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Old May 23, 2010, 10:27 PM   #51
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nothing beats a true 1:1 macro.
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Old May 23, 2010, 10:38 PM   #52
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Hi Furd,

Thanks a lot for the pictures. These are exactly the kind of pictures I am looking for - that is, the difference between the closest shots I can get from a macro lens and a telephoto lens with macro.

I ruled out the beercan lens anyway because it is not very different from my 55-200mm lens. Right now I am at a point where I am even willing to get a true macro lens (new one) if I can be 100% sure if that is what I set out to look for.

Anyway, right now, am researching about the Tamron, Sigma and Minolta lenses. I shall get back with questions soon.

Thanks again guys,
Nev

P.S: I'm attaching a picture I took today with my 55-200mm lens.
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Last edited by nevjac; May 23, 2010 at 10:46 PM.
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Old May 23, 2010, 11:51 PM   #53
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TCav,

Can you provide more details on why you think the Minolta lens are the best? I did a quick review of the lenses (will do a detailed review later) and here is what I found:

1) Minolta:

Pros: Sharp (although don't know how it compares to Sigma and Tamron), Closest Focussing distance is 13.2 inches (how is it more than Sigma?)

Cons: Discontinued product (although this is okay if I finalize on used lenses), heaviest and almost longest dimension (although not a big deal), Priciest among all the lenses, Slow autofocusing (actually all are slow at AF but don't know how this compares to Sigma and Tamron)

2) Sigma:

Pros: 12.3 minimal focussing range, shortest dimension of all (not a big deal), sharper than Tamron, 4 year warranty, cheapest for used one (new one price is also not bad)

Cons: Slower AF, noisier than Tamron and lots of OOF shots, significant flare, worse contrast than Tamron

3) Tamron:

Pros: Sharp (but not as much as Sigma), Cheapest (for new one), 6 year warranty, well controlled flare (better than Sigma)

Cons: Longest dimension (not a big deal), Smallest minimum focussing distance of 11.4 inches

And as a general question, since there is almost a 1 inch working distance difference between the Sigma and Tamron, have you ever been in a situation where that made a difference?

Thanks for the help,
Nev
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Old May 23, 2010, 11:55 PM   #54
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You will not really notice the 1 inch difference as they both have a bit more working distance vs a 30mm and 50mm lens. One thing the reviews left out. The bokum of the sigma is nicer then the tamron because of the slightly longer range.

Both are excellent lenses. But you also need to remember. Most macro shooters at 1:1 will us MF when shooting at 1:1. So the AF issues is not as key as with a regular lens.
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Old May 24, 2010, 12:16 AM   #55
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Thanks Shoturtle. I did read about bokum but I had no idea what it meant and what effect it would have on my pictures. So what is it?

And I was aware that I will be mostly dealing with MF and hence slow focus wouldn't matter much. But I just wanted throw that difference into the discussion. And just a sudden thought, would that slowness make a difference if I took portrait pictures with those lens? Its not an issue by the way.
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Old May 24, 2010, 12:19 AM   #56
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it is the out of focus area behind your subject. It looks like a nice smooth blurring with the sigma and the other 100mm macro lenses. With the 90mm, the shorter distance makes it a bit rougher.
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Old May 24, 2010, 5:54 AM   #57
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First, the Minolta 100mm f/2.8 Macro is identical to the Sony 100mm f/2.8 Macro except for the nameplate.

Second, here are some things to look at, if you haven't already:They are all excellent lenses. The differences between them are relatively minor. But of the three, the Minolta/Sony is the best, though it is more expensive.

Third, all macro lenses are comparitively slow to focus. They have a longer focus range to go through than conventional lenses, and they are geared lower to get a more precise focus than conventional lenses.

Lastly, if you want to shoot bugs, especially flying bugs, especially flying bugs that can sting, you need the longest focusing distance you can get.
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Old May 24, 2010, 5:55 AM   #58
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The term is actually "Bokeh". See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bokeh

Also, keep in mind that modern autofocusing dSLRs don't particularly have good tools for manual focusing, so autofocusing is still a good idea for macrophotography. In almost all situations, autofocusing is more accurate than manual focusing, especially since focusing screens don't have the split image rangefinders or the microprism rings than were used in manual focus film SLRs.
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Last edited by TCav; May 24, 2010 at 6:02 AM. Reason: Added MF discussion
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Old May 25, 2010, 11:16 PM   #59
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That's interesting because most reviewers said they use manual focus for macro photography. By the way, I use auto-focus and I thought that was the case because I was still a novice.

Anyway, coming back to the lenses discussion:

The Sony lens does have a very good review. And although the Minolta lens is essentially the same as the Sony lens in terms of lens components, I hope it syncs up perfectly with the camera. Now here are some additional comments:

1) If I decide to go with new lenses (feel safe to buy a new one especially with the 4 & 6 year warranties), then the Minolta lens is ruled out. I found a new Tamron for $410 and the Sigma for $480. Do you think that extra 15mm I get on the Sigma is worth the extra $70?

2) If I decide to go with the used lenses, is the better quality of the Minolta lens worth the $50-$70 difference for the Sigma lens (also it has an extra 5mm)?

Only after 2 years of owning my Sony, do I realize the lack of lens options when compared to Canon and Nikon.

- Nevine
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Old May 26, 2010, 12:09 AM   #60
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Not really they are both about the same, if you want the nicer blur, the sigma. But you can always edit the blur later. The 90 is a very good lens.
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