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Marshall
24-12-05, 18:54
First things first, I am a new member and look forward to learning new things and contributing when my limited experience will allow, so can I just say Halo to you all and Merry Christmas - All the best for the new year to all.

I found this thread indeed this site whiles looking for a macro lens and learn something of the techniques used to obtain good results,
I know the attributes of the 500D and indeed have experimented with this on a number of lenses but would like to have a more dedicated setup such as the Canon 180 mm f/3.5 macro with my 1.4 TC and perhaps a set of extension tubes! This was my original thought-!! but having looked around for some time in many forums and reading countless revues on the subject I am left sumewhat confused on the lens issue and this is what I am left with.

Canon 180 mm 3.5 macro:-
To heavy, Old technology, to long and newer lenses are equal if not better in sharpness, Expensive.
Tamron 180 mm 3.5 SP Di macro:-
Poorly built plastic body, not as good in sharpness as others, clunky operation, lens foot is fragile, lens extends externally.
Sigma 180 mm 3.5 EX macro:-
Not as good as the Canon, Soft.
On the other hand if I was to go with the Canon 100 mm 2.5 macro that most consider to be a great lens but to short for flighty objects such as insects.
At this moment in time I am looking into the mid range macro:-
Sigma 150 mm 2,8 EX macro:-
Better sharpness than its 180 brother and as good if not better than the Canon 180,Not to heavy, Solid build, Fast and has added bonus of being a good portrait lens.
It sounds like I answer my own questions but this is just things I have picked up from here and there and not a collected debate of the pros and cons of these lenses by real people that have used a number of macros or perhaps have years of experience in macro photography,
Its for this reason I am making this post and would like to here your opinions on my observations, as I say I am new to macro and a hand up would be very much appreciated.
Just to say I have seen fantastic shots from all the above lenses on pbase and others with the exception of the Canon 180 mm but then the price of this lens may be a factor in that there are less people with the lens.

birder
24-12-05, 19:20
Hi Marshall

Not sure what your main subjects with your macro photography are going to be. Insects in flight sounds (and is!) tricky. My experience (with a Nikon 801 35 mm camera initially, and now with a Nikon D100) has been with the Tamron SP 90 (1:1 life size - a superb lens in my opinion), and more recently the Nikon 105 (I know not compatible with your set up).

The Tamron is excellent for flowers, fungi, insects, as well as being a great portrait lens. I've had mine for nearly 15 years and still marvel at it. Excellent value for money. Not sure if you can still buy it in manual form though (mine is).

The extra 'reach' of a lens, say 180mm, can be helpful and extend the distance between you and the subject, but even with insects, a quiet approach with a 90mm Tamron brought very satisfying results. Not sure if a 180mm would be like for eg flower photography.

Kevin

ruchai
30-12-05, 09:20
"Insects in flight sounds (and is!) tricky." Yes and no. For flying dragonflies it is possible with auto focus tele. This one was taken with Nikon D50 and Nikkor 80-400VR.

pxl8
31-12-05, 07:38
For flight shots of insects I've had good success with the Sigma 70-300 DG macro lens at 300mm with a working distance of around 3-4 feet. A good working distance helps a lot with flying insects, get too close and you have to move around a lot more.

The trick is to watch your subject's behaviour and stay calm. Pre-focus manually and wait for the subject to come into frame, fine tune and shoot. I found that manually focussing between leaves on a bush was a good way to improve my speed and "learn" the lens until it became second nature.

Stuart R
14-07-06, 21:07
First things first, I am a new member and look forward to learning new things and contributing when my limited experience will allow, so can I just say Halo to you all and Merry Christmas - All the best for the new year to all.

I found this thread indeed this site whiles looking for a macro lens and learn something of the techniques used to obtain good results,
I know the attributes of the 500D and indeed have experimented with this on a number of lenses but would like to have a more dedicated setup such as the Canon 180 mm f/3.5 macro with my 1.4 TC and perhaps a set of extension tubes! This was my original thought-!! but having looked around for some time in many forums and reading countless revues on the subject I am left sumewhat confused on the lens issue and this is what I am left with.

Canon 180 mm 3.5 macro:-
To heavy, Old technology, to long and newer lenses are equal if not better in sharpness, Expensive.
Tamron 180 mm 3.5 SP Di macro:-
Poorly built plastic body, not as good in sharpness as others, clunky operation, lens foot is fragile, lens extends externally.
Sigma 180 mm 3.5 EX macro:-
Not as good as the Canon, Soft.
On the other hand if I was to go with the Canon 100 mm 2.5 macro that most consider to be a great lens but to short for flighty objects such as insects.
At this moment in time I am looking into the mid range macro:-
Sigma 150 mm 2,8 EX macro:-
Better sharpness than its 180 brother and as good if not better than the Canon 180,Not to heavy, Solid build, Fast and has added bonus of being a good portrait lens.
It sounds like I answer my own questions but this is just things I have picked up from here and there and not a collected debate of the pros and cons of these lenses by real people that have used a number of macros or perhaps have years of experience in macro photography,
Its for this reason I am making this post and would like to here your opinions on my observations, as I say I am new to macro and a hand up would be very much appreciated.
Just to say I have seen fantastic shots from all the above lenses on pbase and others with the exception of the Canon 180 mm but then the price of this lens may be a factor in that there are less people with the lens.


Hi

Just joined this forum and have just posted some images using my D70 and my brand new Sigma 150 - appears to be a cracking lens and the working distance is great. Fact that it is internal focus is also very useful and I am impressed with the results I have been getting so far. Check out those I have posted. Don't think you would be disappointed if you bought this lens.

