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Thread: Confused ?

  1. #1

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    Paul

    Confused ?

    Could someone explain the following...

    Macro Lens ! What is a Macro lens, am i right in thinking that its for close up shots ?

    There is a reason to my dumb question...honest

  2. #2

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    Pat Brennan

    Re: Confused ?

    hi ruffy you are right a macro lens is used for close up shots and can give a1:1 reproduction ratio.regards pat

  3. #3

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    Re: Confused ?

    Could you then explain the following lens...

    Tamron AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO lens ??

  4. #4
    rob marshall

    Re: Confused ?

    A camera lens designed to focus at very short distances and to form an image as large as the subject. That would give a 1:1 ratio. For example, a crop factor sensor is about an inch wide, so a macro lens should be able to shoot a one inch wide subject and fill the frame (sensor). You can get in closer with a macro lens by using 'extension tubes'. These allow the camera/lens to be moved in even closer.

    Not a lot of people know this, but macro lenses, being prime lenses (not zoom) also make very good portrait lenses, and even landscape lenses. This shot was taken with a Sigma 105mm macro lens - which many claim is as good as the Canon 100mm. I think so too.

    Confused ?

  5. #5
    Tord's Avatar
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    Tord S Eriksson

    Re: Confused ?

    A macro lens is one that is optimized for close focusing - often by having a very long focusing range, often making them a bit bulky!

    A way of converting a non-close focusing lens to one that does is adding a close up lens in front of the normal lens - Canon makes nice screw-on ones (you attach them like a frontal UV filter): Model 500D changes your lens infinity focus to 500mm, or roughly 1.5 feet, the 250D changes the focus with the lens set at infinity to 1/4 meter - about 10 inches!

    You can also add extension tubes between the original lens and the camera. This shortens the minimum focusing distance, too!

    Naturally you can combine a macro lens with extension tubes, and add a Canon screw-on close-up lens as well!

    The extension tube lowers the maxumum aperature, by moving the lens away from the camera's film/sensor, while the add-on lens doesn't affect your aperature settings at all.

    If you want to make photos of high magnification (scale 1:1, or bigger) it is often better to turn your lens back-to-front, using a reversing adapter, but then you lose the aperature automatics. and can't use lenses without aperture rings without great difficulty!

    So, macro lenses are not essential for close-ups, but they often are very practically!

  6. #6
    Tord's Avatar
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    Tord S Eriksson

    Re: Confused ?

    I use my Pentax K-5 and my Tamron 90 Macro for both macro shots, and other stuff - see my gallery for a shot of a robin :-)!
    Last edited by Tord; 7th February 2011 at 07:55 AM.

  7. #7

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    Remco

    Re: Confused ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruffy View Post
    Could you then explain the following lens...

    Tamron AF 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 XR LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO lens ??
    Marketing hype

    The 'macro' in such zooms means 'close up' focusing, in some cases accessible through a special switch (to keep the focusing path of reasonable length for normal use). Depending on the lens, you might reach a magnification of 0.5, sufficient for larger flowers and insects.

  8. #8

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    Re: Confused ?

    What you have to bear in mind with macro zoom lenses, Paul, is that the closeness of focus and the maximum lens size control the size of your photo. But this will vary between lenses and different manufacturers of similar sized lenses.

    So care is always necessary when choosing a zoom lens with macro option compared with a lens which is specifically designed for macro work.

    As a general rule, a zoom macro lens, especially if fitted with a converter or extension tube, won't be quite as good as a dedicated macro lens (subject to the general lens quality) but can be used, with care, and may well prove sufficient - and a lot cheaper!

    If you haven't already read this question Tubes or Bellows it may add some extra information.

    I started getting serious about macro with a Canon 70-300 macro zoom but eventually switched to a Sigma 180 macro lens.

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