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Old Jun 9, 2005, 8:57 PM   #1
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What is the difference between macro and just taking a close up photo with a regular lens. I have a 28-80 on my Maxxum 7D and get very close and seem to get nice photos. Yet I see "macro" lenses that do the same thing.



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Old Jun 9, 2005, 9:00 PM   #2
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it's all about the ratios

a macro lens is capable of focusing much closer than 'normal' lenses..

usually to a 1:1 ratio

which makes the subject 'life size' on the image capture...

with 1:1, you'd easily fill the frame with a bumblebee..

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Old Jun 9, 2005, 9:07 PM   #3
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A lot of lenses say they are macro, but I have read that they are really not TRUE macro. Does that make sense? I have a 70-300 lens that has a switch for macro, but it doesn't seem to be 1:1 ratio to me when I look through it. It appears the same as when I am NOT using the macro switch.
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Old Jun 9, 2005, 10:16 PM   #4
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A macro lens has more differences than what photosbyvito list (But he is right with what he said.)

They also set you get physically really close and still focus. Many lenses don't do that. Combine that with the magnification and they can make things look life size (or bigger.)

They allow for smaller apertures and work well at those smaller apertures. Most lenses can't go to f32, but a macro lens can.

They are usually very, very sharp. Much sharper than a "normal" lens, because macro work demands it.

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Old Jun 10, 2005, 2:03 AM   #5
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Vito is exactly correct. Macro in terms of photography means 1:1 (life size) and larger on film or sensor size. Lets try this

http://www.macrophotos.com/nzmacro/a...definition.htm

What manufacturers stamp on some of their zoom lenses and what is reality are two different things. Many that have macro stamped on them are only capable of 1:4, 1/4 life size. So take it all with a grain of salt ................. preferably, a macro grain of salt :roll:

Danny.
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Old Jun 10, 2005, 2:18 AM   #6
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Macro gets thrown around fairly hap hazardly. Many lenses boast macro capabilities with reproduction ratios in the 1:4 range, hardly what I would call the real McCoy.

Just for info, the reproduction ratio refers to the size of the image on the film vs the size of the image in real life. In a 1:4 ratio the image in real life is 4 times the size of the image on the film.

If your camera has a sensor smaller than film (often aps sized), then your reproduction ratio is magnified, giving you actually a better ratio than boasted by the lens.

If you are serious about close up photography, consider a lens which offers a 1:1 reproduction ratio, such as tamron's 90 mm f/2.8 macro lens. A great lens, and available for many camera formats.

Hope this helps.

www.ericspix.com

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Old Jun 10, 2005, 2:18 AM   #7
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Macro gets thrown around fairly hap hazardly. Many lenses boast macro capabilities with reproduction ratios in the 1:4 range, hardly what I would call the real McCoy.

Just for info, the reproduction ratio refers to the size of the image on the film vs the size of the image in real life. In a 1:4 ratio the image in real life is 4 times the size of the image on the film.

If your camera has a sensor smaller than film (often aps sized), then your reproduction ratio is magnified, giving you actually a better ratio than boasted by the lens.

If you are serious about close up photography, consider a lens which offers a 1:1 reproduction ratio, such as tamron's 90 mm f/2.8 macro lens. A great lens, and available for many camera formats.

Hope this helps.

www.ericspix.com

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Old Jun 10, 2005, 2:45 AM   #8
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Ahhh Eric, 1:4 is a 1/4 life size. 4:1 is 4x

Danny.
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Old Jun 10, 2005, 4:27 AM   #9
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ericsvendsen wrote:
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If your camera has a sensor smaller than film (often aps sized), then your reproduction ratio is magnified, giving you actually a better ratio than boasted by the lens.

Not strictly true 1:1 is still 1:1 it's just that your 1's are smaller. Took me a long time to get my head round this. But a 1:1 lens on a 35mm Camera covers an area of about 24 x 36mm whereas the same lens on an APS size sensor covers an area15.5 x 24mm. So you can fill the frame with smaller subjects, get more magnification but the ratio of subject to sensoris still 1:1.
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