Longest focal length macro lens available (high quality)?

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Beatsy
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Longest focal length macro lens available (high quality)?

Post by Beatsy »

I'm looking for a longer FL macro lens to adapt onto Sony E-mount. Probably 200mm but I'll consider longer if it exists. It has to be full-frame, f/4 or faster with great IQ. Autofocus is OK but not needed as I'll focus manually anyway.

Is the venerable Minolta AF 200/4 APO Macro G the best bet? What's a fair price for one of those (2nd-hand prices vary massively)?

The Canon 180mm f/3.5L macro is cheaper (and more consistently priced) but I prefer the APO Minolta of the two, even though it's marginally slower.

Are there any other options?

Thanks

ray_parkhurst
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Post by ray_parkhurst »

I have a Nikon 200mm AF Micro and it's a really nice lens. It is reviewed/tested on Mark Goodman's site.

Antal
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Post by Antal »

What about a Sigma Apo 180mm 2.8 Macro?
I have it, but I never used it for macro. It is a very sharp lens, apo correcction is good. Very very heavy (a lot of glass).
I bought it for portaits with shallow dof. Bokeh is a bit too nerveous, not as soft as the Canon 70-200mm 2.8.

dmillard
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Post by dmillard »

The Voigtlander 180mm f/4 Apo Lanthar is a compact manual focus lens that produces sharp images with gentle transitions. However, it's limited to 1:4 magnification, and it has become expensive due to increasing scarcity.

enricosavazzi
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Post by enricosavazzi »

The legacy Sigma 180 mm f/3.5 is very sharp and more manageable in size and weight than the more recent 180 mm f/2.8. It is sharp enough for the 42 Mpixel sensor of the Sony A7R II and III. These lenses are called "Apo" by Sigma, but are not apochromatically corrected (although image quality is excellent).

I am not aware of true macro lenses (infinity to 1x magnification) of good optical quality with higher focal lengths than 200 mm suitable for using on a Sony full-frame.
--ES

dickb
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Post by dickb »

When talking about Sigma Apo Macro 180mm lenses, I know of 4 versions. The oldest are an f/5.6 and a massive f/2.8, followed by the f/3.5 and the current f/2.8. I've got an old f/2.8 I should test more properly.

Another potential candidate might be a Canon fd 200/4 macro or the older Nikon MF micro nikkor 200mm.

Macro_Cosmos
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Post by Macro_Cosmos »

Why is a long FL required? For longer WD or just a preference thing?

The Nikon 300mm PF version goes very well with an extension tube, namely a TC14e with its optics removed. For a more friendly version, the 180mm/2.8 Sigma is great. None of these lenses however are truly apochromatic. One can say they come close and both the Sig 180 and voigt 180 does come close. The Voigt is the best at infinity though, it's not a macro lens, 1:4 maximum reproduction ratio.

Either way, since you want a long gun, the Sigma is a great choice.

enricosavazzi
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Post by enricosavazzi »

dickb wrote:When talking about Sigma Apo Macro 180mm lenses, I know of 4 versions. The oldest are an f/5.6 and a massive f/2.8, followed by the f/3.5 and the current f/2.8. I've got an old f/2.8 I should test more properly.
[...]
That is essentially correct as far as I know. According to:
https://www.dyxum.com/lenses/Sigma-180m ... ns188.html
there are two variants of the 180 mm f/3.5, that seem to be physically identical except for slightly different lens model markings on the top of the barrel. The variant that I have and referred to in my earlier post is in Nikon AF-D mount and the exact markings read 180mm 1:3.5 APO MACRO DG HSM D. The second variant on the above web site seems to read APO MACRO 180mm 1:3.5, and could be an earlier pre-D or pre-HSM variant. The two variants most likely are optically identical, and HSM is irrelevant if the lens is used in manual focus mode. Neither variant has in-lens image stabilization.
--ES

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