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Photography Question 
Monica R. Weit
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/10/2004
 

Is this considered a macro lense?


I was wondering if a 50mm 1.7 lens is considered a macro lens? And if not, can anyone suggest an in-expensive macro lens for the Konica Minolta SLR 5D?

Thanks


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3/7/2006 12:00:34 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/27/2004
  If it's a macro lens it should say so on it somewhere. I have 2 of them. One, an old Canon FD and a newer Nikon micor. They both say micro or macro on them. You could try extension tubes with the lens you have for macro work. Unless you purchase used I don't know of any inexpensive macro lenses. HTH


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3/7/2006 3:54:20 PM

 
Ken Raymond
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/31/2006
  When I first started out I didn't have much money to work with so I bought a Sigma 70-300mm lens with a macro setting, It is a decent enough lens to get you going. I don't remember how much I paid for it, plus it was years ago I bought it. This may be the cheapest way to get a macro lens and you still have a zoom to work with.


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3/7/2006 4:12:34 PM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  i would hit the konica and sigma and tamron sites to see what they all offer for macro lenses. but, dont be fooled, allot of lenses say macro on them but arent "true" macro lenses.. I have the sigma 24-70 ex dg macro and its everything but a macro...lol so, you did good by asking here. sorry I couldnt give you a better answer though.
Craig-


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3/8/2006 7:51:31 PM

 
Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
  That's right, when you look for a macro lens, the real macro lenses will generally be prime lenses so they don't zoom or anything. They just stay at one focal length. I think they're usually around 50mm, 85mm, 100mm, or 180mm. I think Sigma makes lenses for Konica-Minolta cameras but I'm not sure. Either way, check out Sigma's website and they should have a huge list of all of their available lenses. You'll probably want to look for macro lenses and then I think the 50mm is their most cost friendly model. I think the 100mm or maybe it's 105mm lens is just under $400 but I think people usually like to get something in the medium telephoto range (like 105mm or maybe 85mm) for macro work because you can stay further away from the subject.

Also, extension tubes are generally the other route that people will go, aside from the very inexpensive maginfying filters that you can screw on to the front of the lens. I have some of these but I would much rather use a normal macro lens because it's a real hassle using the filtes and trying to keep them clean, plus storing them.

Hope this helps!


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3/8/2006 9:40:54 PM

 
Anita Bower
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/3/2004
  Monica: I have the same camera as you do. I don't have a macro lens yet, but would love one. I think the lens you are referring to 50mm 1.7 is not macro. Once you find a lens to buy, you might see what you can find used at B & H or Adorama. Anita


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3/9/2006 8:34:35 AM

 
David Earls   The easiest way to tell if a lens is a macro lens is to check its minimum focusing distance (closer suggests macro) and its magnification ratio.

Canon's 50mm macro lens, for example will get you to 1:1 (object being photographed is the same size as its image on the sensor). Don't confuse magnification with enlargement.

Macro lenses generally use very high-quality glass and it's not uncommon for them to include some built-in extension. For this reason they're invariably more expensive than what are called Normal lenses.


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3/9/2006 12:03:11 PM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  and that is exactly why I held onto my Canon pro1. its got a fantastic macro / super macro mode. Plus, I thik its better to have another 8MP camera around than a lens thats only good for one thing. At least if I break my 350D, I can still shoot.
Craig-


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3/9/2006 12:47:39 PM

 
David Earls   Craig,

I understand where you're coming from, and agree wholeheartedly.

You probably wouldn't buy a 50mm macro lens if you had a 50mm normal lens, nor would you buy a normal if you already had the macro. Macro lenses aren't limited to shooting macro, with the exception of the Canon 65mm macro lens. That manual-focus-only beast, as I understand it, has a MAXIMUM focusing distance of five inches. However, it will also deliver 1:5 magnification when you're about .75" from the subject.

I use the 50mm macro lens for everything I would use any other 50mm lens for. It's a great lens.


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3/9/2006 1:02:47 PM

 
Anita Bower
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/3/2004
  David wrote: "You probably wouldn't buy a 50mm macro lens if you had a 50mm normal lens, nor would you buy a normal if you already had the macro"

Why is that? What is the difference between a 50mm macro and a 50mm normal lens?

Anita


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3/9/2006 1:45:46 PM

 
Craig m. Zacarelli
BetterPhoto Member Since: 2/3/2005
  I hear ya david, I was looking at the 60MM canon but I decided not to get it because it would cost about as much as I could (maybe) get for the pro1 if I sold it... but then if my xt was out of service id have a nice macro lens with nothing to shoot with...lol I may still get one but im kinda, sorta saving my pennies for the new 30D. I figure since I cant afford the 1dmk2n or 5D, id get the 30D and be happy.who knows, thats also if my wife wants to use the xt, otherwise I will sell it to off set the cost of the 30D.
we;ll see.
Craig-


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3/9/2006 1:53:54 PM

 
Andrew Laverghetta
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2004
  I know others can answer this too but...

Macro lenses can get very close to the subject (physically can can move the camera closer) -but- they're not just good for macro photography. They work great at normal focusing distances as well. They're not just for closeup work.

So, it would be like buying an all purpose pickup truck, then buying another pickup that was designed to carry even more weight instead of buying the one that can carry more weight and using the extra money to buy something that's more passenger friendly (gas prices aside).

So the 50mm macro is just a normal 50mm lens (basically) with close focusing capabilityes. Yeah, plus some other stuff that helps with macro but technically, yeah. It would probably be better to get another focal length besides 50mm. Something like 100mm so you can use it for portraits or something?


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3/9/2006 1:58:21 PM

 
David Earls   50mm macro lenses will usually have better glass than 50mm normal lenses - that's the reason you buy them. I do not agree with Andrew's assessment that a 50mm macro is a 50mm normal with close focusing ability. I agree with him on the quality of the glass and the flexibility of the lens. My 50mm macro is my favorite lens.

Longer focal lengths have become popular for many kinds of macro work because the longer the focal length, the more effective the bokeh background.

It depends on the story you're telling with your macro shot. If you want to isolate your subject against a bokeh background - a bird, for example, against a blended background - you need longer focal length. If, on the other hand you're telling the story with the eyes of the bug in perfect focus, you want enough of the bug behind the eyes to be soft but out of focus enough that the viewer knows he/she is looking at a bug, and not a disembodied, sharp clear eye floating in space.

In my bag there is room for the 50mm macro lens and the 100mm macro lens, and I use extension tubes judiciously with both lengths to get where I want to be with the image. Longer focal length always means narrower field of view, and compositionally, a narrow field of view isn't always better.

At least that's my opinion -


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3/9/2006 6:31:36 PM

 
Eddie Lagos
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/1/2006
  Monica, if you want a true macro lens then it is going to be a fixed lens or "prime lens" as they call it. If you would like something in the 50mm range Sigma makes a good one, the ex macro 2.8. They also have another really good one, the 105mm ex macro 2.8, thats if you would like a little more range. They both do 1:1; however, the 105 is around $350 while the 50 is around $220. The 105 is really good, I hope to own it one day. After you get a true macro lens you could add an extension tube to get even closer. I hope this helps.


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3/9/2006 6:36:33 PM

 
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