Partly too, because 35 mm already is very small, and APS was just too small to deliver quality. Too small to appeal to people who would buy SLRs and not just P&Ss.
And that will be behind not all films making it to APS format too.
As has been pointed out, it's an APS lens and will not cover a 135 frame. As to the original question, wider macros are useful when you want to get some perspective effect into the shot rather than flattening everything in the scene. Clearly it's of little to no use shooting insects, but if your subject won't run away then it can be a good effect.
The wider perspective means that with a small subject (hey, it's a macro!), the distance between the camera and subject better matches the scale of the item being photographed and as a result, the item can look larger and/or more natural than it would with a longer lens.
If you want that effect on 135, may I recommend the CZJ Flektogon 35/2.4? It goes to 1:2 without tubes, has great sharpness and lovely bokeh.
It has also been pointed out that:
Originally Posted by polyglot
1) It will cover 35 mm format, even larger formats, when you use it for what it is meant to be used.
2) that being 30 mm does not make it a wide angle lens.
Angles of view change with lens to subject distances.
The purpose of making close-up lenses short is to avoid huge amounts of extension.
I'm very happy with my 16 mm lens, because i would hate to have to figure out how to get to 10:1 using an 80 mm lens.
But 'wide angle"? Where? How?
It will not cover 35mm format unless you put long tubes on it - the image circle is simply too small. If you put tubes on it long enough to cover "any other format", the focus point won't be outside the lens. Doesn't matter how much you love your 6x6 QG, this lens will either not cover your format or it will do so with the focus point being inside the lens body. It's not even certain you could cover 135 with it unless you use a teleconverter, which makes it a different lens.
30mm is quite wideangle compared to the 100mm and 180mm macros typically seen on DSLR systems, which is what this lens is designed for. The OP asked "why so wide?", which is a perfectly reasonable question because reduced working distance is generally seen as a negative. 30mm is the shortest macro ever made for the Alpha system.
Where the focus point is depends on the lens design.
It may get so close that it touches the glass, or even is inside the glass.
But is it? I don't know the design of this lens, so cannot tell.
But i bet you it will easily cover even larger formats than 6x6 and not have any problem with the subject being inside, instead of in front of the lens.
If you base your assumption not on knowledge of the lens's design, but on the believe that you can get too close, then know that there are many short macro lenses lenses that go to magnifications high enough to even cover LF, and still leave room between them and the subject.
It is not a fundamental impossibility.
APS format varies between 1.2 and 1.7 times smaller than 35 mm format. Sony's version is 1.5 times smaller.
So if this lens covers APS C at infinity, it will cover 35 mm format fairly rapidly when focusing closer.
I'm too lazy to do the sums to figure out at what focussing distance or image scale.
But, it will certainly do so at 1:1. Not very extreme for a macro lens. Certainly not for a short macro lens (as mentioned, short macro lenses are made short, not to provide a wide angle view, but to make getting a decent magnification easier. So we can safely assume that 1:1 is not very extreme for this lens).
So i think that the answer still stands: this short to allow decent magnifications.
The same reason, for instance, Olympus (the 'champion' of photomacrography) brought out 21 and 35 mm lenses.
Those, by the way, also work great on larger formats.
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Yes - APS stood for Kodak's Advanced Photo System format. I know for a fact that Nikon marketed a family of APS SLRs called Pronea, and Minolta marketed a family of APS SLRs called Vectis-S. Canon marketed an APS SLR called the EOS IX.
Originally Posted by winjeel
In fact, you can still buy these cameras on ebay. There is actually some compatibility between the Nikon and Canon APS SLRs and their current lens mounts. Nikon's family of F-mount lenses mount on Proneas, and Canon's EOS mount lenses mount on the EOS IX.
These SLRs sell for prices in the $20-80 range on ebay nowadays. I have no idea what the availability of APS film is currently.
Thanks, all. I'm a little wiser.