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11-13-2013, 08:12 PM   #1
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Macro in name only?

Evaluating lenses I notice Tamron and Sigma counterparts of Pentax lenses often claim to be macro lenses too. Is this for real? Like the various 17-70's for example?

Thanks

11-13-2013, 08:14 PM   #2
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Macro is a word often used to refer to a closer focusing lens than usually - most often for zoom lenses that can reproduce 1:3 magnification. Some people prefer that macro refers to 1:2 or 1:1 magnification - which are usually dedicated macro prime lenses.

So effectively it's a marketing word nowadays for many lenses, but actual macro is (to me anyways) 1:2, 1:1, or even greater magnification.
11-13-2013, 08:36 PM   #3
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The sigma 17-70 is 1:2 - at 70mm it's pretty impressive magnification, but you have practically no working distance as the lens is so large.
11-13-2013, 08:48 PM   #4
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For most camera users, the so called macro on the sigma 17-70 will do most of what they want within the focal range. I have around six real (prime) macro lenses. I am happy with the results from my sigma.

I am sure that someone will get on this thread and want to be pedantic about what macro means. At 1:1 macro photography takes a lot of work to get great results. I don't go there that often and when I do I am doing a lot of setting up.

11-13-2013, 09:16 PM   #5
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Macro refers to the "life size" reproduction of the subject to the image on the film or sensor. This general starts at 0.5 to 1 and current dedicated macro lenses are typically 1 to 1. For example a 1 mm subject would result in a 1mm image on the sensor i.e. 1:1 or 1 to 1. Don't confuse this with the enlargement created when printing the image.
11-14-2013, 08:42 AM   #6
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The DA18-55 can achieve higher magnification than a lot of non-macro lenses with the word macro on them.
11-14-2013, 08:47 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Macro refers to the "life size" reproduction of the subject to the image on the film or sensor. This general starts at 0.5 to 1 and current dedicated macro lenses are typically 1 to 1. For example a 1 mm subject would result in a 1mm image on the sensor i.e. 1:1 or 1 to 1. Don't confuse this with the enlargement created when printing the image.
Blue is spot on
11-14-2013, 09:37 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nass Quote
Blue is spot on
Just visited your stuff at Flickr. You have some incredible macro shots!

11-14-2013, 04:24 PM   #9
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Thank you! If you like macro try my new website, it's a teaching site that takes you through all the various bits and pieces - Extreme Macro Photography
11-15-2013, 06:19 AM   #10
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If I may butt in here, I had planned for my next lens purchase to be a macro. I am shooting macro-ish with a DAL 18-55 which does okay, but since I mostly shoot hand held out hiking often in the shade, I need close, fast and sharp. (But I don't expect to get fly eyeballs or anything that way.) Ideally, it would be able to do a decent job of non-macro shots as well. I had my eye on the Tamrom 90mm 2.8, but unfortunately I can't find it anywhere for rent to try it out.

Is the Tamron a good fit for my needs? The more expensive Pentax 100mm WR macro is on the short list as well.
11-15-2013, 07:35 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by NicoleC Quote
, I need close, fast and sharp.
Define close If it means close to the subject (for 1:1), the DA35Ltd is the way to go (14cm to subject for 1:1 magnification). If you mean that you want better enlargement, longer lenses are aften preferred over shorter ones. The DFA100WR gives 1:1 at 30cm distance.

Note:
Only used Pentax as a reference for the numbers.
11-15-2013, 08:41 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by NicoleC Quote
If I may butt in here, I had planned for my next lens purchase to be a macro. I am shooting macro-ish with a DAL 18-55 which does okay, but since I mostly shoot hand held out hiking often in the shade, I need close, fast and sharp. (But I don't expect to get fly eyeballs or anything that way.) Ideally, it would be able to do a decent job of non-macro shots as well. I had my eye on the Tamrom 90mm 2.8, but unfortunately I can't find it anywhere for rent to try it out.

Is the Tamron a good fit for my needs? The more expensive Pentax 100mm WR macro is on the short list as well.
I second the DA 35 LTD since you want to hand hold it. As a general rule of thumb, the longer the focal length, the faster the shutter speed needed to hand hold. It is a true 1:1 macro but can also be used as a closeup lens. Another option would be to try and get your hands on a Sigma 70mm macro. Of course the D FA 50/2.8 macro is another option.
11-15-2013, 09:39 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
Define close If it means close to the subject (for 1:1), the DA35Ltd is the way to go (14cm to subject for 1:1 magnification). If you mean that you want better enlargement, longer lenses are aften preferred over shorter ones. The DFA100WR gives 1:1 at 30cm distance.
By close I meant I want the image to be larger; I'm not as picky about how close I need to be to the subject since my subjects generally are plants that don't bite, but some of the motile subjects do run/fly/hop away so being able to work at a bit of distance is helpful. I'm pretty good at handholding but there are limits... none of us are human tripods!

My concern with going with a prime like the D FA 50mm or the DA 35 is that really short working distance would preclude any insect shots. (Not that I do a lot of insects, but sometimes.) Am I understanding the trade-offs correctly? Because they are all about the same price and get similarly positive reviews. The Pentax lenses are at least available at LensRentals.com
11-15-2013, 10:18 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by NicoleC Quote
Am I understanding the trade-offs correctly?
Yes, you are.
11-15-2013, 10:54 AM   #15
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Okay, thanks for the info. Maybe I get a shorter macro and a Raynox for my other lenses. Or perhaps I'll rent the Pentax 100MM and the 35mm to get an idea of the working characteristics of the two and then decide.
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