Picking a macro lens

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by vwkid45, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. vwkid45

    vwkid45 TPF Noob!

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    Hello everyone,
    I've been taking pictures with my Nikon D70, using the standard 18-70mm lens. I've been looking for a macro lens for a while now. I'm not into sports photography, but wouldn't mind trying it out.I just need a little more then the 18-70. I looked into the nikon 18-135, but i just don't know. I am still a student so money is an issue. I went to ritz camera and tried out the nikon 55-200 and the quantaray 70-300. Both were under $200. I wouldn't mind saving up a little longer to get something in the $300-400 range, but is it really worth it now? should i just get the cheaper lens and test it out, or should i just go big now and learn later. Should i look into used lenses? thanks again!
     
  2. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

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    dont spend money into cheap lense....because you'll just throw them away in the end.......better save money and invest in something that you can use and will appreciate........also.....when you think you need a little more than 18-70....you are probably looking for somethign like 70-200 (135 is too little).........also....macro lense are expensive.......$$$-wise.....you cant afford it at this point with your budget....but you can always try the "reversed" shooting method.....there is a thread that teach you how to turn your regular lense into macro by turning it around

    i vote for "learn now & buy later"....once you buy it....you might not use it and it becomes a waste of money
     
  3. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Just wanted to point out that none of the lenses you mentioned are really macro lenses, though some will allow closer focusing than others and may claim to have a 'macro' mode.. It is possible to buy true macro lenses for a good price (especially the Tamron or Sigma ones), though as shingfan pointed out you could start off with lens reversal or extension tubes for much cheaper entry into macro photography.
     
  4. boclcown

    boclcown TPF Noob!

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    I've been looking at the sigma 17-70 macro lens. It has a minimum focusing distance of around 9 cm, and is supposed to be extremely sharp for its price range ($350-$400). I also like the idea of having a high-quality all-around lens to replace my messy kit lens (I shoot canon, and the 18-55 3.5 is killing me....).
     
  5. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Let me add my voice to Zaphod's who is providing good advice. By definition a macro lens will produce a reproducion ratio of at least 2:1 or half the subject size on the sensor. Most will produce 1:1 or life size images on the sensor. That is a lot different than lenses that simply focus closer than other lenses. The term macro is misused terribly by the lens manufacturers - particularly those that make inexpensive lenses.

    Boclown above talks about another zoom lens which, unfortunately is not really a macro at all and doesn't really focus that closely. My "normal" zoom lens is not called macro (micro since it is a Nikkor) and focuses significantly closer than that sigma. Another good example of the misuse of the term.

    Be sure you know what you want to accomplish and what you are buying before you spend your money.
     
  6. mascafe

    mascafe TPF Noob!

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    Well, a real macro has a 1:1 ratio, as said before. If you want to shoot flowers or not moving subjects, pick the Nikon 60mm f/2.8, really nice bokeh and very sharp images, but if you want shooting insects you need a little longer as Nikkor 105 f/2.8. Both has CRC, proximity correction, and you can try second hand. Macro is a no easy technique, it´s very easy to stay unfocused all the time, specially if you use wide apertures. Use a good macro tripod to get nice images.

    Regards.
    www.juanparmenides.com
     
  7. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    1:1 is 1:1 whether the lens has a 60mm or 105mm focal length. The difference is working distance not magnification. With the digital sensor, the 60 has plenty of working distance since it crops the 1:1 image. It is about the same thing on a digital as the 90 is on a 35mm frame but with more depth of field.
     
  8. Aquarium Dreams

    Aquarium Dreams TPF Noob!

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    I always assumed the Sigma 70-300mm fell into the macro-ish category, and was not a true macro, but it's listed as having 2:1 (1/2) magnification, so it by definition a macro lens?

    Specs: [ame]http://www.amazon.com/Sigma-70-300mm-4-5-6-Telephoto-Cameras/dp/tech-data/B000ALLMI8/ref=de_a_smtd/103-1105003-2891029[/ame]

    Btw, I bought that lens to try out the macro and telephoto all in an inexpensive package, so I can see if I like and use it often enough to justify either a more expensive macro or telephoto lens. And as far as throwing it away when I upgrade, I'm sure I won't have any problem selling it. They keep their meager value pretty well, probably because they are such a great starter lens.
     
  9. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes that would meet the definition. Actually, there are true macro zooms available. These are macro lenses that zoom rather than zoom lenses that focus more closely than others. The zooming doesn't really affect the magnification. Instead it adjusts the working distance. When focused at a distance, then it behaves like any other zoom lens.
     
  10. mascafe

    mascafe TPF Noob!

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    Ooops, I do know that macro ratio DO NOT depend on focal lenght. I have not said this, where have you found this idea from me?.

    Regards.
     

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