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Sony XDCAM PMW-F3 CineAlta
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Old July 25th, 2014, 02:27 PM   #1
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Deciding on a Macro Lens

I just got a job to shoot some fabrics and other textiles for a year. I currently use a adaptamax adapter and nikkor lenses. I hope to be able to afford some nice PL stuff if the side business grows, but regardless the job is paying enough over the year for me to be able to afford a nice macro, and not to mention it'd be useful on other shoots. I imagine the 70mm range is the way to go due to sensor size? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Love the camera, and happy to see theres a forum on it.
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Old July 25th, 2014, 04:04 PM   #2
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Re: Deciding on a Macro Lens

When you venture into macro I think focal length has more to do with magnification and distance requirements. When I think of textile photography I think of a flat plane, so less emphasis on depth of field issues. Is that accurate? There is so much great Nikon equipment for macro work that I would leverage that, particularly if I had a need for bellows and the like. What magnification range will you need to shoot? Are there any constraints in terms of distance or angle of view for the materials you will be filming? Also check out photomacrography.net
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Old July 25th, 2014, 06:26 PM   #3
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Re: Deciding on a Macro Lens

I have a 55mm Nikkor macro that I picked up on ebay for a good price. But I most often use a Nikkor PB4 bellows with 150mm bellows macro lens. Here is a shot of the set up on F3 and also on Sony FS700 this time mounted with 3 extension tubes. The longer lenses give you a little more room to work with. If I was looking for a fixed Nikon lens today I would probably go with the Nikon 105mm. Again there is often lots of Nikon macro gear on ebay or check with your local camera store used department.
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Old July 27th, 2014, 11:49 AM   #4
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Re: Deciding on a Macro Lens

Try to analyze how close you cam physically get to the subject of your shots as well as whether there are any times when you need to be in close, but there are backgrounds you also want to show in a specific perspective.
I still use my old 55mm Macro-Nikkor lens -that I must have bought about 30 years ago - when I need to focus close (often using a nikon extension ring set). It was always one of my sharpest Nikon lenses. Of course to get an extreme macro shot you need to get EXTREMELY close to the subject. I have found it excellent for jewelry and other small art objects, especially when integrating them into a still life scene that has background elements.
I tend to use it more often than my 40mm Macro-Killar, which obviously gives a wider field of view.
If you are doing a lot of various macro shooting, I'd recommend getting something with a longer folcal length as well, so the lens can be a bit further back from the subject. (of course then you are really isolating the item from the background by both field of view and shallow depth of field.)
Though not quite macro, I sometimes also use a Sigma 24mm f/1.8, which focuses remarkably close, while retaining a wider angle perspective.
Generally I don't tend to use my macro lenses much other than for macro shots -- they are slower than the 'every day' Nikons that I put on the F3, so they only live in the lens case when I think they'll be needed.
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Old July 30th, 2014, 03:31 PM   #5
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Re: Deciding on a Macro Lens

Thanks for the feedback eveyone. I borrowed a friends 40mm Nikkor, and for the time being it seems to be getting the job done. If I get more work I'm going to look into the suggestions. Thanks!
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