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05-23-2007, 07:22 AM   #1
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70-300 macro lenses Sigma & tamron

I've seen that a lot of photogs use the 70-300 macro lens, that seem relatively inexpensive.
My main Macro is the Sigma 50mm 2.8 eX macro lens, which I love.
I was thing of getting the DA 50-200 lens but want a lens that will give me some zoom and still give me excellent quality (like my Sigma 50) for closeup work in low light(I'm not talking about really low light). Would the 70-300 macro meet my needs. Can I get really closeup (like 18" or less) using the 70-300 without having to use the zoom to excess with good low light performance like my Sigma 50mm gets..
Can anyone explain this to me and also recommend a good 70-300 macro around $200. new. Forgive me for running on so much. Freddy

05-23-2007, 07:50 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by fevbusch Quote
Can anyone explain this to me and also recommend a good 70-300 macro around $200. new. Forgive me for running on so much. Freddy
The Pentax 50-200 is a nice lens, especially at the price. I also had for a while a Pentax 75-300. But I sold the 50-200 after a while because, with the 75-200 around, I didn't feel I really needed the 50-200. And then I tried the Tamron XR Di 70-200 f/4-5.6, liked it better than the Pentax 75-300, so once I sold that Pentax lens, too, and bought the Tamron. The Tamron is a tele-macro., with 1:2 magnification ratio. You can't get as close as you'd like to your subject. In macro mode, you can't get much closer than 1m (little more than 3ft). But it's a decent lens and not too expensive: $180 US at Adorama.com. I'll try to post a macro photo later when I get a minute.

I have no experience with that Sigma lens. It might be great, too.

Will
05-23-2007, 08:31 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by fevbusch Quote
Can I get really closeup (like 18" or less) using the 70-300 without having to use the zoom to excess with good low light performance like my Sigma 50mm gets..
Look up the minimum focus distance of any lens you are interested in. As for low-light performance compared to your Sigma 50mm, these consumer zoom lenses tend to be f/4-5.6, so at BEST, you are already one stop behind your Sigma. At some point, the maximum aperture drops to f/5.6, so now you're two stops behind. Is that what you're asking? Remember, as the light levels drop, EVERY stop counts!
05-23-2007, 10:19 AM   #4
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Gordon & Will. perhaps another silly question. Minimum focus to lens is 3 feet for 70-300mm Sigma Apo macro lens BUT if I zoom in won't the subject I'm shooting look extremely close up even though I'm 3 feet away from it? Freddy
PS. haven't spoken to you for a while, Will. Perhaps because I'm mostly posting photos lately. Regards, Freddy

05-23-2007, 10:27 AM   #5
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ummmmm, yeah.

That's kind of the point of a telephoto lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by fevbusch Quote
Minimum focus to lens is 3 feet for 70-300mm Sigma Apo macro lens BUT if I zoom in won't the subject I'm shooting look extremely close up even though I'm 3 feet away from it? y
05-23-2007, 10:32 AM   #6
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Angle of view - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia For your reading pleasure!
05-23-2007, 10:38 AM   #7
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You're not related to this guy, are you ?
why so small photos with with pentax 12-24 ? [Page 1]: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
05-23-2007, 11:05 AM   #8
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AWWWWW.. that's mean Gordon. Heck no, I'm DEFINITELY not related to that guy.
Lol Freddy. I think my problem is I'm 68 years old and my mind has trouble retaining a perspective on the basics of photography even though I try to refresh my knowledge from time to time. Thanks for being so patient with me. You really helped a lot. Regards, Freddy
P.S. I've driven Will crazy from time to time but very grateful to him because he's the guy who got me away from automatic use of my K100d and into manual adjustments, so I owe him a lot.

05-23-2007, 11:10 AM   #9
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Glad you didn't think I was serious about that dude with the 12-24mm....
Glad I'm able to help and good luck!
05-23-2007, 11:21 AM   #10
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Note- on the Sigma, the macro is a switch on/off feature that is only available at 300mm. With shorter focal lengths, you can't focus closer than 6 ft or so.
05-23-2007, 11:27 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by fevbusch Quote
Gordon & Will. perhaps another silly question. Minimum focus to lens is 3 feet for 70-300mm Sigma Apo macro lens BUT if I zoom in won't the subject I'm shooting look extremely close up even though I'm 3 feet away from it?
Yes, that's what the "tele-macro" capability is about. On the Tamron 70-300, there is a button that switches the lens from normal zoom to macro. When you use it in macro "mode", the zoom range is restricted.

