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View Full Version : Questions for 35mm and 50mm macro owners!


steverh
5th May 2008, 05:48 PM
I hope I can pick your collective brains.

I'm thinking of getting a macro - but I'm not sure I want to run to the 50mm and the Sigma 105 is way too big and heavy!

How do you find the ZD 35mm? Is the focal length long enough for things like insects? I'm concerned about the distance between the front of the lens and the subject.

If you have used both, is there a big advantage to the 50mm (apart from the obvious aperture difference?) I'm not a portrait specialist so the potentially reduced DOF of the 50mm is not a big deal. I'm more concerned with the practicalities of macro work in reasonable daylight conditions.

I have a 100mm Minolta MD macro which I'll get working with an adapter real soon now(!), but the idea of a small macro in the bag, ready for immediate use, is very tempting.

ianc
5th May 2008, 06:29 PM
The major advantage of the 50mm is you can be further away from your subject. One of the problems with macro is that you have to get so close you block out most of the light. A focal length of around 50mm gives a good compromise between keeping your distance and retaining depth of field.

Ian C.

tiredandweary
5th May 2008, 07:23 PM
On the other hand, the 35mm offers "true macro" (i.e. the image on the sensor can be life size,) and costs less than half the price.
http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/wasp_1.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/3903)
And yes, it's fine for insects.

yorky
5th May 2008, 07:28 PM
The 35mm is certainly a fine sharp lens, but there is another alternative! The Sigma 105 f2.8. This is 1-1 but it lets you get a bit further away from insects etc. which can be useful. It is also a very fine lens.

steverh
6th May 2008, 02:22 PM
Thanks to all who replied.

I do like the look of the Sigma but it's a bit big and heavy. The idea of something I'm likely to carry all the time is very appealing, and
I'm leaning towards the 35mm at the moment. Tiredandweary's image is pretty startling!

The lens to subject distance is certainly a concern and obviously the 50mm has an advantage there. I'm sure it's better optically as well, but the 35mm looks pretty good.

I'm still open to other points of view...

Chillimonster
6th May 2008, 02:32 PM
The 50mm is virtually optically perfect and one of the sharpest lenses there is (According to many independant tests).

The F2.0 makes DOF play a joy and it doubles as a very good portrait lens (100mm EFL)

Chris

HughofBardfield
6th May 2008, 06:55 PM
The Sig 105mm is hardly massive, and doubles as a useful medium telephoto. I think it has nice bokeh. A Flickr contact regularly gets good bird shots with it. Big and heavy is obviously subjective, but I think it it compares well with all my other ZD lenses.

I liked the 35mm a lot and regret selling mine, but you do feel as thought you're going to squash the bug at the end of the lens. Off camera flash (on a bracket, with a cable, helps a lot.

The 50mm is outstanding, no question. But whether 1/2 life size (or 1:1 with the expensive teleconverter) is good enough is a matter for you...

Chillimonster
6th May 2008, 07:34 PM
The 50mm is outstanding, no question. But whether 1/2 life size (or 1:1 with the expensive teleconverter) is good enough is a matter for you...

1:1 is also available with the less expensive EX-25 25mm Extension Tube (or so i am informed)

steverh
6th May 2008, 07:47 PM
Thanks for all the comments!

I got a very decent quote from Kerso for the ZD 35 and 50mm lenses, decided that you only live once, and have just ordered the 50mm.

The 1:1 or 1:2 issue is interesting: my last macro lens would only go to 1:2 without the supplied extension tube, and I very rarely went to that level of magnification when "in the field". I'll see how it works out.

I wonder what the effect of the EC-14 teleconverter is? Has anyone tried it?

blu-by-u
7th May 2008, 02:33 AM
I have the 35 and the 105. If you are into portraiture, 35mm. the 105 is too long a lens for that.

If strictly macro..either would do but I prefer the 105 to the 35.

edited.. I forgot to add, I had the 50mm but I find it a hassle to use as it requires the EX25 to get 1:1 macro.

Here..2 shots of ants..105

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2044/2470561074_bef091d78c_m.jpg (http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2044/2470561074_bef091d78c_b.jpg)

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3284/2470561320_8a0f0a36a0_m.jpg (http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3284/2470561320_8a0f0a36a0_b.jpg)

OlyFlyer
7th May 2008, 07:55 AM
Thanks for all the comments!

I got a very decent quote from Kerso for the ZD 35 and 50mm lenses, decided that you only live once, and have just ordered the 50mm.

The 1:1 or 1:2 issue is interesting: my last macro lens would only go to 1:2 without the supplied extension tube, and I very rarely went to that level of magnification when "in the field". I'll see how it works out.

I wonder what the effect of the EC-14 teleconverter is? Has anyone tried it?I don't have the EC-14 but what it does is it increases the focal length by 40% without increasing the minimum focus distance, which in practical terms it means it increases magnification by 40% as well, without decrease of working distance. In the case of the 50mm, which is a 1:2 lens, that lens becomes a 0.73x or 1:1.37 lens. Unfortunatelly, it steals some ligt as well, which is the case even if you use the EX-25.

steverh
7th May 2008, 09:20 AM
I don't have the EC-14 but what it does is it increases the focal length by 40% without increasing the minimum focus distance, which in practical terms it means it increases magnification by 40% as well, without decrease of working distance. In the case of the 50mm, which is a 1:2 lens, that lens becomes a 0.73x or 1:1.37 lens. Unfortunatelly, it steals some ligt as well, which is the case even if you use the EX-25.

Thanks for that - some interesting experimentation is called for! I suspect it might be useful.