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05-03-2008, 07:11 PM   #1
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Using macro lenses for general photography

I wanted to shoot some macro today with an new-to-me FA 50 f/2.8 macro, but didn't have
enough time to set up shots in this minor windstorm we've been having the past couple days.
Instead, I just shot some regular shots, some close focus, some portraits & still life.

I think this FA 50 macro is one of the better lenses I've shot, and I think it has just as much
use as a general 'everything' lens as much as a dedicated 1-1 macro. I'm very impressed by
the resolution, and I don't have a problem with it being 'too sharp' for portraiture.

Anyone else using a real macro lens in daily non-macro use? What macro lenses have good
'everyday' reps?

Here are some non-macro examples from the FA 50 2.8 macro shot today, no sharpening, a few
contrast adjustments in picasa only:

prev cropped

No religious or blasphemous significance to me, just liked the scene/shadows

Previous cropped - this is a 50mm, not 200! The resolution is pretty stunning.

Managed to squeeze off one almost-macro:


Last edited by jsherman999; 05-03-2008 at 07:18 PM.
05-03-2008, 07:31 PM   #2
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nice photos, i can't say that i do use a macro often, but i can't see why people wouldn't. technically, macro lenses are usually very excellent. and with the DA35 Macro, a lot of people will probably start using that as their new normal.
05-03-2008, 07:34 PM   #3
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Part of the temptation of the new DA 35mm macro limited is its alter ego as a regular lens. Nice photos, I love the amount of detail found in the closeup photo of the kid.
05-03-2008, 08:06 PM   #4
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One thing about the Vivitar S1 105 macro is that besides being an excellent macro lens, it's also an excellent portrait lens, nice and sharp. Here are a couple of examples of my husband and cat...

Just in case you can't see those pics, click on these:
IMGP2296.JPG photo - Heather photos at
IMGP2303.JPG photo - Heather photos at


05-03-2008, 08:10 PM   #5
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I love the shot of the chair with the shadow behind it.

I just picked up a 50mm Macro.... I plan on using it for general shooting as well.

I am kicking around the idea of doing the 35mm macro too. Depending on what prices will be like when I am ready.

05-03-2008, 08:12 PM   #6
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I have thought about getting both the 35 and 50 macros, but then 2.8 would be the fastest lens in my kit. Most likely, I'll get the 35 macro and the 50/1.4, so I'll have all my bases covered.

05-03-2008, 09:44 PM   #7
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Some nice shots there!

Yeah,..I quite often wander around with my M42 50mm f4.0 Macro on.

It is actually quite a nice lens for general work.

Plus I often take Building/Architectural shots as well as Flowers, Insects etc, etc, have often found it to be a quite useful lens to have.
It produces a very nice Image,..and is a good size

05-03-2008, 11:00 PM   #8
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I sometimes use the Tamron SP 90mm Macro f/2.8 as a medium Telephoto.
Its a superbly sharp lens, and at f/2.8 its fast enough for low-light work.

05-04-2008, 01:53 AM   #9

I like the chair shot and...

Those tight shots of your child are very nice. They are so sharp.

I use my Vivitar 105 and Pentax M 50 F4 as regular shooters a lot. And I have seen some great portrait work with the Sigma 70 & 105 and the Tamron 90.

They are all needle sharp.
05-04-2008, 03:37 AM   #10
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Wow, you just prove it that macro lens is really capable of multi-tasking. Great shots btw.
05-04-2008, 03:47 AM   #11
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I just received my new Sigma 180mm f/3.5 Macro, and today I put up some pics from the first day of trialling it. Nothing even close to Jay's photo quality, but a mixture of macros and general tele shots.

Can be seen here:

All comments welcome. I hope to get a lot better with this lens, and yes, I'll be using it as a general purpose 180mm tele as well.
05-04-2008, 01:01 PM   #12
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I have a Sigma 50/2.8 Macro and use it occasionally for general photography. The Sigma does really well for close-ups of flowers and such, but when used for general subjects I am usually not as happy with the results as when I am using my Pentax-A 50/1.7. Not bad...just not as good (lower contrast, color cast, bokeh?...I don't know...). Add in the additional bulk (the Sigma is a pretty big 50) and it stays in the bag unless the subject is less than 1.5 feet away!

05-04-2008, 01:47 PM   #13
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Since I got my K20, I have been using that primarily with long glass and my K100 with shorter
primes (my only zoom, the T 18-250, goes on either when needed). I had been inclining more and more to leave the 50/2.8 macro on, but since getting the 35 I think that will have the 'permanent' position on the K100. I am not skilled or subtle enough to say the 35 is better, though I think it might be. But it is smaller and lighter...............
05-05-2008, 05:38 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by kittykat46 Quote
I sometimes use the Tamron SP 90mm Macro f/2.8 as a medium Telephoto.
Its a superbly sharp lens, and at f/2.8 its fast enough for low-light work.
Same here ... it's a very crisp lens indeed ... and a nice longer portraiture lens.
I love it.
05-05-2008, 09:36 AM   #15
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As far as I know the main difference between a Macro lens and a standard one is the length of the helicoid which allows the front element to move further away from the film plane. Basically it has the same efffect as in adding extention tubes but more with precision.

FWIW, I have both the K50/4 and the Kiron 105/2.8 and they are both excellent if a little pricey and difficult to find here in the UK.

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