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Thread: How do you judge a macro lens based on its specs alone?

  1. #1
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    Default How do you judge a macro lens based on its specs alone?

    Following on from my first thread on macro lens, I'm now asking how do you out there determine if a macro lens is good based on the specs alone, i.e. focal length, maximum aperture, etc.

    For eg, for a telephoto zoom lens, a lens with a small f-number is quite desirable.

    Hence, how do you judge a macro lens based on specs alone? How do I know if a certain macro lens is good or not?
    Canon EOS 550D. 18-55mm. 50mm f/1.8 II.

  2. #2
    Deregistered allenleonhart's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you judge a macro lens based on its specs alone?

    Quote Originally Posted by wizz747 View Post
    Following on from my first thread on macro lens, I'm now asking how do you out there determine if a macro lens is good based on the specs alone, i.e. focal length, maximum aperture, etc.

    For eg, for a telephoto zoom lens, a lens with a small f-number is quite desirable.

    Hence, how do you judge a macro lens based on specs alone? How do I know if a certain macro lens is good or not?
    u dun. u rent, and bring it out to shoot. u wont know the optical qualities unless u use them. CA, distortion, vignetting are factors u might wanna consider too, beyond just max aperture and focal length.

    just my 2 cents. this applies to every lens you are planning to buy actually

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    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you judge a macro lens based on its specs alone?

    Quote Originally Posted by wizz747 View Post
    Following on from my first thread on macro lens, I'm now asking how do you out there determine if a macro lens is good based on the specs alone, i.e. focal length, maximum aperture, etc.

    For eg, for a telephoto zoom lens, a lens with a small f-number is quite desirable.

    Hence, how do you judge a macro lens based on specs alone? How do I know if a certain macro lens is good or not?
    There is only 1 true zoom macro lens and it's from Nikon.

    The other zoom macros are not true macro lenses as they do not offer full 1:1 reproduction ratios (nor even a 1:2).

    Look out for the working distance you require as well as cost. Each range has a rough pricing.
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

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    Default Re: How do you judge a macro lens based on its specs alone?

    Alright, thanks for 2 replies mates.
    Canon EOS 550D. 18-55mm. 50mm f/1.8 II.

  5. #5
    Senior Member NovJoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: How do you judge a macro lens based on its specs alone?

    Normally, macro lens are fixed focal length, starting from 50mm, 60mm, 100mm, 105mm, 125mm, 135mm, 150mm, 180mm and 200mm. These lens are also usually having a constant aperture of f/2, f/2.5, f/2.8, f/3.5. Among these lenses, the commonly and popularly used ones are Canon EF100mm USM f/2.8 (Both L & non-L), Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 and Tamron SP90 Di f/2.8.
    There are also many experts whom I know, use longer focal length like 135mm to 200mm, some even stack TC and ext tubes. For the extreme experts, I know a few who uses the Canon MP-65E lens which can goes from 1:1 to 5:1 when extended to the max.

    Though said, the lens is a gear that you'll use to get the shot you want so I concur with Allenleonhart that you should either borrow or rent these lens to test out yourself. The other way is to join the macro outings which are organized by members who are active in CS Macro section. Look under Gatherings and Outings section and you should be able to find a number of them. You can learn through outings like these as many experts will also be present to share their knowledge with you.

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