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  1. #11
    natek313's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jill H View Post
    This is great for me too as I wanted to ask the same question about a Macro lens for my Canon 450D (Rebel XSi).
    I was tossing up between the 60mm and the 100mm after reading a couple of photography mags. My question is can you still fill the frame and get a really in close detail shot with the 100mm. I am not really interested in insect shots, but do a lot of flower work, and looking at expanding into other macro work. I take a lot of wildflower shots out in the bush and don't always want to be laying on the ground! Could you tell me what lens would be most suitable.

    thanks.
    Jill,

    The minimum focusing distance on the 100mm f/2.8 is 12 inches. You can absolutely fill the frame with it. Here is one of the shots I got with mine:

    Mum

    Now, the thing to take note of is that the flower was only about 1 inch in diameter. So, hopefully that answers your question.
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  2. #12
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    thanks natek. I appreciate you replying. At the moment I am using the Super Macro setting on my Canon PowerSHot Pro1 (you can't buy it anymore) and it takes fantastic photos which I have always been really happy with (as well as it being a good all round camera). Though I was just reading the booklet that says on Super Macro the photos are only 5MP - I must say I haven't had any of them blown up big size yet.

    So really if I want to get really serious about this (which I do) I should go for it and buy the 100mm? (in your opinion?)
    Thanks.

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  3. #13
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    Well, my opinion would be to try both of them out at a camera store. Look at the specs for each lens. The biggest (and most important, perhaps) factor is going to be your budget. From the research I've done, both lenses have been well-received and have performed greatly.

    But, after all that, I would say that if I could pop for the 100mm macro lens, then I would. It's one of Canon's sharpest lenses, and it can double as a quality portrait lens. That's not to say the 60mm can't play both roles as well.
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    Just to help out on the 60 side of the argument, you can fill a frame with a clover blossom, but yeah, you're close to lying on the ground.
    clover

    And I have taken a spider shot or two with it.

    If you look at the MTF charts between the 60 and the 100 (non-IS), the 60 actually is the sharper lens of the two. But it cannot be used on a full-frame body, so if you plan on someday moving up to a 5D, you may want the 100 instead.
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    I just had the same dilemma and went with the 60mm since it doubles as a crisp little portait lens. in fact, it hasn't left my camera since the day it arrived.

    I might want to move up to the 100mm one day when I have a dedicated portrait lens, but for now the double purpose 60mm is a great fit.
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  6. #16
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    Jill,

    Inkista posted a some good comments as well in her last post. I knew the 60mm was sharp, but I never saw the MTF charts. The 60mm being sharper than the 100mm is news to me. Regardless, both lenses are very sharp.

    Basically, it's going to come down to your budget and what focal length you prefer. I like the 100mm for the extra reach. I have a 85mm f/1.8 lens that I use mainly for portraits, so my 100mm is my "dedicated" macro lens unless I feel like using it for portraits. Also, inkista brought up another good point about full-frame compatibility.
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  7. #17
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    Here's information on how to read an MTF chart. Essentially, the higher up the lines are, the better the light transmission. Blue is for f/8, black is for wide open (f/2.8 for these lenses). Thin lines are resolution (sharpness), thick lines are contrast. And the dashed/solid lines have to do with resolution on the different diagonals. Essentially, the closer together matching dashed/solid lines are, the smoother the bokeh will be.

    Here are the MTFs as they're given on the Canon website. Please note that the EF-S lens's horizontal scale does NOT match the EF lenses' (this is the distance from the center to the edge of the frame).

    From left to right: it's the 60, the 100 (non-L), and the 100L.



    As natek313 says, both the 60 and the 100 are very sharp lenses. Nearly all macros are cut-yourself-sharp.
    Last edited by inkista; 11-03-2009 at 10:36 PM.
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    Do they say what focus distance was used for the charts? Macro lenses are often much sharper at infinity than minimum focus.....a MTF chart for the lens set at infinity doesn't tell you how it performs at minimum focus. Also, f/8 doesn't tell you how the lens performs stopped down further as macro lenses are often used at small apertures. I reckon that even if you understand the MTF charts those ones are about as much use as a chocolate teapot

    From what I've seen shorter macro lenses are often sharper - the longer the focal length the harder it seems to be to make a lens focus down to 1:1. Longer lenses are often easier to use in the field though, particularly on larger insects that can fly away if you get too close. What's the best macro lens depends upon what you want to do with it.

    I find something around 100mm is a nice compromise for general use.....gives good results and reasonable working distance.
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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by inkista View Post
    Just to help out on the 60 side of the argument, you can fill a frame with a clover blossom....
    Both lenses achieve the same magnification (1:1) at their minumum focus distances.....you could fill the frame the same way with either lens.

    ...although throw extension tubes into the mix and the 60mm gets the magnification advantage.

    PS your spider is an orb weaver - it looks very much like Araneus diadematus but I can't see enough detail in the adominal pattern to be sure. A view of the palps would tell us what sex it was. In the UK we call them garden spiders but I think they have been introduced to the US via ports and have managed to spread out reasonably well.
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  10. #20
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    thanks everyone for your incredibly informative and helpful replies. My computer just had a dizzy fit when I finished my original reply...five minutes ago....and now I have to start again.

    You comments have given me lots of food for thought and a few more questions. Sorry if I sound like a dummy

    thanks for your comment Inkista - "60 actually is the sharper lens of the two. But it cannot be used on a full-frame body, so if you plan on someday moving up to a 5D, you may want the 100 instead."

    No doubt this may be a possibility so this is a good plug for the 100mm.

    I see from my camera specs sheet that it has a EF / EF-S lens mount. So this is all ok.

    I looked at a digital camera warehouse on the net in Australia (Canon don't have prices for lenses on their site) and I see that the Canon 60mm EF-S f2.8 Macro USM sells for $799 (Aust), the 100mm EF Macro USM for $999 and the 100mm EF F2.8L IS USM for $1449.00.

    Image stabilisation would be a good thing I presume??? Might as well go the whole hog - what's another $450??? What does F2.8L mean - specifically the L? and what does USM mean - although I see USM on all of them...

    Thanks everyone again for your comments! I appreciate your time and effort! cheers!
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