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Thread: Macro, minimum focusing distance?

  1. #1

    Default Macro, minimum focusing distance?

    I just got this Sigma 70-210 lens and it looks something like this:
    http://img144.imageshack.us/img144/6637/22978145vc4.jpg

    The focusing ring cannot go beyond the 1.2m mark and yet there is a MACRO written down there. The manual also writes something like "With Sigma zoom lenses, you will enjoy macro photography simply and easily."

    Question is, how am I supposed to 'enjoy macro photography' when I have to be at least 1200mm away from my subject to have it in focus? Is it because I have yet to understand what 'macro' actually means?

    It is really making me wonder.. and if you are wondering too, the manual isn't of much help at all.

    Can someone help me out on this?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Macro, minimum focusing distance?

    magnification is only 1 to 4.7. not other macro lenses which are 1 to 1.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Macro, minimum focusing distance?

    oh.. this is not a true macro lens..

    not even close 1:4.7 is not proper magnification by any standards.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Macro, minimum focusing distance?

    Thanks for your replies. I am quite confused now...

    On a Canon 28-135 lens, http://jianghai.smugmug.com/photos/102571701-L-1.jpg, the 'macro' on the focusing ring relates to the minimum focusing distance that I can keep the subject in focus, e.g. under 1m working distance. But on the Sigma lens, I have to be at least 1.2m from the subject to have it in focus even though it is at 'macro' on the focusing ring.

    So what does 'macro' actually mean? Is it the ability of a lens to retain a 1:1 magnification or the ability of a lens to focus on subjects at close distances, e.g. >100mm? .. Magnification.. or close-up?

    Edit: It seems to me that 'macro' on the Sigma lens refers to the 1:4.7 magnification while 'macro' on the Canon lens is the minimum focusing distance that the lens can achieve, yup?
    Last edited by Fishmaster; 15th November 2008 at 04:38 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Macro, minimum focusing distance?

    Every lens has a Minimum Focusing Distance. Sigma produces 2 macro lenses; the 105mm and the 150mm. Yours is not really a macro lens as, regardless of the focusing distance or if there indeed is a word "macro" printed on, the magnification is too low.
    | Canong 480D mk II | EF 18-55mm LV mk XOXO marco + Bougainvillea-shaped hood |

  6. #6

    Default Re: Macro, minimum focusing distance?

    Yup, you need more magnification... the label macro on your lens is a little elusive. Simply states the minimum distance and magnification.

    If you're on budget you can consider the Sigma 70-300. Goes for about 200, macros down to 1:2, some 230% closer than your current lens.

    However I'm a little curious, does anything changes at the 210mm length? Macro is usually done at the long end... You're currently showing the markings for 70mm.
    Looking for Canon 100mm F2 USM :)

  7. #7

    Default Re: Macro, minimum focusing distance?

    It's simply because you can achieve a macro-like effect at full tele.
    Alpha

  8. #8
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Macro, minimum focusing distance?

    Macro is pretty loosely used in many of the commercial macro zooms, not too sure of their IQ but at best an auxillary feature and I would not get one just because of the "macro" function

    The only true macro zoom I know of is Nikon's AF 70-180mm.

    A macro prime lens is a better bet for macro work

    Ryan

  9. #9

    Default Re: Macro, minimum focusing distance?

    I was fooled by the word 'macro' macro printed on my Sigma 70-300mm also. At 300mm the mag was 1:2 which I feel is still not macro enuff. So at 1:4.7 is not macro at all. To get proper macro, you'll need 1:1.

    So far I'm not dissapointed with my Tamron 90mm which is 1:1. Great for most macro but a bit lacking if you need to take skittish insects.

    My 2 cents worth.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Galdor's Avatar
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    Default Re: Macro, minimum focusing distance?

    Quote Originally Posted by parampita View Post
    Every lens has a Minimum Focusing Distance. Sigma produces 2 macro lenses; the 105mm and the 150mm. Yours is not really a macro lens as, regardless of the focusing distance or if there indeed is a word "macro" printed on, the magnification is too low.
    There is a 70mm one also.
    Minolta. Konica Minolta. Sony

  11. #11
    Senior Member Leong23's Avatar
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    Default Re: Macro, minimum focusing distance?

    Quote Originally Posted by ombre View Post
    Yup, you need more magnification... the label macro on your lens is a little elusive. Simply states the minimum distance and magnification.

    If you're on budget you can consider the Sigma 70-300. Goes for about 200, macros down to 1:2, some 230% closer than your current lens.

    However I'm a little curious, does anything changes at the 210mm length? Macro is usually done at the long end... You're currently showing the markings for 70mm.
    The so call "macro" is always done at the long end for all the zoom lenses with macro ability.

    It is done by shifting the whole lens elements away from the sensor hence creating a void to enable the lens to focus nearer. Same theory of using an extension tube.

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