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Macro Lenses - 30mm, 60mm, 90mm, 180mm - which is best? what has been your experience?
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Apr 14, 2019 11:23:40   #
Chris T (a regular here)
 
jackm1943 wrote:
Since I don't care to photograph things that might run or fly away, something in the 100 mm range works best for me.


Don't you ever pine for something a little bit longer, though, Jack?

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Apr 14, 2019 11:38:40   #
frodoboy
 
Why is it when someone asks a simple question on UH that people start over-explaining, arguing, etc. The poster just asked a simple question. Here's my answer. I've had 4 ranges. 70mm, 105/100mm/150mm and 180mm. For me (and this is just "me"), the 105mm is my favorite all-around macro. Why? Because the 150 and 180 are very heavy. Yes you can get farther away from your subject but you can also use a 1.4 extender on the 100/105mm and lose only 1 stop of light. Slower AF is not usually a problem since most macro shots are done with manual focus anyway. My 150mm and 180mm lenses were great but heavy so hand holding was not nearly as easy as the 100/105mm macros. I do understand the dof conversation argument but in my experience, the higher the focal length, the less dof I seemed to have. I could get a sharper bug at 105mm than I could with the 180mm for example without having to focus stack. I don't understand the scientific explanations for this. I just know in my own experience, it is/was harder to get more of the object in focus with the higher focal length macros. However, the images from those macros are still stunning! I would say you'd be happiest with a 100/105mm macro as it is a wonderful all-around lens and easy to handhold.

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Apr 14, 2019 11:41:36   #
Chris T (a regular here)
 
nimbushopper wrote:
Regarding your 70-300, you say at 300 it drops down to 1:4. You do realize that that is a higher magnification than 1:16, so I don't understand the "drops down comment!


In other words, Nimbus … the 70-300 achieves its BEST magnification at 300mm (1:4) - but, at that length, it is a very difficult lens to hold steady (not, exactly, light) and it has no stabilization, either - so, if you plan to use it at that length in Macro Mode - it's better to use it on a tripod. However, at its first Macro Mode - 200mm … it is quite easily hand-hold-able. But, at the 200 Macro Mode, the best magnification ratio you can get is 1:5 … so, when you zoom OUT to 300mm (its farthest extent) you drop DOWN to a ratio of 1:4.

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Apr 14, 2019 11:48:44   #
Chris T (a regular here)
 
frodoboy wrote:
Why is it when someone asks a simple question on UH that people start over-explaining, arguing, etc. The poster just asked a simple question. Here's my answer. I've had 4 ranges. 70mm, 105/100mm/150mm and 180mm. For me (and this is just "me"), the 105mm is my favorite all-around macro. Why? Because the 150 and 180 are very heavy. Yes you can get farther away from your subject but you can also use a 1.4 extender on the 100/105mm and lose only 1 stop of light. Slower AF is not usually a problem since most macro shots are done with manual focus anyway. My 150mm and 180mm lenses were great but heavy so hand holding was not nearly as easy as the 100/105mm macros. I do understand the dof conversation argument but in my experience, the higher the focal length, the less dof I seemed to have. I could get a sharper bug at 105mm than I could with the 180mm for example without having to focus stack. I don't understand the scientific explanations for this. I just know in my own experience, it is/was harder to get more of the object in focus with the higher focal length macros. However, the images from those macros are still stunning! I would say you'd be happiest with a 100/105mm macro as it is a wonderful all-around lens and easy to handhold.
Why is it when someone asks a simple question on U... (show quote)


Yes, Frodo … I'm inclined to agree with you - the 105 is a superb Macro - Nikkor, or Sigma … but the latter one is a little on the heavy side, though. I suspect a 90 would be easier to hold in the long run, and still provide some superb images, too - especially for LIVE creatures. But, for simple close-up work - I do prefer something shorter - either a 60, or a 35 … might even get a 30, sometime, too - not for LIVE stuff, but when I need to do close-ups of fixed objects - say, Print, and things like that …

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Apr 14, 2019 11:56:47   #
jackm1943
 
Chris T wrote:
Don't you ever pine for something a little bit longer, though, Jack?

Uh … not involving lenses.

