Macro: Tamron 60mm or Canon 60mm ?

Started May 24, 2012 | Discussions
petsch
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Macro: Tamron 60mm or Canon 60mm ?
May 24, 2012

Hi

Which lens is the best of the two ?

I know there is no IS in either of them... or is it better to save up and go for Canon 100mm maybe even the one with IS ?

Thanks,

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Regards
Peter

Equip: Canon 60D, Canon 17-55 f/2.8, Canon 70-200 f/2.8L, Canon 17-85mm, Canon 75-
300mm, Canon 50mm f1.8, Sigma Flash, YN-560II.

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happysnapper62
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Re: Macro: Tamron 60mm or Canon 60mm ?
In reply to petsch, May 24, 2012

petsch wrote:

Hi

Which lens is the best of the two ?

I know there is no IS in either of them... or is it better to save up and go for Canon 100mm maybe even the one with IS ?

Thanks,

-- hide signature --

Regards
Peter

Equip: Canon 60D, Canon 17-55 f/2.8, Canon 70-200 f/2.8L, Canon 17-85mm, Canon 75-
300mm, Canon 50mm f1.8, Sigma Flash, YN-560II.

The 60mm is prefered by many, as it is seen to be a better FL for portraits. You seem to have the portrait FL well covered with your 50 f/1.8, & your 2 shorter zooms. For macro it's a matter of opinion what FL you want. I hear the 60mm is slightly better IQ wise than the 100, but I went for the 100 f/2.8 non L for the extra working distance it gives, & I happen to like that FR for non macro as well. IQ is superb even with my slightly unsteady hands! I bought mine used for £300, & it's worth every penny. It looks to me that with the lenses you already have, I wouldn't bother paying the extra for the IS of the L lens, as a lot of macro is done on a tripod anyway, with IS turned off. You could also consider something like the Raynox converters with one of your zooms. Another macro option would be the Tamron 90 f/2.8 which I believe is even better IQ wise than my 100 2.8. Sometimes I wish we did not have so many to choose from!!!!!! lee uk

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Steve Balcombe
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Re: Macro: Tamron 60mm or Canon 60mm ?
In reply to petsch, May 24, 2012

petsch wrote:

Hi

Which lens is the best of the two ?

Depends what you want from the lens. The Tamron gives you f/2 which is unique in a macro lens for Canon, with obvious applications for portraits and low light. The Canon has Ring USM focusing which is ideal for any non-macro work and also when you want to use AI Servo for certain macro situations. The Tamron's AF is often criticised - the riposte usually being that for macro you will mostly use manual focus. True, but you will also never use f/2 for macro so why not buy the Canon?

I know there is no IS in either of them... or is it better to save up and go for Canon 100mm maybe even the one with IS ?

It's possible to make a case for either. I like the 60 mm lens for its small size and easy hand holding, but then I also have a Sigma 150 for situations where I need working distance. The 100 mm focal length does kind of fall between two stools for me, but others would say it's the ideal compromise.

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R2D2
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Re: Macro: Tamron 60mm or Canon 60mm ?
In reply to petsch, May 25, 2012

petsch wrote:

is it better to save up and go for Canon 100mm maybe even the one with IS ?

If the wait isn't too terribly long, then holding out for the 100L IS Macro is IMHO an outstanding option. It simply provides capabilities that the other lenses just can't touch, such as IS for available light shooting sans tripod, and great AF for moving critters or when shooting in breezy conditions. It's a very very nice lens. Fun to use. Doesn't misbehave. Provides results.

Now if the wait is too long, then by all means go for one of the other Macros (I'd suggest starting wth the 100 Macro myself). All of the lenses mentioned can produce exceptional images, so it's better to be out there shooting instead of inside waiting.

Good luck,
R2

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filmluvr
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Re: Macro: Tamron 60mm or Canon 60mm ?
In reply to petsch, May 25, 2012

Only Canon lenses are compatible with the DPP RAW functions. That's a big plus to me, expecially when it's necessary to set white balance or apply lens corrections. The 60mm also happens to be one of Canon's sharpest lenses, and on a crop, one of the most versatile. I used mine for macro, portraiture and street photography. It's really an excellent lens.

