Macro Lense- YES or NO?

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Posted 1/7/2013 by icandy in General Photography


PeaNut 385,350
July 2008
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Loc: Seattle

Posted: 1/7/2013 12:36:55 AM
I got a Macro lense for Christmas--I don't really know how to use it yet and I want to use it to become more familiar with portraiture photography. Is this a good lense for portraits?


PeaNut 18,334
July 2001
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Loc: State of cultural confusion. Yeehaw and Aloha have collided!

Posted: 1/7/2013 1:49:05 AM
You'll get divided opinions. IMO, no, macro lenses do not make good portrait lenses. However, there are people who use them for portrait work.

The design of a macro lens is for close up detail shooting. If you get too close to an object with a normal lens you get what is known as "barrel distortion" and people get a bobble head look, noses/chins get bigger etc.

A macro lens is designed to counter act that concave distortion and it flattens images as part of its characteristic distortion. The flattening lets you get extremely close to your subject and keep normal planes in the images. Things don't get bend out of shape. With a macro lens the further you are from your object the more obvious the flattening is. Its a reverse of the normal lens.

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Canon 60d, Canon 24-70mm 2.8L, Canon 70-200mm 2.8L, 50mm 1.8, 28-80, 75-300mm and Tamron 90mm 2.8 macro

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PeaNut 276,190
September 2006
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Loc: Colorado

Posted: 1/7/2013 10:22:26 AM
Do you have other lenses and if so, what are they?

If for example you have the kit lens and then, the macro lens, I would say yes... the macro would be a better fit for portraits than your kit lens. However, it's not an ideal lens for portraits as Volt stated. I have used mine for portraits before and honestly not noticed much difference between it and say, my 85. But... I'm also one that uses a fisheye for portraits, so I'm not the one to really ask. But in a true sense of the word, no, it's not really a portrait lens. Hows that for confusing?


24-70 2.8L
100 2.8L IS macro
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PeaNut 272,462
August 2006
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Loc: Indiana

Posted: 1/23/2013 9:58:22 AM
I have heard people say its good for newborns.. I have just got my macro and have never shot anything with it but what its inteneded for, but they said it was great for up close of the hands feet etc... I have been wondering about other things... Could you use it for say a tiget at the zoo since they are far away and its 105 mm??

I think a photography class should be a requirement in all educational programs because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it.

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PeaNut 25,270
November 2001
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Loc: Delaware

Posted: 1/23/2013 1:30:19 PM
It depends on which Macro lens you got. I know a great photographer who uses his 100mm for portrait work and takes amazing photos.

CC always welcome Canon 7D,85 1.2, 17-55 2.8,100mm,30 1.4,Speedlite 580EXII

Jeune Girl

PeaNut 446,739
November 2009
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Loc: Hudson Valley, NY

Posted: 1/23/2013 2:04:29 PM
I use a 100mm for portraits and I find it works great. I usually use a 24-70 in most of my shots but I don't notice any difference when I change to the 100... maybe because I don't have a 35 or the 135... the gold standards for portraits. someday...

Canon 5d mark ii/24-70 2.8L/16-35 1.8L/100mm L/85 1.8/50 1.8
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PeaNut 380,372
June 2008
Posts: 4,782
Layouts: 3
Loc: Central California

Posted: 1/23/2013 6:24:07 PM
I have a Macro and I'm thinking about selling it. I have tried and tried to embrace but just can't. I have two other lens that I use all the time and this one is just taking up space.

I hope I don't regret getting rid of it.


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