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11-12-2012, 02:30 PM   #1
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Why not go all macro?

For the most part, true macro lenses seem to be the sharpest. So why not just skip the other primes and go all macro? (if a close focal length is provided)

Just wondering...

thanks

Randy

11-12-2012, 02:36 PM   #2
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Having that close of a minimum focusing distance makes for a longer focus throw and thus slower AF.

Sometimes you want a fast aperture for low light, blurred background, or both, and macro lenses tend to have not the fastest max apertures.
11-12-2012, 02:38 PM   #3
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I actually thought the same after purchasing the Tamron SP AF 90mm F2.8 Di Macro which produces quite crisp images. Overall sharpness is better than on many of my other lenses...
11-12-2012, 02:39 PM   #4
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Thats fine if you don't want a faster lens (and the lens has a focus limiter for faster focus). For example a f1.4 versus a f2.8, means you can get a much narrower depth of field (at normal not macro distances to the subject) which is great for more creative photography. I understand with the design of macro lenses they have practical limits on maximum aperture but I'm sure others will be able to comment further on that.

11-12-2012, 02:40 PM   #5
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@msatlas: its not about apperture, but sharpness. With the same apperture the Tamron Macro outperforms many of my wider lenses in regards to sharpness...
11-12-2012, 02:44 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jmarkku Quote
@msatlas: its not about apperture, but sharpness. With the same apperture the Tamron Macro outperforms many of my wider lenses in regards to sharpness...
As I said, if depth of field is not that important to you (and in this case you are more worried about sharpness), then a macro is fine (also assuming focus limiter or focus speed is sufficient).
11-12-2012, 02:59 PM   #7
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I have the Tamron 90mm 2.8 and the DA35 3.5...and these are my most used lenses (the 90 more than the 30). Optics are great, you get a lot more focus distance latitude (I almost never shoot 1:1, most of the time is like 1:3 or so), you can get great macros and portraits at the same time.

Other than AF speed, there is no reason to not use a macro prime as a walkaround. The Tamron is mostly used for portraits, plants/bugs, and product shooting. Setting up the flash gets difficult with the da35 because of the working distance, other than that, is a great normal FL lens.

Sharpness is very good...about the aperture, it is pretty damn hard to find a lens with a FL of about 100mm that's faster than 2.8 (there are that I know).

Well, anyways...those are my justifications.
11-12-2012, 03:17 PM   #8
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Go 35, 50, 100 and 200 macro and then you'll need a wide angle and a supertelephoto to round out the kit...could skip the supertelephoto for most people's bag...4 macro's plus a wide angle and you are playing the prime game pretty hard!

Good luck finding the 200 Macro...might have to go Sigma 180 Macro now that they claim to offer a Pentax version...

11-12-2012, 03:59 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
For the most part, true macro lenses seem to be the sharpest. So why not just skip the other primes and go all macro? (if a close focal length is provided)

Just wondering...

thanks

Randy
If all you are after is sharpness then Macro lenses are your best bet.
But in the hierarchy of what makes a good photo, sharpness is usually not in the top 5.
11-12-2012, 04:16 PM   #10
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speed aside, all else equal macro lens are pretty bulky too, if you care about that kind of thing,
11-12-2012, 04:23 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jmarkku Quote
@msatlas: its not about apperture, but sharpness. With the same apperture the Tamron Macro outperforms many of my wider lenses in regards to sharpness...
Well sure, if you want the absolute sharpest lens then macro lenses tend to be sharpest. But sharpness isn't the one and only consideration in choosing lenses. You asked why not use only macro lenses...those are the reasons that came to mind for me. If sharpness is more important to you, then go right ahead and do whatever you like.
11-12-2012, 04:43 PM   #12
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Tamron 90 vs. Pentax DA 70

I'd have to agree that sharpness should not be your only consideration. I own the Tamron 90 Macro, and it is freakishly sharp, so much so that it is terribly unflattering for portrait work (unless you are converting to black and white). Meanwhile, the Pentax DA70 is the most effortless portrait lens in my kit.
11-12-2012, 07:03 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by msatlas Quote
Well sure, if you want the absolute sharpest lens then macro lenses tend to be sharpest. But sharpness isn't the one and only consideration in choosing lenses. You asked why not use only macro lenses...those are the reasons that came to mind for me. If sharpness is more important to you, then go right ahead and do whatever you like.
Since the majority of my shots indoors are wide open, I thought a macro would do the best job

Just a thought, I don't have a lot of experience due to my extremely limited lens collection

Thanks

Randy
11-12-2012, 07:34 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by harmonica2 Quote
I'd have to agree that sharpness should not be your only consideration. I own the Tamron 90 Macro, and it is freakishly sharp, so much so that it is terribly unflattering for portrait work (unless you are converting to black and white). Meanwhile, the Pentax DA70 is the most effortless portrait lens in my kit.
Bear in mind that I'm not very experienced in photography...

Why would lack of sharpness be an advantage? Why would you choose a lens that you know is less sharp?

In my limited retouching I do on portraits, I find it a lot easier to un-sharp something (usual skin, using "dust and scratches" in PP) than in it is to sharpen something (and look natural, of course). Well, I don't have a workflow at all, I just treat every image in a case by case basis.
11-12-2012, 07:52 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
Since the majority of my shots indoors are wide open, I thought a macro would do the best job

Just a thought, I don't have a lot of experience due to my extremely limited lens collection

Thanks

Randy
Hmmm...if most of your shots are indoors, I think you should look at a fast prime. That way you can shoot wide open if you need the extra light, and you can always stop down a little bit if you want more sharpness.
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