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rsn48
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Tamron 90
In reply to petsch, May 25, 2012

I don't own the Tamron 90, I do own a 100mm macro and the Sigma 150 macro. But I would have no hesitation in acquiring the Tamron 90 and would prefer it over the 60 for the extra working distance.

If you read reviews to the Tamron 90 you'll see it gets decent press.

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mmullen
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Re: Tamron 90
In reply to rsn48, May 25, 2012

rsn48 wrote:

I don't own the Tamron 90, I do own a 100mm macro and the Sigma 150 macro. But I would have no hesitation in acquiring the Tamron 90 and would prefer it over the 60 for the extra working distance.

Extra working distance? Of the Tamron 90mm macro to the EF-S 60mm?

All .4 inches of it? I hardly find 9mm more minimum working distance to be material.

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happysnapper62
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Re: Tamron 90
In reply to rsn48, May 25, 2012

I don't know about the 60mm options in this discussion, but, although the Tamrons IQ is very good, the one big advantage the Canon 100 has, is the internal focusing mechanism. The Tamron extends about 2" in focusing, ok for flowers & the like, but a "no-no" for most bugs. lee uk

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Steve Balcombe
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Re: Tamron 90
In reply to happysnapper62, May 25, 2012

happysnapper62 wrote:

I don't know about the 60mm options in this discussion, but, although the Tamrons IQ is very good, the one big advantage the Canon 100 has, is the internal focusing mechanism. The Tamron extends about 2" in focusing, ok for flowers & the like, but a "no-no" for most bugs. lee uk

The Tamron 90 does indeed have an extending barrel, and (for its focal length) a disappointing MFD as well as rather agricultural AF. Also, while it is sometimes suggested as a budget choice it's not actually that much cheaper than the canon 100 (17% at UK street prices checked today) and it's about the same price as the definitely better Canon 60. I suspect that people who recommend it mostly have no experience of other macro lenses.

For info, both the 60's under discussion are internal focusing.

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jrscls
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Re: Macro: Tamron 60mm or Canon 60mm ?
In reply to filmluvr, May 25, 2012

filmluvr wrote:

Only Canon lenses are compatible with the DPP RAW functions. That's a big plus to me, expecially when it's necessary to set white balance or apply lens corrections. The 60mm also happens to be one of Canon's sharpest lenses, and on a crop, one of the most versatile. I used mine for macro, portraiture and street photography. It's really an excellent lens.

I agree the Canon 60mm is a great EF-S lens, but you can make RAW corrections with any lens even with DPP (although I prefer Lightroom). You just can't make auto corrections in DPP with 3rd party lenses for things like distortions, which will be non-issue with macro anyway.

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happysnapper62
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Re: Tamron 90
In reply to Steve Balcombe, May 25, 2012

Steve Balcombe wrote:

happysnapper62 wrote:

I don't know about the 60mm options in this discussion, but, although the Tamrons IQ is very good, the one big advantage the Canon 100 has, is the internal focusing mechanism. The Tamron extends about 2" in focusing, ok for flowers & the like, but a "no-no" for most bugs. lee uk

The Tamron 90 does indeed have an extending barrel, and (for its focal length) a disappointing MFD as well as rather agricultural AF. Also, while it is sometimes suggested as a budget choice it's not actually that much cheaper than the canon 100 (17% at UK street prices checked today) and it's about the same price as the definitely better Canon 60. I suspect that people who recommend it mostly have no experience of other macro lenses.

For info, both the 60's under discussion are internal focusing.

I will admit I was tempted by the Tamron 90mm after reading reviews, but when offered the Canon used but in perfect condition for £300 I jumped at it. I have not regreted it in the slightest. lee uk

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brightcolours
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Tamron 60mm f2 is better (and nicer than 100mm L IS on APS-C)
In reply to petsch, May 25, 2012

Why is it better? Because it has much smoother bokeh than the Canon 60mm. And that is something that counts with macro, you will see the difference in quality in many/most photos.

The Canon's plus is its USM.

I vote against the 100mm f2.8 L IS USM. Why? Because I do NOT like that view angle on APS-C for macro. I started with a 90mm from Tamron (similar focal length class) and never was really happy with the look of the images. That was due to the view angle.

Then I found that with longer focal lengths I DID get nice results (200mm, 340mm). That was with close up photos with my EF 70-200mm f4 L USM (+12mm extension tube) and 1.7x TC.

