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Lens buying advice - 50mm or macro (w/ 6D MII)


Among other lenses I have a Nifty Fifty in 1.8 and just bought a Canon EF25 extender thinking I could do macro. Still learning but now realized that (duh) the extender only takes me to half of the ideal 1:1. 
Two decisions, closely linked:
 I was thinking of getting the 1.4 with a little better build quality and a bit of extra f-stop. Until I saw the Canon 50mm 2.8 macro. I assume that would get me to 1:1 macro?
!. Is the 50mm 2.5 macro still good for a lot of 50mm work and just switch to my old 1.8 if I need an extra stop or so?
2. Cut and run to the 1.4 and just use the extender (and maybe a second one to get me closer to 1:1?)

Budgetwise, can't do both the 1.4 and the 2.5 macro. 




"Until I saw the Canon 50mm 2.8 macro. I assume that would get me to 1:1 macro?"

No, by itself it only goes to 1:2. There is a custom extender tube which takes it to 1:1.


The only Canon lenses that give you 1:1 magnification for a full frame DSLR such as your 6D Mark II are the EF 100mm macro lenses. Over the years there have been several 

  • EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro
  • EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
  • EF 100 f/2.8L Macro IS USM

I suggest you take a look at one of these for your 1:1 magnification solution as an extension tube on other lenses won’t get you to 1:1. You are likely to only fine the last of those lenses still actively sold, but the others may be available from dealers who sell used lenses. I would spend the money on the 100mm macro rather than the 50mm f/1.4 given you already have the 50mm f/1.8

Brian - Canon specialist trainer, author and photographer
I use British not American English, so my spellings may be a little different to yours


+1 on Brian's list.  Best 1:1 macros for bugs, flowers, etc.  It doesn't get better than this.    

Bay Area - CA

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And the newer one has the fancy-dancy IS which corrects in another axis (argh - it corrected axis to access!)  for better handholding.