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Old Jun 29, 2011, 3:51 AM   #1
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Default Macro. Whats the difference?

I have never owned a macro lens and I was just wondering the difference between a 100mm macro shot and a 35mm macro shot? Or any other focal length for that matter...
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 5:33 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trihame View Post
I have never owned a macro lens and I was just wondering the difference between a 100mm macro shot and a 35mm macro shot? Or any other focal length for that matter...
Focal length has the same meaning for macro lenses as it has
for the two zoom lenses in your signature. Longer focal length
gets you closer for a given working distance.

Macro lenses have a shorter minimum focusing distance than
other lenses. A true 1:1 macro lens can get so close that the
image reproduced on the film (or sensor) is the same size
as the subject.

Macro lenses tend to be optically excellent. They usually
have low distortion, excellent sharpness, contrast and colour.
As most macro lenses can focus to infinity, they are also
excellent lenses for non-macro use.
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 5:38 AM   #3
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"Macro" lenses typically provide significantly greater magnification than your average, everyday lens. They provide magnification ratios of at least 1:2, usually 1:1, and sometimes even greater. That means that, for instance, a macro lens with a 1:2 magnification ratio will project an image of a 48mm subject that will fill an APS-C size image sensor. With a 1:1 macro lens, a 24mm subject will fill an APS-C image sensor.

Macro lenses with different focal lengths have different angles of view (as is the case with all lenses), but when shooting macrophotography, the angle of view determins how much working distance you have between the subject and the camera. A short focal length (35mm) macro lens is good in well lit, close quarters, for shooting inanimate subjects, but in more typical situations, a short macro lens means you need to be so close that you'll block your own light and you will likely frighten away an animate subject. When shooting bugs, you might want a medium telephoto (100mm) so you don't have to get very close. But if the subject is rattlesnakes, you might want something even longer.
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 10:41 PM   #4
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Ok awesome, I was thinking that the only difference was going to be how close you actually had to be to the subject but wasn't sure.

This brings up another question though. How am I going to exactly tell if its a 1:1 ratio or 1:2 ratio with the combination of lens to camera?

What would the ratio be between the Nikon D7000 and the Tokina 100mm Macro?
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 10:54 PM   #5
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Both macro lens if they are both 1:1 will give you 1:1 ratio, but the longer one will give you more working distance from the subject. But to shoot at 1:1 you will need a tripod to stop down tocontrolthe dof. So you have slow shutter speeds. Also the long fl lens with more working distance can low the chance of shadowing your own shot.
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Old Jun 29, 2011, 11:45 PM   #6
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You can find the magnification in the specs for a lens. Since I often buy lenses from B&H I'll go to whatever I'm interested in and click their link to the item's specs - you can find such things easily without having to go to each manufacturer's website. Macro lenses will always indicate whatever the ratio is in the specs.

As to whether you need a tripod or not for 1:1 - that depends. If you are using either a shoe mounted or off-camera flash you can often do 1:1 without a tripod, and if there's a fair amount of light you don't need the flash. I've often used a walking stick or other pole to add a third point of stability for hand-holding macros. It works well for me because shooting is not restricted to the tripod's configuration.
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Old Jul 10, 2011, 12:32 PM   #7
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So, if I wanted more distance between me and the subject, yet still fill the frame with a crisp subject I would need a 200mm? Or some such?
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Old Jul 10, 2011, 1:18 PM   #8
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So, if I wanted more distance between me and the subject, yet still fill the frame with a crisp subject I would need a 200mm? Or some such?
Exactly. To get the same magnification ratio with a greater subject distance, you need a narrower angle of view, and thus, a longer focal length.
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