Article Index

Macro

There are a couple of issues that you should keep in mind when shooting with this lens at macro distances. First is the AF hunting/locking. While AF functions quite well at normal focusing distances, closeup photography seems to confuse it more often, which causes occasional hunting and even locking, when AF 'gives' up trying to find a focus point and simply sits idly in a wrong position. This is not very frequent, so I don't want to alarm anyone, plus it is not really clear whether any other lens would perform better - this is as much a problem of the AF system itself, as the AF of the lens.

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The second issue is light falloff when shooting at the MFD of ~10cm. The lens itself is about 6cm long, which leaves ~4cm from the tip of the lens to the subject of focus. At this point, the lens itself cast a fairly long shadow, causing an uneven frame illumination in all except front-lit environments. If you add the shallow lens hood to the front, your distance to the subject will shorten even more, casting an even longer shadow.

Other than that, the properties of the lens that we discussed in earlier sections don't really change much. The sharpness (in the center) remains very good, although because of the shallower DOF at these distances you would see much larger swaths of the frame out of focus. There is some additional drop in contrast at very close distances, which makes images look less vivid, but that should be fairly easy to correct in post-processing, and so probably should not be considered a major issue.

On the final note, I want to mention that I am personally split about the benefits of a wide-ish macro lens in practical use.  The limitations of such lens are too severe IMO and I would have preferred having a longer focal length, something around 90-120mm range, which would not require me to get so close to the target to get 1:1 reproduction. Plus an extra stop of speed would not have heart here either.

 

30mm @ f/3.5 (Sony NEX-5n)

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30mm @ f/8 (Sony NEX-5n)

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Coma

Sony E 30mm f/3.5 Macro showed moderate levels of coma around corners at f/3.5, which are reduced quite significantly at  lower apertures.The corner crops of a pin-light below were taken at the focusing distance of 2m and exposure time of 3 seconds.

 

Coma @ f/3.5 & f/8 (Sony NEX-5n

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