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technical question Sony 90mm macro

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dbrusco View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dbrusco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: technical question Sony 90mm macro
    Posted: 19 January 2022 at 09:56
A while ago I'd asked about lenses that focus internally/don't extend. I haven't done anything about that, but I found out something that may or may not have something to do with what I've noticed about this lens.

If I use manual focus, at 1:1 I can get closer to the subject than I can with auto-focus. Does this have anything to do with the fact that this lens focuses by wire, vs mechanical focus? (I can't find the specific article where I read that).

It seems like I'm photographing smaller and smaller subjects, so it matters. While I do use manual focus in many of those situations, sometimes it works better to use autofocus.
 



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QuietOC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2022 at 12:43
A lot of E-mount lenses allow closer manual focus than what is available with autofocus. I assume it is basically a focus limiter to help autofocus performance. Autofocus doesn't work that well at high magnification. I haven't used the 90mm Macro.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2022 at 12:58
Most mirrorless lenses are focus by wire, but the 90mm Macro is the exception - at least, if I read Dustin Abbot's review correctly.

I assume the same as QuietOC - it probably is related to better AF performance.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2022 at 13:12
The 90mm G Macro is focus-by-wire. It just has a directly mapped electronic manual focus control. When you pull it back into MF the AF motor snaps the focus into whatever setting and then follows the control position electronically. If you ignore the former behavior you could pretend it is mechanical.

I believe the original 70-200 F2.8 GM OSS is the only Sony FE lens with actual mechanical manual focus. The Sigma DG Art lenses adapted from SLR designs also have it.

Edited by QuietOC - 19 January 2022 at 13:23
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Post Options Post Options   Quote XKAES Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2022 at 14:20
Originally posted by QuietOC QuietOC wrote:

A lot of E-mount lenses allow closer manual focus than what is available with autofocus.


I'll add that there are some older MAXXUM/DYNAX lenses, like the Sigma 35-135mm that use auto-focus to a certain point -- and if you want to focus closer, you have to use manual-focus.

I won't speculate as to the reason for this -- or if auto-focus is less effective in macro.

I will say that for most of my macro work, I never use auto-focus because only my eye knows where I want the point of focus.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2022 at 14:37
I will say I find manual focus-by-wire with the FE 50mm F2.8 Macro super annoying. It requires a lot of control spinning. It made me long for the mechanical focus clutch on the Sony A-mount 50mm F2.8 Macro, and the play of those mechanical focus clutches is not great.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Tricky01 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2022 at 14:59
I'm sure this isn't your issue but just to flag the 90mm macro has focus limiters on the side. There is a setting for 05m - infinity, which could be limiting you (though the difference between 0.5m and MFD is so large that I'm sure this isn't what you're seeing). Will have a look at my 90 tonight and see if I find the same.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote addy landzaat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2022 at 16:53
Originally posted by QuietOC QuietOC wrote:

The 90mm G Macro is focus-by-wire. It just has a directly mapped electronic manual focus control. When you pull it back into MF the AF motor snaps the focus into whatever setting and then follows the control position electronically. If you ignore the former behavior you could pretend it is mechanical.
Then I either misread Dustin Abbot or he was wrong
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Miranda F Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2022 at 20:49
Something to be said for screw-drive macro lenses ...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dbrusco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 January 2022 at 08:41
I usually use autofocus if the subject is moving, also sometimes when I think something is in focus with manual, it's not, so I revert to auto-focus.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote XKAES Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 January 2022 at 12:55
Originally posted by dbrusco dbrusco wrote:

sometimes when I think something is in focus with manual, it's not.


This doesn't make sense to me. Perhaps you need glasses or a new prescription -- or perhaps your viewfinder diopter needs adjustment.
One option would be to use a viewfinder magnifier. Minolta made several of these, they are inexpensive, and they all fit Sony cameras. I don't do macro work without one.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuietOC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 January 2022 at 14:25
Originally posted by Miranda F Miranda F wrote:

Something to be said for screw-drive macro lenses ...

I've noticed focus changing after pressing the shutter when using screw-drive lenses. The focus on the Minolta 100mm RS Macro I had would shift around a lot. The D version with the focus clutch is better. Also the inability to focus A-mount lenses stopped down is a big limitation.

Fully manual macro primes with electronics may be the best option.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dbrusco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 January 2022 at 23:30


This doesn't make sense to me. Perhaps you need glasses or a new prescription -- or perhaps your viewfinder diopter needs adjustment.
One option would be to use a viewfinder magnifier. Minolta made several of these, they are inexpensive, and they all fit Sony cameras. I don't do macro work without one.[/QUOTE]

I do have glasses, but having to rely on focus peaking sometimes doesn't always do it (I often miss those old optical viewfinders). How does one of those differ over the in-camera magnifier? I probably need to adjust it somehow, it's not enabled right now, but I found that it was too magnified and didn't necessarily show me what I was trying to focus on because I still use the old film camera way, plus it magnifies my shakes.

Actually, an angle finder would come in handy, looking at the Minolta Vn (are there different versions of that?). Looks like on eBay a lot are coming from Japan.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote XKAES Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 January 2022 at 02:33
I don't have a camera with a built-in magnifier, so I can't speak to that, but I am familiar with the Minolta Anglefinder Vn. The original was the plain Anglefinder. They both fit on Sony cameras. The Vn has 1X and 2X settings -- the 2X setting just shows the center of the viewfinder. I use it all the time because when I'm shooting macro, the camera is usually lower down than I am. The Anglefinder also rotates so you can turn the camera in any direction.
The Anglefinder also has an eyecup for stray light control, and strong diopter adjustment for use without glasses -- and marks on the screen so you know when the adjustment is perfect.
It's easy to flip back and forth from full screen for composition to 2X for fine focusing.
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