Macro confusion

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by quess who, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. quess who

    quess who Guest

    I am planning to buy my first dslr. I also do a lot of closeup flower
    photography with my digital compact camera. The focal length of the
    macro lenses has me totally confused. Which would a better lens for my
    primary purpose of photographing flowers on a table top -- 50mm or
    100mm? Also what would be the affect of putting a non digital lens on
    a dslr? For example if I put a Pentax AF 50mm macro on the new Pentax
    100k what would be the effect?
    quess who, Sep 21, 2006
    #1
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  2. quess who wrote:
    > I am planning to buy my first dslr. I also do a lot of closeup flower
    > photography with my digital compact camera. The focal length of the
    > macro lenses has me totally confused. Which would a better lens for my
    > primary purpose of photographing flowers on a table top -- 50mm or
    > 100mm? Also what would be the affect of putting a non digital lens on
    > a dslr? For example if I put a Pentax AF 50mm macro on the new Pentax
    > 100k what would be the effect?


    Even in macro mode the distance the camera is from the object (which is
    generally related to focal length) does affect perspective. With a
    flower this is not likely to be significant, unless you are looking for
    an effect. A 50 mm lens will make the flower look more massive than
    the 100. With an SLR, you can see this effect through the viewer, so
    it is not really much concern. It is more of a concern with
    advertising photography, where the intent is often to make the product
    or package look "larger", or for scale model photography where the
    intent is to make a small model look like a large prototype.

    I know that focal length per se does not affect perspective, but the
    point is that in order to have the object cover the same percentage of
    the frame, you will be shooting closer to the object with a 50mm lens
    than with a 100mm lens.
    Don Stauffer in Minnesota, Sep 21, 2006
    #2
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  3. quess who

    Bob Salomon Guest

    In article <>,
    "Don Stauffer in Minnesota" <> wrote:

    > A 50 mm lens will make the flower look more massive than
    > the 100.


    That is not perspective. That is foreshortening.

    The shorter the focal length the larger things will appear that are
    closer to the lens.

    Not only would the flower be possibly abnormally large it would also
    exaggerate its' shape. A longer lens would make the flower look more
    realistic.

    --
    To reply no_ HPMarketing Corp.
    Bob Salomon, Sep 21, 2006
    #3
  4. quess who wrote:
    > I am planning to buy my first dslr. I also do a lot of closeup flower
    > photography with my digital compact camera. The focal length of the
    > macro lenses has me totally confused. Which would a better lens for my
    > primary purpose of photographing flowers on a table top -- 50mm or
    > 100mm? Also what would be the affect of putting a non digital lens on
    > a dslr? For example if I put a Pentax AF 50mm macro on the new Pentax
    > 100k what would be the effect?


    Don't know about the Pentax part, but would observe that one can achieve
    more control over DoF with a DSLR, and one gets a shallower DoF
    possible with a longer lens. Therefor, in shooting some flowers, I use
    my 70-200 ƒ2.8 wide open to nicely blur the background. No macro involved.

    --
    john mcwilliams

    Coach: "Are you just ignorant, or merely apathetic?"
    Player: "Coach, I don't know, and I don't care."
    John McWilliams, Sep 21, 2006
    #4
  5. quess who

    Bob Williams Guest

    quess who wrote:
    > I am planning to buy my first dslr. I also do a lot of closeup flower
    > photography with my digital compact camera. The focal length of the
    > macro lenses has me totally confused. Which would a better lens for my
    > primary purpose of photographing flowers on a table top -- 50mm or
    > 100mm? Also what would be the affect of putting a non digital lens on
    > a dslr? For example if I put a Pentax AF 50mm macro on the new Pentax
    > 100k what would be the effect?


    The "Crop Factor" on your Pentax K100 is about 1.5.
    So the 50 mm lens on the K100, would act like a 75 mm lens acts on a
    conventional 35 mm SLR.
    Similarly a 100 mm Macro lens would would act like a 175 mm lens.
    The main difference is that the closest focus of the 100 mm lens is
    farther away from the subject than with the 50 mm lens.
    This can be helpful when photographing close ups of insects etc., that
    may be spooked if you get too close to them.
    Also the 100 mm lens would probably render the flower closer to its
    natural shape because the foreshortening effect would be less pronounced.
    Bob Williams
    Bob Williams, Sep 21, 2006
    #5
  6. quess who

    Bill Funk Guest

    On Thu, 21 Sep 2006 13:45:14 GMT, quess who <>
    wrote:

    >I am planning to buy my first dslr. I also do a lot of closeup flower
    >photography with my digital compact camera. The focal length of the
    >macro lenses has me totally confused. Which would a better lens for my
    >primary purpose of photographing flowers on a table top -- 50mm or
    >100mm? Also what would be the affect of putting a non digital lens on
    >a dslr?


    Without getting into the properties of photons, all lenses act as
    analog devices; the distinction is one of construction.
    In "digital" lenses, there are differences made to account for
    characteristics of digital cameras, as opposed to film cameras.
    For example, the sensor will reflect more light than film does, as a
    rule, so "digital" lenses may have coatings on some elements to reduce
    flaring from those reflections.
    Also, on 'crop-factor' cameras (especially DSLRs) the "digital" lens
    may have a smaller image circle, meaning less weight/smaller
    dimensions/lower cost than a "normal" lens. (See, for example, Canon's
    EF-S lenses.)
    >For example if I put a Pentax AF 50mm macro on the new Pentax
    >100k what would be the effect?


    I have no idea.

