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04-02-2012, 07:24 AM   #1
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Macro advice: This... or that?

Hey there.

I've been shooting macro with a newly acquired Promaster 100mm f3.5 1:1 macro lens (which I'm very happy with) and on occasion when I want more magnification, using it with a Magnicon 3x macro teleconverter with excellent results. I can get crazy close with this rig & the image quality is very good.

Over the weekend, my wife & I went out on a photo outing & she used my Magnicon 3x TC with her Pentax-A 1.7 50mm, which she liked a lot. She has decided she wants a Magnicon 3x TC like mine, so I need to make a decision:

1) Hold out for a another Magnicon 3x macro TC on the marketplace. (This could take awhile, as it's not a real common piece.)

2) Give her mine & buy myself either a set of extension tubes for the 100mm macro lens OR a Raynox DCR-250 to use with the 100mm macro lens.

She really likes using the TC/50mm combo, so I want her to have what she wants. At the same time, I don't want to lose image quality or closeup abilty. I figure there are others here with more macro experience than I, so what do you guys think?

Cheers,
Bobbo :-)

04-02-2012, 07:35 AM   #2
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Or....you can use a Pentax (or no-name) reversing ring on a 52mm or 49mm thread and try something different.

When I shoot "Macro" I shoot with either the bellow,extension tubes or dedicated lenses - or with the above mentioned reversing rings.
04-02-2012, 08:18 AM   #3
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The Magnicon TC is a focusing TC right? Like this promaster? Prospec 3X Macro Auto Tele Converter *NO RESERVE* | eBay

It seems to me that when used with a macro lens the focusing aspect of the teleconverter shouldn't matter because there's a long enough focusing throw in the lens itself. You should be just as well off with any teleconverter, focusing or not. A good, standard 2x or 3x might be just what you want. You'll still have a good working distance compared with the use of an in-front close-up lens.

Here's a $25 3x that might work for your purposes. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pentax-K-fit-SEARS-Multicoated-3X-Teleconverter-Lens...item27c4d5e65e

Last edited by newarts; 04-02-2012 at 08:35 AM.
04-02-2012, 08:24 AM   #4
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The A50/1.7 on its own has a max .15:1 magnification, so she is only getting to around 1:2 with the TC, and losing lots of light in the process. I'd think a 50/2.8 or even 50/4 macro that goes to 1:2 would be better IQ, handling, convenience, etc., although I expect would also cost more (and would also mean less working distance).

Edit: just did a little more looking on macro TCs and realized I don't know what I'm talking about. How much extension does this add, and what magnification can you get with the A50/1.7 attached?


Last edited by baro-nite; 04-02-2012 at 08:26 AM. Reason: correction
04-02-2012, 08:25 AM   #5
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It's *your* relationship. How much is the relationship worth to you?
04-02-2012, 08:44 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
It's *your* relationship. How much is the relationship worth to you?

Jeez, RR, you're really throwin' a turd in the macro-punchbowl there ain't cha!

H2
04-02-2012, 08:59 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
The Magnicon TC is a focusing TC right? Like this promaster?
That's EXACTLY it. Looks like it was sold under at least a couple of names. I'll keep an eye on it. Thanks for the info.

If I get another TC, I want that exact one, since it works well with my existing macro lens.

What do you guys think? This TC or extension tubes?

Last edited by GibbyTheMole; 04-02-2012 at 09:21 AM.
04-02-2012, 09:42 AM   #8
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There is also a Vivitar macro focusing 2x teleconverter which includes a 2x TC with a focusing helix that when used with a 50mm lens gives I think, 1:1 they are not common but not overly rare either.

04-02-2012, 09:57 AM   #9
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I'll throw in my obligatory plug: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/152336-cheap-macro-b...lose-work.html

She wants your 3x MTC? Give it to her! You want another like it? They're not that rare. Many are branded PANAGOR (not PARAGON) or HCE. I have a Panagor Auto Macro Converter 1-10x (US$16 shipped, in PK-M mount); and a Panagor Varioprox +1-10 and a HCE Vari-Close-Up +1-3 (front-loaders in Series 7 thread). Such can be found on eBay by searching for VARI* MACRO* or AUTO* MACRO* or variants thereof.

Such variable TCs and +dioptres can give good results when mounted on a good lens. You probably know the trade-offs. No, they're not as optically 'clean' as extension (tubes and/or bellows or helicoid), but they're more convenient. Rear-mounted TCs and extension eat light; front-loading TC adapters and +dioptres don't, but can have their own issues. So I use all the above, depending on what the voices in my head instruct.

QuoteOriginally posted by pacerr Quote
Jeez, RR, you're really throwin' a turd in the macro-punchbowl there ain't cha!
I've flushed enough relationships already. Just sayin'...
04-02-2012, 10:30 AM   #10
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Great article, RioRico! I'll just give her the TC & maybe pick up some extension tubes, or make some out of some junk TCs.

Might be better to make them out of junk TCs, since the cheap tubes are usually all-plastic with crap quality mounts. Whaddya think?
04-02-2012, 11:10 AM   #11
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Share it ?

Alternatively many 'minor name' lenses and TCs are sold under a plethora of different 'brands'. A little research may turn up half a dozen TCs that are optically identical to yours and in fact were manufactured to the same specs by the same company.
04-02-2012, 02:23 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Share it ?
Yeah, we do share gear. But we go out together and shoot stuff most of the time, and a lot of the time we both like to shoot the same focal length at the same time, so we like to have 2 of everything. I just gave her the TC. I'll probably get a couple of crap TCs and de-glass 'em to make extension tubes.

Anyone got a couple of junk TC's super-dirt cheap?
04-02-2012, 02:34 PM   #13
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I would opt for Laurens bellows. Quite cheap on ebay too !
04-02-2012, 02:51 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
Might be better to make them out of junk TCs, since the cheap tubes are usually all-plastic with crap quality mounts. Whaddya think?
Vivitar AT-22 tubes. They're a good quality PK mount set of tubes, with mechanical aperture linkage which means proper stop down metering. They do NOT have an A contact, but they're still much more convenient than fully manual tubes. Basically, they'll give you the same level of functionality as an M lens, when used with at least an M lens. I was lucky, and scored a set for $20 (new - old stock), but the average seems to be around $40 used. That's still not bad at all, I'd pick up a second set given the chance.

Kenko makes a similar set, not sure on price.
04-02-2012, 03:35 PM   #15
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Keh is listing a 3x -A tc in excellent condition for $13. Pentax Manual Focus 3X MISCELLANEOUS BRAND A TELECONVERTER - KEH.com

I don't know if the A means "automatic" - ie. includes the lever, or A as in "A Type" with the electrical contacts. Either way you can hardly go wrong. When keh says "A" in the pentax context they usually mean "A type lens" so it is probably returnable.
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