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Thread: what defines a macro lens?

  1. #1
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    Default what defines a macro lens?

    after shooting macro for sometime, I'm starting to be a little more confused than before I started.

    I've seen some lens with mag ratio 1:1 labelled macro lens.. "ok.. well quite acceptable"

    then came 1:2 macro (what I'm using) min focus dist 95cm to attain 1:2 "ok.." i thought..

    then I came across 1:2.9 macro.. then I'm starting to wonder. what is the cut-off limit for labelling a lens with 'macro' function? A manufacturer can't label a lens 'macro' with 1:4 can they?

    I'm thinking too much becos I can't shoot lately.. rain rain rain.. where got butterflies to shoot?
    “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler

  2. #2

    Default Re: what defines a macro lens?

    Scroll to Qn. 20 & 23

    http://www.sigmaphoto.com/faq/faq.asp?navigator=3

    Hope this helps a little bit.
    Last edited by ST_sg; 18th August 2005 at 06:17 PM.
    Canon 40D|17-55 f/2.8 IS|100 f/2.8 Macro|135 f/2L|300 f/4L IS|430ex|BG-E2

  3. #3
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    Default Re: what defines a macro lens?

    mm. .thanks. i was pondering whether the minimum focus distance was the factor or the reproduction ratio. i guess both plays a part
    “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler

  4. #4

    Default Re: what defines a macro lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by yanyewkay
    mm. .thanks. i was pondering whether the minimum focus distance was the factor or the reproduction ratio. i guess both plays a part
    Get yourself a copy of Macro book like the one by John Shaw, which currently I lend it to Adrian. I can loan you once he returns me. Read it, and you can be more confused than now.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: what defines a macro lens?

    I can only relate in terms of Nikkor designations... If you think if terms of film or sensor size and the subject; then micro or macro may become clear; i.e. does the lens give me a macro picture (larger than life-size) or micro picture (smaller than life-size)?

    Using a Micro-Nikkor lens (e.g. 60mm, 105mm, 85-PC), the largest image I can get is 1:1 (intended usage). But when using a Macro-Nikkor lens (e.g. 28mm, 35mm, 65mm and 100mm), I can get larger than 1:1.

    So in essence, most lenses are micro lens since they give less than life-size reproduction; and therefore, it is really up to manufacturer to decide what they think is a micro lens and hence, you see many of them labelled their lens "Micro" (or Macro in their misleading ways).

    But only a few are true macro lens, e.g. Macro-Nikkor, Zeiss Luminars, Leitz Photars, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by yanyewkay
    after shooting macro for sometime, I'm starting to be a little more confused than before I started.

    I've seen some lens with mag ratio 1:1 labelled macro lens.. "ok.. well quite acceptable"

    then came 1:2 macro (what I'm using) min focus dist 95cm to attain 1:2 "ok.." i thought..

    then I came across 1:2.9 macro.. then I'm starting to wonder. what is the cut-off limit for labelling a lens with 'macro' function? A manufacturer can't label a lens 'macro' with 1:4 can they?

    I'm thinking too much becos I can't shoot lately.. rain rain rain.. where got butterflies to shoot?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: what defines a macro lens?

    thanks for the explantion.. it does make more room for thinking now..

    sumball: will borrow the book from you when we meet up.. 'soon' .
    “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler

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