I've been using my camera to take close up pictures of jewelry and beads, using macro filter/lenses. Because of this, I've been using the manual focus, instead of auto-focus. However, something changed in the settings when I took the camera on vacation and started taking standard vacation pictures, and now I can't get any response from the camera when I push the focus button next to the shutter button. I have put the camera into single, monitor and continuous options in the AF Mode of the menu. Is it possible that the button is simply broken now, or is there a setting that I'm missing?
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The user manuals coming with lenses most of the time have little information about how to use them. The lens will have a MF and AF and perhaps a VR switch. If you want to learn more about macro photography, check this site from Ken Rockwell, where he is explaining how to do so with a Nikon camera.
Be aware the macro lenses are designed to focus close to the camera and will have the sharpest pictures close to the camera. I would not say you can't use a micro as a tele, but the results with a normal 105 could be better.
Still I think you have a great lens with your Sigma. How to Shoot Macro
That would depend on the camera, but I'm going to assume you have one with interchangeable lenses.
The camera manufacturer probably makes one or more "macro" or "close-up" lenses for your camera. Any of these lenses will let you get closer than a normal lens. Many third-party lens makers also make macro lenses.
Another alternative is to put extension tubes between the lens and the camera body. This moves the lens further from the camera, shortening the focus distance.
Probably the cheapest (and lowest quality) alternative is to put close-up lenses on the front of any lenses you already own. These screw on to the front of the lens like a filter and act like a magnifying lens, letting you get closer to the subject.
The ring threads onto the front of any lens with a 49mm filter thread, just like a filter. The front of the lens then fits onto a camera body, effectively mounting the lens "backwards" or reversed. With most lenses, this allows the lens to focus very close, for close-up or "macro" photography.
Hi, for macro work you should set it to the 80mm end, this will give you the closest focus, some lenses may have a macro or 'M' switch, you could also add some close up filters to the lens to get even closer.
For taking pictures of things close to the camera, switch to macro mode. There's a slide switch on the end of the camera, near the USB socket. Slide it to the flower position for macro. Don't forget to switch back for taking "normal" pictures.
By "crafts", do you mean things like figurines or models?
Most any lens (other than fisheyes or super-wide-angle) will work so long as the object is within the lens' focusing range.
If you need to shoot up close, you will either need close-focus filters (basically screw-on magnifying lenses) or a lens with "macro" capability. Other lenses typically cannot focus on objects closer than about two feet to the camera.
It also helps to have decent lighting, which cannot be controlled with the camera alone.
If you're right "on top" of the subject - then, yes - it should indicate "macro". Macro focusing is for "very up close" photography and is exactly as you describe. You simply physically move the camera a little closer to or further from the subject to focus.
Not all lenses are capable of macro focusing. The vast majority of these non-macro lenses are required to be at least a couple (or more) feet away to focus. Macro lenses on the other hand can usually get just inches away - which is a great capability.
With an SLR you only get true macro focussing on a lens that has proper macro focussing abilities. Unfortunately in the photogaraphy world, there are a huge number of lenses which claim to have macro ability but are stretching the term far too much.
Strictly speaking, macro means that the lens is capable of producing images on the sensor which are the same size as the actual subject or even bigger, at life size this is described as 1:1 macro. Your Tamron lens is only capable of a maximum 1:3.7 "macro", and that's only at the 200mm zoom setting with the subject no closer than 45cm from the lens. By SLR zoom lens standards, that's actually pretty good, but if you want to go closer and get greater magnification you need to either use a supplementary close-up filter lens or for better optical quality use a set of extension rings. The trade off with close up filter lenses is poor image quality and usually plenty of colour fringing and with extension rings is that if you're using a 2x magnification at 200mm, your f5-ish maximum aperture at 200mm becomes a very dark f10.
The only way to get good macro results is to either use a proper (=expensive) macro lens and excellent lighting, or use extension rings plus a good ring flash unit. However you can improve your macro by investing in a more capable zoom lens with a closer minimum focus distance and a better aperture at the telephoto end of the range. This can be expensive, or you can pick up some very cheap 35mm film SLR lenses. Using an adapter will never allow you to achieve infinity focus on a Canon digital SLR but you can get a close focussing 200mm f3.8 very cheaply. The crop factor of your smaller sensor means it will have the same angle of view as a 310mm lens but the aperture will remain at f3.8. As Canon digital SLR's have the deepest body register (lens to sensor distance) of the current systems then you'll also have the effect of using it on an extension ring. The downside is that you'll have to use the lens in a totally manual mode as no information will be communicated to your camera body. By mounting the lens back to front using a reversing ring you can achieve some really stunning macro magnifications but then you need a tripod, powerful flash and absolutely no wind... There was also a Makinon 80-200mm zoom which sells for next to nothing on auction websites, but it had a macro collar which allowed it to achieve around half size macro (1:2).
Alternatively, if the Fuji still works and does the job just keep it in your camera bag ready for those types of shots. overall, that seems the easiest and best solution unless you really want to get heavily into macro shooting.
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