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Category: New Questions

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Photography Question 
Mike Perez
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member since: 1/21/2007
 

Macro Lens Vs. Zoom's Macro Setting


I notice a reference in the zoom lens specs for a "Macro setting" mode. Does anyone know what macro setting they are referring to? I am thinking of buying a Sigma 105mm macro lens but don't really know what it will buy me in terms of image quality on macro images vs. a Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8 IF-ED lens. Any suggestions? Thanks!

11/12/2007 9:19:10 PM

 
Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  In the case of zoom lenses like the Nikon 28-70 f/2.8, the "macro" feature allows closer focusing than a standard lens. But it still is not as close nor as great a magnification as a specialized macro lens like the Sigma 105 f/2.8 EX Macro. At 70mm and .5m focus distance, the 28-70 will give 1:5.6 magnification on the image sensor (1/5.6 of life size). The Sigma 105 Macro will focus as close as .31m to give 1:1 (life size) image on the sensor.

11/13/2007 6:18:20 AM

 
Mike Perez
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member since: 1/21/2007
  Thank you very much, Jon. That makes sense.

Is the mentioned macro setting on the Nikkor something I have to enable somehow (I don't see a switch on the lens) or something that just happens automatically when it is zoomed to the max 700mm focal length?

11/13/2007 8:45:14 AM

 
Jon Close
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 5/18/2000
  I haven't handled that particular lens, so I can't tell you for sure. On a Sigma zoom I once had, I could only turn the focus withn the extended close focus range when manually focusing at the longest zoom. I suspect the Nikon is similar.

11/13/2007 8:58:56 AM

 
Mike Perez
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member since: 1/21/2007
  Thanks, Jon. I think you are right. I was playing with it last night and that is what I had to do. I was trying to see what magnification, clarity and detail I could get with the 2X f/5.6 tele but it is still not comparable to what you describe on the macro. Looks I am going to have go shopping!

11/13/2007 9:03:49 AM

 
Devon McCarroll
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 7/13/2005
  I would highly (highly!!) recommend the Sigma. I own it and it takes gorgeous macro photos!

11/20/2007 10:50:09 AM

 
Mike Perez
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member since: 1/21/2007
  Thank you very much DEvon. Mine should be arriving today. Looking forward to it.

11/20/2007 11:31:26 AM

 
Stanley C. Sims

member since: 1/28/2001
  A fixed focal length macro lens will always be better than the zoom.

11/20/2007 1:45:08 PM

 
Mike Perez
BetterPhoto Member
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mikeperezphotos.com

member since: 1/21/2007
  Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I got my Sigma 105mm a few days ago and I really like it. It will take a bit of getting used to the narrow DOF even at max aperture but it is so sharp I will end up using a lot. I've taken some macros (and even some portraits of the dog) around the garden and they are in the macro section of my Deluxe BP site. Any critique of them would be greatly appreciated as I get my feet wet with this category. Thanks.

11/23/2007 6:14:10 PM

 

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