    --
    Bill Funk
    replace "g" with "a"
    Bill Funk, Sep 21, 2006
    #6
  7. quess who

    Bob Williams Guest

    Bob Williams wrote:
    >
    >
    > quess who wrote:
    >
    >> I am planning to buy my first dslr. I also do a lot of closeup flower
    >> photography with my digital compact camera. The focal length of the
    >> macro lenses has me totally confused. Which would a better lens for my
    >> primary purpose of photographing flowers on a table top -- 50mm or
    >> 100mm? Also what would be the affect of putting a non digital lens on
    >> a dslr? For example if I put a Pentax AF 50mm macro on the new Pentax
    >> 100k what would be the effect?

    >
    >
    > The "Crop Factor" on your Pentax K100 is about 1.5.
    > So the 50 mm lens on the K100, would act like a 75 mm lens acts on a
    > conventional 35 mm SLR.
    > Similarly a 100 mm Macro lens would would act like a 175 mm lens.
    > The main difference is that the closest focus of the 100 mm lens is
    > farther away from the subject than with the 50 mm lens.
    > This can be helpful when photographing close ups of insects etc., that
    > may be spooked if you get too close to them.
    > Also the 100 mm lens would probably render the flower closer to its
    > natural shape because the foreshortening effect would be less pronounced.
    > Bob Williams
    >

    OOps!
    The 100 mm lens on the K100 would act like a 150 mm lens would act on a
    35 mm SLR.
    Also, a 100 mm Macro would be longer, bulkier, heavier and more
    expensive than a 50 mm Macro.
    Bob Williams, Sep 22, 2006
    #7
  8. quess who

    jeremy Guest

    "Bob Williams" <> wrote in message
    news:4OJQg.50$UJ2.34@fed1read07...
    >
    >
    > Bob Williams wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >> quess who wrote:
    >>
    >>> I am planning to buy my first dslr. I also do a lot of closeup flower
    >>> photography with my digital compact camera. The focal length of the
    >>> macro lenses has me totally confused. Which would a better lens for my
    >>> primary purpose of photographing flowers on a table top -- 50mm or
    >>> 100mm? Also what would be the affect of putting a non digital lens on
    >>> a dslr? For example if I put a Pentax AF 50mm macro on the new Pentax
    >>> 100k what would be the effect?

    >>
    >>
    >> The "Crop Factor" on your Pentax K100 is about 1.5.
    >> So the 50 mm lens on the K100, would act like a 75 mm lens acts on a
    >> conventional 35 mm SLR.
    >> Similarly a 100 mm Macro lens would would act like a 175 mm lens.
    >> The main difference is that the closest focus of the 100 mm lens is
    >> farther away from the subject than with the 50 mm lens.
    >> This can be helpful when photographing close ups of insects etc., that
    >> may be spooked if you get too close to them.
    >> Also the 100 mm lens would probably render the flower closer to its
    >> natural shape because the foreshortening effect would be less pronounced.
    >> Bob Williams
    >>

    > OOps!
    > The 100 mm lens on the K100 would act like a 150 mm lens would act on a 35
    > mm SLR.
    > Also, a 100 mm Macro would be longer, bulkier, heavier and more expensive
    > than a 50 mm Macro.
    >



    True. But one problem shooting with macro lenses of shorter focal lengths
    is that one has to get the lens close to the subject, making it difficult to
    light the subject properly. The longer focal length allows the lens to be
    positioned farther away from the subject and that often makes for better
    light to fall on the subject.

    I have 50mm and 100mm macros, and I rarely use the 50, just for that reason.
    jeremy, Sep 22, 2006
    #8
  9. "jeremy" <> wrote:

    > "Bob Williams" <> wrote
    > > Also, a 100 mm Macro would be longer, bulkier, heavier and more expensive
    > > than a 50 mm Macro.

    >
    > True. But one problem shooting with macro lenses of shorter focal lengths
    > is that one has to get the lens close to the subject, making it difficult to
    > light the subject properly. The longer focal length allows the lens to be
    > positioned farther away from the subject and that often makes for better
    > light to fall on the subject.
    >
    > I have 50mm and 100mm macros, and I rarely use the 50, just for that reason.


    Amen. My first SLR lens was a slightly used 100 MM Macro. Then I had
    to buy a body to put it on. It has served me well. I do a lot of
    flower photography, and with the 100 MM Macro, I can use a flash mounted
    near the camera with no problem. I can allow enough distance to allow
    natural light to hit the subject. I prefer fill flash, so natural light
    is very important. I can shoot insects without scarring them to death.
    When I need to travel light, I just use the 100 mm macro and a 35 mm
    wide angle. With those 2 lenses I can do 99% of my shots. To me a 50
    mm macro is about the most useless lens made and is usually used with a
    ring flash which costs more than a 100 mm macro, or almost as much. A
    100 mm macro can use an ordinary system flash.

    --
    Pardon my spam deterrent; send email to
    Cheers, Steve Henning in Reading, PA USA
    http://home.earthlink.net/~rhodyman
    Stephen Henning, Sep 22, 2006
    #9
  10. quess who

    quess who Guest

    MY thanks to all who replied. It was most helpful. Unfortunately I
    cannot afford a 100mm macro so I got the 50mm. Haven't tried it yet,
    but I have this small orchid blooming in the greenhouse that will be a
    perfect candidate for my next shoot.

    On Thu, 21 Sep 2006 13:45:14 GMT, quess who <>
    wrote:

    >I am planning to buy my first dslr. I also do a lot of closeup flower
    >photography with my digital compact camera. The focal length of the
    >macro lenses has me totally confused. Which would a better lens for my
    >primary purpose of photographing flowers on a table top -- 50mm or
    >100mm? Also what would be the affect of putting a non digital lens on
    >a dslr? For example if I put a Pentax AF 50mm macro on the new Pentax
    >100k what would be the effect?
    quess who, Sep 23, 2006
    #10
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