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Archive 2012 · Macro Lenses. . . Please Help !
  
 
RedGhecko
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Macro Lenses. . . Please Help !


Hi all.
Im quite new to this forum so bear with me please!
I love macro photography and I especially like photographing snakes and other reptiles. I have a Canon EOS 650D body with the standard twin lens kit (18-55mm and 55-250mm). My problem is that I'm not satisfied with the image quality of the two lenses. What Im looking for are sharper images. Ive done some reasearch and came up with three macro lenses that Im sure would do the job yet I cannot decide which one. The three lenses are:

-Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM
-Zeiss Makro-Planar T* F2 100mm ZE
-Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM

So this is basically what Im looking for. Im looking for a lens that can take pin sharp images and can mount the canon twinflash. Im mostly out in the field and dont always have a tripod handy. I always manual focus so auto-focus isnt important and im not going to take pictures of flies and bees etc so magnification isnt a big issue. Lastly I have enough money to spend on any of the above lenses so price isnt a problem either.
So what Im basically asking of you guys is to help me choose the best lens to suite what Im doing. Im also interested to know which lens is the sharpest (as this is really what Im looking for in my images)? Im also interested to know if Image Stabilization actaully helps and if its important to look for in a lens?

There's probarly alot of stupid questions above but I realy would appreciate some help.

Regards Zander.



Dec 26, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Statitica
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Macro Lenses. . . Please Help !


Sigma lenses are pretty good, but if you're planning on getting a teleconverter in the future you want to get the 150 instead of the 105, as the 105 is not compatible with teleconverters.


Dec 27, 2012 at 06:29 AM
birdfreak12
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Macro Lenses. . . Please Help !


Of the three lenses you asked about, I used to own the canon 100/2.8, very nice lens. Sharp!! I now have the 100/2.8L and love it. I am seriously considering a Sigma 150mm macro to add to my bag. Constantly reading great things about this lens and seeing beautiful macro shots taken with it as well


Dec 27, 2012 at 06:57 AM
Dudewithoutape
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Macro Lenses. . . Please Help !


If you can afford the makro planar, why not consider the 100L macro?


Dec 27, 2012 at 07:35 AM
RedGhecko
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Macro Lenses. . . Please Help !


Dudewithoutape wrote:
If you can afford the makro planar, why not consider the 100L macro?


Well that is my question exactely. I can afford both but want to know which is better in terms of image quality and colour. Once I know that Ill take the lens!



Dec 27, 2012 at 04:37 PM
bladesofgrass
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Macro Lenses. . . Please Help !


The zeiss will only take you down to 1:2 and you will need tubes, filter, etc... to get to 1:1. That said the quality is excellent. The makro-planar T 100mm f/2.8 c/y does go down to 1:1, and is slightly cheaper. The bokeh of the Zeiss in my opinion is a bit nicer, and people generally laud the microcontrast. In terms of sharpness they are all going to be pretty similar, it is mostly the build construction, handling, bokeh and perhaps the most notable difference is the the number of revolutions required to go from infinity to 1:1. The zeiss has over 1 turn which therefore enables you to focus more precisely, however it will slow you down. The zeiss also is not automatic, and does not have IS. Instead it only has focus confirmation.

Overall the Zeiss is better quality but at ~$1500 and that's second hand it is pretty expensive. The only upgrade between the canon L and non-L is essentially the build quality. The IS doesn't play a significant role in the macro and won't find much use unless you're doubling it as a portraiture lens. IQ-wise you can save yourself lots of money by sticking with the non-L.

There are lots of other alternatives besides these lenses as well. You can reverse mount lenses that are currently in your possession. You can try the cheap but great quality Raynox DCR-250 filter. There are also bellows and enlarger lenses, microscope objectives, etc...

Hope this helps, if you have any other questions feel free to ask,
Paul

An example of bokeh of the Zeiss Makro-Planar T 100mm f/2.8





Dec 27, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Winginhunk
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Macro Lenses. . . Please Help !


