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Thread: 28mm macro???

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    28mm macro???

    I got a ton of FD lenses from my grandfather. Strange thing is, they are pretty much all macro. The one that confuses me the most is a Sigma 28mm macro lens. What specific use would someone get from a 28mm macro? I expect you would have to be really close to the subject. I think he liked to shoot flowers, so maybe it gave him the ability to focus closely on details of the flowers while being able to get more of them in the shot?

    I'm using it as a regular 28mm prime lens right now. It focuses fine to infinity and is actually a lot of fun to use.

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    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    I have a sigma 28mm 2.8 mini-wide that is also labeled macro. they use the term loosely to indicate that the lens has a closer focusing distance. I have it in OM mount and its a good lens though I dont use it much more as I tend to use the OM 28 f2 instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by edcculus View Post
    The one that confuses me the most is a Sigma 28mm macro lens. What specific use would someone get from a 28mm macro? I expect you would have to be really close to the subject.
    Sigma labels its current 28mm f/1.8 lens as a macro lens as well, but it only focuses down to a 1:2.9 magnification ratio. By way of comparison, Nikon's current 28mm f/1.8 reaches 1:4.5 and Canon's only 1:5.2. I've found mine is useful when photographing necklaces and beadwork on a copystand, but I feel calling the Sigma a "macro" lens has more to do with marketing than capabilities.

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    polyglot's Avatar
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    Sigma is optimistic with the term, but close focusing on a wideangle is a very useful property. The best use IMHO of a wide is to get a dramatic perspective, which means a big magnification difference between two things, which means you gotta be real close. The wider, the closer.

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    bvy
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    The Olympus XA4 has a fixed 28mm lens, and it was marketed as a "Macro" camera. It has focusing down to 12 inches. I find it great for, so called, street macros -- something I do a lot of. There's even a macro flash adapter for the A11 flash, though I find it to be hit or miss.

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    Allan Swindles's Avatar
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    Isn't true Macro 1/1 and greater and isn't anything else just close-up? Describing a lens as 'macro' which is really not, is an advertising ploy and should have been picked up by trading standards authorities, years ago.
    I'm into painting with light - NOT painting by numbers!

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    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allan Swindles View Post
    Isn't true Macro 1/1 and greater and isn't anything else just close-up? Describing a lens as 'macro' which is really not, is an advertising ploy and should have been picked up by trading standards authorities, years ago.
    While I agree that many are sloppy with macro and other related terms, I'm not sure there is enough standardisation to permit getting the trading standards authorities involved.

    Otherwise, lenses like the Mamiya RB67 140mm macro lens (which requires extension tubes to achieve more than 1/2 life size) would have to be renamed, despite its excellent flat field performance and ability to be used with extension tubes for greatere magnification.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

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    Thanks guys, that makes a good bit of sense. I'll have to look to see what it can focus to. The focus ring does turn a LOT more than any of my other lenses though. Either way, whether a true macro or not, I do like the lens, and can see where being able to focus in closer and have the wide perspective of a 28mm might come in handy.

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    I had a sigma 28mm macro (place in quotes if you want) that I used with my Canon A's in the early 1990s - used it for about 90% of what I shot: plants and flowers and the like (I'm a botanist), landscapes, architecture, 'street' scenes, and groups of people (much of this in the exciting USSR and early post-soviet states). (my other lenses were a 50/1.8 and a 70-210 FD.) I had a lot of fun and good luck with that lens! RE macro, or close focus, it was especially nice for the plant stuff, since the wide perspective 'moved' competing elements of the scene further from the subject. It was good for everything else too. I was pretty poor, and think I paid about $30 for it used from a NY place by mail in decent shape. Those were the days.
    ................................................

    Robert J. Liebermann
    photos: http://rjl.us/photo
    Eureka Alaska/Vermillion Michigan USA

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    My grandfather was in Forestry, and was a Dean of Forestry at a university for a while too. He probably used it very much the same as you did.

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