What Happens When You Flip the Switch to Macro Mode?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Rekd, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. Rekd

    Rekd TPF Noob!

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    I have an old Canon EF 70-210mm f/4.0 Macro lens (push-pull) that I may be retiring. I recently bought a 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II so don't need the older 70-210, except it's a Macro lens.

    I'm not sure what the Macro switch does, and I doubt it will be anything better than I can do with the new L, but I'm curious what that switch does (physcally) to make the lens better at macros.

    TYIA.
     
  2. Bryce

    Bryce TPF Noob!

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    I have seen that switch and have been wondering the same thing. I don't have one myself but I would love to know also.
     
  3. fokker

    fokker No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    With the macro setting off the focus range is limited to make focusing faster at normal distances, so instead of hunting through a huge range (macro lenses have fine adjustments in the closer ranges) it will be limited to focusing from, say, 1m instead of 20cm.
     
  4. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Generally it will either move an element or control the travel of the focusing helicoid to allow closer focusing.
     
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Q: What Happens When You Flip the Switch to Macro Mode?

    If you wait long enough to get the coordinates from the Navicomputer, you can make the leap to hyperspeed, and outrun an Imperial cruiser.
     
  6. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Read the lens manual ;)

    The macro mode switch on zoom lenses will generally enable a range of close focusing distances that are otherwise not availble. Often you might have to be in a certain zoom point on the lens for the switch to work as well (on my 70-300mm macro it only worked between 200mm and 300mm).
    This allows the lens to focus closer (at best up to 1:2 macro) and get an increased magnification - it will also often come with a slightly finer tuning abilty for those macro distance.

    Note however that the macro mode on zooms is not considered to be true macro so whilst they are shots taken in the lenses "macro mode" its really a marketing gimik for close focusing.
     
  7. Rekd

    Rekd TPF Noob!

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    Hey, thanks! :twak:

    No, really, the lens is over 20 years old. It's a hand-me-down. I kinda don't think I have the manual. And I'm not taking a trip to the Smithsonian Institute to see it, either!

    So the macro switch makes it easier to get close ups, but doesn't necessarily make the shots better, the way an IS might. Correct?

    Thanks! Now I can sleep at night if I decide to take that lens out of the bag. :thumbup:
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    IS and macro mode are very different things. As I said the macro mode simply enables the close focusing abilty of the lens. IS on the other hand is a stabalization mode that helps to counter the effects of the camera and lens shaking (eg from being held in a persons hands).
    The 100mm macro also has a hybrid IS setup that also continues to work for macro distances - helping to stabalize your image. Of course this does nothing to counter the subject itself moving and if you are using flash to help light the majority of your macro shots then that in itself will help to counter handshake.
     
  9. Rosshole

    Rosshole TPF Noob!

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    well played sir.
     

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