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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Multitasking With Macro

Consider the talents of a 90mm macro lens at both ends of the composition spectrum

This Article Features Photo Zoom
Meaning In The Mundane
Pretty petals are often the primary focus of close-ups, but the macro view can create interest in dried stems, grasses and thistles (Photo 9). Low, early or late backlight draws attention to shape over color and sets golden highlights against the blue shade of an out-of-focus background.

True Macro
Of course, the primary reason anyone chooses a macro lens is to do extreme close-ups at magnifications at or close to 1:1. The term "macro" doesn't have a universally agreed-upon definition. Some use it loosely as a synonym for any close-up while others claim that a 1:1 magnification ratio is necessary.

The 1:1 magnification ratio means that you can render the subject at life-size on the sensor. A flower that measures one inch across can be photographed so that it will be the same one inch on the sensor.

This article touches on many of the other qualities that are common to macro lenses. Sharp focus across the frame with no light fall-off at the corners at any aperture is a particular hallmark of a macro prime. Why wouldn't all lenses behave this way? To do what they do, many macro lenses don't feature internal focusing, and because of their emphasis on close-ups, people who never shoot macro will find them less comfortable as a general-purpose lens. However, as we point out, anyone who does shoot macro will find they can multitask quite well.

The Tamron SP 90mm F/2.8 Di VC USD MACRO 1:1 with eBand Coating was used for this article. It measures 4.5 inches at infinity, weighs 19.4 ounces and takes 58mm filters. The minimum focus distance is 11.8 inches, it's compatible with full-frame and APS-C DSLRs, and it's available for Nikon (with built-in motors), Canon and Sony mounts. The estimated street price is $749. For more details, go to www.tamron-usa.com.

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