Macro prime or stick with the 16-80 ZA

Started Feb 21, 2013 | Discussions thread
WaltKnapp Forum Pro • Posts: 13,857
Re: Macro prime or stick with the 16-80 ZA

idir wrote:


I'm struggling whether i should get a macro lens or no.

Recently I'm shooting more and more food and culinary stuff. I have to say I'm happy with my A65 + ZA 16-80

the question is what a macro lens would change? The ZA 16-80 focuses from 0.35 and I can have decent enlargements with it. the lens is also very sharp. so if i take one of the following lenses

SONY 50/2,8 macro

SONY 30/2,8 macro


Do you think it is worth going macro prime or keep on using the ZA 16-80.

If your copy of the 16-80 does not suffer from build problems and you can get the framing/magnification you need without cropping then you are probably ok. Food and culinary is rarely macro and more like closeups. You can wait until you actually have something you can't shoot well with the 16-80 but you can with a macro.

Not so sure 50mm is what you would find best, 100mm is generally a better range of working room unless you are photographing in very confined spaces. I have both lengths in Minolta D macros and the 50mm is rarely used in my macro shooting while the 100mm is the workhorse.  (I also have the Minolta 200mm G macro, but it's too much working distance a lot of the time)

The Sony 30mm macro is hardly worth considering for macro work (I do have one, bought out of curiosity).  That short a focal length pushes you right up against your work, often making lighting a real problem.  If you back off and only do medium closeup with it that can be done, but there is nothing special about it for that and your 16-80 can do that sort of closeup.  Also at 30mm perspective gets distorted in macro work the relative size of closer vs farther parts of the subject becomes unreal.

If some of your work involves photographing flat subjects the macros are designed for flat field photography.  Before the advent of xerox they were our copy machines. The 16-80 zeiss is not quite a flat field, though not too bad.

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