Looking for a "cheap" MD/MC macro lens.

Started Mar 7, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP JoeyCF3 Regular Member • Posts: 108
Re: Looking for a "cheap" MD/MC macro lens.

Letsgokoulos wrote:

JoeyCF3 wrote:

I read that "zoom lenses" produce poor quality on the NEX system. Is this just BS?

So if I pick up a 70-150 Vivitar lens, would that allow me to zoom/focus up close to insects?

Thanks guys!

Zoom lenses produce excellent quality on the Nex if they are of excellent quality. Many people here have been proving that point with various zoom lenses. So yes, it is BS.

Legacy zooms, although there are exceptions, usually are of lower quality than primes. When you go into macro photography, sharpness and accuracy are required, which is the reason why most people will select prime lenses.

I do not know the Vivitar 70-150mm f3.8, but the little I read about it is that is is labelled as "Close-focusing".
A Vivitar "Close focusing" usually means that you can get a good magnification ration sometimes close to 1:2, which may not be enough for insects. I use a Vivitar 135mm f2.8 "Close Focusing" prime, and the interest of this lens for me is that I can have a 1:2 magnification ratio at 50cm with a high quality. I do not think I would have a similar quality in a zoom lense from this era.

The most important step is to define what you want to photography, so that you can define the focal length you are interested in. Flowers ? A 50mm may be enough. Insects ? A 90-105mm may be a good start, but maybe 300mm may be necessary. Maybe you have some example pictures that you could link us to ??

The problem really is to be able to define what you would like to shoot, and to name your budget.


Understood.. now things are becoming a little clearer to me. I want it for flowers and shots of insects on flowers and branches.

Richie Beans wrote:

JoeyCF3 wrote:

Richie Beans wrote:

I read that "zoom lenses" produce poor quality on the NEX system. Is this just BS?

Total and complete BS.

I use my 35-70 and 70-210 and get great images with both. The macro capability is also stellar. However, there is NO IMAGE STABILIZATION. All those wankers that take crappy images with these zooms simply don't know how to hold a camera.... it's an old-school skill!

Do you know how happy this makes me? I've only been looking at prime lenses because of this BS rumor I heard!

Vivitar makes a 70-210 lens, correct? Do you have photos of the macro capability with your lens?

They seem to be pretty cheap on eBay.. I don't see any reason not to buy one lol.

I've been in the process of testing all of my legacy lenses after getting my 5R last month. I own both the vivitar and minolta 35-70. The reason I bought the minolta unit is because the i felt the vivitar was junk by comparison (this was 30 years ago). I recommend brand-name glass, especially since the cost is so low.

I was skeptical that I could get sharpness out of legacy zooms but was very surprised at how my old zooms have performed. The focus peaking feature really breathes new life into these units.

As far as primes go... they are in fact sharper, period. But if you got a NEX for it's compact size, why would you lug around 40lbs of prime glass?

Additionally, regarding primes, there's a trade-off when you have to start cropping your shots to get your subject. Plus, your cropped (prime-shot) image bokeh doesn't hold a candle to a zoomed bokeh.

What exactly is "cropping"? Is there an image where you can show me an example?

Also, what would be the real difference between a f3.5 and a f4.5 70-210mm Vivitar? Am I sacrificing a lot by getting the cheaper f4.5?

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