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Old Sep 3, 2006, 8:47 AM   #1
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hi trying to get my head around photography still, ive just been looking at dslr lenses especially telephoto ones. they say like
Sigma70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro (Nikon AF
Tamron 55-200mm f/4-5.6 Di II LD Macro (Nikon AF)
Sigma70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro (Canon AF

Sigma70-300mm f/4-5.6 APO Macro DG (Canon AF

i dont understand - these lenses have a big focal length ensuring a fairly hefty zoom range. why is there macro there? these lenses are listed under telephoto, why is there macro in a telephoto lens?? :?
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Old Sep 3, 2006, 10:18 AM   #2
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They are called macro because of their ability to focus close. Some consider a true macro as having the ability to focus life size - that is a 1" long object will be 1" long on the "negative". (when using film). It's expressed as a ratio: object size/size on negative, so "true" macro would be 1/1 or 1:1. Dedicated macro lenses will go to at least 1:1. The telephotos that list themselves as being also macro will only go to 1:2 to around 1:5. So they will not fill the screen with an ant, but they can do wonders for close ups of flowers. Check out http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/view_forum.php?id=7
for close-ups.
Ron
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Old Sep 3, 2006, 12:29 PM   #3
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they can do macros but primarily they are for telephoto shots? :?
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Old Sep 3, 2006, 1:02 PM   #4
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Red Royalty wrote:
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they can do macros but primarily they are for telephoto shots? :?
That depends on how you use them most often. Typically, the most common use would be for tele shots, but it is ok to use them for macro. I've got a dedicated macro lens that I occasionally use as a mid range telephoto. You don't have to be painted into a corner and only use the lens for what its title is, although using it in other ways will likely result in some compromises.
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Old Sep 3, 2006, 9:23 PM   #5
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Macro is about getting an image on the sensor the same size as the actual subject (though most manufacturers seem to claim half the size as macro these days). There are two ways to do this - you can shove your camera very close to the subject thus making it look big, or you can have a high powered lens that magnifies it a lot (or both). The former requires a lens that will focus at close range. P&S cameras tend to be good at this. The latter is what the 70-300macro does. It focusses a bit closer than most 300mm lenses allowing for more magnification on the sensor.
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Old Sep 6, 2006, 9:46 PM   #6
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I have the Sigma70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro (Nikon AF) for my Nikon D70s and it is great for flower shots. At 300mm you focus about 95cm from the subject! This allows for some creative lighting with electronic flash. This is good as the flash is so fast that you don't have to worry about shake plus you can use manual mode to control aperture and shutter speed to give a dark background even in daylight.
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Old Sep 6, 2006, 9:47 PM   #7
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I have theSigma70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro (Nikon AF) and use the Macro function for flower photos. Even though it can only get to half life size it is perfect for flowers. At maximum macro you are about 95cm from the subject which allows for creative flash lighting!

  • The flash is so fast you don't have to worry about shake.[/*]
  • You can use manual mode and adjust the aperture and shutter to give you a dark background even in broad daylight.[/*]
  • The flash can be positioned for dramatic lighting without getting in the way.[/*]
  • Being far away lowers the risk of spooking a live subject.
    [/*]
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Old Sep 17, 2006, 12:11 PM   #8
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True macro 1:1,which is best 50mm or 100mm . the 100 because you will be twice the distance away and will not scare that bug :G
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Old Sep 17, 2006, 7:34 PM   #9
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Many Telephoto lenses will only focus down to 2 metres - a Macro will focus much closer so you can photograph small objects.

This helps by not shadowing the object, causing less image distortion and not scaring animals (or people !)

Mike
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