View Full Version : Canon or Tamron

Prajwal J Ullal
19-11-2014, 11:05 AM

I am looking for a good Macro lens for my Canon EOS 550D. This lens will be extensively used for fulfilling my craze for capturing insects and other micro beauties and also should be aiding for portraiture photography too (macro lenses are also supposed to be good at portraiture photography). I have been looking around details and reviews of two particular lenses for quite a long time and now that I have decided to go ahead with one, I am stuck real badly and unable to decide upon which one to go for based on the info i have collected till now. I would like to know our members views on these two lenses and may be your experiences would help me in selecting the best suitable one. As usual budget is a constraint and anything around or below 35k would be manageable for me.
I am attaching a comparison sheet I had made and shared with Sabyasachi Sir, that's when he had asked to share with all so that you all shall share your opinions and that would surely help me in making up my mind in going ahead with either one of them.
Do check the attached image and also do share any points that I might have missed out in.

Prajwal Ullal

Abhishek Jamalabad
19-11-2014, 01:06 PM
IndiaWilds members who use the Canon 100 include Bhavya Joshi, Bibhav Behera and myself. I don't think we have any members who use the Tamron 90 VC, but Dr. Jitendra Katre uses the Tamron 90 Di lens.

Personally I would always recommend the Canon 100 because I have used it extensively, for a variety of subjects (insect macro, herp macro, mammals, large birds and tight landscapes) and in a variety of weather conditions (hot & dry in several locations, rainy & 95% plus humid in the Western Ghats, near freezing in the Himalayas) and have never had any major complaints. I have had fungus on the front elements on one occasion and minor problems with the contacts, but those were sorted without any hassles. It is a lens that does its job brilliantly as long as you maintain it well, and I admit that I sometimes don't maintain it extremely well :D.

That being said, I have used the Tamron 90 Di as well, it performs quite well within its limitations. The barrel extends with focusing, but that can't be an actual complaint because it is the way the lens is built. You will find some reviews pointing fingers at the recessed lens elements that are hard to clean, but if like me you choose to always leave a UV filter on, then that issue gets minimised. Yes, it is noisier than the Canon 100, but it might not matter when it comes to Macro subjects. My concern with that lens would be the slower AF. You might encounter a snake, or a mammal, for example, that is too fast for the lens to lock on to. If you restrict the use to insects, for which MF works fine, then that won't be a big issue either. If for some reason you don't want to spend a lot on a Macro lens and are willing to make the compromises, then the Tamron 90 Di would be a good choice. I know professional wildlife photographers who use this lens as part of their large kits.

I have no experience with the Tamron 90 VC lens. I don't think I was aware of such a lens till you told me about it. I have certainly not seen anyone using it.

Regarding IS for macro lenses, I had a chat with you a couple of days back. Remember that shake in macro images often occurs due to movement of the subject, plant in a breeze etc. and IS won't stop that. If you are really concerned about low-light macro photography, you would buy a ring light or a dual flash setup. A macro setup-capable tripod is always a good thing to have too.

Weather-sealing works well in proper rain, in which case you would require a suitable DSLR too. If you are likely to upgrade to a capable DSLR, then weather sealing makes a difference. (I don't know how well Tamron's weather-sealing works with a Canon body.) For a light drizzle, you don't really need weather-sealed equipment, as long as you wipe it dry when done.

I can vouch for Canon's service network. Their services are reasonably priced, very prompt and hassle-free.

Any more queries? Feel free to ask. Talk to our fellow members who use these lenses for their opinion too.

Prajwal J Ullal
19-11-2014, 01:22 PM
Thanks for the detailed info about the lenses and the advantages and drawbacks, that was really helpful. I did read that the non VC tamron is slow in AF but it seems that in the VC one, they have improved the AF, much better than non VC but a tad slower than Canon. Also the new VC, tammy, has internal focusing system, like the Canon, and hence doesnt extend or move, supposedly making it as good as canon (based on the online reviews). What pulls me towards Tamron VC is the fact that it can also couple up as a good Portrait lens with its VC, something that might be very helpful especially when I travel around with my family (treks, bird watching or in general native place travel) and also that it is close to 5k cheaper than Canon (awaiting dealer's prices, somehow canon dealers aint that responsive as compared to Tamron ones). But the key worry is after sales or SERVICE strength of Tamron, I am a Mumbaikar and also came to know that there is a Service centre in Mumbai, but how good or bad is it is the Big question.

Rajan Kanagasabai
19-11-2014, 01:53 PM

Sorry to add a new spin to this debate (and for suggesting a larger hole in the pocket :-) ) but i thought you may want to consider this . . ..

I do own The Canon EF 100 F2.8 L IS USM and before I bought it, was using my cousinís 100 F2.8 non IS, non L series version (that is being compared with the Tamaron).

In my personal view, there is world of difference between both these lenses (the Canon L series IS & non IS versions) and obviously the difference in pricing as well (nearing 63 K).

Maybe you should explore stretching your budget and go for the L series beauty. You simply will not regret the choice as In my personal view, the difference in quality between them is way too large . . .


Prajwal J Ullal
19-11-2014, 02:25 PM
Thank you for your response Rajan Sir,
Unfortunately budget is the driving factor for me right now. I can't stretch above 35k due to some other commitments
Would surely have went for Canon 100mmIS L macro if I could have afforded that much, but that or something better will surely be in my radar after 4-5 yrs. Will keep my hunger for macro photography satisfied, with the one I shall be going for, until then.

Prajwal J Ullal
20-11-2014, 08:17 AM
Adding a new twist to the balance, got a quotation from one of the sellers from Bangalore, Sabyasachi Sir had recommended him when I had purchased my DSLR. It seems that there is just about a Rs.1000 difference between Canon and Tamron. Canon is at 36k while Tamron is at 35k.
Now the few things keeping me from going for Canon is local dealer's quotation and how much normal photography get effected minus the IS

Abhishek Jamalabad
20-11-2014, 12:00 PM
36k is a very good deal for the Canon at this point of time (it was much lower earlier, but shot up after the Fukushima disaster).

Prajwal J Ullal
20-11-2014, 01:05 PM
Yeah, got a quote from Mumbai dealer too, 33k for Tamron, 35k for Canon.
Seems to be I am getting more inclined towards Canon now... :)

Prajwal J Ullal
22-11-2014, 08:53 AM
Finally decided to go ahead with Canon EF 100mm F/2.8 USM macro. Shall be getting in soon :)

Thank for your feedback, inputs and support.

P.S.: Below was a very old photograph of my kit, Photoshopped to get the, soon to be, new member

Mrudul Godbole
23-11-2014, 04:47 PM
Congrats..!! Good to hear you are going ahead with the Canon 100mm. You will surely notice the quality of the images taken by Canon 100mm.
Look forward to see your images with the new lens :)..

Prajwal J Ullal
24-11-2014, 11:26 AM
Thank you :)
Havent got it yet, The local Canon Image Square guys dont have in readily avialble. Shall be getting it by 30th...hopefully

Prajwal J Ullal
30-11-2014, 01:53 PM
Finally got my Canon 100mm f:2.8 USM (non IS), now eagerly awaiting for some photography expeditions :)
Thanks a lot for all your feedback and suggestions along with your experiences :)

Sabyasachi Patra
30-11-2014, 02:44 PM
Congratulations! Now look forward to your images with the Canon 100mm macro.

Rajan Kanagasabai
30-11-2014, 03:09 PM
Good luck