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shark8matt

Which Canon 100 macro lens to get - old vs. new IS

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i am looking to purchase a Canon 100 macro lens and have tried to look through some of the forums for some comparison between the old and the new IS versions. I currently have a 20D but should be upgrading to a 7D sometime soon. I like the price point of the old lens and have used it topside - like the sharpness. is the IS really worth almost double the price? I know there have been some issues with TCs on the new lens. I shoot almost all wide angle and while I have a sigma 50 macro, this will be pretty new to me. Will I be happy with just the 100 or is there good reason to move to it with TCs down the road? I am just interested in some educated opinions...

thanks,

 

- MDP

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Matt,

 

to the best of my knowledge I doubt that the IS will be of great help/use in underwater macro .... I am considering adding a 100mm macro lens to my kit and I will go for the Canon 100mm USM (older version with USM motor) .... No need to add a TC: if you like to shoot extreme macro, consider adding a Canon 250D diopter to your kit.

 

All the Best ..... Francesco

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i agree that for macro underwater only, the IS will be of little benefit, however i does think it autofocuses faster than the "old" by a useful amount - hard to make a case that it's enough to justify the price

 

one thing the new lens has done is make a number of the old lenses available on the used market at reasonable prices

 

the major advantage of the IS lens is as a general purpose 100mm on land with excellent resolution wide open (the only area in which it's optically superior to the old lens) and IS allowing hand-held shots in very low light

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There have been a lot of Quality Control issues reported with the newer IS lens. Some samples have been tested to show that half of the frame is soft wide open. Lloyd Chambers wrote up his experience in detail with three separate samples. He's also written about issues with the new 70-200 f2.8 IS II. It's disturbing to see these issues on such high end lenses.

 

The teleconverter issues are real, and if you do some searching on this forum, you can find some firsthand reports. Bottom line, it looks like they don't work at all, not even the third party ones.

 

My opinion would be that this lens is not worth the huge premium. IS is useful topside, less so underwater, and the non-IS version of the 100mm macro seems to be very, very close in sharpness.

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i've been following Lloyd's reports, and did not find those issues in the two samples i tested (reasonably rigorously) before selecting one

 

the converter issue is certainly real, but be aware that the old lens with teleconverter is extremely autofocused challenged - with a crop-frame camera i don't see the need for a converter, and if you're using FF you should probably consider the 180 instead

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I use the older 100/2.8 lens.

 

I have heard there are some QA issues with the new Type 2 lens.

 

I also have heard that the improvements over the older lens are marginal (quieter IS)

 

I have heard that the focus acquisition of the type 2 is marginally better than the older lens.

 

My old 100/2.8 is a workhorse for me with macro. Yes, it does hunt for focus sometimes if the subject offers little contrast and in dim light. I solved this issue by using a very good focus light.

 

Will I upgrade to the type 2 lens - NO

 

Good luck. Iain

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Thanks for all the input guys - It basically confirmed what I thought. I will go with the older (non IS) version of the Canon 100 2.8. This will complement the Sigma 50 macro I already own and since I am fairly new to macro i am sure I can play with these lenses for a long time before i look at getting more kit...

 

cheers!

 

- MDP

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Thanks for all the input guys - It basically confirmed what I thought. I will go with the older (non IS) version of the Canon 100 2.8. This will complement the Sigma 50 macro I already own and since I am fairly new to macro i am sure I can play with these lenses for a long time before i look at getting more kit...

 

cheers!

- MDP

 

You know in today's world of "new is better" and buy buy buy...... Your last comment comes accross as a very sensible and logical decision. Good luck with the lens. BTW, the sigma 50 mm is a really nice lens for that focal length (I have one too)....Iain

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Check out Tony Wu's comments on the 100mm IS with the 7D and Nauticam housing.....seemed pretty impressed and I will be buying the IS version....find his "review" on Wetpixel Home page...No time to post links. I believe Ryan at Reef also had good luck with the 100mm IS. My two cents!

 

Mike

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A few months ago I bought the new IS 100mm macro lens. I have not experienced any quality problems. My main reason for choosing the newer version of the lens is the improved autofocus - which at this focal length is quite helpful. I can't really comment on whether the IS buys you anything underwater.

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