Canon efs 60 macro lens

Started Dec 12, 2013 | Discussions
Stollen1234
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Canon efs 60 macro lens
Dec 12, 2013

how good is this lens for a macro beginner? i do have canon 7D and would like to start with macro photography as a hobby so i would like to hear from you how good is this lens and if its a good idea to start with this lens..

thank you

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RS_RS
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Re: Canon efs 60 macro lens
In reply to Stollen1234, Dec 12, 2013

Stollen1234 wrote:

how good is this lens for a macro beginner? i do have canon 7D and would like to start with macro photography as a hobby so i would like to hear from you how good is this lens and if its a good idea to start with this lens..

thank you

I have a 60/2.8 along with several other macro lenses for FF and 1.6-factor. The 60/2.8 is an excellent lens, convenient in use and with outstanding image quality. It has two minor limitations. First, it has no focus limiter switch, and so when it cannot immediately find focus it may rack over the entire focus range, which can be inconvenient for general-purpose use. Secondly, it does not accept a tripod ring, which makes shooting on a tripod slightly less convenient – an L-bracket is a help. Then there is one major omission, the lack of IS – but that's the way it is, take it or leave it. It has a built-in mounting ring for Canon macro flashes, and because the filter size is only 52mm you can fit a filter and still fit a macro flash directly to the lens.

This is certainly an excellent choice as your first macro lens, and has reasonable working distance and angle of view, similar to a 100mm lens on FF. You should realise, however, that for many insects it has inadequate working distance – they will have gone by the time you are close enough. That is even true of a 100mm lens on a 1.6-factor body, and you should just accept it as a limitation until you have enough experience of macro work to consider how to overcome it.

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phill104
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Re: Canon efs 60 macro lens
In reply to Stollen1234, Dec 12, 2013

Stollen1234 wrote:

how good is this lens for a macro beginner? i do have canon 7D and would like to start with macro photography as a hobby so i would like to hear from you how good is this lens and if its a good idea to start with this lens..

thank you

Not just a great lens for a beginner but a great lens for many Pro's. The MPE-65 is the most astonishing macro lens produced IMHO but that is dedicated to just macro and takes a lot of learning. The 60 is very close to it in many ways so if you really get hooked on macro and want the best there is in future you will already have learnt most of the skills, distances etc on the 60. There really is not a lot to fault with this brilliant little lens. There are so many other reasons to choose this lens but they are all well documented many times in here and other websites.

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Stollen1234
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Re: Canon efs 60 macro lens
In reply to Stollen1234, Dec 13, 2013

thank yo so much for the great input and info

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snofox
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Re: Canon efs 60 macro lens
In reply to Stollen1234, Dec 15, 2013

The 60mm Macro is just a great macro lens. So is the EF 100mm 2.5 (even the non-L, non-IS version is superb). My fave though is the Canon EF 50mm F2.5 compact Macro. It's lightweight, razor sharp with great colour rendition, and it serves well as a general purpose 50mm as well. It's just great for a walkabout lens, and the best part is it is very inexpensive... only about 340 dollars Canadian. There is no IS and its an old design ca. 1987). When it's on my 60D, I have a nicely balanced lightweight package.

On the other hand, the 60mm is only slightly heavier, a newer design and delivers superb photos, so it's the best lens. However, that 50 is the one that I love and have with me always. I think it's Canon's best kept secret (there are times I seriously think of buying a FF to go with it!!!!!!!!!!!!). You can see how good it is here: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=413694&highlight=EF+50mm+Macro

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R2D2
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Re: Canon efs 60 macro lens
In reply to Stollen1234, Dec 15, 2013

Stollen1234 wrote:

how good is this lens for a macro beginner? i do have canon 7D and would like to start with macro photography as a hobby so i would like to hear from you how good is this lens and if its a good idea to start with this lens..

thank you

IMHO the IQ from every macro lens available to you is outstanding (including from the other manuf).  You'll just have to decide based on what features you want, and price.

R2

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jrkliny
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Re: Canon efs 60 macro lens
In reply to Stollen1234, Dec 15, 2013

If you are interested almost every image on my webpage opening slideshow was shot with this lens.

I especially like the light weight.  I almost always have this lens with me while photographing.  Image quality is great.  Lots of macro junkies would not want this lens because of the relatively short working distance.  I don't shoot that many insects so that does not concern me.

