Canon 100mm f2.8 Macro or Sigma 150mm f2.8 Macro lens?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by ali_hoolash, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. Hi all,
    I am on the market for a macro lens for my Canon EOS 7D. I have shortlisted the 2 lenses mentioned above. Any recommendations on which one you would have bought and why? I am more interested in image quality and bokeh (if that counts as a valid reason for choosing a macro lens!) than in the focal reach of the lens.
    Thanks for your inputs!
    Regards,
    Ali
     
  2. The longer a macro lens is, the more difficult it is to use hand-held. The difficulty of lighting the subject with a short-working-distance macro lens is greatly over-stated, although it does exist and may, for example, limit the usefulness of the new 24~70/4L IS as a macro lens. The real reason for wanting a long working distance is to handle small live subjects, typically insects, that cannot be aproached closely. There is also a preference for a long working distance in medical photography. You say you are not bothered about focal reach, so why are you not looking at the excellent EF-S 60/2.8, which has an angle of view on 1.6-factor comparable to that of a 100mm macro on FF, and plenty of working distance to avoid lighting issues. Apart from lacking the IS capability of the 100/2.8L, its two disadvantages are that it is too small to allow a tripod ring to be available (but use of an L-plate on the camera body largely deals with any off-balance issues in portrait format, although it obviously does not give the extra degree of freedom provided by a tripod ring) and it does not have a focus range limiter so when used as a general-purpose lens the AF rather readily racks through the entire focus range.
     
  3. I am more interested in image quality and bokeh (if that counts as a valid reason for choosing a macro lens!) than in the focal reach of the lens.
    All macro lenses have great image quality. As such the focal length is the prime consideration. Have another think about what your needs are.
     
  4. Thank you Robin and Arie! My primary interests in macro photography are plants and insects. I guess since insects are included in my list, I need to give the focal length a serious consideration and that tends to lower the balance in favor of the Sigma!
     
  5. I do a lot of macro with a 50D (same crop factor as your camera) and use both the EF-S 60mm and the EF 100mm L. I think Robin's explanation is right on the money. I would add only a couple of things.
    Having the choice, I almost always select the 100mm for bugs. The reason is the substantially larger minimum working distance (front of lens to subject): 146 vs. 90mm. Don't be misled--you have to get close regardless, even with the longer lens--but that extra little bit helps. I do most of my flowers indoors, with the camera on a tripod, and for that, I often choose the EF-S 60mm because the shorter working distance is quite helpful on a tabletop. I had intended to sell my 60 when I got the 100, but I found I didn't want to part with it. However, for most people, one macro lens is enough, particularly one as expensive as the 100, and given your interest in bugs, I would opt for the 100.
    The 150 (reviewed here) would give you an additional 48mm of working distance (a bit under 2 inches). However, like Robin, I have avoided lenses longer than 100mm because of the extra weight and the worse balance. Other people, however, swear by them.
    The image quality of both of the two Canon lenses is superb. I frankly can't tell without checking exif information which of my photos I took with each of them.
    While not quite bokeh, another factor is background blur. You will get more background blur with longer focal lengths, as a function of the narrower field of view. In macro work, I have rarely found that to be a consideration for me, but in some circumstances, it would matter.
     
  6. If it helps, these are done with a n EF 100mm 2.8 IS on a 7D. The butterfly is at iso 3200 and in my opinion quite acceptable so light was not a great problem. Both were hand held.
    00bCts-512323584.jpg
     
  7. And...
    00bCtu-512323684.jpg
     
  8. Thank you Dan and Richard! Your comments are really appreciated. The butterfly shot is excellent!
     
  9. I have the 50 compact macro and the 100 2.8 L IS macros. As far as I am concerned, the 100 has a huge advantage with excellent background blur and also the angle of view is a huge advantage for the 100. I seldom adventure in the outdoors without my 100. The 50 is now used mostly for copying documents, not nature photography. I would not want the Sigma 150 on a crop body, too long.
     
  10. Thank you Kerry! "I would not want the Sigma 150 on a crop body, too long." - you are probably right on this one! It didn't cross my mind!
    By the way, if I am going for the Canon 100mm f2.8, would you recommend the IS version? Is IS really a big advantage in macro photography to warrant the extra cost compared to the non-IS version?
     
