Macro Lens on Budget

Started Sep 21, 2016 | Questions
James Larsen
James Larsen Senior Member • Posts: 4,492
Macro Lens on Budget

I'm looking to get a macro lens that is mountable on an FF body - that has the 1:1 magnification, with good quality, that you know, won't break the bank.

I'm definitely open to the used market to cut of some cash as well. My goal would be something thats a few hundred dollars or less.

IS/OS/VC/whatever would be something I'm also interested in having.

Thanks!

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trulandphoto
trulandphoto Contributing Member • Posts: 874
Re: Macro Lens on Budget

I'm selling my 100mm f/2.8 Macro [picked up the L IS version] and IMO that would be the best value for your "few hundred dollars".

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James Larsen
OP James Larsen Senior Member • Posts: 4,492
Re: Macro Lens on Budget

I was highly considering it - but - it doesn't have any stabilization. IS is important to me, because I do a lot of hand held photography, and a lot of the time I'll just take a walk around somewhere to see if I can whip something up.

Good luck selling it though!

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Lemming51
Lemming51 Forum Pro • Posts: 15,037
Re: Macro Lens on Budget

James Larsen wrote:

I'm looking to get a macro lens that is

  • mountable on an FF body
  • has the 1:1 magnification
  • has IS/OS/VC
  • with good quality
  • won't break the bank.

What is your "bank"? How many is a "few hundred" dollars?

Here is, I think, the closest you'll get to it - $500 for a limited time, act fast.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/892882-REG/Tamron_90Mm_F_2_8_Di_Macro.html

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James Larsen
OP James Larsen Senior Member • Posts: 4,492
Re: Macro Lens on Budget

A few = 3-4, so techinically $400 would be the most I'd wanna pay, less would be even better.

If I went the Tamron route I'd probably get the New Version, but I do plan on getting their 85 1.8 for portraiture, so it'd be redundant having both.

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Macro guy
Macro guy Veteran Member • Posts: 4,025
Re: Macro Lens on Budget

James Larsen wrote:

I was highly considering it - but - it doesn't have any stabilization. IS is important to me, because I do a lot of hand held photography, and a lot of the time I'll just take a walk around somewhere to see if I can whip something up.

Good luck selling it though!

You can't get FF IS lens for $400.  Get the original Canon 100 2.8 macro (non-USM)  you can get them for a song.

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(unknown member) Contributing Member • Posts: 578
Re: Macro Lens on Budget

I think that you may need to lift your budget by a hundred or two.

SeeTheWorld
SeeTheWorld Regular Member • Posts: 342
Re: Macro Lens on Budget

James Larsen wrote:

I was highly considering it - but - it doesn't have any stabilization. IS is important to me, because I do a lot of hand held photography, and a lot of the time I'll just take a walk around somewhere to see if I can whip something up.

Good luck selling it though!

That 100mm 2.8 works quite well as hand held for me.  And, I think they're selling for $5-600.  Just saying . . . Also, if you read old reviews on the lens, I think you'll find some say it is a great portrait lens.  I really enjoy mine for chasing butterflies, etc. and getting portraits from a bit of a distance.  Good luck in your selection.  I'd be interested in learning what you decide in the end.

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2Risky Forum Member • Posts: 59
Re: Macro Lens on Budget

You have a fairly limited budget for a Canon lens, although you didn't specify what focal length you wanted or exactly how you would be using it.  A lot of macro work is done using a tripod or using additional lighting (e.g. flash).  Neither of these would require IS.  If you're wandering around outside and the lighting is good, again you won't need IS for most shots.  I have used the Canon 100 f/2.8 (non-IS) and it is a very nice lens that you could probably find as a used one that is within your budget.  I have taken many hand held shots using that lens.  If the lighting is low enough to need IS you probably would be better off using additional light (i.e. flash).  I'm totally unfamiliar with the non Canon macro lenses.  However, I do see that you have the 100-400 Canon lens, which does have IS.  Depending on your project, this lens is great for zooming in close.  I have taken some photos of insects using that lens that looked just as good as the ones I took with the Canon 100 f/2.8 IS (I have this lens as well), without having to get as close to the subject.  Again, it depends on how you want to use the macro lens.  The 100 f/2,8 IS is a great lens but outside of your current budget.  Good luck in your hunt.

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Jeff Peterman
Jeff Peterman Forum Pro • Posts: 12,882
Re: Macro Lens with IS?
1

If IS is important, then forget about "on a budget." The only option is the Canon 100L macro, which will cost you over $1000 (a great lens).

