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04-06-2014, 05:36 AM   #1
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Using macro button on telephoto lens

While probably unwise to buy a lens before having a clue about what I'm doing, I was tempted by a used Sigma 70-300mm with macro, which brings me to my question. How do I use that macro button? I don't mean how to optimize the shots, just the basic use of it, physically.
(I tried searching the forum, the Sigma site,and elsewhere before posting.)

Thanks for reading this.

EJ

04-06-2014, 05:47 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by E-Joan Quote
While probably unwise to buy a lens before having a clue about what I'm doing, I was tempted by a used Sigma 70-300mm with macro, which brings me to my question. How do I use that macro button? I don't mean how to optimize the shots, just the basic use of it, physically.
(I tried searching the forum, the Sigma site,and elsewhere before posting.)

Thanks for reading this.

EJ
This is from the Amazon.com description: "The lens features a switch for changeover to macro photography at focal lengths between 200 millimeters and 300 millimeters with a maximum close-up magnification. Without changing the distance between camera and subject, you can change the shooting magnification."
04-06-2014, 05:50 AM   #3
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Normally macro buttons just allow the lens to focus closer than normal. Press it and turn the zoom ring (I think). Beware though that on the Sigma and Tamron equivalent macro is not 1:1. If you want true macro buy a prime macro lens. If you're into inanimate objects then 35 or 50mm will be ok. If into animate objects - flowers, insects, etc - then 100mm is better. Why? The shorter the focal length the less working distance between lens and object.
04-06-2014, 05:55 AM   #4
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@Al_Kahollick Thanks. So, for the "how" part, do I simply move the switch when at those focal lengths? What would happen if I did it otherwise? Is this during manual or automatic focusing? I'm concerned about interfering with what the camera is doing automatically, among other things.

@JohnX Makes sense, thanks. For now, I'm thinking about long distance with larger subjects, but I'll have other issues later.

04-06-2014, 05:58 AM - 1 Like   #5
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If I remember my 70-300, the macro switch only limit the zoom range (from 200-300) and the focus range. It doesn't change anything optically.

To toggle to button to Macro Mode, the lens has to be fully extended (300mm) and the focus has to be set to near (I don't know the term but the opposite of infinity). When switching it back to Normal Mode, you might have to fiddle with your focus ring a bit after switching your camera to manual focus.

But this switch is kind of a gimmick since you can achieve 1:2 magnification even if the switch is set to normal.
04-08-2014, 10:33 PM   #6
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Hi Ellen, I have the Sigma 70-300mm 1:4-5.6 DL Macro. The way it was explained to me is that the lens has to be at the 300mm focal length before it can be switched to Macro and back to normal. Hope this helps.
04-09-2014, 05:20 AM   #7
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Thanks for all the help.

I tried the lens for the first time with AF and no button and can see I'm going to love it! My subject of interest flew away before I could change to the lens, so I just played around with random shots.
04-09-2014, 05:36 AM - 1 Like   #8
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The switch on the Sigma 70-300mm's will work on and off at between 200mm - 300mm... You need to have not only the Zoom setting at that but the focus setting set to at least 200mm. It's not a true macro lens but the macro works well for doing "close ups" of flowers insects etc. where you don't want to have to deal with getting really close.



Last edited by Oldbayrunner; 04-09-2014 at 05:46 AM.
04-09-2014, 05:55 AM - 1 Like   #9
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I just bought this lens and one of the bothersome things is if you use the macro button to switch and then autofocus on a close subject you won't be able to move the switch back to its normal position. You have to switch to manual focus, increase the focus distance to something greater than 1.5m and then you can set the switch back to normal.
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