you are having with your lens relates to focusing and not IS?
     
  22. John.B macrumors 601

    John.B

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    #22
    FYI, when you say the non-IS focuses as close as 12", that's true but that number is the distance to the sensor at the back of the camera. The actual working distance (from the business end of the lens to the subject) is right at 6".
     
  23. Kronie macrumors 6502a

    Kronie

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    #23
    None of those are natural light macros. There all flash (or mostly all) and with a flash you don't need IS or a tripod.
     
  24. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #24
    Well, I find it very effective. If you have to shoot handheld, the IS does help. It makes it a very versatile lens.


    Um yeah, so what's your point?? When you need to shoot handheld, the IS is a huge boon.


    I don't think he made a point. :confused:

    Oh, one more benefit of the IS version: it has a focus limiter switch, which is very nice when you use autofocus.
     
  25. TheReef macrumors 68000

    TheReef

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    #25
    Up close even the slightest movement is magnified greatly, I'd go for the IS. (For when a tripod isn't practical)

    I'm tempted to sell the fast fifty to fund a 100mm WR macro. :D
     

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