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06-24-2007, 11:41 AM   #1
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Macro lens infinity performance

I love my Vivitar Series 1 105mm f/2.5 macro lens.
Today I have made a comparison between it and my Takumar 105mm f/2.8.
The Takumar's glasses are a little worn and it has some chromatic aberration under strong light. However, its performance is comparable/slightly better than Vivitar inside the house!
Outside (strong sun light), my Vivitar shines in sharpness, contrast and lack of significant CA.

However, when focused at infinity, both the Takumar 105mm and my 70-300mm Sigma APO DG (at 100mm) perform significantly / noticeably better in sharpness & contrast.
My question is this:
Is it normal for a "macro" lens to perform rather poorly when focused at infinity?
If yes, no problem. If no, is this specific either to Vivitar Series 1 or to my sample?

08-14-2007, 01:24 AM   #2
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Replied by myself :)

Since no one replied and I had just come across a statement directly related to this question; here is what I learned:

Macro lenses are expected to perform poorly when focused at infinity. This is by design.

Source:
Photography. The art of composition.
Bert Krages.
Allworth Press.
I don't have it here; so, no page number.
08-14-2007, 04:56 AM   #3
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bc, here is a shot from my sample of the Vivitar 105/2.5 at infinity.


and this is a crop of the trail up at the top in the center.



This was handheld f8@1/250. I'm pretty happy with my sample of the lens. It seems to work ok at infinity for me.
08-15-2007, 03:57 AM   #4
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You are right; it is OK.
But the same lens is above "OK" for macrophotography.
Perhaps, I should rephrase my observation like this:
"When you need to show the objects at infinity sharper,
it would be better to use a non-macro lens".
Since the non-macro ones are also lighter, they are easier to carry along, anyway.

Below are images to support my view:
First... The general picture (Sigma 17-70 mm, 70mm f/11)
Second.. Vivitar 105mm f/11 (cropped)
Third...Takumar 105mm f/11 (+1.7 EV, cropped)
(They are hand held with SR on).

I must also say that, other, closer objects (like the lamp post) in
the non-cropped pictures were sharper (not shown) with the Vivitar! So the slight drop in performance applies only to the very far objects.

I do not think this is significant and I will be taking the Takumar with me to the mountains mostly because it is about half the weight of the Vivitar.


Last edited by bc_the_path; 08-27-2007 at 01:53 PM.
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