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04-14-2011, 01:19 AM   #31
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Location: North Zealand, Denmark
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikknu Quote
Hi everyone

......... Am I wrong for hoping that pictures taken with a telephoto lens should be as sharp as pictures taken with a macro lens?
I get the feeling it is a stupid comparison to make, but what do you guys think, do macro shots come off as being sharper when compared to shots taken with a telephoto lens?
It is not a stupid question, but I think there is one important factor easily overlooked when we discuss such issues - and that is the shooting conditions (turbulence/heat waves in the air, mist, dust....).

With a macro set-up you are comfortably close to your subject, while with telephoto lenses you normally shoot over long distances over land with varying temperatures and through a lot of atmosphere that may be neither homogeneous nor clean/clear.

We have all seen motion pictures from some desert-like places where the landscape litterally bubbles...

For example I have the old Tamron Tele-Macro lens SP 300mm f/5.6 (Adaptall-2 system, Model 54B). Using it for 1:3 macro work at around 1 meters distace almost always results in nice clear pictures with a good contrast (thus appearing "sharp") while using it for telephoto work from the same location at the same time may produce vastly varying results dependant upon the actual ambient conditions on that day.

So, it may be a bit like comparing apples with pears........

HINT: Try stretching levels or use "auto-enhance" or whatever feature you might have in a digitial image processing program and you can often get an enormous improvement in contrast and clarity (looking partially as an improvement in sharpness) of those "dull" telephotos.

B.R. / Steen G. B.

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