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eddie1 6 12 United Kingdom
28 Jun 2012 5:55PM
Can someone tell me which is best when it comes to macro lenses,is it 1.1,1.2 or 1.3. and does the distance in length away from the subject differ. as you can tell im a bit of a novice.

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a 1.1 macro lens is a true macro lens which should fill the frame with the flower insect ect longer focal lens will give you more working distance eg 105 mm better than 60mm
ianrobinson Plus
8 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
28 Jun 2012 7:45PM
as above, well put.
I use a canon 100mm f2.8 l is usm macro lens it is sharp and used with macro lights you will get the depth of field you need, i use a 2x converter on my 100mm and achieve a 200mm macro lens which i can get even closer still making it 4x magnification, i use the canon twin macro flash which i find very good as i can position the lights exactly where i want them.

justin c 14 4.9k 36 England
28 Jun 2012 8:21PM
A 2x extender on a 100mm macro lens gives you twice lifesize not 4x.
28 Jun 2012 10:55PM
Let's take a step back...1:1 means "life size" ...what you see in real life, is the same size on the film/sensor as it is in real life.. So..a sugar cube (for instance) will give you a picture which occupies the same space on the film/sensor as the real life object. If you have a lens which purports to be 1:2 then you'd probably get half a sugar cube, a 1:5 would probably show a few grains on the edge of a cube..!
A good many zoom lenses claim to be "macro" but watch what they claim, for example, 2:1 means your sugar cube appears at half the size of "real life".. And, say, 3:1 means you'd get three or four sugar cubes in the same frame..
As far as focal length is concerned, then 40mm or 50mm usually means you're an inch or two away from your target..okay for postage stamps, but no good for butterflies... Consider, e.g. Tamrons 90mm - many others around 105-120mm even 150mm is popular to distance yourself from the "target"..
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
29 Jun 2012 9:34AM
...and remember that, at 1:1 macro, you can't take a picture of any item that is larger than your sensor!!

Think postage stamp size for a rough guide.

SEMANON 5 95 United Kingdom
29 Jun 2012 11:24PM
Lens Dilema: I'm still deliberating on buying The Tamron SP90 f2.8 Di vs Nikon 40mm f2.8 micro - Any advice? - I've read the Tamron extends so much (at 1:1) as to make the distance from the end of the lens similar to the Nikon 40mm - Also that the AF is noisy - Also does anyone know if The Tamron will AF on a Nikon D3100 ????
Ade_Osman 15 4.5k 36 England
29 Jun 2012 11:52PM
Don't be put off by the Tamron's little foibles, yes it can be noisy in AF and yes it does extend somewhat, however, as a avid macro photographer these things can work for you. If you're serious about macro photography you'll be using manual focus a lot and on the Tamron it's a joy to use as the focus collar is large and easily gripped, I do all my macro work using manual focus. My wife has the Canon 100mm lens and it loses out to the Tamron in every way in terms of sharpness, whether auto or manual, the only good thing about it is it's quiet.......Folk won't agree with me, but that's how I find it. The longer Tamron's 90mm focal length will also make it more useful over the Nikons 40mm, in other words you won't need to get so close to your subject, especially important if taking images of wildlife such as insects etc.
Only you can ultimately decide in the end, but if you want to see what the Tamron's capable of in the right hands (golly that was egotistic of me) take a look at my P/F. It's all swings and roundabouts, but I won't be getting rid of my 8 year old Tamron any time soon I can tell you that much!

SEMANON 5 95 United Kingdom
30 Jun 2012 12:07AM
Unfortunately there are no shops that have these two lenses in stock - just as a matter of opinion do you think it would be a problem if I ordered both with a view to only keeping one???? Don't have to answer this one!
30 Jun 2012 1:03AM
Listen to Ade and check his portfolio...
Autofocus you will find, is of least concern with macro work, it's usually a manual focus job.. The depth of field is so shallow in this discipline, you'll probably find you manually focus as best you can, then literally rock yourself and camera minutely back and forth to bring the focussed area to where you want.
I've used a 50mm and found I needed to be too close to the subject physically for comfort. I now use Nikon's 105mm and find it ideal. I do believe the Tamrons have a hard to beat reputation with their macro lenses too..
If I didn't already have my existing 105 they would be my choice..
Generally, with the answers you've had so far, the trend seems to be a preference for the higher numbers, however you keep coming back to the 40mm idea..I think you'd be dissapointed..
HJKeithW 9 59 New Zealand
6 Jul 2012 9:16AM
If you are really into macro work, it would pay you to buy a macro focusing rail. It allows you to move the camera around on your tripod with very great precision.
discreetphoton 13 3.5k 20 United Kingdom
6 Jul 2012 9:27AM
I own a focusing rail, but in practice it's more of a hindrance to my photography. When you shoot insects, a tripod is awkward and slow, and increases the chance of your subject flying off. A flashgun is much more useful, and lets me work handheld even when the weather's poor.
Either the Tamron 90mm or any of the Nikon 105mm lenses are worthy of consideration.
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
6 Jul 2012 9:41AM

Quote:When you shoot insects, a tripod is awkward and slow, and increases the chance of your subject flying off. A flashgun is much more useful, and lets me work handheld even when the weather's poor.

this is my experience, for greater than 90% of my macro shots of bugs, bees and butterflies I shoot hand-held. I will occasionally use a monopod if access allows and its a static shot but have never yet found I can get the shots I want from a tripod.

My focusing rail only comes out of its box for studio shots of static, inanimate objects
SEMANON 5 95 United Kingdom
6 Jul 2012 9:44PM
Any particular flashgun? - what about using a ring-flash (or flash-ring??) whatever the correct term.Do you know if the LED 'constant on' are worth getting?
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
6 Jul 2012 9:51PM
I primarily use a macro-flash (sigma 140) sometimes wrongly called a "Ringflash" (by me as well as others Smile ).

It suits my style but can result in rather flat lighing unless you are careful.

Off-camera flash via flash cable can also give excellent results

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