Can I take landscape with Macro Lens

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ken_wang|1, Jun 17, 2013.

  1. I got this AF Micro 60 MM F/2.8 lens and D3100 camera

    I never know too much if this Micro lens can shoot picture as landscape. (Of course , I know how to use it on close-up)

    I am using manual focus on the lens and turn the lens until I can see perfectly focus on the scenery.

    But when I look at the result on my PC. The focus is pretty off. The close-ups have no problem. But the landscape is a little bit fuzzy.

    Why is that?
     
  2. Could you show some examples and give your shooting settings (ISO, f/stop and shutter speed, and also whether you were using a tripod at the time) and where you focused? It's hard to say, because there are a lot of reasons why a shot could come out blurrier, less sharp or less well focused that you think it should.
     
  3. The focus throw on macro lenses is usually quite short once you get into normal distances, meaning a tiny twist on the focus ring results in a big change in the focus distance. This makes them quite hard to focus manually when photographing subjects that are far away. Autofocus should solve this problem for landscapes. Many people use macro lenses for portraiture too, but for the above mentioned reason I find them unsuitable.
     
  4. That's a AF lens, so you are manually focusing, right ?
     
  5. I hate to ask, but is it possible that you need corrective lenses, i.e., glasses? One way that I know that my glasses need changing is when my MF shots stop coming out sharp--even though they look good through the viewfinder when they are shot.
    Try shooting AF and see what you get. Try throwing to infinity focus and see what you get, MF or AF.
    Some macro lenses are incredibly sharp at infinity focus.
    --Lannie
     
  6. Macro lenses do tend to get optimized for macro distances. Lensrentals have a blog entry on the subject, though I've not seen figures for a 60mm. My 150mm Sigma is appreciably softer at infinity than up close, though it's still pretty good (I just stop down to f/8 instead of f/5.6). I'm guessing Landrum's experience is with different macro designs. :)
     
  7. Ken, What Andy said, we'd need a bit more info, please.
    There are 2 Nikon 60mm macro lenses: the older AF-D 60mm f/2.8 and the current AF-S 60mm f/2.8G. The first will not autofocus on your body, the second will. Which of the two do you have (mainly to understand if using AF is an option - both lenses are fine from macro range to infinity, so that's not the point).
    Second, which aperture do you use for landscapes? At f/2.8, you will not have that much depth-of-field, but focussed at infinity with f8 or f/11 you should have plenty, and nearly the whole picture should be sharp.
    Last, what are you using the judge proper focussing on the camera? The green dot in the viewfinder, or the image in the viewfinder itself, liveview? The viewfinder of the D3100 isn't large nor very optimised for manual focussing - so I'm not too surprised to see that things maybe do not work 100% as expected.
    Ideally, could you post an example photo with a 100% crop of the exact area where you tried to focus? That could help a lot understanding where the problem is.
    But in short, yes, this lens can be used for landscapes and will be able to yield (impressively) sharp, proper focussed photos. It might not be the most logical choice, but it can surely do it.
     
  8. What Wouter said, make sure you get the AF-S G version if you want auto focus. I have the AF-S G version and sometimes shoot landscapes with it. The 60G is actually quite an impressive lens and stop down, it outperforms my 50 1.4G in sharpness especially in the corners.
     
  9. There's also the fact that often micro lenses are optimized for close focus, but not as carefully designed to focus well on infinity.
     
  10. You can definitely shoot landscapes with a macro/micro and it should focus perfectly. Whether a macro/micro lens is any more or less sharp than a normal lens at infinity is something that can be measured on an optical bench but not to the point of being actually out of focus or anything you're going to be able to see in the viewfinder, on a computer screen or in a finished print. Hate to say it, but if the pictures aren't in focus, it's almost certainly your focusing technique, not the lens.
     
  11. As a rule, macro lenses work just fine for use for regular photography. Of course, a damaged lens is another matter, but
    Hate to say it, but if the pictures aren't in focus, it's almost certainly your focusing technique, not the lens.​
    Something is wrong here, and it is unlikely to be with the lens, as such.
     
  12. Whether a macro/micro lens is any more or less sharp than a normal lens at infinity is something that can be measured on an optical bench but not to the point of being actually out of focus or anything you're going to be able to see in the viewfinder, on a computer screen or in a finished print.​
    Um. I beg to differ. Some lenses that are generally exceptional do seem to have trouble at longer ranges. I can at least say that f/8 was making a visible difference (on the camera LCD) to images shot of the horizon using my Sigma 150mm macro compared with f/5.6, which is not the case at closer ranges - I try to stay below f/8 to reduce diffraction. The LensRentals tests showed a significant difference, but I can report it in the real world.

    Whether the 60mm is better at range is another matter. It should be capable of taking a shot at infinity, but I can't tell you whether it'd be better or worse than any other lens. It might be worth stopping down a little more than you otherwise would, though, since this always reduces aberrations (except diffraction).

    Of course, it could just be atmospheric haze that's the problem, but I'm not ready to dismiss the lens out of hand.
     
  13. I use a old Nikon 55mm f 2.8 manual focus macro lens for landscapes all the time with my Nikon digital bodies. It is one of the sharpest lenses that I own. As others have noted, I make sure that it is focused accurately and that the f stop chosen is usually around f 8-11 to insure no image softness from difffraction. If your camera has Live View, use it to check the accuracy of your focusing. I have found the green dot to be an approximation of accurate focus, not an absolute indicator that accurate focus has been achieved. Also, how you trip the shutter can cause things you are attributing to focus problems. Use the camera's self timer or mirror lock up to make sure no motion is introduced as you trip the shutter. And use a tripod.
    Both nikon 60mm macro lenses should produce excellent landscape imsges. Joe Smith
     
  14. Thanks all.
    I think I have to try more. Today I took some pictures (landscape type). Some came out nice and sharp. Others did not come out as good.
    Also, even with close-ups, I have to learn more. I can see that the manual focus point is the essential of this kind of lens. As someone suggested here, a little turn from the focus will make a big difference.
     
  15. If you're manually focusing and shooting landscapes, try using a tripod so you can take your time with the camera being kept still, and go into live view and zoom in on where you want to focus instead of using just the dot in the finder. You can get more accurate that way.
     
  16. right. tripod and live view is the way to go.
     
  17. Is it possible that camera shake is contributing to the softness of your images? If you shoot in bright sunlight at a high
    shutter speed (1/250th of a second or faster), is sharpness still a problem? Do you own a tripod? A solid tripod, not a
    cheap flimsy one? Do your lenses have vibration reduction capability to assist with stability when shooting handheld?

    Are you evaluating sharpness in the area where you focused or in some other part of the frame? Not everything in the
    frame will be equally sharp if objects are at different distances from the camera. What aperture setting (f-stop) are you
    using?
     
  18. yes, i use 60mm f2.8g all the time for landscapes
     
  19. Of course you can. I have a 55mm f/2.8 AIS Micro Nikkor that I have used it as a standard walking around lens for many years. It is considered by many to be the sharpest lens in that focal length range that Nikon has ever made and it has the CRC system to improve IQ at close focusing distances.
     

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