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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:03 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:31 pm
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I am debating between the EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM and the MP-E 65mm f/2.8. I have read a lot of good things about the 100mm, but very little about the MP-E. Does anyone have any insights into its use and performance? The only body I have at the moment is a 50D. Thanks in advance!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 12:39 am 
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The MP-E 65mm is a macro lens that can offer from 1:1 life size to 5x life size.
It is a manual focus lens and is good for macro photography for those that understand what they are doing and have a nice rail system.

The 100mm offers up to 1:1 life size macro, in addition to being able to be used as a portrait lens.
It has weather sealing and can be hand held for macro shots easier due to the hybrid IS system it employs.
If you have not dealt with a macro lens before, then this might be the better option for you.

However, if you are new to primes, you might want to consider the EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM lens.
This is a small, light-weight, easy to handle macro prime that is less expensive than the other options listed.

_________________
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


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:00 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:31 pm
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I have used macros in the past. My film bodies and non-Canon lenses gradually failed piece by piece and I made the switch to digital in 2009 with the purchase of a 50D body and am slowly filling holes in my gear. A dedicated macro is probably the next lens. I understand the technical specs of the 100mm macro lens, the L build, etc., but I don't know much about the MP-E 65mm lens and a few of the comments I have seen online indicate it is difficult to use. I take more landscape and wildlife photos than anything else, but also like macro shots. The possibility of exceeding 1x with just a lens is attractive, but I am not technically knowledgeable about macro photography and don't want a lens that will be more headache than pleasure to use. For example, I am not sure what you mean by a rail system. I have a good tripod, but no rails! I would like to stay away from EF-S lenses to some extent, as my next body might be a full frame, but I do have one EF-S lens now. Thanks for the feedback, and I will appreciate any additional insights others have to offer!


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:08 am 
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If you are doing extreme macro work, focus-stacking, and using lights, the MP-E is the way to go. It's an extremely specialized lens and thus takes a LOT of effort to get useable results from.

If you want to dabble in macro, shoot some bugs, flowers, and then shoot some portraits or landscapes (or anything else not 30cm away from your camera), the 100mm (non-L) is the best bang for your buck. Assuming you have a kit lens (18-55mm or so) then the 100mm macro gives you a relatively fast (f/2.8), USM-focusing, longer-ish telephoto lens. Skip the 60mm tbh, the focal length is likely too close to what you already have, and the price differential isn't *that* large. Plus the 100mm is future-proof in that it's EF and not EF-S in case you ever move up to full-frame or a film SLR. I'd also say that if you're on a budget, the non-L version (which I've had for years) is just as amazing and shares filter size with a number of great, cheap lenses from Canon as well.

Edit:
Forgot to mention - if you want higher magnifications from the 100mm just buy a few extension tubes (not extenders) and you'll get higher magnifications when you want and need them, and then be able to go back to using your lens as an all-purpose lens again after.

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Canon EOS 5D MkII | Canon EOS 7D | Canon Digital Rebel XSi | EF 35mm f/1.4L | EF 50mm f/1.8 II | EF 85mm f/1.8 | EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM | EF 135mm f/2L | EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS | 580EX II | LumoPro LP-120

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:17 am 
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While macro's can be fun, getting what you want in focus at the magnification you want can be interesting.
A railing system is something you mount to the tripod so you can gradually move your camera/lens closer or futher away from the subject without having to move the tripod and re-compose.
Look up Novoflex Mini Focusing Rail to see what I am referring to.

A good benefit of the EF-S 60mm was that it could be used as a walk-around prime in addition to macro photography.
I was not sure how much experience you had with photography, and just having a small/fast prime in a kit can be a joy to have.

From everything I have read, the MP-E 65mm is a nice, manual focus specialy lens that, combined with the right equipment and patience, can produce really nice macro lenses. It has a nice 5x magnification to get closer than most other solutions to bring a whole new world to your photographs.
However, it is a specialist in that it does one job very well, but not really suited for anything else.

The EF 100mm can deliver really good 1x macro shots while being enough of a generalist that it does other things well.

You could always try renting one or both lenses to see which would suit your needs better.

_________________
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


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:13 am 
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If you're at all unsure about the MP-E65, then you probably don't need it! I would classify it as an extreme macro lens, and something you get in addition to a regular (up to 1x) one. Even a regular 1x macro lens can be modified for additional magnification using extension tubes (most effective for short focal length lenses) and/or "close up filter" or teleconverters (most effective for longer focal lengths). Personally I use a Sigma 150mm macro with teleconverters for up to 2x magnification, and only switch to the MP-E65 if I need more than that, which is pretty rare!

With teleconverters, you need to check mechanical compatibility. I don't think the Canon 100L is compatible with their own extenders, so you'd have to look at 3rd party if you want to go there.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:49 pm 
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Quote:
If you're at all unsure about the MP-E65, then you probably don't need it!

This one sentence by popo sums up everything I was trying to convey in a more effective way.

_________________
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


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:15 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2012 11:31 pm
Posts: 3
Thanks for the tips and the perspectives everyone, they are much appreciated :D . I will continue to give it more thought and start watching for sales.


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