BUT, you can approach this differently - add a close up lens/filter to a lens with IS or use extension tubes on a lens with IS. The former is cheap, simple, and there are some decent add-on lenses available. The latter will give the best images, but with a reduction in light and they can be a little tricky to use.

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JRET Regular Member • Posts: 492
Re: Macro Lens on Budget

Reading the original posts + replies it appears that you would prefer the Canon 100 f/2.8 IS macro which is truly an outstanding lens that can be used in so many different ways.  Unless you stumble onto a really unique deal that lens will probably remain outside your budget unless you save a little longer.  If you can manage without the IS the non-L 100 f/2.8 macro is essentially equal to the L version in terms of IQ & versatility.

I own both - started with the non-L and was totally pleased with the results but later had the opportunity to buy the L version on sale.  In all honesty I really can't tell the difference in images produced by the 2 lenses.

You mentioned used -- and that is a valid option.  But consider a refurb from the Canon store.  Both are currently in stock - $480 & $720.  A refurb from Canon carries the full 1 year warranty and is not a bad way to go.

Still undecided but I will probably sell my non-L (plus a few other Canon lenses currently not being used) in the near future, mainly to fund some newer glass that I don't currently own.  If you can find a lightly used non-L, especially if it's under $400, that might be your best bet.  Live without IS for awhile and if you really need it, upgrade to the L later on.  Good luck.

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James Larsen
OP James Larsen Senior Member • Posts: 4,492
Re: Macro Lens on Budget

I'm open to third parties, I was hoping there might be an older Sigma/Tamron that has OS/VC that I could find relatively cheap in the used market.

Thanks for all the tips!

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Jeff Peterman
Jeff Peterman Forum Pro • Posts: 12,882
Re: Macro Lens on Budget

The older Sigma and Tamron lenses had slow autofocus. If you only shoot macro in manual focus (true for many people, and the best option for some macro shots), this isn't a problem. But I've chased bees between flowers using the Canon 100 (non-L) macro lens, relying on the autofocus to track the quicky moving subjects.

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James Larsen
OP James Larsen Senior Member • Posts: 4,492
Re: Macro Lens on Budget

I want to shoot more nature (leaves, water drops, etc. etc. that cliche stuff), so slower autofocus is not really a big deal to me. I'll probably be MFing a lot of my shots anyway.

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Jura S Senior Member • Posts: 1,956
Re: Macro Lens on Budget

James Larsen wrote:

I'm looking to get a macro lens that is mountable on an FF body - that has the 1:1 magnification, with good quality, that you know, won't break the bank.

IS/OS/VC/whatever would be something I'm also interested in having.

Thanks!

It depend's what are your subjects of interest.

If you are just starting to shoot macro and you do it for a hobby than try macro extension rings with available lenses and some flashes. It's the least expensive way into macro photography.

OhioBob Regular Member • Posts: 407
Re: Macro Lens on Budget

Before you drop $400 on a macro try some extension tubes and see if it your your interest. I used a 50 f1.8 with kenko tubes and you can get very close.  After a week I found I was bored so rarley use them now.

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Iucounu New Member • Posts: 13
The only possible answer for you

is to get extension tubes. They will fit well within your budget, and you can use them with your stabilized 24-105L around 50mm to get 1:1 macro shots. Google "24-105L tubes macro" for images on the sorts of results you can expect. Good luck!

perry rhodan
perry rhodan Senior Member • Posts: 1,844
start with macro tubes

Hi ,

For 100 € you can get a nice set of active (3 pieces) macro extension tubes to use with the your 24-105 or 50mm. IS, AF and all still working. with nice results. Kenko or something alike. Don't buy one of the cheap (dumb) set, they are useless.

something like:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/375102-REG/Kenko_AEXTUBEDGC_Auto_Extension_Tube_Set.html

a short videoreview:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNeTFbJ9YVw

Happy shooting!

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Regards Perry

shk12
shk12 Regular Member • Posts: 431
Re: Macro Lens on Budget

I have this cheapo under the vivitar name, if you aren't too picky.

glass is good, AF is noisy as a coffee grinder but works fine, make sure you get the one complet with the  included 1:1 diopter

https://www.ebay.com/itm/191972258077

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Macro guy
Macro guy Veteran Member • Posts: 4,025
Re: Macro Lens on Budget

James Larsen wrote:

I want to shoot more nature (leaves, water drops, etc. etc. that cliche stuff), so slower autofocus is not really a big deal to me. I'll probably be MFing a lot of my shots anyway.

If that's all you're doing, you don't need IS.  Use a tripod.  Get a a set of tubes or a budget macro lens (they're all pretty good  in terms of IQ in the 90-105 range) and go shooting.  Don't be afraid of the tripod.

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