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Christoph Stephan
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Re: Canon efs 60 macro lens
In reply to RS_RS, Dec 15, 2013

RS_RS wrote:

I have a 60/2.8 along with several other macro lenses for FF and 1.6-factor. The 60/2.8 is an excellent lens, convenient in use and with outstanding image quality. It has two minor limitations. First, it has no focus limiter switch, and so when it cannot immediately find focus it may rack over the entire focus range, which can be inconvenient for general-purpose use. Secondly, it does not accept a tripod ring, which makes shooting on a tripod slightly less convenient – an L-bracket is a help.

Hmm... I wonder why a tripod ring is needed in that small lens. WHy not just mount the camera on the tripod here?

Then there is one major omission, the lack of IS – but that's the way it is, take it or leave it. It has a built-in mounting ring for Canon macro flashes, and because the filter size is only 52mm you can fit a filter and still fit a macro flash directly to the lens.

This is certainly an excellent choice as your first macro lens, and has reasonable working distance and angle of view, similar to a 100mm lens on FF. You should realise, however, that for many insects it has inadequate working distance – they will have gone by the time you are close enough. That is even true of a 100mm lens on a 1.6-factor body, and you should just accept it as a limitation until you have enough experience of macro work to consider how to overcome it.

To the OP: I would also have a look at the Tamron 90mm f2.8 VC, which is rather small, but does have VC (= image stabiliser)

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RS_RS
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Re: Canon efs 60 macro lens
In reply to Christoph Stephan, Dec 15, 2013

Christoph Stephan wrote:

RS_RS wrote:

I have a 60/2.8 along with several other macro lenses for FF and 1.6-factor. The 60/2.8 is an excellent lens, convenient in use and with outstanding image quality. It has two minor limitations. First, it has no focus limiter switch, and so when it cannot immediately find focus it may rack over the entire focus range, which can be inconvenient for general-purpose use. Secondly, it does not accept a tripod ring, which makes shooting on a tripod slightly less convenient – an L-bracket is a help.

Hmm... I wonder why a tripod ring is needed in that small lens. WHy not just mount the camera on the tripod here?

It is not an issue about forward-back balance, as it is with longer lenses, but of weight off-centre laterally (not above the bell-head) when the camera is used in portrait orientation (you can overcome that with an L-bracket), and of ease in switching between landscape and portrait without disturbing any other settings. Lack of a tripod ring is not a deal-breaker on the 60/2.8, whereas with the 100/2.8L and with a macro flash attached to the front of the lens, forward-back balance does become an issue, certainly on the sort of lightweight tripod often preferred for field use.

Then there is one major omission, the lack of IS – but that's the way it is, take it or leave it. It has a built-in mounting ring for Canon macro flashes, and because the filter size is only 52mm you can fit a filter and still fit a macro flash directly to the lens.

This is certainly an excellent choice as your first macro lens, and has reasonable working distance and angle of view, similar to a 100mm lens on FF. You should realise, however, that for many insects it has inadequate working distance – they will have gone by the time you are close enough. That is even true of a 100mm lens on a 1.6-factor body, and you should just accept it as a limitation until you have enough experience of macro work to consider how to overcome it.

To the OP: I would also have a look at the Tamron 90mm f2.8 VC, which is rather small, but does have VC (= image stabiliser)

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phill104
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Re: Canon efs 60 macro lens
In reply to RS_RS, Dec 15, 2013

I can honestly say I have never had the need for a tripod for macro, especially with a shorter length lens such as the 60 or the 65. For most live insects it would just be a hinderence. I know many other macro photographers feel exactly the same.

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jrkliny
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Re: Canon efs 60 macro lens
In reply to phill104, Dec 16, 2013

phill104 wrote:

I can honestly say I have never had the need for a tripod for macro, especially with a shorter length lens such as the 60 or the 65. For most live insects it would just be a hinderence. I know many other macro photographers feel exactly the same.

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I also agree.  Insects tend to move pretty quickly and there is often no time available to adjust a tripod.  I shoot mainly flowers and a tripod is often not allowed in gardens or feasible even when allowed.

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RS_RS
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Re: Canon efs 60 macro lens
In reply to jrkliny, Dec 16, 2013

jrkliny wrote:

phill104 wrote:

I can honestly say I have never had the need for a tripod for macro, especially with a shorter length lens such as the 60 or the 65. For most live insects it would just be a hinderence. I know many other macro photographers feel exactly the same.

