OP Home > Gear > Lenses > Macro Lens Guide


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Macro Lens Guide

A proper macro lens is designed to eliminate aberrations, focus colors and attain maximum sharpness on close-up subjects

Labels: LensesGear
This Article Features Photo Zoom
Tripod Or Handheld?
A tripod can hold the camera steadier than we can, and can lock in a composition of a nonmoving subject so you don’t accidentally change it as you squeeze off the shot. But it can be difficult to position the camera exactly where you want it for a macro shot using a tripod. So many macro shooters work handheld, using electronic flash’s brief duration to minimize blur due to camera shake. You may want to try it both ways to see which works best for your macro photography. A monopod is a good compromise, making it much easier to position the camera right where you want it, yet providing more support than pure handholding.

Canon, Nikon and Sigma offer macro lenses with built-in image stabilizers, and Olympus, Pentax and Sony offer DSLRs with built-in sensor-shift image stabilization. If you prefer to do your macro work handheld, stabilized gear will give you sharper images.

Macro Zooms
While true macro lenses focus close enough to produce a life-size image of the subject at the image plane, a number of macro zooms are on the market. These focus closer than nonmacro zooms, but don’t come close to producing 1:1 magnifications. Most, in fact, produce maximum magnifications of 1:3-1:4 (1⁄3 to 1⁄4 life-size). This still works for subjects like flowers and large insects, but be aware you won’t get life-size magnification and fill the frame with small insects as you can with a true macro lens.

Canon EF 100mm ƒ/2.8 Macro USM Elem./ Groups 12/8 Min. Focus (in.) 12.0 Max. Magn.* 1x Filter Size 58mm Diam. x Length (in.) 3.1x4.7 Weight (oz.) 21.1 Street Price $589
Canon EF 100mm ƒ/2.8L Macro IS USM 15/12 12.0 1x 67mm 3.1x4.8 22.0 $999
Canon EF 180mm ƒ/3.5L Macro USM 14/12 19.2 1x 72mm 3.2x7.3 38.4 $1,500
Canon MP-E 65mm ƒ/2.8 1-5x 10/8 9.6 5x 58mm 3.2x3.9 25.8 $999
Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 60mm ƒ/2.8D 8/7 8.6 1x 62mm 2.8x2.9 15.5 $469
Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm ƒ/2.8G ED 12/9 7.2 1x 62mm 2.9x3.5 15.0 $549
Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm ƒ/2.8G IF-ED 14/12 12 1x 62mm 3.3x4.6 27.9 $984
Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 200mm ƒ/4D IF-ED 13/8 19.2 1x 62mm 3.0x7.6 41.8 $1,699
Sigma 50mm F2.8 EX DG Macro 10/9 7.4 1x 55mm 2.8x2.5 11.0 $369
Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG Macro 10/9 10.1 1x 62mm 3.0x3.7 18.5 $499
Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM Macro 16/11 12.3 1x 62mm 3.1x5.0 25.6 $999
Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG OS HSM APO Macro 19/13 15.0 1x 72mm 3.1x5.9 40.6 $1,099
Sony 50mm ƒ/2.8 Macro 7/6 7.8 1x 55mm 2.8x2.4 10.4 $479
Sony 100mm ƒ/2.8 Macro 8/8 13.8 1x 55mm 3.0x4.0 17.8 $679
Tamron SP AF90mm F/2.8 Di Macro 10/9 11.4 1x 55mm 2.8x3.8 14.3 $459
Tamron SP AF180mm F/3.5 Di Macro 14/11 18.5 1x 72mm 3.3x6.5 32.5 $699
Tokina AT-X AF 100mm ƒ/2.8 Macro PRO D 9/8 11.8 1x 55mm 2.9x3.7 19.0 $449
Canon EF-S 60mm ƒ/2.8 Macro USM 12/8 7.8 1x 52mm 2.9x2.8 11.8 $449
Nikon AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor 40mm ƒ/2.8G 9/7 6.4 1x 52mm 2.7x2.5 9.9 $279
Nikon AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor 85mm ƒ/3.5G ED VR 14/10 10.8 1x 52mm 2.9x3.9 12.5 $499
Smc Pentax DA 35mm ƒ/2.8 Macro Limited 9/8 5.4 1x 49mm 2.5x1.8 7.6 $549
Smc Pentax D FA 50mm ƒ/2.8 Macro 8/7 7.7 1x 49mm 2.7x2.7 9.3 $429
Smc Pentax D FA 100mm ƒ/2.8 Macro 9/8 11.9 1x 49mm 2.7x3.2 12.2 $799
Smc Pentax D FA Macro 100mm ƒ/2.8 WR 9/8 12.0 1x 49mm 2.6x3.2 12.0 $619
Sony DT 30mm ƒ/2.8 Macro SAM not stated 4.8 1x 49mm 1.8x1.8 5.3 $199
Tamron SP AF 60mm F/2 Di II Macro 14/10 9.1 1x 55mm 2.9x3.2 14.1 $499
Tokina AT-X AF 35mm ƒ/2.8 Macro PRO DX 9/8 5.5 1x 52mm 2.4x2.9 12.0 $299
Olympus Zuiko Digital 35mm ƒ/3.5 6/6 5.8 1x 52mm 2.8x2.1 5.8 $229

* Maximum magnification at the image plane; magnification relative to frame size will be greater with smaller-format sensors
** Full-frame macro lenses can be used on compatible-mount APS-C cameras, too
*** APS-C-format Canon lenses can't be mounted on larger-format Canon DSLRs; APS-C-format Nikon lenses can be used with full-frame Nikon DSLRs, but the camera will crop the image to DX format; APS-C-format Sony lenses can be mounted on full-frame Sony DSLRs, but will vignette; APS-C-format Sigma, Tamron and Tokina lenses are for APS-C-format DSLRs only; all Pentax DSLRs (except the new 645 medium-format model) are APS-C


Add Comment


Popular OP Articles