Macro lenses: 60mm vs 90mm

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by B.A.T, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. B.A.T macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2009
    I'm pretty new to dslr cameras and am about to buy a new lens. I want a lens that will let me take good closeup shots of flowers and is also good for portraits. I'm not really interested in photos of small insects. Two questions:

    1) While the 90mm lens may allow me to get "closer" when taking shots of flowers, wouldn't a 60mm do the same thing if I just put the lens closer to the flower?

    2) Which lens would you prefer for portraits? My gut feeling says use a 60mm but I'm interested to hear what people with experience have to say.
  2. Patriks7 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2008
    If you could provide some information like what camera you have, would make this much easier.
    If you are not planning on taking pictures of any insects and things like that, just plants and portraits, the 60mm will be better. But if you are thinking of taking pictures of things like bees and spiders, the 90mm would be better, because it allows you to be further away from the subject.
  3. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    For macro of living things, the longer the focal length, the better, as it gives you more working distance. For that reason, my preferences are:

    200mm, 150mm, 90-100mm then 60mm. I own a 60mm, but only because the price was right (and it makes a reasonable landscape lens.)

    For portraits, I prefer a 35-70mm zoom, as it allows a variety of shots, but otherwise, a 90mm requires lots of working distance for portraits, but has a very nice telephoto effect if you have the room. If not, then the 60 is probably your best choice.

  4. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Dec 29, 2006
    Monterey CA
    Paul's post is perfect. For macro, longer is better. Remember that older manual focus lenses are ok as auto focusing isn't really necessary in macro work.
  5. B.A.T thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 16, 2009
    My camera is a Canon XSI. My current lens is a Tamron AF 17-50mm F/2.8 XR Di-II LD SP ZL Aspherical (IF) Zoom Lens

    For the 60mm lens I'm debating between:
    Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM Digital SLR Lens or
    Tamron AF 60mm f/2.0 SP DI II LD IF 1:1 Macro Lens

    I'm going to try both lenses out this weekend on my camera and look at the results on my computer before I decide.

    Thanks for your advice.
  6. MattSepeta macrumors 65816


    Jul 9, 2009
    375th St. Y
    Tamron 60mm

    I just bought the Tamron 60mm f/2 this past week, and have been enjoying it immensely. Last night I decided to try to get some of the water drop shots that look so cool but I could never figure out, and it was a cinch, granted, I was using some off camera flashes.


    Now this is pretty much straight out of camera. I ran an auto tone and noise ninja on it, but it BARELY changed.

    My first impressions with the tamron are: Tack sharp, fast, 1:1 macro is awesome

    Cons: Slow focus, a bit expensive for how limited its uses are

    I have also been enjoying taking some portraits with it. I was planning on using it for low light concert photos, but the AF is so slow and "searchy" I will probably need a different prime.
  7. mrkgoo macrumors 65816

    Aug 18, 2005
    I love macro.

    I have an EF-S 60mm Macro f/2.8 and an EF-100mm Macro L IS.

    I really like the 60mm for size and convenience - it really does double as a good general lens, great optical quality. The tampon f/2 looks to be even more versatile.

    I bought the 100mm because I wanted to be a bit more weather sealed and have slightly higher quality blur. The IS helped seal the deal as an extremely versatile lens. Despite being longer, I can use it in more places than the EF-S 60mm due to IS.

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