macro questions

Started Feb 18, 2007 | Discussions thread
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SNGX1327
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macro questions
Feb 18, 2007

okay, i'm thinking about spending some of my hard earned (hah) tax refund on a macro lens. the two i'm a little iffy on are the EF-S 60mm f/2.8 and EF 100mm f/2.8.

as far as the two lenses go, i could really go either way. based on the reveiws i've read, the 60mm is one of canon's sharpes prime lenses, but the 100mm is also a very good lens. i'd prefer to have the 60mm based on it being sharper, but it's not a necessity

the 60mm is also lighter and easier to carry which is nice, but not necessary

i could not care less that one of them is an EF-S lens.

i think the fact that 60mm is a more useable focal length for other applications might help sway my decision, but is not the ultimate deal breaker

so the real question is, which focal length is right? i've heard people say that the 60mm is "too short", requiring them to get close to their subjects than they had anticipated, while the 100mm allows them to keep their distance

does anyone know approximate minimum focus distances for these two lenses? (just an approx. length of camera to subject at 1:1 focusing) is it a significant difference between the two?

also, if both lenses focus down to 1:1 magnification, then that means that the subject will appear at 100% life size on the sensor. but if both the 60mm and 100mm lens magnify the subject to the same size, then is it correct to assume that the only two differences will be the working distance, and field of view (in terms of background compression)

which is more handy to have on a macro lens? a wider background or a more compressed background from a longer focal length? is this a black and white difference, or is it purely the opinion of the person looking at the photo?

finally, is an external flash of any sort recommended for macro photography? obviously i've seen the ring-light style flashes, i'm not talking about something that complicated, but right now i only have the on-camera flash

this will help me make my decision, thanks!

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