For long term macro commitment, decicated macro lens are still the ones to go..
and get extension tubes to pair up with to achieve higher magnification..
Think most of the regular shops should carry.. I got mine at TK Foto donkey mths back..
Orient Photo at SLS carries them as well..
2. Can make any fast lens a macro lens
3. Small and light enough (esp at one or 2 sections) to be in the bag at all times.
4. For general shooting (eg. travel), you may not always carry a macro lens as the focal length may no be so often used (actually macro lenses are usually in good focal lengths like 50, 70, 100mm). You'd also not be that focused on macro shots. So an extension tube give the options to make any fast lens in your bag a macro lens.
2. does not work over all focus distances like a dedicated macro lens.
Yes, the other options to ext tubes is using this Raynox attachment filters acting much like a magnifying glass in front of the lens. If you get the CM2000 it comes with both 2x & 1.4x combined or individual to get the bug's eyes:bigeyes: just using the 50mm prime lens. Check it out Raynox & CM2000 I just got them!