I've never used a macro lens that I didn't like.
I just like some better than others.
My experience is with APS-C cameras.
The EF 100mmL F2.8 IS USM is out in front.
I like the EF 100mm F2.8 USM as well.
I also like the 50mm Compact Macro F2.5 as well as the EF-S 60mm F2.8 Macro.
I also like the Tokina 35mm and the Sigma 180mm 3.5mm. Very close and further away.
I have owned or still own all of these in the last 2 years. I have switched to FF and I am buying another Canon EF 100mmL F2.8 IS USM tonight. I will probably acquire the MP-E 65 next. I like butterflies, bugs, bees, flowers, flowers and more flowers. Great photos can be taken with all of these lenses. All depend on the user. Good luck with your quest for the right macro for you.
I am referred to as the butterfly whisperer.
What is "the best lens" is an impossble question to answer ... unless you first state exactly what you're after.
If you're into shooting coins, the 50/60mm might be a good choice, but either will be a lousy choice for butterflies or other creatures which might be scared-off by close approach.
If you want to go past 1:1, then the MPE-65mm is *the* lens to get. Period.
If you're hand-holding a lot out in the field, and your subjects are insects etc. that might be moving, then the 100mmL is going to be your best bet.
If you're trying to get the best-quality artistic macro shots of butterflies/flowers, and you're using a tripod (which you should if the best image quality is your goal), and you want your bokeh to be at a premium, then the 180mm will allow you to make the best compositions, be farther away from your subjects (so as not to scare them) ... and, consequently, take the best overall shots of the bunch.
BTW, I have owned all of these lenses ...
Hello there Sami;
I haven't owned the other products, so I don't know.
From what I have read, the other products compare quite favorably with the Canon, and can easily take as good photographs. All of them, if used properly, will produce outstanding results.
However, while pricey, the Canon is generally considered to have much better build quality, which is why I went that route personally.
To me the f/2.8 in a macro lens is overrated and useless.
I seldom, if ever, use the f/3.5 of my Canon. In fact, I honestly can't think of a single time I have used it for any important shot I have ever taken.
Why? Because depth-of-field is *the* bugaboo with macro shots, and even at f/11 a person pretty much has to focus-stack his image to get any appreciable DOF on his bug shots, so why hamstring yourself by shooting f/2.8?
Further, bokeh-wise, the sweet spot of most macro lenses is f/4.0 - f/5.6, so if it's the bokeh effect you're looking for, you'll get the best results shooting within that f/4.0 - f/5.6 range anyway ... so, really, what does f/2.8 really do for a macro shooter, besides add weight to his camera (and price to his tag).
The recommendation from Canon support gave me an incompatible lens.
As explained by Stephen, every Canon EF and EF-S lens will work on your 7D.
I personally recommend these two Canon EF lenses which are EXCEPTIONAL in terms of Image Quality:
- EF 100mm Macro 2.8L IS USM
- EF 100mm Macro 2.8 non-L version (older version, cheaper but almost same perforamcne in terms of image quality)
The biggest difference between these two is that the latest (the L version) has Image Stabilization, which could be really handy and helpful in many situations. Especially considering this is a 100mm lens, that would work as 160mm in your APS-C camera. And if you shoot macro, every possible stabilization is really welcome.
Also, the L version is weather sealed -at least in some level- (remember that to achieve weather sealling you MUST put a filter in front of the lens).
We own the non-L version, and it's simply AMAZINGLY sharp, even wide open.
The only "complain" we have on these two lenses is that the focus throw is VERY short at the far end, so if you use them for Video, you'll have hard work to pull focus manually on subjects from 3 meters to infinity.
We wish Canon had made them with longer forcus throw from 1 meter to infinity, allowing easier manual focus for video.
But aside that specific matter, both lenses are HIGHLY recommended compared to other models or brands.
Hope this helps!