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  1. #1
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Are macro lenses good for normal photography too?

    I just got a Zuiko 35mm/3.5 macro, and I would like to know what the difference is between macro lenses and regular lenses, other than focusing closer. This one seems like the lens elements are a lot different than my other 35mm lenses because they are like recessed inward a lot. Plus, there is no distance readout in feet, only magnification readout in terms of 1:2, 1:3 and so on.
    f/22 and be there.

  2. #2

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    This lens is a good for 'general' photography as any of the other Zuiko 50 mm lenses. Just a little bit slower.
    No worries!

    Yes, it has a built-in hood. That's due to the extension (i.e. the length of tube in the focussing mount), perhaps, they had to stow away somewhere when not used (i.e. at infinity).
    Not significant, not saying anything about it being vastly different.

    The difference in general between macro lenses and 'regular' lenses is the flat field and optimisation for close range work. But they generally are great for long range work too. The double Gauss derivative type used in these lenses is little scale sensitive, and non-macro lenses of this type are great in the close-up range as well.

    This particular lens is really very good. You'll enjoy the results!

  3. #3
    Kevin Kehler's Avatar
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    I shoot Nikon and I use my 60mm macro a lot for general photography. Perhaps it is just my copy but I tend to have better contrast than with my 50mm as well as no distortion (the 50 has no distortion but I mean as opposed to a zoom). I tend to walk around with it when possible although it is a lot bigger than the tiny 50mm. On the non-film stuff, it is a short telephoto which is nice for street photography but on the good analogue material (Velvia for example), the colour and contrast seem to pop more than other lenses.
    Once a photographer is convinced that the camera can lie and that, strictly speaking, the vast majority of photographs are "camera lies," inasmuch as they tell only part of a story or tell it in a distorted form, half the battle is won. Once he has conceded that photography is not a "naturalistic" medium of rendition and that striving for "naturalism" in a photograph is futile, he can turn his attention to using a camera to make more effective pictures.

    Andreas Feininger

  4. #4

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    It depends on the lens.

    Popular Photography never published a test of any version of the 55/3.5 MicroNikkor. I once asked Norman Rothschild why not. He explained that the magazine's policy was not to publish tests of lenses that didn't meet minimum standards at infinity. The 55/3.5 didn't meet the magazine's minimum standards at infinity at all apertures, so they tested every version and published no tests of them.

    The conclusion to draw from this tale is that when neither PP nor Modern Photography (same policy) didn't publish a test of a renowned lens it wasn't very good at some aperture(s).

    That said, many users, me included, shot their 55/3.5 MicroNikkors at all distances and weren't disappointed by the results.

    The 55/2.8 MicroNikkor that replaced the 55/3.5 has a floating element to reduce coma at low magnification. It shoots very well at all distances and both mags published tests of it.

  5. #5
    nsurit's Avatar
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    I am assuming you meant a 50mm f3.5 Zuiko rather than a 35mm. There should be a distance scale in addition to the magnification. On mine it is the set of orange numbers closest to the camera body. Other than speed and less depth of field for the faster lenses there is little reason to not use it for your normal lens. Bill Barber

  6. #6

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    I have a 100 f4 macro Canon FD which does fine in normal photography.

    Jeff

  7. #7
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    I guess it is a 50mm f/3.5. I thought it seemed to 'long' to be a 35mm.
    f/22 and be there.

  8. #8

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    Are macro lenses good for nomral photography too?

    The 50/3.5 Zuiko macro is a floating element design. It is sharp at all distances. When Nikon changed from the black front 55/3.5 Micro Nikkor Auto (compensating aperture design) to the 55/3.5 Micro Nikkor P it improved the performance for distant subjects. Some people claim that the compensating 55/3.5 is better in the very close range than the later 55/3.5s. I find performance at infinity to be excellent with the P, the PC, the 'K' and the AI 55/3.5s. As has been mentioned, the 55/2.8 AI and AIS lenses also have a floating element design and are sharp at all distances. Other short macro lenses I have found good at infinity include the 55/3.5 Konica Macro Hexanon, the 50/3.5 Canon FL, Canon FD SSC and New FD, the 55/2.8 Vivitar macro, the 55/2.8 Soligor macro and the following Minolta 50/3.5 macro lenses: pre-set, MC Celtic and MD. The MC Rokkor, MC Rokkor-X and MD Rokkor-X lenses all have the same design and should be fine at infinity.

  9. #9
    Chris Sweetman's Avatar
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    The only Zuiko 35mm f3.5 macro lens is one for the Olympus digital 4/3rds system.

    If it is this lens then it won't fit onto an OM system film camera without an adaptor and then it becomes a 70mm f3.5.

    The Olympus OM system also included true macro lenses which would only work with a bellows unit and were optimised for macro work.

    BTW I have used the Zuiko 50mm f3.5 macro lens at all distances within it's focusing range without cause for concern.

    Chris

  10. #10

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    I use my 55/3.5 Micro Nikkor P a fair amount for general work, and it's superb.

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