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10-28-2010, 05:42 AM   #16
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With respect to the post from th eOP, and using close focus zooms as opposed to true macros, there are a couple of points to consider.

This does not mean that I disapprove of close focusing zooms for macro work. Actually I am the opposite, I consider that in anyone's basic kit, and by this, I mean if you have 2-3 zooms covering the range from somewhere close to 10mm through 150-200mm, at least one of them MUST be capable of doing close focus work.

I suggest this because if you are limited in size and weight and only take your 2-3 zoom minimum kit, you should have some macro capability.

Having said this, we need to explore the real differences.

True macro lenses are designed to be flat field lenses providing sharp in focus corner to corner images for the focus plane. this is more important in copy use than true macro work because very few bugs are truely flat (except those on my windshield) but the macro lenses also are generally much sharper at all apertures than a zoom lens.

True macros are also optimized to be focused close, where as a general purpose zoom is usually optimized to focus at medium distances to infinity.

True macros generally offer better working distances, very few zooms offer macro at maximum focal length, most are at minimum, and internal focusing causes the focal length to actually shorten significantly. This can make lighting more difficult because you are so close.

But even with drawbacks, a zoom that can do macro can act as an "emergency" use lens, to lighten the load, or as an introduction for people not sure what they wish to explore in photography.

Once you decide you want to do more than just explore with macro, then you can go out and concentrate on a true macro set-up. Use your true macro kit when you want to experiment and do only macro, but keep the macro zoom, for the unplanned shots you happen across, when not out specifically dioong macro.

10-28-2010, 09:04 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by wsteffey Quote
all the posted images were taken with the 70-300
I think everyone understood this.

Here's the samples I wanted to post:

Tamron 70-300 @300mm - 1:2 magnification:



Tamron adaptall 80-210 @80mm with 36mm extension tube - around 1:2 but can't tell for sure - this is the only crop in the set:



Vivitar Series 1 105mm - at 1:1:



None of these will win any prize, but you can see the difference in magnification and details that you can get with each one.

Last edited by Laurentiu Cristofor; 10-28-2010 at 09:05 AM. Reason: Made it clearer only one of the three is cropped
10-28-2010, 11:18 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Laurentiu Cristofor Quote
I think everyone understood this.

Here's the samples I wanted to post:

Tamron 70-300 @300mm - 1:2 magnification:



Tamron adaptall 80-210 @80mm with 36mm extension tube - around 1:2 but can't tell for sure - this is the only crop in the set:



Vivitar Series 1 105mm - at 1:1:



None of these will win any prize, but you can see the difference in magnification and details that you can get with each one.
Good examples.

Edit: I'd suggest that people with macro ambitions but limited budget look for a used manual dedicated 90, 100 or 105mm macro. You have limited use of autofocus anyway. I got my first macro lens for about 50 Euro, recon the same lens would cost me some 100 Euro today. That, a set of cheap manual used extension rings, for 20 Euros, a reverese ring for 10Euros and a manual 28mm lens for <25 Euros and you are ready for a lot of fun (since you are going to use it reversed it does not need to be K mount, you can get quality glas for almost nothing if you go for some of the "dead" lens mounts that never made it to the digital age such as Konica AR or Canon FD). Presuming you already have a flash, learn to use it as a slave or get a cheap flash cable for it, and make some home made difusers of various plastic materials get you far for little compared to getting a ring flash. For many years I only had tubes to use on my ordinary lenses, and got quite far on that.

Last edited by Douglas_of_Sweden; 10-28-2010 at 11:27 AM.
10-30-2010, 09:30 AM   #19
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guys would you recommend extension tubes over the close up filters (raynox 250)

I know using a true macro is sweet.

I just want to experience shooting macro and don't want too many lenses

thanks

10-30-2010, 10:26 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by wed7 Quote
guys would you recommend extension tubes over the close up filters (raynox 250)

I know using a true macro is sweet.

I just want to experience shooting macro and don't want too many lenses

thanks
I personally would by far prefer the extension tubes to the close up filter. There are no additional optical elements in the path from subject to sensor. All the extension tubes do is put the lens farther from the focal plane, just as your focusing ring does, so the tubes do not affect the optical properties of the lens. The additional extension does have the drawback of reducing the amount of light at the sensor, requiring a slower shutter speed or higher ISO, or as pointed out above, a flash.

