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Old 2nd of January 2009 (Fri)   #1
FootAJ
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Default Tokina 70-210: A Macro lens?

So I've always loved macro photography, but since I invested in a new camera (D200), I didn't have any money to grab a macro lens. However, to make a long story short, it turns out that I inherited a Tokina 70-210 AF lens from someone and it works on the D200.

Now, I've done some searching, and on the focus ring, it does have a "Macro" space. Also, many people have described it as a macro lens on other forums. Is this truly a macro lens? Will I be able to effectively start getting into macro photography with this?

Thanks everybody!
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Nikon D200: (f/3.5-4.5 18-70mm)(f/1.8 50mm)(Tokina f/4-32 70-210mm)
Olympus E-510 (f/4-5.6 40-150mm)(f/3.5-5.6 14-42mm)
Manual Nikon Lenses for D200 and E-510 with adapter: (Nikkor f/2 35mm)(Nikkor f/1.4 50mm)(Nikkor f/2.5 105mm)(Nikkor f/2.8 135mm)(Nikkor f/4 200mm)(Tokina f/4-32 70-210mm)
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Old 2nd of January 2009 (Fri)   #2
troypiggo
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Default Re: Tokina 70-210: A Macro lens?

Don't know that specific lens, but typically those type of lenses say "macro" on them, but it's not "true macro". It just means they will focus a little closer - perhaps achieving 1:2 to 1:4 or so. "True" macro means 1:1 lifesize or higher magnification (2:1, 3:1 etc). The ratios refer to how big the image of the subject on the camera sensor/film is relative to it's actual size.

A real macro lens will probably be a prime lens, not a zoom.

You could look into reversing one of your other lenses, like your 50mm, and putting it on front of another lens. This will increase your magnification and with the right combination you could achieve 1:1 or better. I haven't done this myself, but search around here for plenty of threads on the topic.

Hope that helps.
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Old 2nd of January 2009 (Fri)   #3
FootAJ
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Default Re: Tokina 70-210: A Macro lens?

Helpful info, Troypiggo. Thanks!

It shoots down my hopes that this would be a usable macro lens, but hey, I learned something new. I've actually looked into the "lens stacking/reversing" as a cheaper alternative, and while it seems good, it seems it would put one of my lenses out of commission when attached (and it'd be a pain in the butt to take it all apart!) but I suppose it's worth a shot.
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Nikon D200: (f/3.5-4.5 18-70mm)(f/1.8 50mm)(Tokina f/4-32 70-210mm)
Olympus E-510 (f/4-5.6 40-150mm)(f/3.5-5.6 14-42mm)
Manual Nikon Lenses for D200 and E-510 with adapter: (Nikkor f/2 35mm)(Nikkor f/1.4 50mm)(Nikkor f/2.5 105mm)(Nikkor f/2.8 135mm)(Nikkor f/4 200mm)(Tokina f/4-32 70-210mm)
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Old 8th of January 2009 (Thu)   #4
bokchoi
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Default Re: Tokina 70-210: A Macro lens?

Most zoom lenses that have a "Macro" designation tend to only have a maximum magnification ratio of around 1:3 to 1:2 at the longest zoom range; they will likely not deliver the same level of performance at this point as a true fixed focal length macro lens.

On the other hand, these lenses sometimes have some advantages; they are generally less expensive than fixed focal length macro lenses, and they have a longer focal length than most macro lenses; this, and the 1:2 magnification offered by some 70-300 zoom lenses, means that they are good lenses where added working distance is an advantage (for example, insect and dragonfly photography). And, of course, they have infinity focus, which you would lose with stacking lenses or using extension tubes (infinity focus is available with most prime macro lenses, with the Canon MP-E 65mm as a notable exception.)

As an example, here is a dragonfly I took at 300mm (about 3 feet of working distance) and my Sigma 70-300mm APO DG lens and 40D:



The picture is sharp enough that I can see the texture of the eyes on the 100% crop, but depending on your subjects, the image quality afforded by a proper macro lens may be necessary.

Extension tubes coupled with a 50mm prime lens are also an option that may give you high magnification as well, but my experience has been that there is also a very visible cost in terms of edge image quality when using these, you must get very close (1-2 inches) to your subject, and luxuries such as autofocus and infinity focus are also nonexistent.

To make a long story short, telephoto zoom lenses with "macro" designations are a good way to start in Macro photography, but they are by far not the best way to do it.

Last edited by bokchoi : 8th of January 2009 (Thu) at 13:00.
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