what's a mocro lense?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Camper Dave, Jul 5, 2004.

  1. Camper Dave

    Camper Dave TPF Noob!

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    hello peeps,

    this may seem a bit of a dumb question to some, but what exactly is a macro lense?

    i've searched through the site and had a look at the macro posts etc, but i'm still not overly sure. is it just for really close up work like flowers and insects etc? i've seen macro lenses for sale for SLRs that have highish levels of zoom (something like 28 to 130) so surely these arn't for super close up work?

    please put it into lamens (sp?) terms as i'm being a numpty today :lol:

    thanks for your help guys,
    dave :)
     
  2. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Most lenses have a minimum focusing distance of 1.5' to 5', depending on the model. Macro lenses can usually focus much closer. A true macro lens can take a photo 1:1. This means if you take a picture of a coin at 1:1, you could lay the coin down on the developed neg, and the coin and the image of the coin would be the same size.

    Most lenses marketed with the term macro on the box, or even on the lens, are not macro lenses. They salespeople use it to describe being able to zoom in very close, but since you can't get 1:1 this way, it's not a real macro lens.
     
  3. Camper Dave

    Camper Dave TPF Noob!

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    ah, right. think i get it now, but does that mean that you can't get a macro lense with a zoom? it's justa fixed focal length?

    cheers,
    dave :)
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    Yes, real macro lenses are typically primes (fixed focal length), although almost every consumer zoom lens out there now says "macro" somewhere on the box.

    Vivitar makes a 100mm "macro" that can get 1:1 with a screw on close-up filter that runs about $200, but I think that you'll notice most true macro lenses (can get 1:1 on their own) run $500+
     
  5. Camper Dave

    Camper Dave TPF Noob!

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    wow, super pricey :shock: really would like one though. maybe one day...

    thanks for the info,

    dave :)
     
  6. Synergy

    Synergy TPF Noob!

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    On a recent trip to the Eden Project in Cornwall, UK I took a load of Macro shots with my standard 50mm lens and an extension tube. This tube sits between the camera and the lens and allowed me to hold the camera about an inch from the flower I wanted to shoot. The only problem I had was that DOF (Depth Of Field) was non existent so I had to hold the camera really still! I got some gorgeous shots though!

    Cheers

    Synergy
     
  7. Camper Dave

    Camper Dave TPF Noob!

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    cheers, might be worth looking into, especially if it's a lot cheaper than a lens.

    still need to go to the eden project, everytime i'm down that way something comes up and i can't go :( maybe this year...

    :)
     

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