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04-20-2010, 04:05 AM   #1
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Macro lens working distance question

I would like to get some sweet 1:1 macros but don't really want to have to crawl all over my subject to get the shot. About 12 inches away would be a good length.

How do you know the working distance for a macro setting on a lens?

Any good recommendations?

04-20-2010, 04:26 AM   #2
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It depends on the focal length of the macro lens you are using. A 50mm macro requires you to be a lot closer to your subject than a 90 or 105 macro lens does. And of course the legendary FA * 200mm allows even further distance.
With my Tamron 90mm macro my working distance is usually about 6 to 10 inches depending on subject and what I'm after.

NaCl( for 12 inches or more distance your only affordable bet would be a used Sigma 180mm)H2O
04-20-2010, 04:42 AM   #3
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you can try a sigma 70-300 APO DG which allows a far greater distance but with the price of Macro 1:2

On the other hand, the farther you are from the subject, the more chance for camera shake so...
04-20-2010, 05:45 AM   #4
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if you want 12 inch distance at 1:1 the calculation for focal length is easy.

1:1 is always achieved when subject to lens distance = lens to film distance = 2 x focal length.

therefore, in simple terms if 2x focal length is 12 inches (300 mm roughly) you want a 150 mm macro.

04-20-2010, 05:52 AM   #5
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Lowell correct me if I am wrong, but in your calculation the working distance is measured in terms of the film/sensor plane to the subject correct? So one will need to take into account the overall length of the lens and subtract that length from the working distance to get the distance from the font element to the subject yes? My Sigma 105mm should have a working distance of about 8in or so, but I know I have had much less distance than that from the front of the lens to my subject on my Macro shots.
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