Macro lens help please =)

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by jubbin2001, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. jubbin2001

    jubbin2001 TPF Noob!

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    I have been stooling over several different macro lenses for my Nikon D80.

    1. Nikon 60mm
    2. Sigma 70mm
    3. Tamron 90mm
    4. Tokina 100mm
    5. Sigma 105mm

    Now since I am new to photography and all that I am having some issues understanding and finding out how close to my subject I need to be to acheive a 1:1. On the Tamron for example, it says it has a min focus of 11.3in. Now am I mistaken in thinking that is at infinity and you have to get closer to get a 1:1?

    I have an old AF Vivitar 100mm that I am toying with, but to get even a 1:2 I have to be really close to the subject, and with the 1:1 adapter on, almost right on top of it.

    I am wondering if this holds true with the other newer lenses as well (just without an adapter). I really don't feel like getting bit or stung very often :lol:.

    I tried hitting the manufacturer sites, but I didn't get very far. I thought I would come here and see what information I could find, and maybe get some input from people who are actually using these lenses and see what they think.

    I just don't have the money to waste on a lens thinking I am getting what I want, only to find it's like what I already have.

    Thanks all!!! :hail:
     
  2. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    I like the longer Macro lenses better myself. They allow you the benefits of being a little farther back to get your 1:1. Also, by having their 1:1 farther back you can add a bellows, extension tubes, etc... To get even higher ratios. With a lens that focuses very close to get 1:1, you may loose that ability. Also if you are trying to get something that is alive. It may be a little skittish and trying to move in real close you may loose the shot. And a third benifit of being a little farther back allows easier use of flashes or reflectors.
     
  3. mooimeisie

    mooimeisie TPF Noob!

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    I have the Sigma 105 and it is a very nice lens. Check my Flickr page and all the macros taken are with this lens. It also make quite a nice portrait lens. My only concern I have now is that I've started to try and get photos of bugs and it's just not quite right without the use of extention tubes.
     
  4. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sigma 105mm lens is nothing short of fantastic. It is a true 1:1 macro, and at that distance, you are about 1 foot away from the subject. But that is not this lens' greatest asset, though it is excellent... this lens, on a DX (or better, an FX) camera, is an AWESOME portrait lens. Very sharp, fast at F/2.8 and fast focusing on a D700. I had the 105mm Sigma before I had the D700, and on the D200, it is equally impressive, even with the crop factor in consideration.

    [​IMG]

    A shot of a bee I took last year with it using the D200. This was hand-held at further than 1:1 macro distances, but it shows nice detail. Extention tubes... no matter what, you will loose picture quality using them. DOF is incredibly poor and shallow with them and that is my main complaint.
     
  5. jubbin2001

    jubbin2001 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the replies! I was really kind of leaning towards the Sigma 105mm. Mostly I will probably be doing shots of my 125g reef aquarium, but I wanted a lens that could have the potential for bugs and/or other critters that might be a bit skittish. Though I have a feeling I should probably be looking at 2 different lenses, one to keep me closer to the glass for the aquarium shots, and one for the farther away shots away from the aquarium, but I really don't have the ca$h flow for 2 new lenses right now.

    Mooimeisie - Funny you mention the extension tubes. When I mentioned to the camera shop I wanted to get a Sigma 105mm they just told me to throw some tubes on my 28-300mm Tamron. Personally though I think I am ready for an actual macro lens :thumbup:. I like my Tamron, don't get me wrong...it does "ok" with close-ups....but it really can't do what I want it to.

    JerryPH - Wow, thanks for the example. Those are the kind of pictures (besides the aquarium stuff) I am looking for. I know that it's more than just the lens ;) but as I get more experienced I hope things will improve.
     
  6. Do'Urden's Eyes

    Do'Urden's Eyes TPF Noob!

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    You are mistaken. The min focusing distance is the absolute closest your lens can get to a subject and still be able to focus on it, so you wont be getting any closer with that tamron. With macro lenses longer focal lengths equate to longer min focusing distances. so a 60mm lens that goes to 1:1 is going to get very close to its subject, while a 180mm lens will still focus to 1:1 you will just be further away. I dont know if its out of your price range (or if sigma makes it for nikon) but the sigma 150mm macro is supposed to be spectacular as well and i think is worth the consideration. Ask Overread he has one.
     
  7. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    Minimum means minimum, as others have pointed out.

    Two things you need to be aware of:

    1. Unless very clearly indicated otherwise, the focusing distances listed for lenses are distances measured from the image plane (sensor or film gate) and not the distance from the front of the barrel to the subject. Only in a few cases will a manufacture mention the distance from the front of the barrel to the subject, and when they do so they makes special mention that this is the case.

    2. The focal lengths listed for lenses is their focal length when focused at infinity. Today's AF lenses almost always focus to some extent, if not completely, by altering their focal length. The focal lengths become shorter when focused closer. In the ancient manual focus days, this was rarely the case; prime lenses, whether macro or not, generally focused purely by extension. The result is that the rated focal length of today's AF lenses is a poor predictor of their working distances at or near macro.
     
  8. jubbin2001

    jubbin2001 TPF Noob!

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    Still leaning towards a 105mm, the cheapest 150mm was around $700 and that is just more than I can do. I have found the 105mm around $350 and I think given the new found knowledge the 105mm will probably suite my needs (for the time being ;)). Once again thanks tons for the help, and keep the comments coming, I really appreciate it!
     
  9. mooimeisie

    mooimeisie TPF Noob!

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    This is a crop from a photo I took this morning. The bug was about 1/4" long. I didn't use any extention tubes when taking this.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. jubbin2001

    jubbin2001 TPF Noob!

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    Wow...thank you so much for sharing! That is really a great picture. Hope one day I'll figure all this out so I can take some better shots.

    Here is an image I just captured with the Vivitar AF 100mm macro. I was about 5" from the subject shooting 1:2. That is a little close for insects and "skittish" type objects, but for flowers it works. Just giving an example of what i am working with.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2009
  11. TamiyaGuy

    TamiyaGuy No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'll say that, from when I tested it, the Nikon 60mm Macro was way too close for my liking, I honestly feared about bumping into my subject when I was shooting it at 1:1! I have the Tamron 90mm and I absolutely love it, my only complaint would be the way it sticks out an awful lot when focusing down to macro levels (which, unfortunately, is the case for all the macro lenses you've listed apart from the Nikon, although I'm not too sure about the Tokina, either).

    Yes, I'm afraid that in order to shoot insects you do have to get extremely close to the subject, and there's no way past that unless you spend £1,000 on a 200mm macro lens. However, you can use a teleconverter on the lens if you wish to be slightly further away from your subjects.

    Also, as has been mentioned, almost all macro lenses are brilliant lenses for portraits, too. f/2.8 means you have excellent control over your depth of field, and a slightly longer focal length that you get with a macro lens provides a nice, compressed view.

    Whatever you get, though, enjoy it! It's not just for bugs & flowers, either :).
     
  12. jubbin2001

    jubbin2001 TPF Noob!

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    Once again thank you all for the input. You have made things much more clear now. Now I just have to see what I can do about the lens...
     

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