So while I've been enjoying using extension tubes and a lens coupler, I am starting to get more serious about getting an actual macro lens. And while I am not planning on getting one for several more months, I will probably get one this year and push getting a new camera body into next year.
So that said, I am curious as to which macro people would prefer/recommend. My signature is up to date for what lenses I have acquired thus far, if that affects anyone's recommendation. I am already leaning in one direction and this poll may or may not affect my thoughts.
If you have an experience with one, or more, of these and wish to share, then do so. If you have a radical lens recommendation that you think I might not have considered, then please share it and why.
While I have been going through lenses and trying some out in the store, I am still roughly in the gathering data stage. Two of the lenses were not even in my consideration two months ago. One of which I was unaware of until recently.
That said, here are the main contenders:
All of these options have 1:1 macro capability and take really good photos from what I see. So I am currently doubting I would see much image quality difference between them in a real world application. Feel free to disagree if you have some experience with at least two of the following.
1) Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM Macro.
Least expensive option. This is not insignificant.
Compact lens. This means it will be very easy to justify having it with me as I do with my 50mm f/1.4 USM lens.
While this does not take the same size filters as any of my other lenses, 52mm filters are relatively inexpensive and compared with the money I would save on this lens, this is not really a factor.
Will not upgrade to a full frame camera in the future.
60mm is already covered, or close to being covered, by other lenses that I have. Including primes.
Least working distance.
2) Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Maco. (Non-L)
Takes 58mm filter, which is similar to several lenses that I own.
Would work with my coupler that I've enjoyed on other lenses. This means I would have options for expanded macro capability if I so desired.
Would work on a full frame camera.
Not the least expensive, but not the most either.
Medium working distance.
Besides 2 zooms that cover this range, I also have the 85mm f/1.8 USM prime that is very close in focal length. I don't foresee a situation where I would want both lenses with me.
3) Sigma 150mm f/2.8 AF APO EX DG OS HSM Macro.
Longest working distance of the three.
The only lens in this range that I have is my 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DO IS USM. Even if I have both with me, they would complement each other rather than supplement.
Full Frame compatible.
Comes with a tripod collar.
OS: Optical Stabilization. While this is not the IS system that Canon uses, it is the only one of these three I'm looking at that has it.
Most expensive. (Not insignificant)
Will not take the same filters as my other lenses, though I could get a step-down adapter to convert some of my 77mm filters if needed.
Not compatible with my coupler if I wanted to try it in the future.
Really Minor Annoyance, but stating it anyway.
All the acronyms. The way I do my signature here means that I would use all of them and that is just a tad bit annoying. On the one hand I want to be accurate, on the other, I do not particularly care for it and will probably just shorten it.
Canon 5DIII, Rebel XTi/400D
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II, 24-105mm f/4L, 50mm f/1.4, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DO, 85mm f/1.8
Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX Macro
Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX, Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 II
Canon 430EX II
Opteka 13mm, 21mm, and 31mm extension tubes
Vivitar 50mm f/1.8 for OM System