Best Tele Macro

24

Comments

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,349Moderator
    I'd love a PC-E but the price - ay ay ay!

    Has nobody used a sigma 150 or 180 with OS?
    Always learning.
  • snakebunksnakebunk Posts: 936Member
    I have the Sigma 150/2.8 macro with OS. Like I said in my first comment af is not always perfect, otherwise it is a great lens. Optically it has the Sigma quality :).

    Here are two examples:

    http://www.snakebunk.com/photographs/aves/passeriformes/paridae/poecile_montanus_1449.jpg

    http://www.snakebunk.com/photographs/aves/passeriformes/paridae/poecile_montanus_1448.jpg
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,189Member
    edited June 2018
    well I have not done macro for 40 years but your comments tempted me to try the 100-400 sigma ( £404 ) on the wife's camera while we were at the bird reserve..no butterfly's about but I was surprised to get butterfly size flowers filling the D7100 frame from about 5 ft . what I did find was that the fine focus adjust set for 400 mm at infinity was clearly a little out a 5 ft …...oh $h1t I sold the dock .. Will try again and stop down to 11 or 16 and let you know. I had used The tam 150-600 to photograph spiders but from about 20 ft ( a bit silly ..sold it anyway)
    Post edited by Pistnbroke on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,349Moderator
    @snakebunk - When I click trough to the image I can't see settings. I have seen a couple of shots from that lens elsewhere and the colours are great, but I have yet to be convinced about ultimate sharpness. I do miss the old DxOMark site for comparisons.

    Your comments about the AF are a concern, but the D850 has great AF, maybe it would help there.

    @Pistnbroke - The trouble with using telephotolenses for close-up is that they are always less sharp than a purpose designed macro lens.

    If I were you I would leave your fine-tune alone if it is right at the distance you normally use it.
    Always learning.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,189Member
    True Spray leave it where it is ( tape it up ha ha ) but I will use what I have at the Nature reserve and see if a true tele macro is justified. what I have found is that about 200mm is a good compromise ..sorry to agree with Rockwell !!
    Will follow your search conclusions.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,433Member
    My perfect macro would be a 400mm f/5.6 with a 2 or 3 times reproduction ratio. No need for it to be able to focus past six or seven feet.
  • DenverShooterDenverShooter Posts: 367Member

    My perfect macro would be a 400mm f/5.6 with a 2 or 3 times reproduction ratio. No need for it to be able to focus past six or seven feet.

    Whoa....

    Denver Shooter
  • flipflip Posts: 149Member
    +1 on the 400 5.6 with vr and high magn.

    I still use a 1970s 400f5.6 nikkor mf edif. Between f 6.3 and f11 it can be used on the d810 and obtain very sharp results. Ca is a real problem however with strong backlighting or sidelighting. F11 mitigates much of it. With an extension tube, fine images of larger butterflies, frogs, snakes etc are very good -again stopped down.
  • NSXTypeRNSXTypeR Posts: 2,161Member
    I think putting extension tubes on a 400mm lens would be very interesting, but I'd hate for the camera to fall off if the extension tubes were poorly built.
    Nikon D7000/ Nikon D40/ Nikon FM2/ 18-135 AF-S/ 35mm 1.8 AF-S/ 105mm Macro AF-S/ 50mm 1.2 AI-S
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    edited June 2018
    I have the old 150 sigma non OS version.. it's a very nice lens. Very sharp. AutoFocus seems ok .. but at macro I usually don't use af so I can't say I have much exp with its af... it was my most favorite lens.. one thing though.. the d500 does not af with it in liveview. So that's a small annoyance.

    These days i have been playing with the new 16-80. Though have not tried macro with it yet... will see how that goes...soon.

    However, for telemacro these days I have been using my 70-200 f4 with the raynox close-up accessory. Not as sharp as the sigma but more convenient..problem is you can't get the working distance cos the close up lens requires/sets a very close max distance .. I have recently got another close-up filter with a bit more working distance... but have not tried it in the field yet... testing at home(not promising).. hope to also test the 70-200 with an extension ring.. soon. Have had fairly good results with an extension ring(kenko) with my old tamron 200-400 f5.6..

    Yeah a bit of macro playing (lens + accessory juggling)is overdue.. should be fun.

    Hope my ramblings helped.
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,349Moderator
    @heartyfisher - presumably it wouldn't have a problem with my D850?
    Always learning.
  • HankBHankB Posts: 222Member
    I wanted somewhat near-macro capability with reasonable working distance. My carry-one-bag rule (OK, I am lazy) rules out a big, long, true macro lens, so I got a Canon 500D close-up lens (that’s the 500mm = 2 diopter model) for my 70-200mm zoom. Conventional wisdom is that for longer lenses, a close-up lens works better than extension tubes.

    My quick and dirty calculations of macro magnifications are that this close-up lens triples the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II (a lens with major focus breathing) from its native 0.13x to a useable 0.38x. But I find this configuration narrows the focus range to the point of making the lens focus ring useless and therefore, the close-up lens too annoying to bother with. I have never bothered to critically look at its IQ.