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Apr 14, 2019 11:58:12   #
Chris T (a regular here)
 
Jerrin1 wrote:
Because I shoot out in the wild and have to fight my way through brambles, stinging nettles and thistles, I favour a 180mm macro lens. Until a few months ago I owned a Sigma 180mm f2.8 OS macro lens and used it with a Nikon D500. It is a damned heavy lens though, and not really suited to being handheld at low shutter speeds. My Nikon/Olympus EM1 mark II kit became too heavy in the end and I now use much lighter Sony gear. I currently use a Sony 90mm f2.8 macro on my A7III and a Sony 100 - 400mm G Master + Sony 2xTC/auto extension tube for insects which are a bit too far away for my 90mm macro. Works for me.
Because I shoot out in the wild and have to fight ... (show quote)


Does the Sony 2x Extender work on your 90mm Macro, Jerrin, or does it just work on the 100-400?

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Apr 14, 2019 12:02:33   #
Chris T (a regular here)
 
jackm1943 wrote:
Uh … not involving lenses.


Ah, I see … so the 100 does it ALL for you, then - does it, Jack?

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Apr 14, 2019 12:12:12   #
Chris T (a regular here)
 
digit-up wrote:
Fuji makes a great 80mm MACRO. A little heavy and comes with a clunk, but damned good!!


So there IS an 80mm Macro, eh, RJ? … "comes with a clunk" ? care to elaborate a little, there, RJ?

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Apr 14, 2019 12:17:42   #
User ID (a regular here)
 
`

camerapapi wrote:

First, it is not necessary to buy each
focal length of macro lens made.
...........


Acoarst. 90 is redundant to 100, and 180
is redundant to 200. But 30, 55, 90, 200 ?
I couldn't work without that basic quartet.
And I don't even chase bugs !

OTOH, I spoze it can all depend on one's
personal definition of "macro", which does
seem to vary huuuuugely ;-)

.

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Apr 14, 2019 12:41:02   #
Chris T (a regular here)
 
Gene51 wrote:
General purpose lenses are rarely optimized for close work like true macro lenses are.

https://www.1stvision.com/machine-vision-solutions/2015/11/macro-lens-vs-extension-tubes-what.html

Generally speaking if you were to use a 135mm macro lens, it will give you far better results with your extension tubes.


Wow, Gene … a company exclusively devoted to making better macro lenses. What a GodSend! Thanks!!!

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Apr 14, 2019 12:42:25   #
Annie Loyd
 
So my 40mm Macro is really a 100mm with my crop sensor D7500 Nikon? Right?

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Apr 14, 2019 12:50:23   #
Chris T (a regular here)
 
User ID wrote:
`



Acoarst. 90 is redundant to 100, and 180
is redundant to 200. But 30, 55, 90, 200 ?
I couldn't work without that basic quartet.
And I don't even chase bugs !

OTOH, I spoze it can all depend on one's
personal definition of "macro", which does
seem to vary huuuuugely ;-)

.


Not exactly, User … 90 to 100 is 10 mm … to 105 - 15mm … 180 to 200 - that's 20mm difference!!!!

I don't chase bugs, either … I use a 35 Macro most of the time (around 52mm in FF terms) … and use a 60mm Macro, too, from time to time … but my 105 Macro gets a good outing, too … but they're all in different mounts (Nikon, Canon, Sony SLT respectively) … thinking of getting the Sony 30mm Macro - just so I have a short macro for my a77 II (when I need one) but, the other arrangements seem quite satisfactory, at the present - but, if I ever DO get back into NON-IBIS shooting on a regular basis, I might start looking at a 150 Sigma or a 180 Tamron … we'll see …

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Apr 14, 2019 12:54:43   #
Annie Loyd
 
Thanks..I think I need to do more research on Mounts also..good shooting!

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Apr 14, 2019 13:18:20   #
cactuspic
 
Annie Loyd wrote:
So my 40mm Macro is really a 100mm with my crop sensor D7500 Nikon? Right?


No. I shoot Canon where the crop factor is a little different, but I believe Nikon uses 1.5 crop factor which gives the 40mm same field of view as a 60mm provided you shoot from the exact camera position.

Also the focal length of a lens is usually measured when the lense is focused at infinity. Due to the internal optics, the focal length of most modern macro lenses at macro magnifications is less their rated number. The phenomenon is called focus breathing.

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Apr 14, 2019 13:26:40   #
bwana (a regular here)
 
Chris T wrote:
Is it really necessary for us to buy one in each range? Or, are just one or two suitable for most things? If you use them - please advise as to which length is better suited for YOUR purposes, and why you chose it.

I have a 60mm and 100mm. The 60mm is a 2:1 lens giving high magnification. The 100mm, 1:1, allows me to back off from the target a bit more.

bwa

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