Macro lens for Sony Nex: SEL30M35 or Vintage/Legacy manual focus?

Started Feb 14, 2013 | Questions thread
Brian Zhou
Regular MemberPosts: 116
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Re: Macro lens for Sony Nex: SEL30M35 or Vintage/Legacy manual focus?
In reply to Prembo, Feb 14, 2013

It really depends on what kind of macro you want to do. For flower, half life size is sufficient; for insect eyes, you want > 1:1 magnification. For insect macro, the working distance is also important. The longer the focal length, the longer the working distance.

Most zooms marked with "macro" are not real macro, cannot achieve half life size magnification.

Macro lenses are typically a little too sharp for portrait. For portrait, subject isolation usually is more important. The traditional focal length (Field of view really) for portraiture is 85mm - 135mm. With NEX's 1.5x crop factor, you're looking at 55mm - 90mm.

There're some excellent legacy macro lenses in that range if your main purpose is macro. Micro Nikkor 55mm f/2.8 or f/3.5, Konica Hexanon 55mm f/3.5 Macro, Tamron Adaptall-2 90mm f/2.5 Macro, Tokina AT-X 90mm f/2.5 Macro. 50mm, 100mm, or 105mm is not far either.

If your main purpose is portrait, I'd also consider a 85mm f/1.8 legacy lens, you can use it for macro with some high quality achromatic close-up add-on.

If you're not sure, consider a 70-150mm zoom lens that can focus relatively close, such as Vivitar 70-150mm/3.8, Nikon Series E 75-150mm/3.5, or Kiron 70-150mm/4.

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