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Old Apr 9, 2007, 7:53 PM   #11
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I'm not sure about U.K prices, but here in the U.S. the Olympus E-330 two lens kit can be found for not too much more than the E-500. It's a newer, better overall camera, and happens to be great for macro. What makes the E-330 good for this is the ability to focus using 10x magnification on the live view for very precise focus, that would be hard to achieve using an optical viewfinder. Though the E-500 is a bit nicer/easier to use otherwise for regular handheld shots for a beginner.

For really good macro results, you want to use a tripod. And a good macro lens on a DSLR will let you fill the frame with something as small as an inch.

Here are a few examples of good macro lenses:

You can just browse the random shots from those lenses on pbase and you'll see a good number of macro shots which show some of what they can do.

The Tamron 90mm is available for Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony. The Sigma 105mm for all of those plus Olympus/four-thirds.

For things like insects and butterflies, a longer length like the 90mm or 105mm (or even the Sigma 150mm) will normally get you your shot without geting too close with the camera and scaring your subject away. A shorter focal length like 35mm might require you to get within about 4-50 inches of your subject, and may be better for things like flowers.

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