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I've seen this: Is a macro lens suitable for distant subjects - wildlife, sports, portraiture?, which says that macro lenses can be used for photography other than macro photography.

But what are some settings that are useful for that purpose?

I have a Sony SEL30M35 (E 30mm F3.5 Macro Lens), which I purchased specifically for macro photography.

If I want to use it also for street photography or photography in the distance of ~2m to ~10m, what are some good settings and what do I need to consider, and how does this contrast with macro photography?

For example, should I use the lowest F value for macro photography, and the highest or a higher F value for street photography? etc

Is shutter speed irrelevant to distance and only relevant to the speed of the scene & desired exposure?

Eventually I'd like to get another lens for street photography, but for now I'd like to do the best with what I have.

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What are some tips for using a macro lens for non-macro photography?

First and foremost, be aware of the differences between lenses optimized for Macro photography and those optimized to do other things, such as street photography or portraiture.

Macro and portrait lenses are generally designed to do two different things that require different design characteristics.

Macro lenses are designed to focus at very close distances and they typically render a fairly flat field of focus. They're optimized to be at their best at very close distances. There are a few very specialized macro lenses that can only focus at the very close focus distances required by macro photography and would not be suitable for other types of photography. Most macro lenses, however, can also double as general purpose lenses. These can be used to focus at more typical focus distances and many photographers have a 90-100mm macro lens that they also use for portraits.

Assuming you are using the SEL30M35 on an APS-C camera, that's about like a 45mm or 50mm lens on a 35mm camera and might be a little bit long for street photography. You generally want an angle of view that you'd get with a 24mm lens on an APS-C camera or a 35mm lens on a FF camera. Lots of good street work has been done with narrower angles of view, though.

Other lenses specifically designed for portraiture often have a more spherical shape to their field of focus. The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L II is one such lens. They typically can not focus anywhere near as close as a macro lens can. There are reasons some photographers prefer to shoot portraits with a lens that has field curvature.

The field curvature that is a characteristic of many lenses purposely designed for portraiture would make most everything except the center of the frame extremely blurry due to the very shallow depth of field if used at the extremely close distances involved in macro photography.

If I want to use it also for street photography or photography in the distance of ~2m to ~10m, what are some good settings?

Settings are highly dependent upon the lighting environment as well as the intent of the photographer in terms of how they want the image to look. No one can tell you to "use f/8, 1/160 second, ISO 100" because that may or may not be correct for the lighting under which you are shooting.

For example, should I use the lowest F value for macro photography, and the highest or a higher F value for street photography? etc

In general most macro photographers prefer to use the smallest aperture they can get by with to maximize the DoF. That usually requires adding a lot of light to the subject. Check out the questions here tagged [macro] for a lot more about it!

For street photography any aperture may be appropriate, depending on lighting, subject, and how the photographer desires the image to look. In this respect there's no real difference using a macro lens or any other lens for street photography, other than the fact that many lenses popular for street photography have wider maximum apertures than most macro lenses. Using an f/3.5 macro lens might limit your ability to do street work early in the morning and late in the afternoon when the light is dimmer (and magical). Check out the questions here tagged [street-photography] for a lot more about it!

Is shutter speed irrelevant to distance and only relevant to the speed of the scene & desired exposure?

This is also really another question pretty much totally separate from whether you are using a macro lens or not. In short, angular motion (how far the subject moves in your frame) is the most relevant thing. The more distant your subject is, the faster it can move before it travels across the same number of pixels on your sensor in the same amount of time.

Think about it. We take photos of the moon as it is travelling in orbit around the Earth at about 2,300 mph or 3,700 kmh! With a 600mm lens (or equivalent due to cropping) we can expose for about one second before the blur is noticeable (again, if we're looking at it at about 8x10"). If we tried to use a one second exposure on a high speed bullet travelling the same speed across the camera's field of view at a distance of a few feet, how blurry do you think it would be? In one second it would travel just over one kilometer.

  • I think it's worth mentioning that, as part of their specialization, macro lenses often focus rather slowly. This is because, when you're close to the subject, you only need to make tiny adjustments to focus so, if the lens changes focus too quickly, it might go from near-focused throughto far-focused without the camera noticing the brief moment of correct focus in the middle. – David Richerby Jun 15 '18 at 10:00
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    @DavidRicherby although some of them focus faster the further you go. Some even have a switch to set the focuse range to nonmacro shooting, and often full range shooting also. – joojaa Jun 15 '18 at 10:36
  • Many "hardcore" macro lenses don't AF at all. Look at the MP-E 65mm 1-5X Macro. – Michael C Jun 15 '18 at 12:40
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If your lens can focus to infinity or a far far point, then the lens should also be usable as a normal lens.

Since you want a big depth of field in macro you close the aperture and it is possible to use this because in most cases you use a tripod or other mount.

In street photography you should use an aperture that is wide opden as possible without losing some details.

But then there is the point that it is a 30mm lens... this is not the best option for street photography because you have to go really close to the motive. If that is a human he probably will not like it or he will change his behavior in front of the camera.

For more tipps DigitalRevTV made some videos about that topic: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=digitalrev+tv+street+photography

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    +1. Macro = "can focus closer than usual". It doesn't take anything away (optically) – Agent_L Jun 15 '18 at 8:02
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    @Agent_L There are some special macro lenses that only can focus at close stuff, but in the description of the technical details is nothing to see, that the lens of the question belongs to this kind of lenses. Also I think, that if he has such kind of lens he would know it xD – Horitsu Jun 15 '18 at 8:10
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    @Agent_L Macro lenses tend to be optimized for flat field performance at MFD, whereas most other lenses tend to be optimized for longer distances and may or may not be designed to deliver flat field performance at the expense of other design considerations such as the way they render out of focus area, for example.. – Michael C Jun 15 '18 at 8:21
  • @Horitsu Some of the most noted street photographers ever, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, used 335mm lenses on 35mm film cameras for much of their work. – Michael C Jun 15 '18 at 8:24
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    @Horitsu Which is why my initial comment regarding it was addressed to 'Agent_L' instead of to you. – Michael C Jun 15 '18 at 8:33

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