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12-12-2009, 12:33 AM   #1
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Can macro lenses be used for wildlife photography?

1 - can a 70-300mm macro lens be used for wildlife photography? or are there some issues with that. Just by going by the numbers it would seem possible. I know macro's have closer focus points but how does that effect it's ability to focus on things far away?

2 - also, for a macro shot, what if you are not able to get close but must stay about a foot away, are you still able to those super close bug eye pattern revealing shots? Or are all those kinds of shots taken at a close close range?

Thanks!


Last edited by boodiespost; 12-12-2009 at 02:20 AM.
12-12-2009, 03:09 AM   #2
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Macro lenses can be used for things that aren't macro. You can take portraits, landscapes, etc. with a macro lens. But since a true macro lens (a 70 - 300mm zoom I wouldn't consider a 'true' macro lens by the way, since it wasn't designed with macro and macro only in mind) is designed to be best at close-up, it may not be as good at infinity. Also, since the focus range is so big, autofocus may in difficult conditions (low light mostly) hunt alot more.

And about your second question, the farther away you are, the less magnification you achieve.
12-12-2009, 06:35 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by boodiespost Quote
2 - also, for a macro shot, what if you are not able to get close but must stay about a foot away, are you still able to those super close bug eye pattern revealing shots? Or are all those kinds of shots taken at a close close range?

Thanks!
Most of those shots are taken at a moderate range (a couple hundred mm). Here are some of the reasons:

For a particular magnification, the distance from the subject increases in proportion to the focal length. (Doubling the focal length doubles the distance.) A long focal length may be preferred because the lens doesn't crowd the subject.

But long focal lengths are harder to hold steady. (Doubling the focal length doubles the stability required.) A short lens may be preferred because it is easier to align and hold steady.

A focal length of around 100mm for bugs is recommended by many (a working distance of around 200mm) as a reasonable balance between stability and distance.

Lighting also becomes difficult when the working distance is less than the lens diameter.

Dave in Iowa

PS Microscopes become easier to use than cameras when the magnification gets larger than a few times. With a microscope the lens stays fixed along the optic axis and the subject and lighting are moved precisely.

Last edited by newarts; 12-12-2009 at 07:24 AM.
12-12-2009, 10:17 AM   #4
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thanks for clearing that up

12-12-2009, 12:08 PM   #5
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Bug eye closeups probably require more than 1:2 magnification, which is all your 70-300 "macro" zoom can do. You would probably need better than 1:1 to really get the kind of shots you have in mind. How far away you are doesn't matter: 1:1 magnification is 1:1 magnification whether you get it by being half a foot away at 100mm, a foot away at 300mm, or a couple of inches at 50mm (all numbers here just made up, but that's the idea - a longer focal lengths gives you 1;1 magnificatin at a longer distance).

Your 70-300 is not a macro lens that can also kind of sort of do other things; it is a regular lens that can kind of sort of do macro.
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