New to Macro Photography

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by paranoidandroid13, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. paranoidandroid13

    paranoidandroid13 TPF Noob!

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    I am new to macro photography and need a decent macro lens. Any ideas on good macro lenses? What makes a good lens? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Have you looked into the extension tubes? They are a really cheap alternative and work very well.
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What makes a good macro lens? Sharpness and reproduction ratio. True macro lenses offer 1:1 or sometimes even better ratios and are fixed focal lengths. The other question then is do you want to spook your subjects? A 50mm macro lens would give you greater depth of field but the downside is to get 1:1 reproduction you need to get closer to your subject. A 105mm Macro on the other hand has a near focusing distance of around 38cm which is far enough not to scare off small subjects.

    Oh and these are expensive. Extension tubes are a far cheaper alternative.
     
  4. pandinus

    pandinus TPF Noob!

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    I got my Sigma 105mm macro for about 500$. So it doesn't have to be the worst investment in the wold... Then again, Norway is expensive... About 150$ of that was in taxes...

    You might want to look at alternative lenses to just Nikkor or Canon. Some are quite a bit cheaper, yet offer the same qualities as the original lenses for your camera.

    You might want to have a look at Sigma, Tamron etc. as well as extention tubes.

    Just a small comparison: I was looking for a macro lens, and looked first at Nikkor 105mm micro lens. Here in Norway it would cost about 15000 nok. (About 3000$) Then I looked at Sigmas lens 105mm makro it was about 1/6 of the price. Very similar qualities, so to me as a noob to macro photography it makes little difference. (If I so choose, I can later buy a better lense.)

    Just my views on the subject.
     
  5. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    About using tubes...

    Here's a scan of an old photo (all I have handy as an example). Sorry, I don't have a clue as to the particulars on this shot except I was using tubes, an N8008 with a 70-210mm zoom hand held and I over exposed a bit.

    [​IMG]

    Hope this helps

    mike

    BTW, the tubes were under $20
     
  6. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I have a 70mm 2.8 EX macro lens by Sigma. It has a nice sharp lens and does very well for macro. Cost around $429.
     
  7. doenoe

    doenoe TPF Noob!

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    you can also try the reversed lens thing. You can get special rings that let you mount your lens on your body backwards. With a 50mm lens you get a 1:1 pic (or very close to that) the downside though, is that you cant set your F-number and you have too manually focus. Also, you have to get close to your subject (like 5cm). But you can get some amazing results with it.
     
  8. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Here's a vote for trying extension tubes. I tried reverse macro at first, and just got a set of extension tubes a month ago (yes, under 20 bucks). So far, I like them a lot more than the reverse macro technique. Later, you can decide if spending 30 times that for a lens is worth it or not.
     
  9. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

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    For starters most lenses do offer "Macro" capability where you can zoom in at the minimum focusing distance. You will not get eh clarity and higher resolution that a true dedicated macro lens offers though. All makes offer macro lenses from 50-180mm. Depending on your subject matter, the minimum focusing distance will come into play. As Garbz stated prior, the longer focal length and ratio will equal more money. Insect and critters need more room so the 100-180mm focal range will be needed. Unless it's road-kill. :D Flowers, miniatures, etc. require only the 50-100mm range. You get what you pay for though. I tried the tube route and was not impressed with the results even with my L lenses! Just did not get the resolution I was after. Depending on what camera you own and budget, the best macro lens on the market is the Canon EF 180 f/3.5 L. IMO. Followed by the EF-S 60 f/2.8 & EF 100 f/2.8. Priced accordingly.
     
  10. itoncool

    itoncool TPF Noob!

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    I did reversed lens thing when I only have 1 lens for all, handhold, I didn't use the special ring, I found it amazing but only works with steady objects, I prefer the extension tubes for cost oriented option.

    but, 3rd party lenses seem to be my best advice if you have the budget. Tamron is very well known for their great macro line up. And don't put away Sigma from your option.
     
  11. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  12. paranoidandroid13

    paranoidandroid13 TPF Noob!

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