I'm enclosing a quick example that I just took. It's a picture of some toy clogs that my wife got as a souvenir in Holland. They're sitting on a window sill in my kitchen, gathering dust. Not an interesting photo, but perhaps not too bad an example of the lens's macro capability. This photo was taken hand held from about 4 feet away: ISO 1600, f/4.5, 1/250sec. Of course, because of the wide aperture, there's very little depth of field. If I were doing this photo "right", I'd probably have used a tripod and tried to reduce the aperture to f/8 or f/11. But you can see that it does produce a reasonably decent imitation of a macro. The photo has not been cropped - and you can see the size of the nickel. In the small part of the photo that's in focus, you can see the painted detail on the left shoe fairly sharply, and the dust is quite evident, too.


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PS. haven't spoken to you for a while, Will. Perhaps because I'm mostly posting photos lately.
One of the very best of excuses, Freddy - but no excuse is needed! :-)

Will
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05-23-2007, 11:54 AM   #12
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an alternative: Tamron 28-75

The previous picture was taken with the Tamron 70-300 lens in macro mode; it provides a magnification factor of 1:2. I'm enclosing an alternative shot, just for grins. This was taken with the Tamron 28-75 f/2.8. This is as close to a daily lens as I've got, at least for indoors shooting. (For outdoors, I tend to use the Tamron 18-200 as my default.)

Anyway, the 28-75 has a macro magnification of 1:2.8. Does NOT use a macro button (unlike the 75-300). The picture attached to this message was shot from a distance of five or six inches - MUCH closer than the other shot! Other pertinent settings: ISO 1600, f/8, 1/350sec. I must confess that I do not fully understand the technical difference in the results achieved. The first shot I posted, taken with the 70-300 1:2, seems to me slightly sharper than this second one, even though this second shot was taken in slightly better light (I turned on the light in the kitchen) and used a faster shutter. I don't see a huge difference in quality between the shots and what difference there is is probably my fault. What is certain is that, with the 70-300, you can (MUST) shoot from fair distance, while with the 28-75, it's possible to get up really close. Trade-offs both ways. Some macro subjects are easier to shoot at a distance: a person's eyes; an insect; etc. But shooting at a distance, you will more often really want to use a tripod for optimal results.

Will
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05-23-2007, 12:02 PM   #13
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Threw both of those pics up on Picasa Web Albums so you can see them in higher res. Click here to see the photo taken with the 70-300 lens; then use the right arrow to go to the next photo. The little magnifying glass above the upper right corner of the photo will zoom in.

Will
05-23-2007, 01:37 PM   #14
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Interesting thread. I have the Tamron 70-300 (the older full-frame LD, not the digital only DI model). It is a large, heavy lens. I bought it as it was a cost-effective way to get a longer zoom for birds and such, and also satisfy my curiousity about shooting macro. It is definitely a capable macro lens, as long as you are aware of its limitations:
1) It is heavy. Makes shooting macro without a tripod more difficult.
2) It is long. Approx 8" a full zoom and full magnification. Combined with #1, makes it more challenging to shoot without a tripod.
3) Closest focusing distance is 3ft. Can be good or bad. Easier to shoot insects if you are not right on top of them. Difficult in smaller spaces. I was shooting some of my wifes orchids on the kitchen table, and finding enough room for the tripod while keeping sufficient distance was a little tough. Outside the longer focus distance is not so much of a problem. People just wonder why you are shooting such small items from so far away!
4) It is not a true 1:1 macro. At 1:2 it is still very effective.

I have managed some very nice shots with this lens. The price is excellent, and, in my case, it filled a need. After using it and deciding that I really enjoy macro shooting, I purchased a 100mm macro. The Tamron will still get used as a long zoom, and will probably see limited use as a macro, when I don't want to carry too many lenses, or if I want to try and get some insects without getting too close. While it is a little challenging to shoot handheld, I have managed some good shots in my garden, handholding this lens (at least I think they are good). I have attached one I shot of a Snowdrop flower. Cropped in width to make a square format, and resized. Otherwise as shot.

Chris
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05-23-2007, 02:20 PM   #15
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I have the 70-300 and I think "Macro" is a sorry term as it does not get that great a magnification. It's quite good as an all around telephoto or for flowers etc but for bugs or serious detail on small objects, it's a million miles from my DFA 100mm dedicted macro lens.
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