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Starting macro: which lens to choose?


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#1 Fasando

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 10:28 AM

Im soon going to get a macro lens(never done macro before), so which lens would be the choice to go?
My camera is the Canon T3i(600d), which is a cropped sensor. the main 2 lenses im struggling to choose between are the canon 60mm and the canon 100mm(seeing as the price difference isnt too much). now which lens would be the best for people who are just starting out with macro photography?

#2 Cerianthus

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:52 AM

60mm. Don't forget that on film, the 100mm was long the workhorse. On a cropped sensor the 60mm is similar. If you are in green or turbid water, the shorter working distance of the 60mm helps to have less water in the way. However, the 100mm in clear water is special once you are used to it. Especially for really small stuff, the 100mm is better. Then the short working distance of the 60mm is a disadvantage.
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#3 Cerianthus

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:59 AM

Ps. In the end you want both.
Gerard

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#4 Fasando

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:57 PM

Well im mostly diving in eilat(the red sea) which is pretty clear

#5 AndyBarker

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 02:08 PM

Hi
the 60mm is more useable not just for macro, but can be used for portrait shots as well.
one of the most important issues to remember is to keep the water column as small as possible, this will help
to cut down the back scatter.

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#6 E_viking

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:01 PM

Macro Workhorses:
DX => 60mm.
FX => 100/105mm.

Nikon D800, Nikon 60, 105, 16-35, Sigma 15, Nauticam D800, Zen 230mm, Subsee +5 & +10, 2*INON Z240


#7 jbdiver

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 02:55 PM

If you have never shot macro before, definitely start with the 60mm. I use a 7D and the canon 60mm lens is phenomenal -- both below and above water. Shooting macro can be really tricky and frustrating at first. The 60mm lens will offer an easier learning curve. I consider macro to be much more difficult than wide angle. I recommend lots of practice. I like to use the 60mm on reef walls where I never know what to expect. I can use it to capture the little stuff, or even bigger stuff like turtles.

#8 Glasseye Snapper

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 06:05 PM

A lot of good points mentioned above. If you are interested in macro for invertebrates or anything that doesn't get scared away I would recommend the 60mm. I am primarily interested in fish and find I use the 100mm a lot more than the 60mm. It means you dedicate the entire dive to macro but I personally find it helps me to get in "the zone".

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#9 ChrigelKarrer

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Posted 15 November 2012 - 08:13 PM

Well, the 100/105mm is difficult to use in surge or current conditions or very murky water,
but in your case in the clear and calm waters of Eilat you can use both.
A 105mm - or even the Sigma 150mm - gives you the distance to grab pictures of very shy creatures,
but you need perfect buoyancy, a steady hand, high shutter speeds and a luminous lens to get sharp photos.
Chris

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#10 TomR1

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 08:20 AM

This ^

Tom

#11 KirkD

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 08:31 PM

I have both the 60 and 105. I use the 60 more. As a beginner, I would suggest the 60.



#12 Alex_Tattersall

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:02 PM

Again 60mm
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#13 Fasando

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 10:22 AM

Thanks everyone for the replies, ill go with the 60mm as most of you suggested would be best to start with:)

#14 TomR1

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 11:53 AM

Can't go wrong either way. Interestingly I never carry my 60mm any more but I admit it took time to get used to my 105. I now have a 150 to get used to. The key advice I can give is pick a lens and get competent with it before switching to another. Depending on how much you dive this can be a long time.

Happy Thanksgiving

#15 Ricardo V.

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 04:46 PM

The canon 60mm is superb- not just to start with, but to keep as a main goto lens thanks to its great optics and is responsiveness. I started with the canon EF100 mm f/2.8 USM and had difficulty with depth of field and blurry images. I opted to then try the 60mm and it was more user friendly for me. I later learned more about taking control of my camera settings and after practicing, switching to manual, reading books, taking clases with underwater professionals and practicing, I was ready to pick up the 100 mm macro back and it was a better experience for me the second time around.
They are very similar, but the 100 mm will give you advantages is certain situation where the 60 mm may be a bit wider, or may need for you to get much closer as compared to the 100mm lens. Well, you do want to get very close, but that's another topic....

They have a newer lens now, the EF100 mm f/2.8L IS USM and while I have not tested this version of the 100 mm canon with Image Stabilization, I understand they are pretty much discontinuing and retiring the EF 100mm withouth the IS, but optically speaking, they are very close to each other.