Macro lenses longer than 60mm?

Started Apr 28, 2014 | Discussions thread
Godfrey Forum Pro • Posts: 29,390
Re: 50-200 (SWD) w/1.4 TC

TwoMetreBill wrote:

Macro lenses are sharpest up close but
not so much at longer distances, not a
surprise of course but something we
often forget.

For example I owned both the Sigma
180 f/3.5 Macro and Nikon 80-200 f/2.8D
lenses. Below 5' the Sigma was
noticeably sharper while the Nikon
clearly superior above that. This for the
optimal apertures of f/8-11.

So I'm wondering about edge to edge
sharpness of the 50-200 (w/wo SWD)
with and without the 1.4 TC. This would
be for prints around 24x32.

Or should I just go with the Zeiss
100mm f/2.0 macro? I grew up before
the era of AE and AF so I can live
without those features if necessary.

I can't answer your question. I doubt that a zoom lens—any zoom lens, even an excellent one like the ZD 50-200 with its matched teleconverter—will outperform a dedicated Zeiss macro lens if you're focusing on what the macro lens was designed to do.

On the other hand, the 50-200 is a superb performer with and without the teleconverter (some claim the teleconverter improves it) and can easily make photographs suitable for very large scale prints if used to good advantage.

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