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Old Sep 7, 2008, 5:45 PM   #1
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I have a d50 and was looking at buying a 70-300 lens and was wondering how good would this be at macro photography.I also seen on ebay some macro add on lens,+1,+2,+4 and +10 that you can put on your 50mm lens.Do they work as good.If not what should I be looking for in a lens for macro.Thanks and sorry for all the questions but Iam a newbie at this.
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Old Sep 7, 2008, 10:07 PM   #2
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The Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 APO DG MACRO can get down to 1:2 (or half life size) which is suitable for not too small flowers. You will be working at 37 inches or 95cm which is a bit disconcerting! The telephoto wasn't the greatest however and I ended up trading it in on Nikon 70-300mm VR and Sigma 105mm Macro lenses.

The Nikon 70-300mm lenses don't focus close enough to be useful for macro.

Canon makes the 500D closeup lens which has a good reputation but I have no experience with it. It has two elements which is supposed to be better than the single element closeup lenses that you mentioned. The single element lenses may be prone to colour fringing or distortion if not top quality. The 500D comes in several diameters so you either get the one that fits or the next larger one and use a step ring to fit it to your lens.


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Old Sep 8, 2008, 12:44 PM   #3
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thanks Bob,what should i be looking for in ratio for a good macro lens,you mentioned 1:2.is the 70-210 any better.Iam not famaliar with what those numbers mean so thats why Iam asking.I see some lens got a 1:4.5 ratio,is that good.Also what about the close up rings I mentioned,do they do a good job?again thanks.
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Old Sep 8, 2008, 2:39 PM   #4
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Real macro lenses can usually shoot 1:1 or life size. This means the lens can focus close enough to shoot a 24 x 16mm rectangle or the size of the D50 sensor. 1:2 would cover a 48 x 32mm rectangle and 1:4 would cover 96 x 64mm.

The distance between the lens and the subject will depend on the focal length of the lens, the longer the focal length, the further away your working distance will be. A 50mm lens would get down to 18.9cm, 105mm - 31.3cm and 180mm - 46cm. The further away you are the less likely you would spook a subject such as an insect. Or be further away from a bee or wasp! The Sigma 70-300mm lens I mentioned in my previous reply had a minimum focus of 95cm which made it difficult to use flash.

Extension rings or tubes will allow any lens to focus closer than normal, however to get to 1:1 you will have to extend the lens the same amount as the focal length. Extending the lens also causes loss of light so you would lose one stop with this extension. Extension tubes are hollow tubes that go between the lens and the camera body and are not the same as close-up lenses. The latter are like a magnifying glass that screws on to the front of a lens like a filter. Make sure the extension tubes transmit all the electrical signals and mechanical couplings or you would be in a manual mess! http://www.thkphoto.com/products/kenko/slrc-04.html for an example. Extension tubes won't add any distortion to the image unlike a close-up lens.


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