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Category: New Questions

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Photography Question 
Josh A. Friedman
BetterPhoto Member
joshfriedmanphoto.com

member since: 3/3/2010
 

Macro & Portrait lens for Canon 7D


I have a Canon EOD 7D, as well as Canon 18-135 zoom (f3.5) lens, Sigma 150-500mm zoom (F5-6.3) lens. I'd like to add a lens that would enable me to do close-ups of nature, as well as portraits. Does anyone have a recommendation for a suitable macro lens that would not break the bank? Thanks.

3/25/2010 11:23:20 AM

 
Lynn R. Powers
Contact Lynn
Lynn's Gallery

member since: 9/12/2006
  Hi Joshua,

For portraits this is almost a no brainer. If you want to take portraits that are similar to your avatar then get a Canon 85mm f1.8. For full length shots purchase the "nifty-fifty". They both will give you the proper perspective with the crop of the 7D. Or you could use your 18-135 zooom at either of these focal lengths. This range should be in the sweet spot for that lens.

The zoom lenses that you see that have "macro" engraved on them are not true macro lenses. They will make an image of 1:4 - 1:5 at best. That is 1/4 and 1/5 life size. For a true macro the Canon EF 100mm f2.8 macro or the new 100mm f2.8L IS, at $1000+ will give you a true macro lens with a 1:1 reproduction. These lenses are too long for good portraiture because with the crop of your camera the proper perspective is not achieved. But some people do use them for portraits. Your choice. I used mine for cityscapes or to get closer, but much less than 1:1, to pick up detail. These lenses are SHARP!


Lynn

3/25/2010 1:09:46 PM

 
Josh A. Friedman
BetterPhoto Member
joshfriedmanphoto.com

member since: 3/3/2010
  Lynn - Thanks very much for the feedback. I'm also curious how important the image stabilization is for macro work.

Thanks again.

Josh

3/25/2010 3:11:33 PM

 
Lynn R. Powers
Contact Lynn
Lynn's Gallery

member since: 9/12/2006
  Josh,

In order to take quality macro photos you are best served using a STURDY tripod so IS is not needed. Most macro photographers also use manual focus because they are close and use small f stops so there is enough depth of field to keep what is needed sharp. Also they use a remote release and often a flash. The IS will be handier when you have been running or otherwise stressing your body and you have to shoot hand held.

The price of the 100 f2.8L IS Macro is $1049. The older version at KEH can be purchased for about $500. That will be for one in Ex+ condition. It costs just a little more for one in LN- shape. I feel they under rate their used equipment. You may want to try to get the older one brand new at B&H, Adorama, Sammy's, Beach, or NewEgg. These are all reliable dealers and you won't get cheated.


Lynn

3/25/2010 4:42:58 PM

 
Josh A. Friedman
BetterPhoto Member
joshfriedmanphoto.com

member since: 3/3/2010
  Lynn - thanks very much for the feedback. That's very helpful.

Josh

3/26/2010 4:00:49 AM

 
stephen j. weidley
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 6/30/2010
  I support what Lynn said 100% regarding the 100mm L 2.8 lens with IS. The IS is great for shooting portraits but not so great on macro. It is a very sharp lens with or without IS.

7/1/2010 8:29:20 PM

 
Josh A. Friedman
BetterPhoto Member
joshfriedmanphoto.com

member since: 3/3/2010
  Thanks for the feedback, Stephen.

7/2/2010 3:01:58 AM

 
doug Nelson
DougNelsonPhoto.com

member since: 6/14/2001
  I am considering the Sigma 70mm f 2.8 macro. With the APS-crop factor, it's about a 105 or so, doubling as a portrait lens. It's capable of 1:1 without add-on adapters. It is said to be extremely sharp and offers very pleasing out-of-focus blurring for backgrounds. Its a little rich for me right now at $500.

7/2/2010 12:30:45 PM

 
Pamela Frost
BetterPhoto Member
newcreationpictures.com

member since: 9/3/2005
  I recently purchased the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 macro lens and am pleased with it and it's much cheaper. I picked it up on ebay for 288. Someday though I would prefer to get the Canon f/2.8 L with IS which is over 1k. For now, Tamron is my choice and this lens has gotten good reviews. see tamron.com for info on it.

7/4/2010 1:45:50 PM

 
Dustin B. Todd
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/1/2010
  If you have the 7D (as I do), then you can shoot with the Canon EF-S lenses, and I would suggest the EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM. Unless you are looking at spending the $1k or more for an L series, which I can't comment on, the 60mm will give you a full 1:1 macro on the APS-C sensor, is a good working focal length for portaits so you don't have to get too close to the subject, and the f/2.8 will give you great DOF. For me the 1.8s are just too shallow, and it really irks me when the eyes are sharp but the ears and nose go blurred. It can all be personal preference, so I suggest to everyone that before buying a new lense, rent it and try it out.

Happy shooting!

11/7/2010 9:17:50 PM

 

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