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09-02-2011, 03:31 PM   #1
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35mm Macro question

Maybe someone who has this lens can help:

Received my lens a couple of days ago, Tried it out and now have a question.
I did read in threads that people say that you have to be close to the subject when taking the picture,
I took a couple of pictures and the 1:1 focusing distance was 2cm or less than 1 inch from the front of the lens.
i.e. almost touching the object
Is this how close you have to be with this lens for macro?


09-02-2011, 03:52 PM   #2
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Yes. The 100mm macro will allow you to get about 6 inches away, and that's useful if you don't wish to disturb your subjects like insects. That said, the 35mm can give you some really funky effects; the challenge is, as you mention, not to touch the subject plus to not have a shadow cover the subject since you're so close to it.
09-02-2011, 03:54 PM   #3
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Yup pretty much The longer the FL, the more convenient your macro shooting will be.

I can't wait till this comes out: Sigma 150mm f/2.8 EX DG OS HSM APO Macro Lens 106109 B&H Photo

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09-02-2011, 04:42 PM   #4
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The closest any non-reversed lens can focus is its focal length, which is where its magnification is greatest. With a 35mm lens, that closest distance is 3.5cm from the optical center of the lens. You can add extension for magnification greater than 1:1 but your close limit remains 3.5cm. That focal length and working distance are fine for studio work, not so great for field work. A longer lens allows (FORCES!) you to work further away. For a REAL challenge, put a Zenitar 16/2.8 on 15mm of tubes, eh?

IMHO the advantage of macro lenses of 60mm or shorter is their close-focus rather than macro capability. I rarely rack my 40mm and 50mm macros all the way out, but they're great for shooting small artifacts etc. The right focal length for 1:1+ macro shooting depends on the size (and liveliness!) of your subjects and workspace. I rarely shoot macros outside with anything shorter than 90mm. Praying mantises usually prefer that I use a 140mm enlarger lens on bellows, and KEEP MY DISTANCE!

09-02-2011, 05:33 PM   #5
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The big advantage with the 35mm macro is the extra depth of field compared with the 100mm and the 35mm is also a lovely walk around lens. I class the lens as an indulgence as it is so nice to use.

I find the 35mm is very difficult with insects because you do get so close. But if you want natural light photos in macro I find it does a great job. In any case I think I have lost control of my 35mm as my partner has taken it over. Going from a zoom to the 35mm she has taken her photography a quantum leap forward.

Hope you enjoy your 35mm macro as much as we have
09-02-2011, 05:56 PM   #6
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I don't know the lens but have a question. Is it internally focusing lens or a lens with a fixed rear element? In either of those cases focusing is partially achieved by actually changing (ie reducing the focal length)

As others hav said fir 1:1 a longer focal length is better. The 35mm is better for close focus and copy work
09-02-2011, 06:29 PM   #7
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Original Poster
Thanks for all the great info (Enoxatnep, Adam, Rio Rico, Bob and Lowell) I didn't purchase the lens for the macro, more so for the versatillity, just didn't realize that you had to be so close.... Love the feal of the lens though, so far. It is true that once you have felt the quality of the Ltd's it is hard to let go of them

Thanks again for the info,

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