Somewhat of a macro question

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Ronaldo, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    13
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Sorry, newbie questions.

    From what I understand, macro means at or approaching 1:1. And certainly pertains to bugs and other little things.

    But if I'm trying to shoot a flower, my understanding is that it may not require a true macro lens.

    Sooooo, if shooting with a crop camera (Nikon D90) what lens would allow me to get the best/sharpest flower focus.

    If macro lenses have very shallow DOF, what lens (and f-stop) could best get the whole flower in focus. For example, if I used a 105mm lens would that allow me to have the lens front farther from the flower and therefore get more in focus, compared to say a 50mm lens? Or am I getting my optics all confused here.

    Would a proper "macro" lens provide any greater DOF (or improvements) over a similar standard lens? For example would a 105mm macro shoot better flowers than a standard 105mm, all else being equal?

    Bottom line: What lens on a D90 would support the greatest DOF for photographing a flower - - to try and get the sharpest flower pic possible.

    thanks
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2010
  2. Hardrock

    Hardrock TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,173
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Dallas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You will not get more DOF with a macro. DOf is controlled by the F-STOP,the focusing distance, and how far the background is away from the subject along with the focal length of the lens.

    You want a macro lens because they are usually the sharpest lens and they allow you to focus at 1:1(not all lens that are macro focus at 1:1)A macro lens that is 1:1 will make the subject that size on a 35mm film or 35mm sensor.

    I believe Nikon has a 105mm macro lens that would work great. If you shoot the flower at f2.8 you will have very little DOF but if you shoot it at F-13 the DOF will be greater. Hope this helps!
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    37,414
    Likes Received:
    10,678
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    What differentiates macro lenses from "regular" lenses is their ability to focus more closely. DoF is going to be virtually the same at those distances no matter what lens you use; the difference being that with a macro lens, you can acheive 1:1 with very small subjects. If you're shooting relatively large subjects such as flowers, most short to medium lenses will let you get close enough to do a reasonable job. If you want a little extra oomph without blowing the budget, consider purchasing an extension tube which, when placed between lens and body will allow you to focus much more closely. There really is no good cure for the ultra narrow DoF at these camera to subject distances, although using focus stacking, you can cheat to some extent.
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    37,414
    Likes Received:
    10,678
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit

    True, but the difference is minimal. Assuming an APS-C size sensor and a subject to camera distance of 3', using the 105 at f2.8, you will have a DoF of about 3/8". If you stop all the way down to f22, you will have a DoF of a little less than 2 1/2".
     
  5. Hardrock

    Hardrock TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,173
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Dallas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit

    Im not sure what the close focusing distance is on Nikons 105 macro but on my 100mm at 1:1 using a Canon 50D its about 8 inches from the subject and F2.8 and F13 is huge difference of whats in focus. At f2.8 you might get just the eyes and at F13 you might get at least half of the subject in focus. F22 is pretty soft , I usually stay between f11 and f13. But obviously there is more than one way to skin a cat.:thumbup:
     
  6. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    13
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Thanks.

    But I noticed that the Nikon 85mm f3.5 micro costs about $530. Yet the "standard" Nikon 85mm f1.4G costs about $1700. Is this difference do primarily to lens speed?

    Which one of these lenses would be better (sharper) for flower shooting?

    What if I did try that focus stacking? Would that change which lens would be best?

    sorry for the newbie questions but this is confusing to me
     
  7. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    6,252
    Likes Received:
    418
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Macro flowers photo.
    Take a photo of the entire big flower, take a photo of the entire small flower or take a photo of the flower stigma are different.

    If the flower is relative big, you do not need a macro lens. And some of the zoom lens can take close up photos as well.

    However, if you need to take a details image of the flower stigma, you need good macro lens as well as good lighting. Because you may need to stop down the lens to increase the DoF when focus closely.
     
  8. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    13
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Right now I'm talking about taking a "full" flower shot - - and just wondering what the best lens would be (on a crop body).
     
  9. ajkramer87

    ajkramer87 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    443
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    York PA
    A full flower shot wouldnt require a true macro lens at all. Well that depends on the size of the flower I guess. I would imagine that a 70-300 would work fine for full flower shots. A lot of flowers are bigger than the sensor so at 1:1 your not going to have the full flower in the frame anyway.
     
  10. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    6,252
    Likes Received:
    418
    Location:
    St. Louis
    For full flower shot, you may not need a dedicated macro lens. Chances are your existing equipment maybe able to do a good job already. What lens(es) do you currently have?
     
  11. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    13
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I just have the kit lens (18-55mm) on a Nikon D90. But I need REALLY sharp flower pictures for a project - - and am willing to pay up for the right (best?) lens.

    So any ideas as to what might be the best lens for full flower shooting - - specifically the sharpest? I will be enlarging the flower. So maybe a 5" actual rose, printing it at 12-15". So I need the sharpest original to start with.

    Though maybe a full frame camera would be the best thing?

    confused. . .
     
  12. Hardrock

    Hardrock TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,173
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Dallas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Full frame is not the issue. You can take outstanding pictures with the D90. What you need is a sharp lens. So if the flower is big enough Im sure a 50 1.4 ,85 1.8 or 70-300 would be great but the advantage of the macro lens is the close focus distance. But if you buy the macro lens you have a dual purpose lens you can do macro and portrait style shots or whatever. The other lens will be nice lenses and you may have to crop a bunch to get what you want. I think you need to try and rent the lens first to try them out.
     

Share This Page