Macro for Sony Alpha

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by JaffaB, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. JaffaB

    JaffaB Guest

    Hi,

    Can anybody recommend a good Macro lens for the Sony Alpha (i.e, a
    Minolta fitting). I have been looking around and I am starting to get
    confused on what is out there, and the differences beteen a dedicated
    Macro and a standard Zoon (28-80 say) with Macro facilities.

    I have been looking at the Sigma F2.8 Macro EX DG lens, and it seems
    about right, but some people have stered me away from this saying its
    ok standard lens, but not so good as a macro.

    Also, dont want to pay the earth, and I have a good standard lens.
    Looking for something that really helps with the Macro shots

    Thanks in advance.
     
    JaffaB, Nov 27, 2006
    #1
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  2. JaffaB

    jeremy Guest

    "JaffaB" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi,
    >
    > Can anybody recommend a good Macro lens for the Sony Alpha (i.e, a
    > Minolta fitting). I have been looking around and I am starting to get
    > confused on what is out there, and the differences beteen a dedicated
    > Macro and a standard Zoon (28-80 say) with Macro facilities.
    >
    >


    Don't confuse a true macro with a zoom lens that is purported to have a
    macro function.

    True macros are computed to offer optimal resolution at close range, as
    opposed to virtually all other lenses that are optimized for infinity. True
    macros focus much closer than non-macro lenses do. True macro lenses
    feature flat-field coverage with virtually no rectilinear distortion.
    Straight lines stay straight, they don't bow in or out. True macro lenses
    typically are bright right out to the corners, rather than have the light
    falloff that is common on other lenses.

    Unfortunately, true macro lenses cost more money. One way to save might be
    to purchase a used macro lens, especially if you won't be using it as a
    workhorse lens. There may the ability to use lenses of other mounts, with
    an appropriate adapter.

    You can explore using your normal lens, with screw-on close-up lenses. You
    can also get a lens reversing ring for use with a normal lens. And there
    are extension tubes or bellows units that will let you use a normal lens for
    close-up work, BUT these solutions are all compromises. If you want true
    macro characteristics, such as I listed above, there is really no substitute
    for a true macro lens. If a real macro lens is within your budget you will
    not regret buying the real thing. You must decide the question of cost
    versus functionality based on your own unique requirements.
     
    jeremy, Nov 27, 2006
    #2
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  3. In article <>,
    "JaffaB" <> wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > Can anybody recommend a good Macro lens for the Sony Alpha (i.e, a
    > Minolta fitting). I have been looking around and I am starting to get
    > confused on what is out there, and the differences beteen a dedicated
    > Macro and a standard Zoon (28-80 say) with Macro facilities.


    Jaffa-

    You might elaborate on how you want to use the lens. Do you just want
    to create a close-up image of someone's face, or do you want to make an
    image of something like a coin that fills the frame?

    For small objects, you might consider getting a set of "close-up"
    supplementary lenses with the correct thread size to screw into the
    front of a lens you already have.

    A set will usually have three simple lenses with +1, +2 and +4 diopter
    values. You stack them to get a value equal to the sum of the
    individual values. With various combinations you get values up to +7.
    The diopter value is the reciprocal of the lens focal length, expressed
    in meters. With all three, you can get closer than 1/7 meter (a little
    under 6 inches). This is with the main lens focused to infinity, so it
    will actually work a little closer when you refocus.

    Fred
     
    Fred McKenzie, Nov 27, 2006
    #3
  4. JaffaB

    JaffaB Guest

    Fred McKenzie wrote:

    > You might elaborate on how you want to use the lens. Do you just want
    > to create a close-up image of someone's face, or do you want to make an
    > image of something like a coin that fills the frame?
    >


    I would be looking for the Macro for close up work - coins, models,
    flowers, plants, toadstools etc. I was looking at the screw in close
    up filters, but I thought the quality was very bad.
     
    JaffaB, Nov 28, 2006
    #4
  5. In article <>,
    "JaffaB" <> wrote:

    > I would be looking for the Macro for close up work - coins, models,
    > flowers, plants, toadstools etc. I was looking at the screw in close
    > up filters, but I thought the quality was very bad.


    Jaffa-

    I wouldn't say VERY bad, but you have a point. Still, a set would be a
    relatively inexpensive way to get started. I have a couple of different
    thread-size sets in my collection.

    With regard to various lenses with Macro capability, many inexpensive
    zoom lenses that make the claim are less than ideal. Close focusing is
    about all they offer, which is equivalent to using the screw-in lenses.
    I understand a true Macro lens offers flat-field focusing, compared to
    spherical-field focusing of normal lenses.

    You might look for a used Minolta Dynax or Maxxum lens that claims to
    have Macro capability. It will most likely be single focal length
    instead of zoom.

    The Sony Alpha owner's manual does not seem to have a list of compatible
    lenses, but it does mention the Mode dial's "Macro" setting. However, I
    couldn't tell much difference when I tried it using the kit lens.

    Fred
     
    Fred McKenzie, Nov 29, 2006
    #5
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