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Author Topic: New Canon "L" series 100mm Macro Lens (with IS)  (Read 9047 times)
JohnKoerner
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« Reply #20 on: September 08, 2009, 01:07:36 PM »
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Quote from: Gary Ferguson
This is great news and I've already put a deposit down at Mifsuds in the UK, although it hurts that once again the price is virtually US dollar for GB pound parity. At least I'll be defraying the cost by selling off my 85mm 1.2 (too heavy, no IS), 135mm 2.0 (no IS), and 180mm Macro (exquisite IQ, but only if tripod mounted).

I agree, and I wouldn't be surprised at all if you see the same upgrade in the 180mm macro also ...




Quote from: Gary Ferguson
I wonder if this, plus the recent launch of the 14mm MkII and 18mm/24mm T&S lenses, gives us any clues as to future Canon bodies and sensors? If many of the current lens line-up is already challenged by the 5D MkII and 1Ds MkIII, then it makes perfect sense for Canon to upgrade some old warhorse lenses before they became embarrassed by the potential resolution of, say, a 30+MPX 1Ds MkIV?

That is exactly what I think is happening ...





Quote from: Gary Ferguson
Personally in the digital era I'd happily trade off a stop of aperture for better IQ in a lighter lens, and although I appreciate that IS isn't a perfect substitute for wider apertures in all cases, it certainly is in many cases.
Hopefully this won't be the end of the Canon lens developments, a 28mm 2.0L IS would be a wonderful thing!

According to the literature on this new 100mm macro you get to have your cake and eat it too: the new-era IS is supposed to be able to generate a FOUR-stop advantage, while the optics provide better IQ as well ... so I suppose, in time, we'll see

Jack


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DaveCurtis
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« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2009, 02:38:11 AM »
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Good point Eric. I can't really see the obvious point either.  However it would make the lens more useful/versatile for non macro work. I know the existing 100mm non L series macro works well at infinity.
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2009, 05:33:12 AM »
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Quote from: DaveDn
Good point Eric. I can't really see the obvious point either.

Interesting way to put your words. I am not quite sure how one fails to see a point while at the same time acknowledges its being 'obvious'? I would think that one either sees something obvious or that a point escapes the viewer  

I suppose the "obvious point" of upgrading to an L-quality macro lens would depend on the needs/wants of the prospective photographer. If a photographer doesn't personally shoot macro, or seldom does, the point of such an upgrade would be not much. If a photographer only used his existing macro for simple indoor studio portraiture, on a tripod, the point might likewise be lost.

However, if the greatest majority of a photographer's work and interest in photography comes from macro shooting outdoors in the constantly-upredictable settings of nature ... and if that photographer had the opportunity to improve his hand-held shooting dramatically by a new-generation image-stabilization technology ... increasing up to 4 stops ... with the added protection of L-quality weather-sealing ... while adding an improved focusing ring which matured from being flimsy and loose to being tighter and much more precise ... I think the "obvious point" of making an upgrade would be crystal clear.




Quote from: DaveDn
However it would make the lens more useful/versatile for non macro work.

I believe the transformation of this lens, dare I say its very 'macro' name, implies that its primary use is for macro work.




Quote from: DaveDn
I know the existing 100mm non L series macro works well at infinity.

That is an added benefit to this macro lens, true, but it is not its primary function.

Jack


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Slough
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« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2009, 06:11:04 AM »
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Quote from: JohnKoerner
I suppose the "obvious point" of upgrading to an L-quality macro lens would depend on the needs/wants of the prospective photographer.

The original Canon 100mm macro lens has always had a well deserved reputation. Optically is has always been first rate. The lack of L designation is due to the not quite indestructible build, not the optics. And as far as I know there have been few complaints if any about the build, so the L designation is pretty much marketing.
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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2009, 01:38:35 PM »
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Quote from: Slough
The original Canon 100mm macro lens has always had a well deserved reputation. Optically is has always been first rate. The lack of L designation is due to the not quite indestructible build, not the optics. And as far as I know there have been few complaints if any about the build, so the L designation is pretty much marketing.


I agree with you on the optics issue, as I love my Canon 100mm macro, but as an owner the build quality is a bit light and plasticky IMO. While it could be argued that the lens' being light creates greater ease-of-use for the photographer out in the field, when compared to a Zeiss 100mm macro, for example, it feels like a toy.

