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      11-16-2012, 12:53 PM   #1
kingofthedemo
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Macro lens recommendations, please....

Hey guys I'm a complete novice when it comes to photography, I'm just now getting into it as a hobby, I have a cannon t2i dslr, and a few lenses, I want to buy a macro lens next, could someone please recommend some good options for me, thank you!
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      11-16-2012, 01:37 PM   #2
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Don't make the mistake of buying a short focal length (FL) macro, like a 50mm or 60mm. The working distance (distance between the sensor and the subject) is too close for a lot of macro work. Look at the Canon 100mm f.28 macro. The L version is pricey, but it's a damn nice lens. The non-L version is cheaper and also very nice, but doesn't have Image Stabilization (IS).

You may find some cheaper 3rd party macros, but the FL issue remains the same. Working distance is the thing to keep in mind.
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      11-16-2012, 02:01 PM   #3
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on a budget? want to see if macro is your thing? just find out what filter thread your current lenses use, and buy a close-up filter set for under $75.
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      11-16-2012, 02:02 PM   #4
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jesus, that sounded like a fricking advertisement.
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      11-16-2012, 02:59 PM   #5
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Do the close-up filters say "rodi approved?"
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      11-16-2012, 05:12 PM   #6
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I dont skimp on glass. Lenses seem to hold up much longer than bodies. That being said.. I'm spoiled by L glass and wouldnt go back. the 50 and 60mm canon 'Macros' are ok, but as the previous poster said, they are too far. Also check what the actual magnification is on the lens! Also dont believe the 'kit' lenses that say they are 'macro'.. they arent.

On the canon, the best way to go for macro is the 100mm f2.8L IS. It is a BRILLIANT piece of glass. It also doubles nicely as a portrait and mild telephoto when you're not shooting macro. It IS my favorite of all the lenses I have and the list of that is long and full of L series glass.

The non L version is good too, but you lose the IS and some of the image quality.
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      11-17-2012, 01:22 AM   #7
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I'm going to disagree with some folks here. I think the 60mm EF-S lens is a fine choice for a first macro lens on a crop frame Canon. Yes, the working distance is a bit less than the 100, but it's just as sharp (or so close you won't notice the difference), lots lighter and quite a bit cheaper. The only really strong argument against it is the fault of all EF-S lenses - lack of compatibility when/if you upgrade to full frame. I'm not saying the 100 (L or non-L) are bad choices. They're both excellent lenses, but I just think that a beginner can get more bang for the buck with the 60.

If you really want to just dip your toe in the macro waters then I agree that a set of extension tubes on a normal to short telephoto lens is a cheap approach. I shot with a 50/1.4 + Kenko tubes for a year before buying a macro, though, and while it works it's MUCH less convenient and flexible than a dedicated macro lens.

Ultimately though, the correct answer (as in most "what lens should I buy" questions) comes down to what your intended use is. If you want a medium focal length lens for general photography and whatever close up shots come up then the 60 EF-S (or 100L if money is no object) are good choices. If you really want to shoot small critters then a longer focal length option like the Sigma 150/2.8 would work well and would provide enough working distance so you won't scare off every bug you try to shoot.

There are more exotic/expensive choices if you go deeper down the macro rabbit-hole, and you'll soon find that accessories like a proper macro flash are desirable. But start with a simple, sharp macro lens like any listed here and then see where your shooting takes you.
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      11-19-2012, 12:19 AM   #8
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Key words: novice & hobby
While I like using my 100/2.8 for macro, I don't use it for that at all. Macro is specialized work and you would have to have a keen interest to get the 1:1 that the 100 offers.
Depending on the amount that they have to spend in descending order would be the MP-E 65mm, 100mmL, 100mm, other 90/100 macro lenses and then finally any of the EF-S lenses that have the short focus distances.
If it's flowers and objects up close I feel the EF-S lenses can cope but if the details are the interest then a dedicated macro lens is in order.

The Canon 100 2.8 I have is a very sharp lens. I'll use it as a portrait and landscape lens. I just wish it had IS, photography in a museum is hard without it.
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