Also I found that I would be happy with lenses with shorter focal lengths than the 90-105mm macro class (24mm, 35mm with the 35mm f2, 55mm).

And the few photos I do like that I made with my 90mm Tamron were with 1.7x TC mounted, bringing it to 150mm.

My point is, just like with other kinds of photography, the field of view (or view angle) is very important too! It determines the character of the photo just as much with macro as with non-macro photography. So do take some care in finding a nice focal length, THEN choose which lens fits best. Not the other way around.

24mm (with Tokina 12-24mm f4 + 12mm ext. tube):

35mm (with EF 35mm f2 + 12mm ext. tube):

55mm (with Ultra Micro NIKKOR 55mm f2):

(two images stitched)

150mm (with Tamron 90mm f2 macro + 12mm ext tube + 1.7x TC):

200mm (with Canon 70-200mm f4 L USM + 12mm ext. tube):

340mm (with Canon 70-200mm f4 L USM +12mm ext.tube + 1.7x TC):

My advices for macro lenses for APS-C:

Wide angle:
Canon EF 24mm f2.8 + 12mm + 25mm extension tubes.

35mm "normal":
Tokina 35mm f2.8 DX macro.

Portrait length macro lens class:
Tamron 60mm f2 Di II macro
Sigma 70mm f2.8 macro

Tele macro class:
Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro
Sigma 150mm f2.8 OS macro
Tamron 180mm f3.5 macro
Canon EF 180mm f3.5 L USM macro

petsch wrote:

Hi

Which lens is the best of the two ?

I know there is no IS in either of them... or is it better to save up and go for Canon 100mm maybe even the one with IS ?

Thanks,

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Regards
Peter

Equip: Canon 60D, Canon 17-55 f/2.8, Canon 70-200 f/2.8L, Canon 17-85mm, Canon 75-
300mm, Canon 50mm f1.8, Sigma Flash, YN-560II.

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Jonathan Brady
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Typical gear discussion - all answers, no questions
In reply to petsch, May 25, 2012

This is a typical gear discussion, but you're partly to blame - lol. You started off well with...

petsch wrote:

Hi

Which lens is the best of the two ?

I know there is no IS in either of them...

but then you got into ambiguity...

petsch wrote:

or is it better to save up and go for Canon 100mm maybe even the one with IS ?

So, I say you're partly to blame because you went from two options that are similar to adding in other options that are NOT similar but didn't provide any relevant information.

Had you left out the possibility of the 100mm, then a gear discussion would have been perfectly relevant because the focal length wouldn't have been in question (although certainly someone who LOVES their 100mm L lens would chime in and recommend it even if it was the worst possible choice for you - such is the nature of a forum). But since you threw that curve ball in there, we really needed to know what your shooting situation will look like and sadly, no one bothered to ask what your uses for this lens will be. IMO, that determines which focal length is likely to work best for you.

For example, would the additional working distance that the 100mm macro lenses provide be helpful, or hindering? For me (on a 60D), the additional working distance of the 100mm is actually detrimental. I need to be able to easily reach out from a position where I'm laying down and touch/maneuver my boas easily when they try and dart off for the closest cavity when we're outdoors. That extra 4-5 inches makes a big difference for me, believe it or not.

Conversely, if you're looking to shoot bugs that are very skittish, you might even benefit from a 180mm focal length so neither of the options above would suit you.

Once focal length is determined, THEN it's appropriate to get into the gear discussion - anything prior to that is simply premature and wrought with assumptions.

So, what are you shooting with this lens and describe your anticipated environment.

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brightcolours
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Only half the story
In reply to Jonathan Brady, May 25, 2012

Focal length not only determines the distance to the subject... also, and much more important in my opinion, it defines the look of the image. Because of the view angle.

Which I touched on with my post... you must have overlooked that one. My post was mostly about.. "which field of view are you after/do you find attractive". And mentioned the Tamron's superior IQ (in the battle of the 60mm's).

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petsch
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Re: Macro: Tamron 60mm or Canon 60mm ?
In reply to petsch, May 25, 2012

Hi all

Thanks a lot for your great comments. Very useful!

I guess I really need to look at my usage for the macro and the considering is the 60mm is fine or if I wanna go with the 100mm and then maybe save up for the IS version.