While high-quality optics is a "bottom line" requirement for a lens, sometimes it's nicer to feel everything about the lens is top-notch. More than just the nicety of an 'L' feel, however, my primary interest as to what goes with the 'L' design upgrade is the addition of weather-proofing as well as image stabilization. Moreover, the way the wording is on Canon's website regarding this lens ... "the highest quality optics available" ... it seems to me that there is an implication that there has been an elevation in design here too.

Of course, all of this remains to be seen, but I do get the sense that this new 100mm macro is going to be much more than a "marketing" design, that the bar has been raised yet again, and in fact this lense will prove to be an outstanding piece of equipment.

We'll see ...

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Dan Wells
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« Reply #25 on: September 09, 2009, 04:16:30 PM »
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Nikon has had a VR (Nikonese for IS) 105 Macro for several years now, and I love mine, and find the VR really useful. It doesn't help at 1:1, but it IS useful in the "closeup" range around 1:5, where I find the 105's image quality to be superb. Anyway, if this Canon is as nice as its Nikon counterpart, it'll be a great lens, and a great hole for Cann to fill (Attention, Nikon - how about filling some of YOUR holes in the longer part of the range?

                      -Dan
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Slough
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« Reply #26 on: September 09, 2009, 04:44:01 PM »
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Quote from: JohnKoerner
I agree with you on the optics issue, as I love my Canon 100mm macro, but as an owner the build quality is a bit light and plasticky IMO. While it could be argued that the lens' being light creates greater ease-of-use for the photographer out in the field, when compared to a Zeiss 100mm macro, for example, it feels like a toy.

I'll accept what you say about the build. As to whether in practice the old lens is fragile, it is probably more than good enough for most users. But, I won't argue your points.

Quote from: JohnKoerner
While high-quality optics is a "bottom line" requirement for a lens, sometimes it's nicer to feel everything about the lens is top-notch. More than just the nicety of an 'L' feel, however, my primary interest as to what goes with the 'L' design upgrade is the addition of weather-proofing as well as image stabilization. Moreover, the way the wording is on Canon's website regarding this lens ... "the highest quality optics available" ... it seems to me that there is an implication that there has been an elevation in design here too.

Of course, all of this remains to be seen, but I do get the sense that this new 100mm macro is going to be much more than a "marketing" design, that the bar has been raised yet again, and in fact this lense will prove to be an outstanding piece of equipment.

We'll see ...

.

Ah, no I didn't say the new lens is no more than marketing. It is quite the opposite. As you say the IS makes it more usable for many. And it dose have better build. My point was that the L designation, whilst having substance, is a clever marketing strategy. It is a way to bring the user's attention to extra features e.g. better build, and to create a sense of something more than the whole. In the same way Canon branded the ASIC in their cameras ie. DIGIC, and lo and behold Canon uses have long discussions about DIGIC. Nikon and others caught on, and we now have Expeed, Bionz and so on.

Regarding the image quality there is a widespread opinion among Nikon users that turning on VR reduces image quality albeit ever so slightly, compared to shooting with a tripod. This might be true of the Canon IS. I do not use Canon so I cannot comment. But this is a digression.
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K.C.
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« Reply #27 on: September 10, 2009, 01:02:04 AM »
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I'll accept what you say about the build. As to whether in practice the old lens is fragile, it is probably more than good enough for most users. But, I won't argue your points.

Perception vs. reality. The build quality of the Canon 100 has never been an issue.

Read any threads with someone saying theirs broke ?

Quote
Regarding the image quality there is a widespread opinion among Nikon users that turning on VR reduces image quality albeit ever so slightly, compared to shooting with a tripod. This might be true of the Canon IS. I do not use Canon so I cannot comment. But this is a digression.

Both IS and VR move the lens elements to correct for camera movement. It seems plausible that compared to a totally locked down lens and camera there could be some reduction in image quality.

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JohnKoerner
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« Reply #28 on: September 10, 2009, 04:14:34 AM »
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Quote from: Slough
I'll accept what you say about the build. As to whether in practice the old lens is fragile, it is probably more than good enough for most users. But, I won't argue your points.

It's mostly the focusing ring that feels flimsy and fast, rather than sturdy and tight. Kind of like the difference between a "power steering" wheel on a car versus a tight non-power-steering feel ...