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I also agree. Insects tend to move pretty quickly and there is often no time available to adjust a tripod. I shoot mainly flowers and a tripod is often not allowed in gardens or feasible even when allowed.

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If you can capture an image at all using a tripod, it will potentially, and often actually, be of better quality than if the camera is hand-held. Quite often either the use of a tripod is not practicable, or the possible improvement in quality is not worth the inconvenience. Those who prefer or need to work using a tripod are entitled to expect their (pro/prosumer) equipment to work well in that context. My point is that the lack of a tripod ring for the 60/2.8 is not a significant issue because tripod users can work round it. Less so with a 100mm macro lens and even less so with the 180/3.5.

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phill104
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Re: Canon efs 60 macro lens
In reply to RS_RS, Dec 16, 2013

RS_RS wrote:

jrkliny wrote:

phill104 wrote:

I can honestly say I have never had the need for a tripod for macro, especially with a shorter length lens such as the 60 or the 65. For most live insects it would just be a hinderence. I know many other macro photographers feel exactly the same.

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I also agree. Insects tend to move pretty quickly and there is often no time available to adjust a tripod. I shoot mainly flowers and a tripod is often not allowed in gardens or feasible even when allowed.

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If you can capture an image at all using a tripod, it will potentially, and often actually, be of better quality than if the camera is hand-held. Quite often either the use of a tripod is not practicable, or the possible improvement in quality is not worth the inconvenience. Those who prefer or need to work using a tripod are entitled to expect their (pro/prosumer) equipment to work well in that context. My point is that the lack of a tripod ring for the 60/2.8 is not a significant issue because tripod users can work round it. Less so with a 100mm macro lens and even less so with the 180/3.5.

I had the 180 for a bit when I first tried macro in the expectation that the longer working distance would make things easier. How wrong could I be, it was just a pain in the harris and I agree it really needs either a tripod or a very steady hand coupled with fast shutter speed.  With my MPE65 or my EF-S 60 there is never really an issue even at 5* with the 65. The 180 is a great lens, just not suited to field work IMO which is what a lot of people seem to buy it for.

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jrkliny
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Re: Canon efs 60 macro lens
In reply to RS_RS, Dec 16, 2013

Ideally you would always use a tripod, however, shooting in the field is not an ideal situation.  The biggest problem I encounter is trying to place the tripod.  If I am shooting flowers that is often all but impossible.  If I shoot in a public garden, tripods are rarely permitted and never permitted actually in the flower beds.  The next issue would be insects.  In theory you could set up the shot and then wait for a bee or other insect.  That rarely works.  The other big factor is wind.  Nothing is still outdoors.  Motion of the subject is typically much greater than any camera shake and of course a tripod does not help.

The solution that allows handheld shooting is light.  Typically that means use of speedlites and possibly also other light modifiers such as reflectors.  Use of flashes and other modifiers can also be an issue because stands are hard to use.  An assistant would be great.  More often I am shooting with the camera in one hand and holding a flash in position with the other hand.  Performing these tasks while composing and focusing and making any exposure adjustments can be difficult.  I rarely spend more than a few minutes shooting before I start to curse Canon.  My Canon camera really does not autofocus well at macro distances.  That means I need to put down the flash, set focus manually and then pickup and position the flash again.  I try to shoot at maximum sinc speed.

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phill104
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Re: Canon efs 60 macro lens
In reply to jrkliny, Dec 16, 2013

jrkliny wrote:

I rarely spend more than a few minutes shooting before I start to curse Canon. My Canon camera really does not autofocus well at macro distances. That means I need to put down the flash, set focus manually and then pickup and position the flash again. I try to shoot at maximum sinc speed.

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I tend to just set the magnification required then focus using the move nearer/further technique. MF is the only way with macro. Remember, we are often talking fractions of a mm often in very low light and I cannot think of any system that can AF well given all that.

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jrkliny
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Re: Canon efs 60 macro lens
In reply to phill104, Dec 16, 2013

phill104 wrote:

jrkliny wrote:

I rarely spend more than a few minutes shooting before I start to curse Canon. My Canon camera really does not autofocus well at macro distances. That means I need to put down the flash, set focus manually and then pickup and position the flash again. I try to shoot at maximum sinc speed.

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I tend to just set the magnification required then focus using the move nearer/further technique. MF is the only way with macro. Remember, we are often talking fractions of a mm often in very low light and I cannot think of any system that can AF well given all that.

