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Why macro?

BrittO 16 36
18 Feb 2005 10:50AM
Why would anyone need to use a macro lens if they have a good zoom lens. What is the difference. I see so many good close ups taken with a 100-400mm zoom lens. What is the true difference with a macro vs zoom lens?
sillyconguru 17 4.4k
18 Feb 2005 11:11AM
1 - A true macro lens will give a 1:1 magnification (i.e the size of the image on the film would be the size in real life).

2 - Macro lenses also (generally) produce higher quality images than normal zooms.

3 - Macro lenses (generally) have larger maximum apertures than zooms, this gives a brighter viewfinder image.
spaceman 17 5.3k 3 Wales
18 Feb 2005 11:33AM
What about abnormal zooms?
joggievs 17 3
18 Feb 2005 12:20PM
The main reasons for the better quality and throughput of light are the construction of a macro lens (and for that matter any fixed focal length lens) versus a zoom lens:

A macro lens has less lens elements arranged in less groups than a zoom lens. This means less glass for the light to travel through, less loss of light, less distortion and straying of light and overall a sharper and brighter image of superior tonal quality.

The different groups of lenses within a zoom lens give rise to intricate movement paths of these groups during the zooming action, constantly changing the relative distances between the groups of lenses. The slightest irregularity etc. on a lens element will therefore be magnified at specific positions along the movement path, hench the difference in lens performance at different zooming lengths.
sillyconguru 17 4.4k
18 Feb 2005 12:59PM

Quote: What about abnormal zooms?

Nice one! By "normal zooms", I meant the sort of thing most people would buy; e.g a Cosina macro lens wouldn't produce an image as sharp as a "pro" lens (i.e Canon "L" series) would.
BrittO 16 36
18 Feb 2005 1:35PM
Great, that helps thanks for all the input...Smile
cambirder 17 7.2k England
19 Feb 2005 2:19AM

Quote:I see so many good close ups taken with a 100-400mm zoom lens.

Many of those shots that you see here will be cropped images, that look fine on your PC, but will not be great for making large prints. A macro lens will allow you to get closer and fill the frame with a small object (e.g. a spider or wasp)
chris.maddock 20 3.7k United Kingdom
19 Feb 2005 3:36AM

Quote:I see so many good close ups taken with a 100-400mm zoom lens

I use a 100-400 with extension tubes (some people use the Canon 500D closeup filter instead or as well) if I'm after flighty subjects like butterflies and need the working distance to avoid spooking them.
However, for real macro work it is no substitute for a proper macro lens.

tepot 17 4.4k United Kingdom
19 Feb 2005 10:43AM
i use a 35-70mm zoom + tubes for macro till i can get a proper macro lens, if i get a 105mm macro am i correct in saying i will get more distance between me and the subject?

using the zoom lens gives me some adjustment when framing but when i have a full set of tubes on and i'm working at 70mm end of the lens, there really isn't much space for a flash gun and it precludes me from getting real close to insects unless they are sleeping or i catch them early in the morning when they havn't warmed up enough to take off.
tepot 17 4.4k United Kingdom
19 Feb 2005 10:54AM
it also depends on which lenses you buy, get a cheap one like me...100 quid each and you won't get the best quality, but thats all i could afford at the time. The lens i want is the sigma 105mm, but at that price it's gonna be a while coming although i expect better results from it than the crap lenses i use now.
Freebs 16 20
19 Feb 2005 2:07PM
I bought a jessops close up filter for 8.99. Results are great! Can't wait to get a 'real' macro (i'll keep saving!).
ewanrayment 17 718 1 United Kingdom
19 Feb 2005 2:11PM
What does a 'close up' filter do?
FrankThomas 18 2.8k United Kingdom
19 Feb 2005 2:19PM
Allows you to focus closer than the normal closest focus of your lens. Cheap way of doing Macro
chris.maddock 20 3.7k United Kingdom
19 Feb 2005 2:21PM
It reduces the minimum focussing distance, thereby increasing the magnification that you can get.
Quality varies from dire through reasonable to excellent, with prices varying accordingly. I can't speak for the Jessops ones, but have no problems with a set of Koods I bought for my G5. Canon make their own, optically matched to their lenses, which are excellent but priced very much accordingly.
Freebs 16 20
20 Feb 2005 12:47AM
The close up filter is much like a magnifying glass on the front of the lens. I have only used the one but picture quality seem to be ok.

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