Macro Lense

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by cleary71, Oct 30, 2004.

  1. cleary71

    cleary71 TPF Noob!

    Oct 26, 2004
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    Hi, I currently own a Nikon N90 and was considering purchasing a macro lense. I was wondering what everyone at the forum thought would be the best lense to purchase if I was going to get one. I wasn't sure if a fixed lense such as 50mm or 60mm was better or should I purchase lense of variable length or even if an extension tube was the way to go. I would probably just use it for the usual insects, flowers and things of that nature (no pun intended). Any response is, as always, very appreciated.

  2. Jamie R

    Jamie R TPF Noob!

    Oct 17, 2004
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    If you can afford a dedicated macro lens, that's the way to go. Most peeps like to get in with something rather than wait for a huge purchase:

    1. Try a close-up filter +1, +2, +3 on your standard lens. It'll rack down the minimum focusing distance and get you closer. Not really true macro I guess.

    2. Try a reversing ring and mount your lens backwards on your camera. These are cheap, but you lose coupling of exposure and autofocus of course.

    3. Try an extension tube: also cheaper.

    4. Macro lenses vary in specification: most are optimised for close ratios of 1:2, 1:1 reproduction or something around that level. The main problem is trying to get sufficient depth of field for your subjects: if you go for a 100mm Macro lens, you're going to really struggle. On a 50mm or 60mm, it's slightly better.
    These aren't lenses which lend themselves to flexiblity either: if you want to shoot landscapes, you may find that at infinity, these can be slightly softer than your standard 50mm lens.

    5. Use a telephoto lens with a macro function: check out which ones you have.

    If you dilemma is whether to get a fixed focus 50mm or 60mm lens over a zoom lens, say 80-200mm with a macro function, you'll need to decide whether you are dedicated enough or shoot sufficient macro work for a specialised lens, or whether you want a cheaper flexible alternative which can cover some macro. The advantage of the 60mm fixed lens is that it has a wider maximum aperture so you can see through a brighter screen. This may not be an advantage in terms of DOF.

    Hope that helps.

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