Quote from: Slough
Ah, no I didn't say the new lens is no more than marketing. It is quite the opposite. As you say the IS makes it more usable for many. And it dose have better build. My point was that the L designation, whilst having substance, is a clever marketing strategy. It is a way to bring the user's attention to extra features e.g. better build, and to create a sense of something more than the whole. In the same way Canon branded the ASIC in their cameras ie. DIGIC, and lo and behold Canon uses have long discussions about DIGIC. Nikon and others caught on, and we now have Expeed, Bionz and so on.

Gotta give consumers a reason to buy ...  




Quote from: Slough
Regarding the image quality there is a widespread opinion among Nikon users that turning on VR reduces image quality albeit ever so slightly, compared to shooting with a tripod. This might be true of the Canon IS. I do not use Canon so I cannot comment. But this is a digression.

I don't think there is anything that will enhance the image quality of a 1:1 shot taken with precise focus on a tripod ... but the issue is more like what Dan Wells said, whereby a hand-held 1:5 shot ... that would have been blown withOUT the image-stabilization (vibration reduction) technology due to hand-shake ... can now be salvaged with it. Surely this has value. Let's face it, how many shots of wildlife can't really wait for exact tripod placement and manipulation beofre the moment is lost? How many shots get blown in the attempt to do so? Fungus and flowers may wait for us, but how about insects and butterflies? In some cases yes; in some cases no. Hand-holding a macro allows for greater flexibility, so new technology allowing for less wasted hand-held attempts and more 'keepers' in trying to capture fleeting situations certainly is worth the extra dinero to somone who really enjoys macro work.

Speaking of which, nice shots on your fungi collection. I have recently taken an interest in this also. Never really thought about it before, but happened to see an interesting specimen a month or so ago, and have since developed quite a fascination for them. I hadn't realized the extent of the diversity of species. I live on 50 acres in Florida and have found at least 40 different species already ... properly-identifying them hasn't been quite so easy though ...




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Quote from: K.C.
Perception vs. reality. The build quality of the Canon 100 has never been an issue.
Read any threads with someone saying theirs broke ?

Put your hands on a Zeiss 100mm, and turn the focus ring, and then put your hands on the Canon (non-L) and turn the focus ring, and your perception and reality that the Canon feels like a cheap toy by comparison will be the same as mine. Whether the lens breaks all the time is not the issue (mine works extremely well and has never given me anything but sharp images).

I guess it's like comparing the inside of a Toyota Corolla versus the inside of a BMW. Sure the Toyota will get you from Point A to Point B, and the dashboard may never break or rot, but that doesn't change the fact the interior components of the former are made out of cheap plastics and look-n-feel "cheap" ... while the interior components of the latter are made of fine leather and wood and look-n-feel nice.

Doesn't mean the Toyota can't take you to the same places as the BMW can take you ... and last you a long time ... but it will never be as pleasurable a ride. After all, isn't that why Toyota has its own "L"-series also, namely Lexus, for people who enjoy luxury?



Quote from: K.C.
Both IS and VR move the lens elements to correct for camera movement. It seems plausible that compared to a totally locked down lens and camera there could be some reduction in image quality.

Exactly. No need to use these features on a totally locked-down tripod shot ... but when creeping around looking for a candid hand-held shot of a rare butterfly in Peru, having the added security of IS/VR might well make the difference between being able to keep your only opportunity of a rare species about to take wing and missing it because of hand-shake ...

Jack


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« Last Edit: September 10, 2009, 04:19:08 AM by JohnKoerner » Logged
KevinA
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« Reply #29 on: September 10, 2009, 12:57:56 PM »
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"Low friction ceramic balls support the moving elements, which allows for the amazingly smooth movement "
Wow I wish I could get a set of them.

Kevin.
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Kevin.
JohnKoerner
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« Reply #30 on: September 11, 2009, 05:40:18 AM »
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Quote from: KevinA
"Low friction ceramic balls support the moving elements, which allows for the amazingly smooth movement "
Wow I wish I could get a set of them.
Kevin.


Actually, ceramic balls are now the preferred elements in high-tech roller blades, as well as many other mechanical devices that provide any type of rotary or linear motion. Ceramic balls provide higher stiffness, lower thermal expansion, lighter weight, increased corrosion resistance, and higher electrical resistance than comparable steel products do.

So you might want to save your smug little winks until you actually know what you're talking about  

Jack


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