A New Macro Lens

With all this moth-trapping I’ve been doing, it is also nice to take some decent photos of each of the species that we catch. At the moment, the best lens I have for this is a Tamron 70-300mm with Macro facility. The results are OK, but not quite as sharp and ‘macro-like’ as I’d like and the magnification of the lens is only 1:2.

I’m therefore starting to look around for a new lens and have a few in mind, but can’t decide which would be best.

First on my wish list is the Canon EF-S 6omm f/2.8 lens. Being Canon, the quality should be good and the 60mm focal length will make it nice for portraits as well as macro work. It also fits in nicely between my current 18-55mm and 70-300mm lenses and isn’t ridiculously expensive.

Next up is the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM. The 100mm focal length may actually be a little better for moth photography as it will give me a better working distance, but at close to £500 it is getting a little too expensive for me! I’m sure it would be nice though!

Sigma do a similar lens, the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro, which would hopefully give similar results to the Canon 100m lens, but at a more reasonable price. Sigma also do a 50mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro which I guess is comparable to the Canon 60mm, but again quite a bit cheaper.

Too many choices, has anyone got any recommendations or thoughts?

8 Responses

  1. Dan says:

    The 60mm is EF-S fitment so limits you to a crop sensor. If you are planning on moving to a 5D or 1D in the future, this would not work on full frame sensor bodies.

    The 100mm has long been respected as a defauly macro for Canon. Try second hand on eBay?

  2. Ben says:

    I use a Cosina 100mm on my Sony A200, a budget combo and fantastic pictures!

  3. Ben says:

    Very nice but….How much!!!! 😮

  4. robert says:

    the canon 100mm lens is superb, well worth the investment… this is an example of a image i made with it:



  5. Alan says:

    Think I’ll go for the 60mm Canon. Against it are that it is designed for cropped sensor cameras, but its unlikely that I’ll upgrade to full-sensor for a while. Also, the shorter working distance may be an issue for insects and other little critters.

    However, it is quite a bit cheaper than the other options and I already have a macro facility (albeit not a true 1:1 magnification) on my 70-300mm lens so I can use that where I can’t get too close to a macro subject. Also, the 60mm lens will make a good portrait and general photography lens (effective focal length on a cropped sensor will be around 93mm).

    Once I’ve got it I’ll then be after the Canon EF-S 10-22mm lens, but that may have to wait for a while!


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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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