Macro, minimum focusing distance?


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Nov 15, 2008
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#1
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.:think:

Can someone help me out on this?
 

night86mare

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#3
oh.. this is not a true macro lens..

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

Nov 15, 2008
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#4
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?
 

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parampita

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#5
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.
 

ombre

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Sep 3, 2008
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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.
 

Rashkae

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#7
It's simply because you can achieve a macro-like effect at full tele.
 

giantcanopy

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#8
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
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.
 

Galdor

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#10
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.
 

Leong23

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Oct 18, 2007
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#11
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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