Peter

petsch wrote:

Hi

Which lens is the best of the two ?

I know there is no IS in either of them... or is it better to save up and go for Canon 100mm maybe even the one with IS ?

Thanks,

-- hide signature --

Regards
Peter

Equip: Canon 60D, Canon 17-55 f/2.8, Canon 70-200 f/2.8L, Canon 17-85mm, Canon 75-
300mm, Canon 50mm f1.8, Sigma Flash, YN-560II.

-- hide signature --

Regards
Peter

Equip: Canon 60D, Canon 17-55 f/2.8, Canon 70-200 f/2.8L, Canon 17-85mm, Canon 75-
300mm, Canon 50mm f1.8, Sigma Flash, YN-560II.

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rsn48
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Tamron 90 MFD and other macro lenses
In reply to mmullen, May 25, 2012

I tried copying the chart from the digital picture review section but it just won't display well, so scroll down and look at the manual focusing distance yourself.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Tamron-90mm-f-2.8-Di-Macro-Lens-Review.aspx

Photozone review:

"Verdict

The Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 SP Di is a superb lens without any significant flaw. In fact optically it is every bit as good, maybe even slightly better than the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM macro. The lens has a very good build quality. Nonetheless it's not quite as impressive as the Canon in this respect because it extends during focusing and regarding AF noise. That said the price tag is also somewhat lower so the verdict can only be - HIGHLY recommended!"

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Steve Balcombe
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Re: Tamron 90 MFD and other macro lenses
In reply to rsn48, May 25, 2012

rsn48 wrote:

I tried copying the chart from the digital picture review section but it just won't display well, so scroll down and look at the manual focusing distance yourself.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Tamron-90mm-f-2.8-Di-Macro-Lens-Review.aspx

The minimum focusing distance (sensor to subject) is of little importance compared with the minimum working distance (front of lens to subject) where for most purposes, in a given class, more is better. The Tamron 90 is worse than any other lens in that table, except the Canon 60 macro which is only 9 mm less despite being 30 mm shorter. The Tamron 90 is much worse than either of the Canon 100 mm macros.

The Tamron 60 is missing from that table but it also scores well for working distance.

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Peter too
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Re: Macro: Tamron 60mm or Canon 60mm ?
In reply to petsch, May 25, 2012

I have the Canon 100mm and my wife has a Canon 60mm. She is a botanist and most of her photographs are of wild flowers for which the 60mm is excellent. It is surprisingly fast focussing for a macro which makes it possible to use AI focus automatically to adjust for distance changes when shooting by hand. It is the only lens my wife uses so it doubles up as a very good portrait and landscape lens.

I use my macro lens mainly for insects and the extra distance helps when photographing the more skittish insects, though it is surprising how many will stay put even if I repeatedly use my macro flash.

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happysnapper62
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Re: Macro: Tamron 60mm or Canon 60mm ?
In reply to Peter too, May 25, 2012

Peter too wrote:

I have the Canon 100mm and my wife has a Canon 60mm. She is a botanist and most of her photographs are of wild flowers for which the 60mm is excellent. It is surprisingly fast focussing for a macro which makes it possible to use AI focus automatically to adjust for distance changes when shooting by hand. It is the only lens my wife uses so it doubles up as a very good portrait and landscape lens.

I use my macro lens mainly for insects and the extra distance helps when photographing the more skittish insects, though it is surprising how many will stay put even if I repeatedly use my macro flash.

Hi Peter. I have the Canon 100 non L. I have a slightly unsteady hand due to illness & meds. I use 600d, would using AI focus help me get better focus with my macro handheld, which I struggle with right now. lee uk

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Peter too
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Re: Macro: Tamron 60mm or Canon 60mm ?
In reply to happysnapper62, May 26, 2012

happysnapper62 wrote:

Hi Peter. I have the Canon 100 non L. I have a slightly unsteady hand due to illness & meds. I use 600d, would using AI focus help me get better focus with my macro handheld, which I struggle with right now. lee uk

Sorry I meant AI Servo, though they are similar. It is certainly worth trying, it works well for my wife on the 60mm. She used to discard at least 90% of her flower pictures before I set up her 30D with the 60mm and AI Servo. Now she keeps well over half her photos.

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