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Thread: 100m f/2.8L or no L?

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    100m f/2.8L or no L?

    Hey all,

    Considering getting the Canon Macro 100m f/2.8 lens. There's around $300 difference between the regular, and L series.

    Anyone used either of these lenses, and do you think it's worth paying the extra for L? Thoughts?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Fedgrub; 24-07-2011 at 2:18pm.

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    can't remember Tannin's Avatar
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    A lens with latest generation IS vs a lens with no IS at all? Not even a question. Go for the L every time. The extra quality of your shots will still be there in many years time, where the small extra cost will be forgotten in a month or two.
    Tony

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    If you shoot macro subjects hand-held, then there's no question: go for the IS version.

    The much older, non-IS, non-L version is a fantastically sharp and very capable lens, however.

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    Good catch you two, totally missed that. Glad I ran it past here!!

    DEfinately getting the L now.
    Last edited by Fedgrub; 24-07-2011 at 2:20pm.

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    To be fair to the old non-L model, Fedgrub, it is universally regarded as a superb lens and no-one has ever quite worked out why it didn't get a red ring in the first place. Optically, the new model fails to improve on it more than incrementally - largely because there really wasn't a lot left to improve.

    But as Xenedis says, for hand-holding macro subjects this IS is a godsend. Note that this is the first lens ever made with shift-mode image stabilisation as well as conventional angular mode, and for macro this is a major advance. Compare with the vast majority of old-school macro lenses with no IS at all, and with the newer batch (I think only from Nikkor so far) which have IS but switch it off at short focus distances because it doesn't work very well. Before too long, all macro lenses will have shift and angular IS; but only the 100/2.8L Macro has it now.

    Oddly enough, however, I wasn't really thinking of the close-op abilities when I said "get the iS every time". I was thinking of the many non-macro uses for this lens. 100mm is a very nice length for all sorts of tasks, and IS means you can take good advantage of the spontaneity of hand-holding even in low light.

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    Thanks, Tannin.

    So when you say it switches off at short focus distance, is this automatic? Or just recommended?

    Thanks!

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    Neither, Fedgrub! That's the point. The 100 L macro is the first lens to incorporate Canon's new hybrid stabilisation system that works at macro distances as well as at longer range. It doesn't switch off at all. (Unless you yourself flick the switch to "off" for some reason.) Other lenses will follow, we assume. You'd guess that the 180/3.5 macro would be next, perhaps followed by a refreshed version of the delightful little EF-S 60mm macro. But with Canon ... who knows?

    The lens that switches off is the Nikon 105mm macro (or "micro" in Nikon speak). It auto-detects close focus and switches off the VR whether you like it or not.

    See here for more: http://the-digital-picture.com/Revie...ns-Review.aspx

    All other macro lenses (well, all the others that I can think of) have no IS/VR at all - though I imagine that the sensor-based stabilisers on Pentax and Olympus cameras would be of at least some use, probably quite a bit.

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    Ah, got it! Thanks!

    Looking forward to getting it.

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    Is it advisable to use a tripod collar with the L version when mounting it on a tripod, or is it ok to just mount it by the camera body, because I see the collar is nearly $300 alone.
    Jayde

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    Quote Originally Posted by dulvariprestige View Post
    Is it advisable to use a tripod collar with the L version when mounting it on a tripod, or is it ok to just mount it by the camera body, because I see the collar is nearly $300 alone.
    I assumed the collar isn't required because it doesn't come with one. But that's just me... Hoping no collar is required anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fedgrub View Post
    I assumed the collar isn't required because it doesn't come with one. But that's just me... Hoping no collar is required anyway.
    The lens weighs 625g, and isn't long or front-heavy.

    A collar isn't necessary.

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    Thanks Xenedis.

    For future reference, is there any set weights that a collar is required for? Or is it just a matter of logically considering length and weight?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fedgrub View Post
    For future reference, is there any set weights that a collar is required for? Or is it just a matter of logically considering length and weight?
    I'm not sure if there's some formula.

    Three of my lenses have tripod collars, and I use them when using those lenses on a 'pod.

    I've used a heavier lens than the 100/2.8L IS Macro on a tripod, and it wasn't a problem. Of course, the stability of the tripod head is a key factor.

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    There is another macro lens with IS (or OS in this case), and that's the new Sigma 150mm F2.8.

    I bought one a couple of weeks ago, and it is the sharpest lens I've ever used.
    The OS works well at macro distances too, and being 150mm, it means you can be a bit further away from the action and still get 1:1.
    I also have the Canon 60mm Macro, and the sharpness and colours of the Sigma are a step above.

    The Sigma is the first lens I've tried that I can zoom in to 200% size on the PC and the edges are still sharp!
    None of my L lenses can do that.

    If you're choosing between the Canon 100mm lenses, definitely go for the L if you can afford it.
    All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
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    Fedgrub, I'd rather like to have the tripod collar because that would work better with the rest of my gear, but I;m damned if I'll pay that absurd price for it. I think you can get cheap knock-offs from Hong Kong or somewhere. I should look into that.

    Note that you also need an adaptor ring if you have the twinlight flash.

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    Here's a couple of shots I did, handheld, at night using the new Sigma 150mm Macro with OS and my 580EXII flash on the top of the camera.

    The second shot is a 100% crop of the original.
    Look carefully, and you'll see there are 2 bugs in the hole.

    This berry is from a lilli-pilli and is less than 10mm in total diameter, so the bugs are around 1-2mm long.

    LilliPilliBug01-8509LR.jpg


    LilliPilliBug01-8509SmallCrop.jpg

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    That's pretty impressive Benny, the crop actually looks sharper than the original, around the same price as the L, but you get an extra 50mm, mmmmmmmm

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    Nice shots Benny! Will definitely consider that lens after seeing those

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    Thanks Benny, had talked myself out of that lens, but you have brought it back into consideration, and portrait "people" shots, to show how versatile it is?
    I have this silly idea, that I should actually go and take photos with all this photography gear I have already accumulated, before I collect any more!

    See some of my photos here.
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/David...5888662?ref=hl
    And my very randomly updated blog.
    http://davidarnold.wordpress.com/

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    I don't do many portraits as most of my family and friends are camera shy but I think this Sigma lens would do a sterling job of them as the colours and contrast are excellent.
    The bokeh is to die for! So creamy smooth.

    Here's a shot I took with it of a nice flower bud, which is posted up in the flower section.
    It is completely untouched as far as PP is concerned, and is just straight out of the camera and reduced in size for the forum.
    The second shot is a 100% crop of the first shot, again, untouched by any PP othe rthan cropping.

    One thing i really like about this lens, is that because you have a bit more distance between you and the subject, you can just use a normal flash with it, instead of having to spend lots of $$$ on a ring or macro flash.
    Mind you, I do have a ring flash, whcih I use on my 60mm Macro, but for this lens, any flash mounted on the top of the camera will work well.

    The lens is a bit bigger and heavier than the Canon 100 Macro (either of them), but it's not too big or heavy to use, even with a 580EXII on the top of it, and the lens comes with a tripod mount and lens hood as well.

    KirstenRosebud-8556LR.jpg

    KirstenRosebudCrop-8556LR.jpg

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