Why do I need a Macro Lens?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by mickeysimpson, Jun 7, 2020.

  1. WOW! Very nice shot!
  2. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Understood that the OP stated he's not necessarily interested in a Macro Lens anymore, yet a couple of points for general consumption -

    (I think there's a typo previously) - The EF 50 F/2.5, I believe, is now discontinued; I reckon good second hand copies would be available. If one is considering this lens as a purchase, it is well worthwhile getting the matching Life Size Converter. In addition to its macro function, the lens itself is superb for forensic, archival recording and copying - for example for recording art works for insurance purposes. It is an exceptionally Flat Field Lens.

    Regarding the EF 100 F/2.8 Macro and the EF 100 F/2.8L Macro IS - I’ve found that the AF on both is comparatively slower than, for example, most other Canon Mid-telephoto/Telephoto Prime Lenses, however, both these lenses have Focus Limiters, the former a two position selection and the later a three position selection. Employing the Focus Limiters does result in a faster AF (specifically less hunting time) which can render these lenses quite suitable for other uses, such as Street, Candid Portraiture and some Sport: though it is not necessarily the “go to lens” or “must buy lens” for those genres.

    As a practical example, I quite like using Prime Lenses for Portraiture / Candid Portraiture / Street Portraiture: and I have an 85mm Prime and a 135mm Prime: A long time ago I chose to add the EF 100 F/2.8 Macro to that set of Mid Tele Primes. Although I use the 100mm mainly for its macro purposes, the lens does nicely double as a 100mm for some Portraiture work and I do not see any need to have a duplicate in my kit, by adding the EF100 F/2 Prime. It is simply a matter of understanding and adapting to the limitations of AF of (all?) Macro Lenses.

    I think it is a poor buying criterion to enforce a limit to buy only “L Series” Lenses. I think that with a full understanding of the criteria to attain the designation of L Series, it is easy to realize that there are many other lenses in the Canon stable which will provide robust build, excellent performance and excellent image quality, over a long lifetime.

    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
    mickeysimpson likes this.
  3. I used the focus limiter for the 100mm macro L and still found that it was just not reliable focusser on the street. Of course, many times it did work, but often it required a few presses on the AF button to ensure focus, by which time the subject had gone. This did not inspire confidence. On continuous focus it often was too slow to follow the subject accurately. Optically it is a good lens and for its intended use it is excellent. Also great in the studio. But for fast AF on the street, well it was not a good match. The 85/1.8 or the 70-200mms are a better bet. The 100/2 is probably better too in that regard although I have not tried it. This was with the Canon 6D and 5DIV.
    Jochen likes this.
  4. William Michael

    William Michael Moderator Staff Member

    Yes. My comment in Post #22 was not disagreeing with your experience. I think we have experienced the same thing. I described, when the limiters were employed, as "specifically less hunting time". (i.e not eliminating the hunting time). I agree about the 85/1.8 and (all of) the 70 to 200 lenses being quick AF. The 100/2 appears to have snappy AF too; I have only used that lens in a camera shop, though.


Share This Page