Best magnification from normal-ish AF lens?

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EarthQuake Veteran Member • Posts: 3,077
Best magnification from normal-ish AF lens?

Jumping from M43 to FF has been smooth sailing, however, there is one thing that bugs me. Most FF minimum focus distances are about twice as long as M43 lenses, which makes sense, given the focal lengths are twice as long. With M43, I generally had no use for a dedicated macro lens, as I'm not particularly interested in 1:2-1:1 macro, I just like to take the occasion closeup of a flower or other small detail.

For me, the Panasonic 42.5/1.7 was excellent in this regard, with a MFD of 31cm and 0.2x (0.4x equivalent?) magnification.

I purchased a set of E mount extension tubes, which work but are a bit of a hassle to use. Of course, I can always frame wider and crop, but this negates the advantages of using a larger sensor system to some degree.

Anyway, thinking about this got me curious to see which non-macro AF prime lenses in the FE system, in the 35-85mm or so range, have the best magnification. I've only included native mirrorless designs (IE: no Sigma DSLR designs).

  1. Tamron 35/2.8, MFD: 15cm, 0.5x
  2. Batis 40/2, MFD: 24cm, 0.3x
  3. Sony 35/1.8, MFD: 22.1cm, 0.24x
  4. Sigma 35/1.2, Sony, and Samyang 35/1.4, MFD: ~30cm, ~0.18x
  5. Samyang 35/1.8, MFD: 19cm, 0.17x
  6. Sony 50/1.4 and 50/1.8, and Samyang 50/1.4 MFD: ~45cm, ~0.15x
  7. Sony 55/1.8, MFD: 50cm, 0.14x
  8. Samyang 75/1.8, MFD: 69cm, 0.13x
  9. Sony, Viltrox, and Batis 85/1.8, and Sony 85/1.4, MFD: ~80cm, ~0.13x
  10. Sony and Samyang 35/2.8, and Yongnuo 35/2, MFD: ~35mm, ~0.12x
  11. Samyang 45/1.8, MFD: 45cm, 0.12x
  12. Sigma 85/1.4, MFD: 85mm, 0.12x

The Tamron 35/2.8, Batis 40/2, and Sony 35/1.8 (which I own and love) seem to be the outliers with magnifications above 0.2x. These are useful lenses, but a little short for general-purpose closeups. Ah well, a Sony 50/2.8 may be in my future, unless I'm missing a longer lens with above-average MFD?

I wonder how the various standard zooms compare? It's difficult to get good magnification specs for these at different focal lengths / their best magnification is often at the wide end.

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