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Is this really right?

gbowen

Canton, US
1111 posts

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gbowen Gold Member Nikonian since 31st Mar 2011
Mon 22-Oct-12 10:56 AM

I was perusing Really Right Stuff's site yesterday, when I came across this. Tell me what you think of it, particularly the section dealing with 105s.

"The most generally popular “macro lens” is about 50 to 60mm in focal length. That’s good for stamps & coins, but lousy for nature and wildlife work. That focal length is too short to provide adequate working distance, and the angle of coverage is too wide to isolate the subject.

The next step is a “macro lens” in a 100mm to 105mm focal length. These are better, but still entail a lot of compromise in actual usage. Here’s why:

Working distance: It’s simply not adequate for live subjects. The modern 105mm focal length “macro” lens turns out to be 80mm when it’s close-focused.

Angle of coverage: It’s too wide to provide good control of background selectivity. It’s very difficult to truly isolate the subject—make it “pop.”

No tripod collar: Most 105mm “macros” don’t have a rotating collar. Given the difficulties implicit in careful closeup focusing and framing, it’s truly agonizing to begin all over again when you want to swing from horizontal to vertical aspect (although much less so if your camera is equipped with an RRS L-plate). Beware of the poorly executed collar on the original Canon 100mm/f2.8 lens (non-IS version): it’s much too close to the lens mount, and the lens plate on the foot will hit certain camera body grips when rotating from horizontal to vertical.

These shortcomings are all neatly solved by the 180-200mm “macros”. They offer double the working distance, tight acceptance angles for easy background control, superior balance & stability, and the convenience of a tripod collar. Love those 200mm macros!

Another advantage gained when using any 200mm focal length lens for closeups is the more evenly distributed lighting that the subject receives when using flash. The lens’ longer working distance mitigates inverse square law light fall-off. A strobe can be applied with more natural results and there’s less background light fall-off."

George

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G