On the other hand, a Raynox 250 will give you more working distance and will not reduce the amount of light reaching the sensor. The close up lens sets the infinity setting to whatever the power of the close up lens. If I understand the Raynox nomenclature, 250 means a focus distance of 0.25 meters from the Raynox which gives you a working distance from the front of your lens to the subject of 25 cm, or a bit less than 10 inches. The Raynox will also give you less resolution at the edges due to the field not being flat. That may not bother you when you are taking pictures of insects because they are not flat subjects.
10-30-2010, 10:59 AM   #21
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^
Thank you for the heads up! maybe I should settle in getting those extension tubes, are those all
only for manual focusing?
10-30-2010, 11:01 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by wed7 Quote
^
Thank you for the heads up! maybe I should settle in getting those extension tubes, are those all
only for manual focusing?
If you get the tubes, im personally going to guarantee you will want a flash....

They suck A LOT of light

Personally, for macro I suggest:
Pentax M 50mm F/1.7 (~$40)
any 2 sets of extension tubes (~$20)
Reverse ring adapter (~$5)
Pentax AF 360FGZ flash (~$130 used) or any other flash that can be used with manual control on the power (i.e. can drop down into atleast 1/16 power)

A little DIY work and you have a macro setup that will rival any other in sharpness for much much less.

example:

10-30-2010, 11:05 AM   #23
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Thanks yeatzee!

10-30-2010, 11:11 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by wed7 Quote
Thanks yeatzee!
No problem.

The learning curve is massive though, and it is no easy setup but the results are rewarding enough to make it worth it IMO. If you want straight up ease, nothing beats a dedicated macro lens like my sigma 105mm..... but im not one to enjoy straight up ease so the lens never gets touched. Instead I run my ghetto rig
10-30-2010, 11:17 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by wed7 Quote
^
Thank you for the heads up! maybe I should settle in getting those extension tubes, are those all
only for manual focusing?
There is insufficient depth of field at these close distances to use auto focus, not to mention the lack of light with tubes. Although my only extension tube (50mm) has no aperture linkage, I would recommend one with the aperture link if you can afford or find one. The reason I purchased the 50mm tube was to enable closer focus with my M 400/5.6, not for use with my M 100/4 macro, although with the macro it does give me 1:1 magnification. I seldom need that sort of close up ability. 1:2 is good enough for the close work I do, chasing insects around mostly. For insect work, I find that catch-in-focus works much better than attempting to fix the camera in place and focus on the subject. That is the way I work, and may not be what you want.
10-30-2010, 11:26 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by wed7 Quote
maybe I should settle in getting those extension tubes, are those all only for manual focusing?
Focusing with tubes is different. You usually don't focus the lens at all, just move the whole camera+tubes+lens assembly forward and backward. Or leave the camera rig stationary and move the subject. A hardcore studio macro setup will include tripods for both camera and subject, with racking hardware on each for critical positioning. A much simpler studio might have a light tent or equivalent, camera on tripod, lens on tubes and bellows, remote control, and maybe an AV monitor.

But you can start with simplicity: lens plus tubes. Exactly which lens depends on what you want to shoot, and how close. No lens can focus closer than its focal length. If you're shooting flat stuff and want edge-to-edge sharpness, you need a flatfield enlarger or macro lens; otherwise, a manual camera lens is fine. Major magnification requires more extension, with more light loss. A great advantage with a Raynox strap-on is that using it with an auto lens makes flash easier. So a lens+tubes combo is OK in bright light; an auto.lens+Raynox combo, or an expensive auto macro lens, are best with flash.
10-30-2010, 06:10 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by yeatzee Quote
nothing beats a dedicated macro lens like my sigma 105mm
Although the longer the lens, the more working distance you will get, hence why I use the sigma 180mm f/3.5 or the Pentax FA*200mm f/4 ED Macro even with 2X teleconverters behind them they are both extremely good lenses.
10-30-2010, 07:02 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Digitalis Quote
Although the longer the lens, the more working distance you will get, hence why I use the sigma 180mm f/3.5 or the Pentax FA*200mm f/4 ED Macro even with 2X teleconverters behind them they are both extremely good lenses.
Notice I said like . Yes the general rule of thumb is to buy the longest macro you can afford...... In my case the sigma 105. I am really lusting after that 150mm from sigma lately though hahaha not that I'd really use it
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