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02-19-2011, 08:15 PM - 3 Likes   #1
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macro setup comparisons

Well since its a rainy day here, I decided to do some simple tests comparing various macro setups of mine.

The constants:
All comparable setups (i.e. m 50mm f/1.7 vs. m 50mm F/2) have the same camera settings, same F-stop, and same flash settings. Non comparable images have adjusted settings to get a decent exposure, without affecting sharpness. In addition these are all straight out of the camera Jpegs. Combine ZM (stacking software) was used for two images. Combine zm leaves artifacts along the edges and requires cropping..... none are cropped.

The subject:
A dead jumper

The equipment used for all shots:
Metz 48 with DIY diffuser, Pentax AF 360 flash with DIY softbox/beauty dish, and my Pentax K-7.

*My conclusions are based off of me viewing each image side by side @ 1:1 on my computer. I do not know how to crop 1:1 perfectly to link here, and flickr really does make the images look like they have less IQ than they really do when comparing computer to flickr. Still.....


Ok, so now lets see some images

M 50mm F/1.7 vs. M 50mm F/2
reversed on full set of extension tubes + a hollowed out Teleconverter. 3 images stacked each (handheld..... im shocked as to how close both images are) at F/5.6 for maximum sharpness.

50mm F/1.7:


50mm F/2


original size for close up viewing (note: the artifacts like I said are from combine zm):
M 50mm F/1.7:
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5097/5460300300_c681836205_o.jpg
M 50mm F/2:
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5179/5460300294_6e7b40ebac_o.jpg

conclusion: the M 50mm F/1.7 @ F/5.6 is brighter than its F/2 counterpart. Both are VERY similar in sharpness. I'd give the edge to the M 50mm F/1.7, but its definitely close. Also, the F/2 50mm has noticeably more apparent fringing.

next we have the sigma 105mm macro lens. Can this $380 dedicated, built for macro behemoth, beat my reversed $30 M 50mm F/1.7?

Sigma 105mm macro

sigma 105mm macro @ 1:1 - F/5.6


original for close up viewing:
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5097/5459786427_3a477ff240_o.jpg

conclusion: This one is up to you guys. Think what you want

Sigma 105mm macro + full set of extension tubes + hollowed out Teleconverter (for nearly exact magnification as the reversed 50mm's on extension tubes) @ F/5.6 again:


original for close up viewing:
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5017/5459786431_ae3c1bc9c6_o.jpg

Conclusion: I think not
This is where it gets bad.... real bad. Horrible IQ IMO with the extension tubes added. The reversed 50mm's are clear winner's here.

next up:

M 28mm F/3.5 vs. F 28mm F/2.8
Reversed on a full set of extension tubes and a hollowed out teleconverter. I was not capable of stacking images for each that were similar enough to compare handheld, so these are just single images @ F/5.6.

M 28mm F/3.5:


F 28mm F/2.8:


Original size for close up viewing:
M 28mm F/3.5:
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5098/5460358552_c19e2c67c4_o.jpg

F 28mm F/2.8:
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5179/5460358536_58e1770920_o.jpg

conclusion: The F 28mm has more purple fringing, while the M 28mm has more cyan and red fringing. I can't decide which I think is sharper. Im going to say its a draw here @ F/5.6

next:

F 135mm + various reversed lenses
all taken with the F 135mm @ F/2.8 and the reversed lens @ F/5.6

F 135mm + reversed M 50mm F/1.7:

original:
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5213/5459810523_37dc666697_o.jpg

conclusion: A pleasant surprise for sure! The IQ here is SUPERB.... Im buying a reversing adapter for this setup as I type (held the lens reversed, with the help of the built in lens hood)

F 135mm + reversed M 28mm F/3.5:

original:
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5014/5459810533_8d248509bb_o.jpg

conclusion: Holy hell! Fantastic IQ AND magnification. F 135mm, I love you

F 135mm + reversed M 28mm F/3.5 + full set of extension tubes + hollowed out TC:

original:
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5051/5459810547_eb5cae8103_o.jpg

conclusion: All shall bow down to the almighty F 135mm!


So there you have it! I hope this was helpful, or at least informative. Any questions feel free to ask!

02-19-2011, 10:53 PM   #2
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Wow! Impressive and thank you for taking your time to produce the comparison. I can finally have a good use for my M50/f2 It's been sitting in the dark for so long.
02-20-2011, 03:54 AM   #3
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I'm still at a loss as to how you can focus-stack macros. Maybe I'm missing something, but all you're doing is taking multiple photos at different points of focus and blending them together. I just dont understand how it is possible to keep the camera motionless whilst adjusting focus, even if you use a tripod won't your subject move after the first flash is fired?

Any help appreciated
02-20-2011, 04:27 AM   #4
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Great comparsion Tanner!
Another reason for me to have a F 135mm.... it would become my new macro stacking lens!

Also have you tried comparing using the reversed secondary lens wide open and have the primary lens stopped down? Thats how I normally do mine.


