Macro: 100 or 150 for 5D mk II

Started Oct 24, 2009 | Discussions thread
Stefan Bruckel Senior Member • Posts: 1,255
How about 180mm f3.5 with MT-24EX

I prefer the bokeh and working distance I get with the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5 L USM macro lens, even for handheld photography. Due to the very shallow depth of field when shooting subjects at 1:1 or similar, I find shooting in the f11 ~ f 16 range necessary. I can’t recall a set up where shooting at f2.8 would have been either necessary or practical, although perhaps there are macro settings where shooting at f2.8 would be ideal (and thus better than the maximum f3.5 the 180mm lens allows)?

Many of my macro subject are moving or get blown around by the wind, requiring a handheld approach and a minimum shutter speed of 1/200th, which inevitably requires use of a flash. I use the Canon MT-24EX Macro Twin Lite Ringlite Flash to illuminate the subject (I prefer it to Canon’s MR 14EX Ringlite because it’s easier to create a visually more interesting lighting set up… although some find the light the 24EX emits “too harsh”). Another downside of this set up is that it requires use of the flash macro ring lite adapter 72C, which is not required for Canon’s other macro lenses. Finally, this lens does not (yet?) come with IS, which I assume would enable more handheld shots when a flash is not available.

If bokeh and working distance are key to the images you plan to capture with your macro photography, I’d recommend going with a longer lens set up, similar to the one outlined above. Good luck!

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