Dedicated Macro lens "better" for flower shots?

Started Dec 26, 2017 | Discussions
Brian P Smith Contributing Member • Posts: 644
Dedicated Macro lens "better" for flower shots?

Recently made a thread in the Sony FF forum asking about the 90mm macro vs adapting a Canon 100mm Macro which had some good responses. But it got me thinking, do I really need a dedicated macro lens for my intended shooting purposes? "Macro" for me is not tripod, macro flash, close in on bugs etc; it's more along the lines of flower/leaf photography using "close focus" and in fact in the past I'd just just my olympus 12-40mm pro with a closer focus distance, which served me well.  Below is an example shot of what I'd normal do, and I think a dedicated Macro lens would help, but not be required...

 Brian P Smith's gear list:Brian P Smith's gear list
Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm X-T3 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4G ED VR Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 27mm F2.8 +4 more
D Cox Forum Pro • Posts: 26,384
Re: Dedicated Macro lens "better" for flower shots?

If you aren't going to shoot little flowers, you don't need a macro lens. Even if you occasionally shoot little flowers, you may find that a close-up lens is all you need.

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Sigma fp
BBbuilder467 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,404
What size are the flowers ?

Brian P Smith wrote:

Recently made a thread in the Sony FF forum asking about the 90mm macro vs adapting a Canon 100mm Macro which had some good responses. But it got me thinking, do I really need a dedicated macro lens for my intended shooting purposes? "Macro" for me is not tripod, macro flash, close in on bugs etc; it's more along the lines of flower/leaf photography using "close focus" and in fact in the past I'd just just my olympus 12-40mm pro with a closer focus distance, which served me well. Below is an example shot of what I'd normal do, and I think a dedicated Macro lens would help, but not be required...

You might need a macro lens for the FF to match the same framing that you get with a native lens for m4/3. A flower could be the size of a US dime or a coffee mug and my flowers/buds could be tiny, but nobody would realize that. A lot of my flowers are no bigger than a US penny, so I need the macro.

OP Brian P Smith Contributing Member • Posts: 644
Re: What size are the flowers ?

BBbuilder467 wrote:

Brian P Smith wrote:

Recently made a thread in the Sony FF forum asking about the 90mm macro vs adapting a Canon 100mm Macro which had some good responses. But it got me thinking, do I really need a dedicated macro lens for my intended shooting purposes? "Macro" for me is not tripod, macro flash, close in on bugs etc; it's more along the lines of flower/leaf photography using "close focus" and in fact in the past I'd just just my olympus 12-40mm pro with a closer focus distance, which served me well. Below is an example shot of what I'd normal do, and I think a dedicated Macro lens would help, but not be required...

You might need a macro lens for the FF to match the same framing that you get with a native lens for m4/3. A flower could be the size of a US dime or a coffee mug and my flowers/buds could be tiny, but nobody would realize that. A lot of my flowers are no bigger than a US penny, so I need the macro.

I've always had trouble with "equivalency" talk but shouldn't the framing of about 80-90mm be similar on FF as with the above shot at 40mm on m4/3?

 Brian P Smith's gear list:Brian P Smith's gear list
Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm X-T3 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4G ED VR Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 27mm F2.8 +4 more
BBbuilder467 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,404
Re: What size are the flowers ?

Brian P Smith wrote:

BBbuilder467 wrote:

Brian P Smith wrote:

Recently made a thread in the Sony FF forum asking about the 90mm macro vs adapting a Canon 100mm Macro which had some good responses. But it got me thinking, do I really need a dedicated macro lens for my intended shooting purposes? "Macro" for me is not tripod, macro flash, close in on bugs etc; it's more along the lines of flower/leaf photography using "close focus" and in fact in the past I'd just just my olympus 12-40mm pro with a closer focus distance, which served me well. Below is an example shot of what I'd normal do, and I think a dedicated Macro lens would help, but not be required...

You might need a macro lens for the FF to match the same framing that you get with a native lens for m4/3. A flower could be the size of a US dime or a coffee mug and my flowers/buds could be tiny, but nobody would realize that. A lot of my flowers are no bigger than a US penny, so I need the macro.

I've always had trouble with "equivalency" talk but shouldn't the framing of about 80-90mm be similar on FF as with the above shot at 40mm on m4/3?

You don't need to bother with equivalent. Just divide the sensor size by the magnification of the specific lens. It has nothing to do with the focal length. Non-macro lenses are different.

Some m4/3 zoom lenses have as much as 0.3x magnification  at minimum focus. That's 57mm across the frame. This flower could be 43mm in diameter.

Gary from Seattle Veteran Member • Posts: 4,718
Re: Dedicated Macro lens "better" for flower shots?

For most flowers you don't need macro, just close focus. The 12-40 has .3x magnification and that is usually adequate. A macro lens like the 60mm macro comes into play when documenting very small flowers perhaps 3 or so mm in diameter. The other uses of macro is to be able to distinguish botanical details like the shape, size and distribution of hairs on the flower stem or leaves; and also, when making an artistic image where only part of the flower is in focus.

Nama demissa Owen's Valley

Colombia larsenii Mt. Rainier

Lewisopsis tweedyi Wenatchee Mountains

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Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm F2.8 OIS +3 more
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