I am an amateur photographer and have used both the Sigma & Canon L with a Canon 5D. I preferred the Canon over the Sigma. Here is a link to a test I did with both lens. On the Sigma link the photos with the focus charts were done with a tripod, all the rest were hand held to test the OS. All the Canon photos were hand held.
Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Ex DG OS HSM Macro Lens:
http://wingincamera.zenfolio.com/sigma_105macro
Canon 100mm IS F2.8L Macro
http://wingincamera.zenfolio.com/canon-100mm-l



Dec 28, 2012 at 07:10 AM
RedGhecko
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Macro Lenses. . . Please Help !


Thanks for the advice so far! Ive made up my mind and Im choosing the Zeiss out of the above mentioned lenses although I have something else to ask. I recently looked at a site and saw a macro lens called Voigtlander APO-Lanthar 125mm f2.5 macro. I would like advice from someone who has this lens? How does it feature as a macro lens and how does it compare to the Zeiss 100mm in terms of IQ, bokeh and microcontrast? I know this lens is hard to get but I have a friend that has it and is considering selling it so this might just be an option! I would also love some sample pics if you dont mind...

Regards Zander



Dec 28, 2012 at 05:08 PM
 

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RedGhecko
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Macro Lenses. . . Please Help !


Thanks for the advice so far! Ive made up my mind and Im choosing the Zeiss out of the above mentioned lenses although I have something else to ask. I recently looked at a site and saw a macro lens called Voigtlander APO-Lanthar 125mm f2.5 macro. I would like advice from someone who has this lens? How does it feature as a macro lens and how does it compare to the Zeiss 100mm in terms of IQ, bokeh and microcontrast? I know this lens is hard to get but I have a friend that has it and is considering selling it so this might just be an option! I would also love some sample pics if you dont mind...

Regards Zander



Dec 28, 2012 at 05:11 PM
bladesofgrass
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Macro Lenses. . . Please Help !


If you really want to splurge you should could for the 100mm f/2.8 leica apo elmarit


Dec 29, 2012 at 05:28 AM
RedGhecko
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Macro Lenses. . . Please Help !


bladesofgrass wrote:
If you really want to splurge you should could for the 100mm f/2.8 leica apo elmarit

And how does that compare to the zeiss?



Dec 29, 2012 at 09:50 AM
bladesofgrass
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Macro Lenses. . . Please Help !


Supposedly it's supposed to be the best on the market but these tests are often subjective and differ from one person to the other. Like the Zeiss it only goes to 1:2 but you can buy the elpro adapter which bring it to 1:1 with essentially no loss in IQ. Lens generally goes for about $2000 on the used market. There are performance reviews which compare the Zeiss, Leica and voigtlander just type in X lens vs. Y lens.


Dec 30, 2012 at 03:55 AM
RedGhecko
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Macro Lenses. . . Please Help !


Sorry for the doulble post above...I think Ive made up my mind and Im choosing the zeiss. Bladesofgrass I would appreciate your oppinion on the zeiss? Do you think its worth its money or can you buy a cheaper macro lens for the same performance? And please if you dont mind can you post 1 or 2 pics taken with the zeiss (of animals please)?

Rgds



Dec 30, 2012 at 06:32 AM
bladesofgrass
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Macro Lenses. . . Please Help !


I don't think I've ever spoken to anyone that was disappointed with the Zeiss. It handles great, has an excellent throw (number of turns of the barrel to achieve focus) and an excellent, smooth bokeh. The construction is of a much higher quality than the canon L or most other macros under $1000. However it is also quite heavy and the makro planar f/2 only goes up to half life size, therefore requiring an adapter/bellows/tubes to achieve 1:1 vs. the makro-planar f/2.8 which goes up to 1:1. If you get it for the ZE mount then you will maintain autofocus and EXIF data recording but it is still a manual lens. I find this to be a problem for macro since I am usually manipulating leaves and doing several things at once and I have to have both hands free to use this lens. However you would have the same problem with the Voigtlander and Leica anyways. It is only the Canon/Sigma/Tamron/Nikon type that have a completely automatic function.

Female nightjar:



White lipped peccary:




Dec 30, 2012 at 05:52 PM
sozypozy
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Macro Lenses. . . Please Help !


Get a sigma 150 mm.. Amazing results.


Jan 02, 2013 at 10:21 PM





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