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Old Sep 5, 2007, 2:38 PM   #1
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After researching lenses tirelessly, I am wondering what characteristic makes macro lenses be denoted as such.

For instance
The Canon 60mm f/2.8 USM Macro vs Canon 85mm f/1.8

It seems with the aperture and focal length, the 85mm would actually get better macro pictures. What makes the 60mm a Macro lens and the 85mm not macro?

Thanks!

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Old Sep 5, 2007, 10:48 PM   #2
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For the most part, a macro lens must focus on an object close to the lens to be a macro lens. The result should be 1:2 or greater magnification.
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Old Sep 6, 2007, 8:04 AM   #3
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The EF-S 65mm f/2.8 Macro can focus as close as 0.65 ft., whereas the EF 85mm f/1.8 can't focus any closer than 2.8 ft.
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Old Sep 6, 2007, 8:52 AM   #4
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Back in the good old days of film, a macro shot was one where you double-extended the bellows. Anyone who knows what I'm talking about is way too old for the internet! Anyway, it wasn't particularly the lens that was "macro," but the image. If you were shooting a photo where the image on the surface of the film was as large or larger than the object being photographed, you were doing "macro" photography.

When the world switched over to 35mm, that idea was more-or-less replaced by the notion that "macro" was up close and personal (in the days of sheet film, a lot of the world could be photographed life-size. With 35mm film, you were pretty much limited in what would fit on the film).At that time, it became more common to talk about half-life-size or more, like fldspringer mentioned. Now, with digital p&s cameras having a "macro" mode, the term is even more loosey-goosey. Basically, it just means a mode that is intended for getting closer than the camera normally shoots. And any mode, lens, or adapter that helps you do that may be called "macro."
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Old Sep 6, 2007, 9:07 AM   #5
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tclune has a point and am more agreed to his point of view
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Old Sep 6, 2007, 11:25 AM   #6
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Great. Thanks all. So it sounds like a function of minimum focusing distance more than anything else.
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Old Sep 6, 2007, 2:59 PM   #7
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tclune wrote:
Quote:
Back in the good old days of film, a macro shot was one where you double-extended the bellows. Anyone who knows what I'm talking about is way too old for the internet!
I have no idea what you're talking about.
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Old Sep 6, 2007, 3:03 PM   #8
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SoundDust wrote:
Quote:
Great. Thanks all. So it sounds like a function of minimum focusing distance more than anything else.
Absolutely.
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Old Sep 6, 2007, 3:16 PM   #9
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TCav wrote:
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tclune wrote:
Quote:
Back in the good old days of film, a macro shot was one where you double-extended the bellows. Anyone who knows what I'm talking about is way too old for the internet!
I have no idea what you're talking about.
Are you sure your name isn't TRex?


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Old Sep 6, 2007, 4:27 PM   #10
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Extension tubes are more twig proof than bellows in the field. :-)
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