Cheers

Stuart R.

miketoll
14-07-06, 21:30
I think:
Canon 100 f2.8 best optically.
Tamron 90 and Sigma 105 about on a par with each other and not that much behind the Canon but cheaper.
The "crop factor" makes a 160 out of the Canon and roughly the same for the others so focal length should be fine. If you want more length then Kenko 1.4 converter (I have the Pro version which is excellent) or Tamron 1.4 would do the trick nicelly and maintain auto focus. Hope that helps. Mike

gordon g
14-08-06, 18:22
I have just joined this forum too, so no images posted yet. I have used 2 macro lenses - sigma 105 2.8EX and tamrom 180 2.8. The sigma was excellent, good build quality, pleasing bokeh, but had the drawback of very short working distances especially for 1:1. I found it hard to get close to insects, and sometimes would obstruct the light whilst trying to work the camera. The tamron doesnt feel as solid, true, but it it is still well constructed. The greater working length is its biggest advantage (about 30cm for 1:1), and it is quite light for its size. I have tended to use both lenses on MF for macro work, but I do find the tamron AF quicker when I use it. Both do well as portrait lenses.

Althouhg I would find it hard to choose one or the other for image quality,I use the tamron more than the sigma now, which I think speaks for its ease of use.

Leif
14-08-06, 19:31
I think one or two of you might be surprised by these results:

http://www.nnplus.de/macro/Macro100E.html

The Tamron 90mm is very highly thought of with one at least one well known pro describing it as one of the all time great macro lenses. The Tamron 180, Sigma 180 and Canon 180 macros were tested by AP magazine, and the results were akin to those in the link above.

nirofo
15-08-06, 02:03
I think one or two of you might be surprised by these results:

http://www.nnplus.de/macro/Macro100E.html

The Tamron 90mm is very highly thought of with one at least one well known pro describing it as one of the all time great macro lenses. The Tamron 180, Sigma 180 and Canon 180 macros were tested by AP magazine, and the results were akin to those in the link above.


I've used a Tamron 90mm Macro for years, I started with the manual focus Adaptall 2 version and finished up with the latest AF version, which I am still using. I can vouch for it's quality of reproduction and would recommend it without hesitation. I've also used the latest one with an old Nikon 1.6 AF converter with outstanding results. I tried the Nikon 105mm Macro for a while, but I couldn't get on with it, so I traded it in for the Tamron 90mm AF Macro and a Unilok tripod with head.

nirofo

miketoll
15-08-06, 19:49
I think one or two of you might be surprised by these results:

http://www.nnplus.de/macro/Macro100E.html

The Tamron 90mm is very highly thought of with one at least one well known pro describing it as one of the all time great macro lenses. The Tamron 180, Sigma 180 and Canon 180 macros were tested by AP magazine, and the results were akin to those in the link above.
Yes, I am surprised by these results as they disagree with every other review I've seen over the years which put the Canon first followed by Tamron and Sigma sometimes one, sometimes the other second. Ah well, that's reviews and possible variations in individual lenses for you! The bottom line is they are all good so it comes down to price and what feels right in the hand to the buyer. :)

Alex Paul
10-11-06, 19:55
I'll voice my opinion as well... You can't go wrong with any of the good Macro lenses, Tamron, Sigma, Canon, and Tokina all have outstanding lenses... The question is how close can you, or do you want to be, what is the acceptible amount you are willing to spend, and what is the primary use?? (moving or stationary targets).This will determine the focal length you should get. I have seen outstanding results from all of the lenses made by these 4 companies. I shoot the Canon, 100 and 180 as well as a combination of reversed lens combinations and find I have absolutely no complaints about the IQ of my Canon lenses. The longer focal lengths afford better working distance than the shorter lengths and for nervous bugs it is an advantage. The longer lenses are also heavier but I find the weight helps me hold steady when hand holding the shots. Personal preference on the weight issue.. They are all capable of 1:1 macro . My recommendation would be to go for the 100 range as tubes will increase the size of the subject in the frame and also function nicely for other than Macro applications. I find mine useful enough even with others in the goodie bag that I know I won't part with mine.. Good luck and happy shooting.....Take care....Alex

Marshall
23-12-06, 22:43
Hi I would like to thank you all for your input to my initial post and although Its been a long laps in time I finally made up my mind after narrowing my options down to 2 lenses !

I took my time your thinking, Well it took time to get hands on experience with the lenses in question but managed to narrow it down to

Canon 100 mm 2.5
Sigma 150 mm 2.5

The extra distance was the clincher here although the Canon would have given me an excellent portrait lens and its made to fit the Macro Ring Lite MR-14EX ! the working distance and inclusive lens hood and ring mount was worth more purely because I already have good lenses for portraiture Canon 24-70 mm 2.5 L and Canon 50 mm 1.4 !

The Sigma 150 mm 2.5 is for me as good Sharp as anything I have tested and is well built with fast AF in all modes. I know this is immaterial when in use for true macro as MF will be the preferred option but for all other use the AF is pin sharp and fast.

I have also seen complaints posted on how heavy this lens is ! I personally find it to be a good working weight giving good balance hand held with the internal focus also helping greatly in this regard, the ring mount is quickly removed, if its in use mounted on a tripod its just a matter of a half twist and pull of the retaining screw and your hand held and getting on with things I love this Note that if you have a battery grip or full frame camera you will need to fit the ring mount first as the shoe of the ring mount bottoms out against the camera body preventing its location if that makes sense !!

On a final note I would just like to point out that all the lenses I tried
Canon 180 mm 3.5
Canon 100 f2.8
Tamron 180
Tamron 90
Sigma 180 mm
All are V/Good optics, I think it just comes down to your needs and personal preferences

Yours
Marshall Muir