Macros 60-100-mm ?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by sai, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. sai


    Hi everyone, I?m dying to buy a macro lens! I study biology and I?m very
    interested in taking pictures of plants and insects. I?ve been looking at the
    Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM and the Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM. The
    60mm gives me a 1:1 ratio on my 350D but the 100mm is only US$100 more
    expensive and it?ll give me some more! Any comments on any of these lenses is
    welcomed, I have read many reviews but I want to hear something from more
  2. Basically it all comes down to which focal length you want more. If you're going for insects, the 100 will be a better choice because it allows you more working distance.
  3. Both lenses are excellent. The 100mm macro will allow you to be further away from your subject when at life size vs. the 60MM. Another advantage to the 100MM is that it is an EF lens which will fit any of the current Canon bodies. The 60mm is an EFS lens and will only fit on the Canon bodies with APS-C size sensor (1.6 crop). Another excellent choice would be any of the current Sigma macro lens. I have both Canon (100mm) and Sigma 50mm and 180mm macros and if anything they are as good or better than the Canon lens. But believe me there is nothing wrong with any of them.
  4. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    >>> If you're going for insects, the 100 will be a better choice because it allows you more working distance. <<< (LS)

    Agree 100%.

    Please read:

  5. sai


    Thanks for the responses =) yes I was thinking on getting the 100mm, but now Michael opened my mind. Is there really a big difference between Canon and third party lenses, like Sigma, or Tokina?
  6. I was debating which of these lenses to buy as well, and it's not an easy decision. Both are reputed to be outstanding macro lenses, so for macro purposes you can't go wrong with either. I was used to a 100mm macro on film, and knew that the working distance (which is close to the 60 on APS-C) would be sufficient for me, but that a little more also would not pose a problem. So that wasn't a deciding factor either.

    In the end I figured 60 is pretty close to 50, and I can pick up a EF 50mm 1.8 II any day for peanuts. On the other hand, I probably would never buy another prime lens around 100mm. So I bought the 100 - and eventually also the 50 1.8. This means I have two different focal length covered with primes, which makes my overall set more versatile.

    Also, the 100 is an EF lens while the 60 is EFs, which gives the 100 an edge if you ever want to upgrade to FF.

    So far I haven't regretted the decision. The 100mm 2.8 macro delivers all it's reputation promises!
  7. I've used both and when I get around to buying a macro lens it will be the 100. It's a GREAT lens.
  8. Pre-digital I used the 100mm macro a lot, not just for macro but as a general short

    On a 1.6x crop body I find the 100mm too long for my tastes. I recently switched to a 40D
    from the 1-Series and picked up a 60mm EF-S with it. Very nice, lightweight combination.
    Very sharp and the perfect focal length -- for me.

    I'd say the choice between the two comes down to how much working distance you desire.
    Most folks doing bugs, flowers, and other nature macro things perfer the 100mm (or even
    the 180mm L) for the greater working distance (which is especially handy if you're using
    strobes for lighting).

  9. This question or one very close to it is asked tepeatedly on this forum, and I doubt if there is anything new to say. In brief, most genuine macro lenses (as distinct from zooms with a 'macro' label) from reputable manufacturers, not only Canon, are apparently optically excellent - my own experience is limited to Canon, and I use the 50/2.5, 100/2.8USM, and EF-S 60/2.8. My work is mainly botanical, much of it medium close-up rather then around x1, and most of it done in the field. I used to prefer the 50/2.5 on FF, but have accommodated for the most part to the 100/2.8 on FF or the 60/2.8 on 1.6-factor. I certainly find the 100/2.8 on 1.6-factor too long for botanical work. It is OK for some insects but has too short a working distance for many.
  10. No they both give you 1:1. However the 100mm gives more working distance (between the lens and the subject).

    This is important for lighting and not scaring insects. Although you can manage with 60mm the 100mm will be much better all round and is not much larger, heavier or more expensive. The 100mm focal length is still very hand holdable in good ambient light, above 100mm this starts becoming an issue.

    Other advantages with the 100mm, it will work on a full frame camera, has a focus range limiter switch for fast AF at non-macro distance and can be used with the TMA-B tripod ring.

    Working distances at 1:1 for 60mm lens is 86.2mm for the 100mm is 143.0mm, this makes a big difference.

    Page on Canon macro kit here

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