I did some test to see exactly how tight of a shot I could get with my Tamron 17-35 wide angle zoom and my Tamron 70-300 telephoto zoom. Both lenses are just regular lenses, and not listed having any macro capabilities. I compared the two zooms to my Tamron SP 90mm 1:1 macro. Here is the set up with the 70-300. the minimum focusing distance was 44 inches. If I move in any closer then 44 inches, it won't focus.
This is the shot with the 70-300 and as tight as I can shoot on this shell. The area that I was able to capture was about 7"x10". So not too bad, and it diffidently could be used for some larger subjects in close-up photography.
My 17-35 wide angle lens was able get me tighter on the subject at it's minimum focusing distance.
In order to get this shot I had to move in really close with the 17-35 lens, and the minimum focusing distance was about five inches from the front of the lens to the subject. So you can do some fairly tight close-up photography with this lens but you will have to work in very close to the subject to do it.
Now I tried it with my 90mm macro, and I reached the minimum focusing distance when the front of the lens was about six inches from the subject. Now look how tight of a shot I have. It measured at 7/8th of an inch by 1 and 3/8th of an inch. Pretty tiny area.
Here is the minimum focusing distance with the 90mm macro lens.
So if you have a wide angle lens you will be able to do some fairly tight close-up images, and if your shooting larger subjects or covering a larger area, you could get by with the 70-300 in a pinch. But for the true macro work you need that macro lens.