Looking for a good macro for a Canon body.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Jason Beck, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. Jason Beck macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Oct 19, 2009
    Cedar City, Utah
    I need a good macro lens that has close to L quality glass (same standards of photo quality and device durability). What would be a good mid to high ranged lens for me to try? I shoot Sigma but have had L lenses and some low dollar ones. Just looking for a macro I can grow into.

    I don't usually have a specific need for one but do need one sometimes for wedding rings and things like that. I can only crop and keep quality so much. I have a 1000D keep in mind. I am trying to beef out my lens collection a bit before my body upgrade. Although I do feel the constraints of the 1000D's limitations.

    I also wouldn't mind purchasing secondhand either if anyone wants to get rid of one and wouldn't mind eBay/Paypal (verified).
  2. TheReef macrumors 68000


    Sep 30, 2007
    NSW, Australia.
    The Canon 100mm f/2.8 L is well received amongst members of this forum and beyond, as is the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 SP Di Macro.

    IQ wise, the Tamron is said to be as good as the Canon (if not better), the build isn't quite as good as the Canon but respectable regardless.

    But best of all the Tammy's significantly cheaper. :cool:
  3. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    Pretty much any macro lens delivers excellent IQ, third-party or original (photozone gives most of them 4+ stars image quality). Among those, Tamron's lenses have the `worst' build quality. Tokina's 100 mm macro is very sturdily built, for instance.

    You must, however, make a decision as to what focal length you'd like: there is plenty of choice in the ~60 mm and ~100 mm range. There are also 35 mm macros (by Tokina) and 150 mm and 180 mm macros (Sigma and Canon), the latter being more expensive.

    Keep in mind that macro lenses make excellent portrait lenses :)
  4. H2Ockey macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2008
    When I was doing a small amount of research into which macro lens I to get I was mostly looking at 150 - 200mm range. I ended up looking around at many though and what I came across is that optically that 90-105mm choices were all stellar. I ended up with a sigma because I found a very reasonably priced used one, but found nothing but positives about Tamron, Tokina, Nikon, Sigma and Cannon. From what I found it seemed the consensus was the Cannon was only outdone by the Zeiss glass and followed very close by the rest.

    In your case I might think about a 60mm however. I didn't look much into them, but as passing comments saw a lot of statements like about all the macro lenses being of top notch optics. I'm just thinking if you are wanting to get close-ups of bouquets as well as rings a little wider couldn't hurt.
  5. Jason Beck thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jason Beck

    Oct 19, 2009
    Cedar City, Utah
    Ah okay good input then. Never shot a Tamron lens and have been meaning to. I think I know someone that actually has that one so I may try and borrow it. I've heard a bit about the Canon 100 2.8 and am mighty interested in it. Heard positive reviews on Amazon and a few other places about it that sparked my interest.

    So the 100 makes a pretty good portrait lens? Cool. I'll be playing with it alot then.
  6. ChrisA, Jul 19, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011

    ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    First pick the working distance you need. As you know working distance controls perspective. For example if shooting a wedding ring you want the diamond to look larger you get in really close. A 60 or even 50mm lens is best. A 100mm lens lets you back our more and maybe get some better light . a 50 or 40mm difference does not sound like much but a factor of two makes a difference in perspective. Perspective is one of the most importent controls you have when composing an image. So figure out what you want.

    Also think about exposure and DOF. The 1/focal length rule still applies but then most macro work is done on a tripod or stand so you can use slow shutters and stopped down aperture for DOF. Focal length also has an effect of DOF. I like the look of images done at short working distrance but the longer lenses are populare and double as a god "people lens".

    I have a Nikon system and I'm still using a 1960's vintage "Micro-Nikor" 40+ years ago this was the sharpest lens ever made. and today it is still good.
    Here is a review. The build quality on these is unlike anything made today. These were 100% brass and glass. Every part was either machined metal or glass (or paint) and they will out last many photographers. I paid $75 for it. Work fine with modern dSLR in full manual mode

    Once you choose a focal length you options narrow down quite a lot. But you should pick the FL first.
  7. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Mar 25, 2009
    Folding space
    I love my Tamron 28-75 2.8, but my Canon 100 mm 2.8 macro L is quite a different animal. The sharpness and build quality are truly world-class. I got mine from B&H for around $800 and consider it a good expenditure. It is weather sealed and will make the move to the full frame you would like to have in the future. I use this lens on my used 450/XSi and it reminds me that I have way more camera than I think I do. It really is all about the glass...:)

    Edit: Here is the Lens Rental review of the IS version.

  8. flosseR macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2009
    the cold dark north
    I agree with everyone above. Personally I am also a Nikon Shooter but I have owned Canon and the Canon non-IS Macro lens with it.. the difference between L and non L is quite big BUT not THAT big :) IS becomes useless at macro work (As anyone who has tried it for 1:1 and even the manual says so). Personally I like the IQ of the L lens a whole lot more than the normal macro and the fact that it is weather sealed is a big bonus if you ever shoot in the freezing cold or high humidity (think green house or botanic garden).

    If you can, hold out for the L.. I went with the Nikon 105mm and I think 100 or higher mm is the minimum distance for any moving subject for macro work. If you plan on shooting plants or objects then 60mm might be enough. Tamron's 90mm is border line IMHO.

    As someone stated: 3rd party options are good, the Tamron is excellent but almost all of them extend until you reach 150-180mm, which In retrospect I should have went for but the Nikon 105 has just such lovely IQ :)

    Anyway, good luck on your hunt but my bet and vote is on the L Macro.
  9. MattSepeta macrumors 65816


    Jul 9, 2009
    375th St. Y
    I have been using a Tamron 60 mm f/2 Macro for the past 4 years and it is great. Doubles as a fast prime for use in low light or portraits, too. And its 1:1 macro. And its only about $300 IIRC.

    Only downside is it is EF-S, although I use it on my 5DII all the time.
  10. marsmissions macrumors 6502


    Jan 5, 2010
    Washington, US
    The sigma macros are great, and so are the canons. Both l and non l macros from canon are good. Take a look at the 100mm selections as well as the Ef-s 60mm.
  11. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area
    The Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro is a great lens. It is incredibly sharp. Look at the tests done at slrgear.com. They almost couldn't measure any distortion. Even wide open.This is now the lens I use whenever the focal length is appropriate.

    As mentioned above, you need to decide on the focal length first before shopping around.
  12. legreve macrumors regular


    Nov 22, 2010
    The first Canon 100mm macro was good... the new one is amazing. I would recommend this lens any time.

Share This Page