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Unfortunately even with good light my Canon does not want to focus for closeup photography.  Even more annoying, it just hunts continuously.  That is one of the reasons I keep my eye on the gear forums.  BTW, this is definitely not a lens issue but the AF issues are a limitation of the camera.  Currently I am shooting with a 600D.  My old 450 XSi was much better but I burned out the shutter and had no choice but to "upgrade."

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The shootist
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Re: Canon efs 60 macro lens
In reply to jrkliny, Dec 16, 2013

jrkliny wrote:

phill104 wrote:

jrkliny wrote:

I rarely spend more than a few minutes shooting before I start to curse Canon. My Canon camera really does not autofocus well at macro distances. That means I need to put down the flash, set focus manually and then pickup and position the flash again. I try to shoot at maximum sinc speed.

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I tend to just set the magnification required then focus using the move nearer/further technique. MF is the only way with macro. Remember, we are often talking fractions of a mm often in very low light and I cannot think of any system that can AF well given all that.

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Unfortunately even with good light my Canon does not want to focus for closeup photography. Even more annoying, it just hunts continuously. That is one of the reasons I keep my eye on the gear forums. BTW, this is definitely not a lens issue but the AF issues are a limitation of the camera. Currently I am shooting with a 600D. My old 450 XSi was much better but I burned out the shutter and had no choice but to "upgrade."

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Hi Jim

I have the 600D and now have the 70D with the canon 100mm (non L) macro lens, here is my 2 cents worth (coming from an average shooter), if your taking true macro pics of insects or foliage never use auto focus, pretend it hasn't been invented yet. hand hold camera, set your lens distance to subject, press your shutter button halfway down, rock sloooowly back an forth til you see the focus you want and in continuous mode take a number of pics. I'm not saying this to open up a debate just giving my opinion.

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jrkliny
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Re: Canon efs 60 macro lens
In reply to The shootist, Dec 17, 2013

Shootist:

Ideally I would use the AF to get the focus in the ballpark and then use the rocking method for fine tuning the focus. Without AF, I need to manually adjust and then use the rocking method. Often I want to adjust the composition and then find the manual focus setting is off. I then need to set down the flash so I have a freehand to manually readjust the focus. Then I need to pickup the flash and see if I can again find the composition and position I adjusted for. Very frustrating. I curse Canon just thinking about it. I don't understand why my 450D worked and my 600D does not. I have also tried my wife's 600D. It does not focus well either. Hopefully at least some of the images on my webpage show my interest in composition. I try to compose in camera. The lack of AF really makes this difficult.

Sorry this has nothing to do with the 60 macro lens and this discussion really does not belong in this thread.

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The shootist
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Re: Canon efs 60 macro lens
In reply to jrkliny, Dec 17, 2013

jrkliny wrote:

Shootist:

Ideally I would use the AF to get the focus in the ballpark and then use the rocking method for fine tuning the focus. Without AF, I need to manually adjust and then use the rocking method. Often I want to adjust the composition and then find the manual focus setting is off. I then need to set down the flash so I have a freehand to manually readjust the focus. Then I need to pickup the flash and see if I can again find the composition and position I adjusted for. Very frustrating. I curse Canon just thinking about it. I don't understand why my 450D worked and my 600D does not. I have also tried my wife's 600D. It does not focus well either. Hopefully at least some of the images on my webpage show my interest in composition. I try to compose in camera. The lack of AF really makes this difficult.

Sorry this has nothing to do with the 60 macro lens and this discussion really does not belong in this thread.

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Jim

Yes we are off topic but none the less I see your point (I don't use a hand held flash), so what I did was take my 70D with my 100mm macro and it dose auto focus like you want to. I know this doesn't help your current set up I just thought you'd like to know. No ad here but the 70D is a hell of a camera and quit and upgrade from the 600D. I didn't try it on my 600D.

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phill104
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Re: Canon efs 60 macro lens
In reply to The shootist, Dec 17, 2013

The 7D will also AF nicely with the 60mm but you do not get that fine control. I tend to use back button focus but only for in flight insects. Rest of the time as I said above I just set the magnification then move into sharp focus.

Back to the OP's question so far I have resisted posting any examples as mine are really beginners quality compared to the real stars you see on these forums but here goes. All taken with the 60 handheld. I use an off camera flash sometimes handheld and sometimes on a little bracket to the side. Fitted to the flash is a cheap £3 ebay diffuser.

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