50mm prime and macro in one?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Overread, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Well I have been considering adding a good 50mm prime to my lens kit, mostly for inside shots and closer work. I was going for the canon 50mm f1.4, since whilst I don't tend to do any true dark photography where I would want f1.4 I am after something with more guts than the f1.8 version.
    However I recently saw some shots with the canon EFS 60mm macro and it got me thinking that a short range macro lens would have its advantages.
    Adding macro, which is a definite addiction of mine - and also allows for a greater depth of field for a given aperture when compared to a longer focal length. Although I do lose a lot of working distance I think that as I practice more this will be less of a loss when I compare it to the gain in depth of field.
    However I wonder how the sigma 50mm macro works in general as a 50mm lens - which is where I think it will see the most use. As its a macro lens is its af up to speed - does it perform over longer ranges and still retain its quality of image at the end?
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2008
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    One thing to consider with macro... working distance. If you like taking photos of bugs, you'll want a longer working distance.

    I used the Canon 50mm macro a few times and I preferred the increased working distance of the 100mm macro.

    Can't really offer much more than that.. I don't do much macro.
     
  3. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    true - its working distance is something like 7cm, whilst the 150mm macro which I am more used to is 18cm - so its definatly more of an evening/morning/feeding lens when the bugs are more inclined to be slow
     
  4. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    usayit is right for bugs, flowers, and ultra close-ups. Lighting also is a bugger at 1~8cm or so! I think i would also consider the nearest focus distance of the non-marco lens. I hate being limited to to 30 or 40 inches. It's good to spontaneously be able to stick the camera up next to someone you're having fun with and grabbing some. Or just being able to frame something that frames right at 15 inches but isn't doing it for me at 30~40.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2008
  5. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    yeh... lighting is really important. DOF is really shallow so you'll need to shoot at f/11 or smaller which means you need a ring light or somethinnng similar.
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    yes very true - I am currently using a speedlite 580M2 and aiming for f13 as standard - I find going smaller at the moment more hit and miss - good sunny weather is fine though. I am thinking on a good set of macro head flashes in time to help.
     
  7. 250Gimp

    250Gimp TPF Noob!

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    I don't know much about these lenses, but from what I have read, the macro lenses are slower focussing because they try focus much more accurately than a regular lense.

    Cheers
     
  8. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    I don't think my Canon 100mm 2.8 macro is slower focusing. It is quite fast at portrait distances. I tend to manually focus, however, at macro distances because, with such shallow DOF, I think it is more precise that way.
     
  9. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Been looking at more reviews and thoughts and starting to wonder if the sigma 70mm macro might not be a better option. It seems to have a general quality edge on the 50mm and its still a shorter focal length (half that of my 150mm macro) and yet I wonder if I am shooting myself in the foot - being on crop sensor and all.
    Any thoughts?
     
  10. Antithesis

    Antithesis No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Macro lenses take a lot longer to focus because the lens has to extend so far while focusing. The focus ring has to turn over like 2 or 3 times for it to get from close focus to infinity. That won't be fun try to grab any sort of quick-action shots, and I assume that's why people prefer not to use them as anything but macro lenses.
     
  11. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, I read where Helen B said the group that moves in a macro is actually (usually) heavier too. So what you're saying applies to micro focus adjustments too.
     
  12. JustAnEngineer

    JustAnEngineer TPF Noob!

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    My EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM has a switch next to the AF/MF switch that limits the autofocus range to 0.48m to infinity, or allows it to run the whole range of 0.31m to infinity.
     

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