    Interestingly, the 18-300 f/3.5-6.3 DX lens I occasionally travel with can give reasonable results also at 0.38x without any close-up attachments.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member

    @heartyfisher - presumably it wouldn't have a problem with my D850?

    If you mean the old sigma 150 2.8.. dunno. The sigma worked well with my D610,D7200,D7000,D70 (not that I remember doing much live view with them). Just doesnt want to af live view with my D500.. Normal through the viewfinder AF works fine though..

    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,189Member
    Spray ...WEX have one at £267 and a 30 day no quibble return ...buy try return and look for a less worn example (about £350)
  • JohnEJohnE Posts: 4Member
    I went through the same search process and finally decided on the Sigma 180. I use it on both D500s and a D850. Sharpness is as crisp as could be desired. What I find most challenging is subjects that are moving, even a little bit. With the extremely shallow DoF any movement takes the subject our of focus. I therefore shoot even more images than I do at a sporting event. My shooting ratio with macro subjects is much lower than any other subject, but when you hit the shot, it is spot on and I have no issues with the optics, but I do have a couple of other bones to pick with it. The AF is a bit slow compared to other high end lenses. The tripod foot is nearly useless without an aftermarket plate. The lens is also not weatherproof.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,189Member
    150mm f2.8 £300 180mm f2.8 £1300 ...WTF
  • EricBowlesEricBowles Posts: 26Member
    I've got two lenses I use for butterflies - the Nikon 300 f/4 and the Sigma 150 f/2.8 non-OS. I use the Nikon 300 f/4 with extension tubes and it's my first choice for entire butterflies. The Sigma is better for high magnification for part of butterflies. The key for me with the 150 macro lens is you need to be close enough to have more magnification than the 300 f/4 combination - and that's a distance of about 3 feet from the subject. If you can't get to that distance, it does not do much good to have a macro lens and you might as well use the 300mm with extension. For subjects at 4 feet and further, my first choice is the 300 f/4. The minimum focus distance of the 300 f/4 is around 4 1/2 feet (magnification .27 times) but closer to 4 feet with extension. The Sigma has a minimum focus distance of around 18 inches but less magnification at longer distances.

    I don't think VR/OS makes much difference. I'm photographing these subjects in full sun or bright light at 1/500 sec or more. If your shutter speed drops below 1/200 sec, subject motion is a problem. If you were to pick up an older Sigma 150 non-OS lens, it's very sharp but will need a firmware update to work on the D850. That update is free from Sigma.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,349Moderator
    Great information Guys! Now we are getting there.

    @Pistnbroke - I saw that one, but never thought of the buy and return thing. Thanks.

    @JohnE - I think the Sigma 180 OS is what I would like to end up with as it has a good edge over the 150mm OS on sharpness, although is about the same as the 150 non-OS in that way. The 180 OS concerns me as it may be too large and ungainly on the D850. Sharpness in macro is very important to me (see the images above).

    @Pistnbroke - yeah, too much for my budget, I hope to pick up a used one for 600?

    @EricBowles - I go for max detail up close around 1:2 or 1:3 often and when I tried the Nikon 105 VR I found the VR helpful. I am 64 and have given up caffeine to hold my camera and rifles steadier. This shot was 1/60th second:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/spraynpray/30706999175/sizes/o/

    Thanks for your input guys, it all helps.

    Always learning.
  • HankBHankB Posts: 222Member
    The handheld technique I use is back button focus to very quickly shift focus to the right range, then lift off the BBF button to go into manual focus. In other words, I really love having AF even though final focus is manual — usually by moving the camera instead of the manual focus ring.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,349Moderator
    edited July 2018
    Interesting @Hank. I only use MF if the butterfly is roosting, other times AF-C. The D850 is brilliant in that mode. Got any pictures to show?
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • HankBHankB Posts: 222Member
    @spraynpray. No pictures I care to subject to criticism. I have long since realized, as have you, that macro sharpness requires a real macro lens. And for live subjects, requires lots of light — dual flash when in the shade, and reasonably long focal length.

    All this would require me violating my firm one-bag rule, so I just take macro-ish shots to entertain myself. I was hoping that the fairly compact Canon 500D closeup screw-on lens would work well with the 70-200 f/2.8, but I haven't had satisfactory results.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,189Member
    Spray ..I will be interested to see what lens you settle on ..I have tried all my lenses 24- 85 100-400 18-140 and 200-500 and while the 200-500 was the best its clear that to see the hairs on a butterflys wing you need the right lens .. How do you go with BIF that's butterflys in flight ??
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,349Moderator
    Hi @Pistnbroke: BIF's are the same lens that you were about to take a BIR (butterfly at rest) shot with but were a fraction of a second too late! The tiny DoF of any lens at that distance means there is a lot of luck involved even with the fantastic AF of the D850.

    I am lusting over the Sigma 180mm APO OS but they are expensive so may well end up with a used 150 non-OS which is as sharp, but not so long.
    Always learning.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,189Member
    Is the 180 f 3.5 no good ?
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,349Moderator
    Completely different (older) design which is not too sharp apparently plus it is slower which may not help AF so I will swerve that one thanks.
    Always learning.
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