Option 2: Canon 105mm Macro
- Excellent build quality
- Excellent sharpness
- Not as versatile in focal length as extension tubes
- Easier to use
- 10x the price of extension tubes
A while ago I bought 5 macro lenses and several sets of extension tubes to determine which one I should recommend here. You can't beat a dedicated macro lens for autofocus and ease of use, but you can get an inexpensive set of extension tubes for just $50 that will produce sharp photos. I think most photographers should buy extension tubes FIRST before a macro lens. Then, if you decide to get a dedicated macro lens later, you can still use the extension tubes with it for extreme macros. Extension tubes are a small, lensless piece that goes between the body of the camera and a regular lens (50mm is great) to make the lens focus much closer.