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04-13-2008, 07:48 PM   #1
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Insect and other small creature closeups

I was thinking of getting the DFA100 macro to cover these subjects, but someone suggested that a closeup lens in the 200-300 range would be better. Just about all the lenses I've looked at have a minimum focusing distance in the neighborhood of 36", which I wouldn't consider closeup, in comparison to a dedicated macro.

Would something like a 70-300 or the 55-300 work for this? Do you have any other suggestions (remember I'm on a budget here).

Thanks!
Heather (who sees this as another excuse to justify getting the DA35)

04-13-2008, 08:03 PM   #2
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If they're small insects, these close-focused lenses wouldn't do the job. You will get a better magnification with your DFA 100 macro. The DA 35 is definitely not up for the job, except for stationary bug (a dazed bee ). Macrophotography depends on skill, patience, and luck. A 200 macro would make the job easier, but it's not impossible with a shorter focal. I have shot several bee shots with my Voigt 125 (not much further than the 100). With practice, you can somewhat predict when and where it's going to move, and snap the shot there.
04-13-2008, 08:07 PM   #3
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Generally 100mm is fine for things that are easy to get too and dont more around like flowers. If you wanted more reach and still be a 1:1 macro you are going to be hunting for the FA*200 f/4 Macro, and good luck with that.

The other lenses will bet you 1:3 at best and there will be a significant loss in IQ would be my guess. The Tamron 70-300mm is OK for macro but I would leave it on the 180mm, don't approach the 300mm end unless conditions are perfect.
04-14-2008, 05:17 AM   #4
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A dedicated macro lens is always preferred in order to achieve 1:1 macro. It can also be used as a medium telephoto lens for general purpose photography.

My main concern with DFA 100mm macro is actually its propensity to create blown highlights in bokeh. In my experience, this is a particularly common problem that often creates distracting weird highlight bokeh where it might just ruin the overall image.

To me, sharpness is not an issue but it seems to bother quite a few others. The centre sharpness only improves when aperture goes to f4.0 and above.


Typically this lens is great with colour and contrast. Overall image can be really colourful when you use aperture around f4. Ironically it can be too sharp for protraits.

However, this macro on k20d is actually having less problems with blown highlights in bokeh. More usable. The autofocus does hunt a lot more than any other autofocus macro I have tried. So mid-flight macro is probably quite difficult with this lens.

I do not have positive experience with Tamron 70-300 or sigma 24-70/2.8 macro; even though people manage to produce excellant images, I think it is more about the right lighting and skill of the photographers rather than the superiority of these lenses. Part of photographers' hobby is to evaluate trivial differences of lenses. So this is my say on this issue.

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