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Old Jul 29, 2010, 8:03 PM   #1
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Default Zoom Macros

Hello to all.

I have read on another thread, Sarah giving an answer on how to take a close up image of an insect and referred to "zoom macros".

I am confused how to take this sort of picture but would like to - close-ups of insects and flowers etc (I know it's done to death but it's interesting when your learning !)

I thought to take this sort of image you need to be in macro mode close up but apparently this is not the case - you can be a distance away and shoot.

If possible, could someone please explain how these close up images are taken? What sort of mode you need to be in, is a tripod needed etc etc.

BTW, I have a megazoom camera not a DSLR if this makes any difference.

Cheers,

Dean

Last edited by deang001; Jul 29, 2010 at 8:04 PM. Reason: add detail
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Old Jul 29, 2010, 8:22 PM   #2
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The longer the focal length of a lens, the narrower the angle of view.

A "Macro" lens can project an image of a subject that is 1/2 the size of the subject or larger. That's called a 1:2 macro. Many lenses can project a full size image onto the image sensor, which means that a 1 inch wide subject will fill an APS-C image sensor. That's called a 1:1 macro. Most 1:1 macro lenses are fixed focal length lenses. Most "zoom macro" lenses are 1:2 or less.

A macro lens with a long focal length can be further from the subject, yet still project a 1:1 image. For instance, the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di and the Tamron 180mm f/3.5 Di LD are both 1:1 macro lenses, but the 180mm lens has a minimum focusing distance of over 18 inches, while the 90mm lens has a minimum focusing distance of less that 12 inches.

dSLRs can use different lenses, some of which are speciallized macro lenses (like the two Tamron lenses, I mentioned.) Megazoom cameras generally don't let you vary the folcal length (or don't let you vary it very much) so this effect may not be as visible to you, and that's why you're having trouble visualizing it.
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Old Jul 29, 2010, 10:42 PM   #3
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Most of the superzoom cameras now seem to have three macro modes - wide macro, tele macro, and super macro. Your camera manual will give you the minimum and maximum distances at which you can use each of these modes. Generally, the super macro mode will give you the largest magification, but you will need to be very close to your subject. Practice with some fixed object, such as printed paper, try the various modes at different distances to see how they work. Often, macro shots at longer focal lengths need shutter speeds which are too slow for image stabilization, so a tripod would be a very good idea.

brian
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Old Jul 30, 2010, 9:20 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies and information.

I think I have a lot of work to do in understanding the technicalities. This is what makes it fun though.

Need to really understand what's going on behind that lens if you are ever to get any decent shots.

Cheers,

Dean
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