  11. Ali, there has been a lot said in previous posts regarding how useful IS is with macro photography. You many
    want to search that. A lot of people say it is unnecessary because you are using a tripod and or flash. In my
    opinion, a tripod is desirable, but most times (for me) impractical.

    There have been many times when I took butterfly photos, handheld, and flash. In that case, I do find IS useful
    as it keeps the focus point where I want it. Also, I do like IS when using the lens as a general telephoto and it is
    my first lens with IS. Those who comment about not thinking IS is helpful should try IS and maybe they would
    feel differently. I am very glad my lens has IS. It is expensive and if I had the non-IS lens, it would probably be
    difficult justifying buying another lens just for the IS. The IS in the 100 lens is less effective the closer you get to
    a subject. Bottom line, is, I would get an IS lens again even if all I did was closeups. But that is just me. Others
    will disagree with that.
     
  12. "By the way, if I am going for the Canon 100mm f2.8, would you recommend the IS version? Is IS really a big advantage in macro photography to warrant the extra cost compared to the non-IS version?"​
    To sort of reiterate, . . .
    Ali,
    The 100 f/2.8 L Macro has the newest "Hybrid Image Stabilization" which is well worth the extra if you plan on taking any of your shots handheld!
    The IS will assist in not only horizontal & vertical camera shake, but also compensates for the minute "in & out or, distance" (for lack of better terminology) shake, or when your body will move back & forth when handholding.
    Although I also use mine on a tripod (with IS off) at times, I find that I do most of my "bug & flower chasing" around the yard handheld. For me, the results I have obtained at times would not be possible without the IS.
    Here's one of mine with outdoor natural lighting and I think handheld or, possibly used a Monopod.
    00bCyd-512381584.jpg
     
  13. not be possible without the IS​
    This always assumes that a direct comparison can be made. My own take is the IS helps a little, but not a great deal. Of course, the IS is more useful when used as a regular telephoto.
     
  14. I have the Canon 60mm, 100mm and Sigma 150mm macro lenses. I find more and more, I am using the Canon 70/300L and a 12mm tube for macro work.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. I shoot with a 7D and the canon 100 "classic" macro, 180L and MP-E. I use the 180 instead of the 100 where I want a tighter perspective.

    I mostly use the 100 and 180 handheld with ambient light and the MP-E mostly with flash.

    Much is made of using a longer lens for live subjects, altough there is some truth in this good field craft should permit one
    to get close shots of most subjects with the 100. There should be little problem with lighting the subject either with the 100
    (tip I often use the hood intended for the 60mm macro on the 100mm).

    The 180 is much harder to handhold than the 100 partly just due to the need for higher shutter speeds and partly weight.
    This become most problemetic close to 1:1. The 180 is better for tripod use. Much of this I think would apply to the Sigma
    150mm.

    On IS in macro I know some people love it but my experience with tripod macro is that shutter speeds are often limited by
    subject movement, even with plants, so I am not convinced.

    I would normaly recommend a 100mm macro as a first macro lens for general use.

    All the prime macro lenses have good reputations for sharpness so differentiators are more ergonomics and features like
    internal focus, FTMF and USM (for non-macro use).
     
  16. ah wawww I saw the One photo with 100mm and I want mine back o la la oooo I am cry.ing. cry.ing over my 100mm oh.. I want a new one o jeeeeeeeeeeee <3 <3
     
  17. I do alot of macros (especially insects) with a 105mm macro on my 7D. I do handheld exclusively with my 550EX flash. I can see the advantage of the longer 150mm or 180mm (for distance from the bugs), but it would make handheld extremely difficult on the crop camera.
     
  18. I do alot of macros (especially insects) with a 105mm macro on my 7D. I do handheld exclusively with my 550EX flash. I can see the advantage of the longer 150mm or 180mm (for distance from the bugs), but it would make handheld extremely difficult on the crop camera.
     
  19. I do alot of macros (especially insects) with a 105mm macro on my 7D. I do handheld exclusively with my 550EX flash. I can see the advantage of the longer 150mm or 180mm (for distance from the bugs), but it would make handheld extremely difficult on the crop camera.
     
  20. I don't know the Sigma, but the EF 100mm f/2.8L IS is the best lens I have ever used for hand-held shots. It is also excellent for non-macro work. The IS is truly incredible. I love that lens.
    Here is a 100% crop from a shot made when I was using it as a general walk-around lens:
    [LINK]
    --Lannie
     

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