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05-04-2011, 08:50 PM   #1
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Lens Help

Hey Everyone,
I have been scouting around trying to find some used lenses to try and learn more about photography etc. and had some questions...

First I am looking for a lens to shoot architecture and buildings (primarily from the inside, like kitchens and bathrooms), as I am coming across used lenses what should I look for on the lens to identify that it is a wide angle?

Also, as I am doing my research I keep coming across Macro and am not exactly sure the differences (besides the obvious difference in the lower focal range), for example:

 Tamron 28-300mm F/ 3.5 XR LD IF Autofocus Zoom Lens
 Quantaray 70-300mm F/ 4.0 LDO Macro Zoom Lens

Sorry if these questions are not clear or are overly simplistic.

Thanks in advance

05-04-2011, 09:04 PM   #2
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To shoot interiors you're going to need something MUCH wider than those. You need something like a 8-16, 10-20, 12-24, or at the most a DA15. Macro should be of no concern to you, at least not for this use. BTW, macro really just means the ability to focus on a subject from a really close distance, like a bug or a flower.
05-04-2011, 09:12 PM   #3
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Thanks, I should have clarified, I wasn't thinking of those two lenses I mention for the interior use.

I just saw that they both had a range to 300mm, and didn't understand what would make one Macro and the other not?
05-04-2011, 09:27 PM   #4
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The lens manufacturers use "macro" loosely enough so it can be ignored. Look instead at magnification ratio or minimum focus distance. The Quantaray should do 1:2 magnification ratio, actually a pretty good number. You don't get the same quality of a dedicated macro prime lens, though.

I owned the Tamron (extra confusion: Tamron makes both these) and it is a good example of a lens that does too much to be any good at any one thing. It might be possible to make a better lens at a higher price, but this one isn't that good. They probably would have added a close-focus ability to it if they could have wedged it in there.

05-04-2011, 09:54 PM   #5
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In general, though, what "macro" is supposed to mean is that it can focus close enough to let you take closeups of small objects. The focal length really has little to do with that. You can take a closeup with a 35mm lens or a 300mm lens - you'll just have to be closer to the object to get the shot with the 35mm lens. And that's exactly how it works - a 35mm macro lens generally lets you focus at just an inch or two from the subject; a 300mm lens might only let you focus within a foot or two. But both end up taking about the same shot.

There is no specific standard for how big a closeup a lens has to be able to take in order to be called "macro", though. That's why the specs will also list the magnification ratio, which tells you exactly how big a closeup you can take. If it says 1:1, that means an object the same size as the sensor (about an inch long) can fill the frame. If it says 1:2, it means a 1-inch object will only fill half the frame. That is, a 1:2 lens can't take as big a closeup as a 1:1 lens. The kit lens is 1:3 already; 1:2 isn't *that* much better.
05-04-2011, 10:00 PM   #6
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Most people consider a true macro lens to be able to focus to 1:1 and like Dave said that lens should do around 1:2 (that's pretty close too). So if you just want to play around with some macro shooting that Quantaray should do just fine (unless you can afford a true macro such as the DA 35 ltd, FA 50 or FA 100).

As for the wide angle lens that is also up to the shooter. Many consider 18mm or lower to be wide. The only real way to see what you need/want is to try different focal lengths if possible (maybe rent some lenses) or if that is not possible then look at samples of focal lengths. I think the kit lens 18-55 is wide enough for interiors but as with all lenses, if you can afford it there are much better lenses such as the DA 12-24, DA 10-17, or the DA 14.
05-04-2011, 10:20 PM   #7
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Even wider than the DA 12-24 are the Tamron 10-24, Sigma 10-20 and Sigma 8-16.
They'd be well suited to indoor real-estate type photography, but it's a matter of how wide you actually ned for the job. DA 12-24's my pick for the best of quality, but the others do a fine job for less money.
05-04-2011, 11:15 PM   #8
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More work, but less expensive, would be to take multiple exposures with what you've got and stitch them with panorama software. I would emphasise that I haven't done it myself, but I imagine it's worth a try!

05-05-2011, 06:24 AM   #9
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Thank you for all the help

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