What Should My Next Lens Purchase Be?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Dreichler, Aug 14, 2017.

  1. Dreichler

    Dreichler TPF Noob!

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    Ok so I'm brand new to photography as I used to only take pics on my iPhone. I recently bought a Sony a6300 for my girlfriend and I. She uses it to make videos as the 4K feature is awesome and I use it for pictures when we go places like the beach, the zoo, and vacations. But my main use of the lens is to photograph my living reef. I have a reef tank full of beautiful corals but they are pretty small and very hard to focus onto and take pictures of just one coral. I want to be able to photograph them pretty close up like I'm taking a macro picture. My 18-55 lens now does a decent job but I have to stand back from the tank and zoom in to get a half decent shot. I'm looking for a lens that will serve my purpose of photographing small corals from a very short distance away (1 to 5 inches away). Along with the purpose of taking pictures of the corals, I also want something that will let me zoom in further on objects like when I'm at the zoo or on vacation and trying to photograph something pretty far away. The 18-55 is good for me as far as taking portrait pictures with a beautiful background, but taking pictures super close up or far away, it slacks a little bit.

    So here's my question: Is there a single lens I can buy that will serve the purpose of taking pictures up close of my corals and will also zoom into objects that are far away?

    I've been trying to learn more and more about lenses and the different types and features but it's a lot to take in, especially with a ton of different lens choices. I'm not even sure if a lens exists that lets you take macros and distance pictures. BUT ALL HELP IS VERY MUCH APPRECIATED

    Thanks, Connor


     
  2. john.margetts

    john.margetts No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I used to have a Sigma 70-300 zoom lens with macro capability. The lens worked fine as a normal telephoto zoom lens with the added advantage of being capable of very close focus. I expect there will be a number of such lenses on the market

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  3. Dreichler

    Dreichler TPF Noob!

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    Would you say that it's capable of focusing on objects the size of a fingernail from about 3-4 inches away?
     
  4. john.margetts

    john.margetts No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes - it would photograph objects that small, but from further away. Being a telephoto macro lens, it had the advantage of being further from the subject.

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  5. Dreichler

    Dreichler TPF Noob!

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    So I'd have to maybe stand a little further away from the actual object and then zoom in as far as needed?

    Correct me if I'm wrong but I'd basically stand about 4-5 feet away from the tank and just zoom in on whatever I'm shooting? Or would it be possible to just hold the lens up to the piece of coral that's between 4-12 inches away? Would it focus that close?
     
  6. john.margetts

    john.margetts No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Perhaps not four feet but further away than four inches.

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  7. Dreichler

    Dreichler TPF Noob!

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    Ok well thanks for the info! I'll be looking into that lens!
     
  8. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Hmm, I don't think a telephoto zoom would be best for both ... even with enhanced macro ability.
    I use a fixed focal length macro for taking pictures of my tank occupants ... and a telephoto zoom for wildlife ... even though my zoom has close focus, the dedicated macro does a better job.

    The Sony SEL30 macro or the Sigma 60mm macro would do the job
    The wildlife zoom lens would be more challenging ... personally I would get the new SEL100400GM, but it is expensive ... the SEL70300G would be the next suggestion.
     
  9. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    For that? I would want a 100mm f/2.8 macro lens.
     
  10. Dreichler

    Dreichler TPF Noob!

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    For what reason would you say a dedicated macro would be better for taking pictures of small coral frags rather than zooming in on a telephoto?
     
  11. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Macro lens are specifically designed for close focus.

    50mm macro SOOC ... Panda Corydoras is sitting 6" away from front of tank ... 1/15s @ f/5.6 800ISO APS-C
    fish.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
  12. Dreichler

    Dreichler TPF Noob!

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    Ya I understand they're designed for close up, but do you think a 70-300 could take that same pic from a further distance away? Or even from the same distance away?
     

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