Last edited by TOUGEFC; 02-20-2011 at 04:33 AM.
02-20-2011, 09:24 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ducdao Quote
Wow! Impressive and thank you for taking your time to produce the comparison. I can finally have a good use for my M50/f2 It's been sitting in the dark for so long.
Glad it gave you inspiration for the M 50mm F/2.

QuoteOriginally posted by Intric8 Quote
I'm still at a loss as to how you can focus-stack macros. Maybe I'm missing something, but all you're doing is taking multiple photos at different points of focus and blending them together. I just dont understand how it is possible to keep the camera motionless whilst adjusting focus, even if you use a tripod won't your subject move after the first flash is fired?

Any help appreciated
Nope, you've got it right. I do it handheld, no tripod, so that im mobile. Depending on the subject yes..... but that doesn't mean its impossible. Patience, and I usually get one decent stack going.
read: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/132976-macro-yeatzees-ma...ml#post1391045

QuoteOriginally posted by TOUGEFC Quote
Great comparsion Tanner!
Another reason for me to have a F 135mm.... it would become my new macro stacking lens!

Also have you tried comparing using the reversed secondary lens wide open and have the primary lens stopped down? Thats how I normally do mine.
it is a truly fantastic lens at everything I throw at it. Yes I have, and the way I am doing it is the correct way
(based off of my own tests, as well as tests by the macro kings over at "http://photomacrography.net/forum/index.php" )

edit: Here you go for the test: www.photomacrography.net :: View topic - FAQ: Stopping down a lens combo
02-20-2011, 09:30 AM   #6
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Thanks yeatzee, and rep added. I'm wondering if I'd get the same results from my K 135 f/2.5.

NaCl(always interested in new macro technique)H2O
02-20-2011, 11:03 AM   #7
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Wow that's a great set of tests. Perhaps I should learn more about this crazy stacking/reversal technique. Is there any rhyme or reason on what to try?

Can this technique be employed in any combo to get a wide-angle macro?
02-20-2011, 11:12 AM   #8
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How do you connect the 135 and the 28?

I have M28f2.8, M50f1.4/1.7/2, M135f2.5/3.5, tubs and a reverse ring for 49/52mm.


Last edited by hoanpham; 02-20-2011 at 11:31 AM.
02-20-2011, 02:14 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
Thanks yeatzee, and rep added. I'm wondering if I'd get the same results from my K 135 f/2.5.

NaCl(always interested in new macro technique)H2O
Thanks for the rep. I don't see why not

QuoteOriginally posted by jeffshaddix Quote
Wow that's a great set of tests. Perhaps I should learn more about this crazy stacking/reversal technique. Is there any rhyme or reason on what to try?

Can this technique be employed in any combo to get a wide-angle macro?
why I stack? Better IQ. What to try? Find a good technique and practice.

A wide angle macro? Like a macro landscape?

QuoteOriginally posted by hoanpham Quote
How do you connect the 135 and the 28?

I have M28f2.8, M50f1.4/1.7/2, M135f2.5/3.5, tubs and a reverse ring for 49/52mm.
I held the 28mm at the end of the F 135mm with the help of the built in hood.
02-20-2011, 03:30 PM   #10
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First off, AWESOME! I can actually see reflections of the lens in the Spiders eyes. Second, how the heck did you get that spider to hold still that long? Was he frozen?
02-20-2011, 04:09 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damian Quote
First off, AWESOME! I can actually see reflections of the lens in the Spiders eyes. Second, how the heck did you get that spider to hold still that long? Was he frozen?
"The subject:
A dead jumper"
02-20-2011, 07:28 PM   #12
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Oops, I missed that. Sorry. I hope it was natural causes, but then again, it doesn't really matter either way. Excellent work. It's inspired me to try revers macro again. Last time I tried I didn't have the proper equipment, now I'm all set. I've never tried to set the aperture on the reversed lens, and from what was described in the link, it seems like a great way to go. Can one also use a smaller aperture on the main lens, or does it have to be set to wide open?
02-20-2011, 09:36 PM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damian Quote
Oops, I missed that. Sorry. I hope it was natural causes, but then again, it doesn't really matter either way. Excellent work. It's inspired me to try revers macro again. Last time I tried I didn't have the proper equipment, now I'm all set. I've never tried to set the aperture on the reversed lens, and from what was described in the link, it seems like a great way to go. Can one also use a smaller aperture on the main lens, or does it have to be set to wide open?
Its best for it to be wideopen.

I have no clue how it died, so i assume it was natural causes.
02-20-2011, 10:24 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by yeatzee Quote
Its best for it to be wideopen.

I have no clue how it died, so i assume it was natural causes.
Let's make an autopsy on the spider, would you?
02-20-2011, 10:39 PM   #15
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None are cropped??? WOWWW... they really are sharp, especially the last one. I can see dirt and water on its eyes clearly.

May I add another setup? Not as good as yours though.

DFA100/f2.8 + Internal flash -2 + FGZ 360

ISO 400. 1/125,f11

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