Wants to get into Macro photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Schnebar, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. Schnebar macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #1
    So I love the look and idea of Macro photos and want to start taking my own.

    My first thought was to get a camera and lens because my birthday is coming up soon.

    But my mom has a Nikon D70 which she only uses 3 weeks a year so she is letting me use it.

    She does not have a Macro lens but she does have a sigma 70-300 telephoto lens with a macro function which I think is 1-2

    I tried it out last night and got some good pictures but still wonder if it would be a lot better if I got a true macro 1-1 lens

    Then she has a sigma 28-90mm lens that also has a macro setting.

    Would that be better to use?

    I don't think I should get a new lens right now as I just started but any idea on what lens would be best to use or if there is a big advantage of getting a true macro lens would be great.

    And should I use the auto focus or the close up setting?

    Thanks
     
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #2
    If you are shotting from a tripod manual focus is easy and actually works best. I have a very old manual focus f/3.5 55mm "micro nikor" that
    I used with my D50.
    It is reviewed below You can buy these for maybe $75 on the used
    market
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/55f35ai.htm
    he says in the review he prefers the 105mm but with a crop body
    like the D50 the 55mm will act like a longer lens

    That is one of the best features of the Nikon system, lots of 30 year old lenses on the market that are cheap and still offer profesional quality results.
     
  3. Butthead macrumors 6502

    Butthead

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #3
    A macro lens (fixed focal lenght) as opposed to zoom with macro function. Zoom w/macro is more complex, hence some compromises in image quality. But you might not notice that the zoom macro doesn't have as flat a focus plane as the fixed focal lenght macro lens. May have more minor distortions that are more difficult to correct with software, depends on how picky/finicky you are.

    Use autofocus if it works for you. Keep in mind that macro shots typically have very, very narrow DOF; so you may want to use manual focus to select that area more accurately, than selected area the autofocus has focused on.

    You can also purchase extension tubes/bellows that will get you even greater magnification and even more shallow DOF. Since these could be transfered from one Nikon to another, you could practice on the D70 before deciding what you need/want to buy later.

    Lighting is another problem area, they sell macro light 'rings' that have a softer white light that surrounds the lens...someone else can quickly give you a link to those tools, I don't do much macro shooting yet, and don't have enough knowledge about it.

    Good point on trying an old dedicated macro lens, that costs less than a new one.
    Cannot Canon lenses 30yr old or so, also be used on their dSLR's, in manual mode?
     
  4. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040

    gwuMACaddict

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    washington dc
    #4
    What do you plan on doing with the photos? If it's just for fun, then the D70 should have enough resolution that you'll be able to crop the photos and still have an acceptable pixel count.

    I recently bought the Nikon 60mm Macro. I went with this one instead of the 105mm VR Macro because the 60mm can double as a portrait lens, gives me a little more flexibility when taking pictures that aren't Macro, and is about $300 cheaper than the 105mm.
     
  5. Schnebar thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    Location:
    California
    #5
    thanks for the help.

    I am doing it totally for fun and am not that picky at all.

    I use a tripod and might start trying adjusting the DOF instead of using AF

    I don't think I will get a new lens just yet so out of those two that I stated what one would be better?

    I noticed that the 70-300mm only does macro from 200-300mm so I have to be very far away.

    This might be good if I was shooting a bug or something but shooting other things it is kind of tough to move back.

    I just want to know what gives the best quality or the best true macro like picture.

    I understand the point about the 300mm being more complex so you compromise quality so that might be the answer.
     

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