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Macro..Sacrifice quality for working distance?

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  • Macro..Sacrifice quality for working distance?

    Should I sacrifice quality for working distance, what say you?

    I favour IQ over ED.

    I have a Panny 60mm macro and a Panny 75-300 with extension tubes.

    The working distance for the 60mm (end of hood to subject) to get a butterfly to nearly fill the frame is 7".

    For the 75-300mm at the 300 end, the WD is 39"-54"... yes I know, it's a dream.

    With the 300 + tubes I get many more shots but of reduced quality.

    60mm....100% crop of OOC JPG.
    P7190539-100%-60mm by Dave in Wales, on Flickr

    300mm + tubes..100% crop of OOC JPG.
    P7190542-100%-300mm+ET by Dave in Wales, on Flickr

  • #2
    Re: Macro..Sacrifice quality for working distance?

    I have the Olympus 60mm macro and I tried various combinations with extension tubes.I was never satisfied with the results.I bought a sigma 150 macro,it has the reach,very good image quality.Autofocus can be slow but the lens has a focus ring,3 position focus limiter if you want to speed things up.This is my lens of choice for dragonfly/butterfly photography.The hardest part is finding one.

    P5300057 by Keith Ross, on Flickr

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    • #3
      Re: Macro..Sacrifice quality for working distance?

      I favor IQ over most things. I do however find the extra working distance to be of value for some subjects and where the lighting requires it.

      Graham

      We often repeat the mistakes we most enjoy...

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Macro..Sacrifice quality for working distance?

        I prefer IQ first too. I already had the Sigma 150 macro lens & later added the Oly 60mm macro. I too have tried extension tubes with that (Oly 60mm) & other lenses with less success, but the EX25 (4/3's extension tube) with the Sigma 150 macro lens works well though (as would a M4/3's ext tube set with that lens, I would think).
        Ross
        I fiddle with violins (when I'm not fiddling with a camera).
        Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ross-the-fiddler/
        Cameras: OM-D E-M1 & Mk II, Olympus Stylus 1, OM-D E-M5.
        Lenses: M.ZD7-14mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD40-150mm f2.8 PRO Lens, MC-14, MC-20, M.ZD45mm f1.8, M.ZD12-50, M.ZD60 Macro, M.ZD75-300 Mk II, MMF-3, ZD14-54 II, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM.
        Flashes: FL36R X2, FL50R, FL50.
        Software: Capture One Pro 10 (& Olympus Viewer 3).

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Macro..Sacrifice quality for working distance?

          Whilst IQ is definitely important if you don't have enough working distance your subject may not remain to be photographed...
          Once you have enough working distance for your stalking skills (or lighting for static subjects) more working distance is generally fairly irrelevant while more IQ is always good.
          Mike
          Compulsive photographic Dabbler.
          Flickr

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          • #6
            Re: Macro..Sacrifice quality for working distance?

            IQ is everything and the Sigma 150mm is a beauty I was considering selling it a while ago but then decided it wasn't worth letting it go after all.

            Tom
            "Who is watching the Watchers, watching the Watchers watching us"

            Its not what you see, it's the way that you see it"

            Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/photofxstudios

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            • #7
              Re: Macro..Sacrifice quality for working distance?

              Originally posted by tomphotofx View Post
              IQ is everything and the Sigma 150mm is a beauty I was considering selling it a while ago but then decided it wasn't worth letting it go after all.

              Tom
              Just out of interest, what is the working distance, end of hood to subject, for say a mag of 1:2?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Macro..Sacrifice quality for working distance?

                With my Kiron 105mm macro I have both. I can use a matched TC to increase working distance, with no visible loss of quality.

                Harold
                The body is willing but the mind is weak.

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                • #9
                  Re: Macro..Sacrifice quality for working distance?

                  Undoubtedly the 60mm is a superb lens IQ wise but the shorter working distance over a 150mm or even 300mm can be an issue in the field where you often have to get down and dirty for the smaller creatures. It is much easier to stealthily approach a wary insect on foot than doing a leopard crawl through the grass. There is the problem of reduced DoF when using longer lenses to be considered and DoF is more often than not the factor that makes or breaks a good macro shot. Personally I don't like the mechanism of focus limiting on the 60mm so I rarely use it - selling it on here soon!

