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06-12-2008, 09:53 AM   #1
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Which Macro lens for watches, flowers, nature/natural objects?

I am pretty much convinced that I will get the Sigma 70mm Macro because of its rave reviews and the quality of its IQ. It just sounds like a fantastic lens. However, I am not sure if this focal length would be ok for taking macro photos of watches, flowers, nature, naturual objects (and maybe bugs).

So, before I buy, I wanted to check the pros and cons with you as to whether this lens (compared to the Sigma 105mm, Pentax 100mm, or the Tameron 90mm macro, for example) will suffice to fit my needs or would I regret buying a 70mm?

I already have a FA 50 1.7, so am not interested in a lens in that range.

Plus, the next purchase after this one will be the Pentax 35mm Macro Ltd.

Thanks for any advice and comments you experts can share.

06-12-2008, 11:11 AM   #2
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Macro lenses work better for specific subjects depending on the focal length. You mention bugs, watches, flowers and some other images to take. Here is my take on the lenses:
  • Watches and other stationary small items requiring high magnification work best with a shorter focal length. You get a better depth of field and can work closer to the subject. Your proposed 35 macro would work wonderfully here.
  • Flowers can be photographed with any macro lens.
  • Bugs work best with the longer focal lengths so that you can get a good magnification at a further distance. The 35 would need to be so close that the insect would leave before you can get close enough. The 70 would be better, a 100 even better yet, and the Pentax 200/4 macro best of all.
I hope this helps you with your decision.
06-12-2008, 02:20 PM   #3
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This one was done today with the DA35mm macro ltd. Only con is that you really need to go into your subject to get maximum macro effect. And that means shadows of your camera flash.

I was used to 105mm macro, so the short working distance is something I need to get used to. However, I love the 35 mm for the larger DOF and angle.

Good luck deciding!
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06-14-2008, 07:39 AM   #4
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Which marco?

I used the Pentax A Series 100 f 2.8 Macro for this shot late last winter at the Butterfly Conservatory in Cambridge Ontario. This guy sat still long enough for a handheld shot. No extension was used and no post processing. I think this was f8 and the shot would have been better at f11 or f 16. Needs a bit more DOF. This fellow took off before I could make adjustments. It looks like someone chewed on the tip of his wing. You can just get a glimpse of the wonderful blue colour of the top side his wings. Sadly, he folded them up while taking a break. I found the pattern on the wing to be really interesting. Getting back to your macro question I find the extra length of the 100mm a bonus for most situations. I think you will too. I also have the very nice M 50mm macro as well.



Last edited by 8540tomg; 06-14-2008 at 03:03 PM. Reason: typos
06-15-2008, 02:15 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the thoughts on this

I really appreciate the feedback. Hummm. It looks like there is no "one" macro lense that will do the tricks, so the best thing is to start saving up for a couple or three. Hummm. Now what I am thinking is getting the Sigma 70mm to start, then the Pentax 35mm Ltd. Edition, and then shoot for a longer 180 or 200mm for instance. I'll need to save up and be patient and read more about Macro Photography too.

Thanks a lot.
06-15-2008, 04:35 AM   #6
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For some good reading, check out John Shaw's Closeups in Nature. It is a little dated, as he refers to film cameras only, but it's otherwise a very helpful title for getting familiar with closeup and macro photography. John Shaw's Closeups in Nature (Practical Photography Books): John Shaw: Books

06-15-2008, 11:56 AM   #7
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Short macros have no more dof than long ones as long as they are at the same magnification. Focal length does affect working distance - how far do you want to be away from somethig, and the amount of background included.

Prefer shorter macros ( 50mm range)for indoor shooting - like coins and longer (100-200) for outdoor flowers and bugs. Would be hard for me to live with 1 macro lens. Don't have a short one yet. Just use the A50 1.7 with 25 ext tube.


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