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Old Aug 11, 2007, 1:30 PM   #1
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Ok searched here, and the web.
First I am looking trying to get a cheaper dslr (something like a Rebel, *ist or D40) because I am not happy with my s5200 for taking close up shots. But this is not so much about a camera or brand.
There are a variety of methods for doing close up, but an actual macro lens sounds like the best approach. Having limited funds I won't be buying a $400 lenses how ever.
So looks like those macro (filters?) are OK, but the focus suffers.
Extension tubes and reverse lens have other issues from what I gather depending on the camera, and in general. So that leaves macro lenses.

So what does the focal length buy you (working distance?) on these lenes?
Any advantage to a fixed focual length vs. zoom?

Best sharpness (not a lens brand so much as type of lens).

Any thing else I should know?

Best place to get used equipment that is reliable and priced right?

Thanks.
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Old Aug 11, 2007, 2:06 PM   #2
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Haven't yet come across a true macro (1:1 capable) that is a zoom.

The longer the focal length the bigger your working distanes is, but at the expense of depth of field.

Not sure what issues you have with extension tubes they work very well.
They do eat up some avalable light, due to the extension factor.

Extension tubes are quite usfull on a macro lens as well, to get you even closer than 1:1.

B&H has never caused any issues.
They sell both new and used.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/shop/3...mm_Lenses.html
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Old Aug 11, 2007, 2:43 PM   #3
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I have an idea, but what exactly is "working distance"?


Not having used any of the mentioned devices, but wanting to get something, it seems the web mentioned issues with extension tubes, vignetting (sp) being one of them. But I figured to get the low down, this is the place to ask.
Thanks

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Old Aug 11, 2007, 3:17 PM   #4
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There's macro, and then there's MACRO.

What will you be shooting?

Flowers?

Insects?

Watch parts?

And KEH.com is a great source of used cameras and lenses. They have one of the larges selections available. I've used them several times and have never been disappointed.
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Old Aug 11, 2007, 5:09 PM   #5
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Working distance is the distange betiween the point you focused on and your cameras sensor.

My 150mm macro is 1:1 (life sized) at 16 inches.
So something I focused on, say a snake's fang is 16 inches from the sensor inside the camera :-)

A lens like the Canon ef-s 60mm macro achieves 1:1 at 7.9 inches, which can work very well if you can get that close to your subject.
(or you feal safe with your hand and face that close to your subject) :G

Extension tubes go between the camera and lens, they should not normally cause vignetting. The close up filters mount on the front of a lens and could possible cause vignetting.

As Tcav said, what are you planning to shoot, if it is flower closeups extension tubes and a 100-300mm zoom can work out very nicely.

If you are after insect eyes then it gets into macro lenses and extension tubes to get the maginfication way up.

fofa wrote:
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I have an idea, but what exactly is "working distance"?


Not having used any of the mentioned devices, but wanting to get something, it seems the web mentioned issues with extension tubes, vignetting (sp) being one of them. But I figured to get the low down, this is the place to ask.
Thanks
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Old Aug 12, 2007, 11:39 AM   #6
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Well at this point I don't have any specific target in mind. But if I wanted something that would give the option of say flowers and bug eyes, is there one thing that give good results, or is that something that would require two different type of macro setups? Lets just say for arguments sake I would be doing flower type 90% of the time, with the bug eye type in frequently.

And if I understand the explanation of "working distance" it is basically (I said basically) the distance the camera (not lens front) is from the target for a 1:1 size of the target.

Then that leads me to what is requirted to get the most DOF at macro?
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Old Aug 12, 2007, 1:58 PM   #7
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fofa wrote:
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Well at this point I don't have any specific target in mind. But if I wanted something that would give the option of say flowers and bug eyes, is there one thing that give good results, or is that something that would require two different type of macro setups? Lets just say for arguments sake I would be doing flower type 90% of the time, with the bug eye type in frequently.
For flowers, a macro lens all by itself will generally be good enough (Lillies, Roses, etc.), with maybe a close-up lens or two for the smaller varieties (African Violets, etc.). Forinsect anatomyand watch parts, you'll need extension tubes.

fofa wrote:
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Then that leads me to what is requirted to get the most DOF at macro?
In Macrophotography, there's almost never enough light, so you'll often be tempted to open the lens all the way. But that will get you almost no depth of field. (Someone posted some macro shots of flowers here some time ago, where the stamen were in focus but the petals were not. That's not enough depth of field.) And the situation will only get worse with extension tubes. At that point, you should consider a ring flash. A ring flash attaches to the end of the lens, andilluminates a subject that is closer to the lens than a shoe mounted flash will. Then you can stop down the lens and get more depth of field.

Another option is to mount the tripod and use a long exposure time, but then you run the risk of an insect explore your flower during your shot.
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Old Aug 12, 2007, 3:10 PM   #8
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And I thought I researched this somewhat before I posted so as to not waste yall's time, but it seems the more answers I get the more questions I have.
OK, so what is the difference between a Macro lens and a Close-up lens?

OK, someone have a one or more good websites that explain all this so I quit bugg'n yall? :?
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Old Aug 12, 2007, 8:30 PM   #9
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fofa wrote:
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OK, so what is the difference between a Macro lens and a Close-up lens?
A Macro Lens isa lens that attaches to the camera body, and can focus on objects at short distances.

AClose UpLens is a lens that attaches to the existing lens, the way a filter would attach to the lens, to allow it to focus on objects at short distances.


fofa wrote:
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OK, someone have a one or more good websites that explain all this so I quit bugg'n yall? :?
If you stop bugging us, we'll have nothing newto argue about. :-)

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Old Aug 12, 2007, 9:36 PM   #10
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TCav wrote: A Macro Lens isa lens that attaches to the camera body, and can focus on objects at short distances.


I would agree with this, though purists argue that the image on the film or sensor must be 1:1. I tend to think of macro as being within an order of magnitude of 1:1, so anything between 10:1 and 1:10 would be macro.

For general macro work, a decent macro zoom lens is more than adequate. The Tamron and Sigma 70-300mm zooms have a 1:2 macro capability with minimum focus distance at just under a meter. The longer working distance allows more flexibility in lighting, and the addition of a 2x teleconverter creates a 1:1 ratio, with no change in min focal distance, at the expense, of course of a couple stops of exposure. Since macro shooting at that level is usually done with tripods, this isn't too much of a problem.

Single focal length macro lenses are almost always sharper, though.

Depth of field with SLR cameras is going to be very small with this kind of shooting; disappointingly so, if you have been using a small sensor camera. One of the nice things about my Minolta D7hi, is having better DOF for macro shots, without having to use f/32.

brian
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