                  David
                  PBase Galleries:-http://www.pbase.com/davidmorisonimages

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                  • #10
                    Re: Macro..Sacrifice quality for working distance?

                    Dave in Wales from hood to subject at 1:2 is approx 10inches.

                    Tom
                    "Who is watching the Watchers, watching the Watchers watching us"

                    Its not what you see, it's the way that you see it"

                    Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/photofxstudios

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Macro..Sacrifice quality for working distance?

                      Originally posted by tomphotofx View Post
                      Dave in Wales from hood to subject at 1:2 is approx 10inches.

                      Tom
                      Many thanks Tom.

                      I expected it to be much more than that, don't ask me why.

                      When I use the Oly Ring Flash with the 60mm, the hood is not used, distance from RF to subject is approx. 5 inches at 1:2.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Macro..Sacrifice quality for working distance?

                        Originally posted by Dave in Wales View Post
                        Many thanks Tom.

                        I expected it to be much more than that, don't ask me why.

                        When I use the Oly Ring Flash with the 60mm, the hood is not used, distance from RF to subject is approx. 5 inches at 1:2.
                        I decided to check for myself & can confirm the working distance from the lens hood on the Sigma 150 to be 25cm (10") at 1:2 & 13.5cm at 1:1. I have used it with a LED ring light for night focussing & with twin FL36R flashes (on the E30), but it gets shaky with all that weight if holding it high for spiders in their web at night. Click on the thumbs if you want to see it in full.


                        Ross
                        I fiddle with violins (when I'm not fiddling with a camera).
                        Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ross-the-fiddler/
                        Cameras: OM-D E-M1 & Mk II, Olympus Stylus 1, OM-D E-M5.
                        Lenses: M.ZD7-14mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD40-150mm f2.8 PRO Lens, MC-14, MC-20, M.ZD45mm f1.8, M.ZD12-50, M.ZD60 Macro, M.ZD75-300 Mk II, MMF-3, ZD14-54 II, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM.
                        Flashes: FL36R X2, FL50R, FL50.
                        Software: Capture One Pro 10 (& Olympus Viewer 3).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Macro..Sacrifice quality for working distance?

                          I've come to a decision

                          Slightly inferior initial RAW IQ and high IQ jpg's for display, how....LR6 sharpening.

                          So it's the 75-300 + 26mm Kenko extension tubes, with the E-M1 onboard flash as fill in.

                          I've always got the 60mm + RF-11 ring flash to fall back on.

                          A working distance of 33" for a magnification of 1:3 is just too good to miss.

                          This is with the 75-300 + tubes and is cropped to about 25% of the frame.

                          P6180919-Edit4 by Dave in Wales, on Flickr

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Macro..Sacrifice quality for working distance?

                            That certainly looks nice!
                            Ross
                            I fiddle with violins (when I'm not fiddling with a camera).
                            Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ross-the-fiddler/
                            Cameras: OM-D E-M1 & Mk II, Olympus Stylus 1, OM-D E-M5.
                            Lenses: M.ZD7-14mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD40-150mm f2.8 PRO Lens, MC-14, MC-20, M.ZD45mm f1.8, M.ZD12-50, M.ZD60 Macro, M.ZD75-300 Mk II, MMF-3, ZD14-54 II, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM.
                            Flashes: FL36R X2, FL50R, FL50.
                            Software: Capture One Pro 10 (& Olympus Viewer 3).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Macro..Sacrifice quality for working distance?

                              Hi there Dave!

                              I could be wrong, but isn't the 75-300 supposed to start to soften towards the long end - I'm sure that people have advised to not use at the full extension unless necessary. Perhaps you would get even greater IQ if you limit it to 250mm?

                              Personally I would say that the sigma 150mm is the way to go if you can find one, although it is a big beast to get between flower stems compared to a 60mm Macro. The distance from the lens hood to subject isn't that huge for the focal length, but you can easily get another 80mm or so by removing the lens hood if your lighting is ok.

                              Cheers,

                              Ralph.

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