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Old Nov 4, 2008, 11:56 PM   #1
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Hi everyone,just bought the Sony 300 have just had it for a week now, it came with the 18-70mm and 55-200mm Sony lens and now i would like a macro lens to complete my needs,I'm only an amateur and just learning to shoot in manual mode ( geez god bless Auto mode ) yeah stuffed up about 200 shots so far.
Anyways i have been looking at this lens.. Sony Sal 50mm F2.8 Haven't the faintest idea of what it means but the write up on it sounds like it would be an ideal Macro, if you guys know if its good or bad please let me know, i really would appreciate your comments on a good macro.

Cheers Raoul
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Old Nov 5, 2008, 7:32 AM   #2
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The Sony 50mm f/2.8 macro lens is quite good, but so is the 100mm, and the other macro lenses from Sigma and Tamron.

There are lots of ways to do macro, and a macro lens is a good choice. But there are less expensive ways that might work well for you. What do you want to shoot? Flowers or Insects? Watches or watch parts?

Macro lenses have the advantage of being able to focus continuously from 1:1, where the subject is projected life size onto the image sensor, to infinity. That means it can also be called upon to serve as a general purpose lens. It can do so, and is generally quite sharp, but is usually slow to focus.

Also, there are Macro lenses and then there are "macro" lenses. Lenses that can project 1:1, 'life size', images onto the image sensor fit the textbook definition of a macro lens, but other lenses that project images at as large as 1:4. The Sony 18-70 kit lens can do that, but the 55-200 can't. So you might see if your macro ambitions can be satisfied, to some extent, by the kit lens. That should help identify your interensts in the area of macrophotography and what direction you need to go. Keep in mind, though, that the kit lens isn't as sharp as the macro lenses.

Extension tubes are tubes that are inserted between the lens and the camera body. This has the effect of greatly reducing the minimum focusing distance of a lens, but also greatly reduces the maximum focusing distance as well. So extention tubes can't also be used for general purpose photography. Also, extention tubes don't affect the sharpness of the the lens, so it is best to have a sharp, fast lens to use them with.

Close-up lenses are another way to get your feet wet in macrophotography. They are lenses that attach to the lenslike afilter, decreasing the minimum (and maximum) focusing distance of a lens. Close-up lenses are the least expensive way to get into macrophotography, but can also adversely affect the sharpness of your photos.

So, what do you want to shoot and how much do you want to spend?

And perhaps you could take a look at the Close-upsForum, and see what types of macrophotography there are and what kinds of equipment it takes to do them.
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Old Nov 5, 2008, 7:59 PM   #3
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I have a Minolta 200 f/4.0 1:1 Macro and its my favorite macro lens. It was quite expensive in 1999~2000. If you have the funds its worth the cost.

AJ
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Old Nov 8, 2008, 5:22 AM   #4
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Thanks guys, i appreciate your comments...
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Old Nov 8, 2008, 10:36 AM   #5
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Hey Raoul,your new Sony 300 is a verynice camera. I've been lucky enough to have experience with the Sony 50, 100 and Tamron 180 macros.

I think the Sony 50 f/2.8 is a great macro. I would recommend that as a first macro lens for a number of reasons.

It's definitly the easiest macro to use IMO. You can hand hold your camera for any shot you'll want especially with live view and tilt LCD.


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Old Nov 8, 2008, 11:09 AM   #6
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As I said in my earlier post, there are lots of ways to do macrophotography. As lomitamikesaid, the Sony 50/2.8 is a good choice, but here's a shot I took with my 50/1.7 and a 25mm extension tube, which costs about 1/4 the 50/2.8:
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Old Feb 10, 2009, 1:30 PM   #7
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hi , i bought a Min 28x85 macro ofF of ebay, this has turnd out to be the best lens i have ever used ,bar none i have 2 dslr,s a200 and a a350 the 200 has the minolta macro and the 350 has a new tamron18x250 great lens but all things being equql the min is even with it i have ,nt taken either of them off since i got them good shotting, sam
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Old Feb 10, 2009, 1:47 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forums. Just keep in mind that the Minolta 28-85mm AF lenses are not 1:1 Macro lenses. As long as you don't need to fill the frame with a very small subject, that may be OK. It depends on what what you want shoot, and how much detail you want to capture after any needed cropping.

Even using the Macro switch on them with Manual Focus, the Minolta 28-85mm AF lenses are rated with a maximum magnification of 1:4 at their closest focus distance (which may be fine for flowers, but not for tiny insects). You can see specs for them here:

http://www.mhohner.de/sony-minolta/lenses.php

In other words, a lens with 1:4 magnification can focus close enough to fill the frame with a subject that is 4 times the size of the camera's film or sensor. That's the same macro ability (1:4) you have with the 18-70mm kit lens and many other similar lenses. If you want the most detail with a smaller subject (i.e., fill the frame more so that you don't need to crop as much), a lens that lets you focus closer for a given focal length is more desirable.

For example, a 1:1 Macro lens like a Minolta 50mm f/2.8 Macro, 100mm f/2.8 Macro, 200mm f/4 Macro (and most dedicated macro lenses like the Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro, Sigma 50mm f/2.8 Macro and more) can fill the frame with a much smaller subject. A lens with 1:1 magnification will let you fill the frame with a subject the same size as the film or sensor the lens is being used with at their closest focus distance (versus 4 times the size of the film or sensor like you see with most zoom lenses that have macro in their description, although some zoom lenses have 1:2 magnification available now)

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Old Feb 19, 2009, 12:27 PM   #9
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Other lens to consider are the Minolta 50mm f2.8 and 100mm f2.8 macro lens. I just sawa Minolta 50mm 2.8 in E- cond at a reputable dealer going forjust under$250. Believe this lens is very similar to Sony in IQ.


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