Question about "true" macro lens

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Robin Usagani, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. Robin Usagani

    Robin Usagani Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    10,348
    Likes Received:
    2,174
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    So theoratically, what happens when you use a true macro lens (the one that will fill the frame 1:1 or larger) for portraits? I know these lenses have very small minimum focus distance. Can someone explain it to this noob? :lmao:
     
  2. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    4,051
    Likes Received:
    231
    Location:
    Baltimore
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    They have a very small MFD, but they also work as a regular 2.8 lens (most macros are 2.8, besides the 180mm and older models). Ive shot many portraits with my 105mm macro. This was a series of a family members daughter shot with my 105mm macro. Sorry for the content. I can blur it out if someone is offended.

    Mark

    EDIT: Sorru, link issues. Ill get it up in about 2 mins.
     
  3. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    4,051
    Likes Received:
    231
    Location:
    Baltimore
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    [​IMG]

    All of those were taken with my Sigma 105mm F/2.8 EX DG macro.

    Mark
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2003
    Messages:
    33,818
    Likes Received:
    1,811
    Location:
    Edmonton
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Most Macro lenses are very similar to 'regular' lenses, they just have a shorter Minimum Focus Distance (MFD)...which allows you to get closer to the subject while still being able to focus. They can still focus out at normal distances, and thus can be use for portraits or anything else.

    There are exceptions, the Canon 65mm MP-E for example. It's a macro only lens, and can get you up to 5X magnification.
     
  5. rufus5150

    rufus5150 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,658
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    The MPE-65 has no infinity focus and indeed, no focus ring at all.

    The rest of them work perfectly fine. You'll find the AF kinda slow sometimes if it has to hunt over the entire range, but newer ones like canon's 100mm L you can limit the MFD when you're using it for other-than-macro shooting.

    In short -- nothing. They're wonderfully sharp lenses and frequently a great length for portrait shooting.
     
  6. misstwinklytoes

    misstwinklytoes TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    2,112
    Likes Received:
    40
    Location:
    Texas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    :lol: Oh, kids!
     
  7. gardy90

    gardy90 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cheyenne WY
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    off topic but the expression in #2 is classic haha
     
  8. Robin Usagani

    Robin Usagani Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    10,348
    Likes Received:
    2,174
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks! My Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DG has MACRO on it... I wish they have rules when you can consider something "macro" lens.

    So most macro lenses are prime lenses arent they? So you are really paying for the engineering of the really small minimum focus distance. So theoratically a faster prime lens is a better buy if you are not really using it for macro because it is a lot faster? (ie. f/1.4, 1.8)
     
  9. pgriz

    pgriz Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2010
    Messages:
    6,572
    Likes Received:
    3,095
    Location:
    Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Ok, here's a dissenting opinion. Good macro lenses are SHARP. Focus it properly and it will reveal every mole, every chin hair, every crease, and every pore. Some people may not want their portrait to reveal all that. And doing PP with every portrait to tone down the detail may seem like a waste of good lens resources. I love my macro lens, but for flattering portraits, somewhat less accurate renditions may be a better choice.
     
  10. Robin Usagani

    Robin Usagani Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    10,348
    Likes Received:
    2,174
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    stupid photos were blocked by my work puter.. darn.. i just checked it on my iphone.. thats freaking funny!
     
  11. Robin Usagani

    Robin Usagani Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    10,348
    Likes Received:
    2,174
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thats only because you shoot it very close correct? I mean if you go back a little and use it to take a head shot, I am not sure if it will perform any better than regular lens with the details.

     
  12. Markw

    Markw No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    4,051
    Likes Received:
    231
    Location:
    Baltimore
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    No, macro lenses are just sharp. Thats how theyre built. Theyre sharp in all applications if there is no user error. There is a line that says what can be called macro. Macro is a term that can only be used when a particular lens can focus closer than most lenses could with the same focal distance, and such. Yes, a faster prime lens is a better buy if you do not need macro. The main thing here is the focus speed, not so much the aperture. The focus on most primes, especially fast primes, is extremely fast and accurate. With Macro lenses, the focus is generally extremely slow and noisy because of all the extra distance it has to cover. My sigma 105 is ridiculously slow and noisy in anything less than alright lighting conditions. I cant say anything about Canon macro lenses, though. Ive never shot with them. For portraits, where you want at least the whole face in frame, you wont need a macro lens. Ive actually found that the longer primes work very, very well for portraits. This way, you can still have the build and optical quality of a prime lens, fast and accurate focus, isolation if you do please, and be more than 12" away from your subject as to not make them any more uncomfortable than they already are.

    Mark
     

Share This Page