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01-15-2008, 12:49 PM   #1
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Cheap macro options?

I love macro, but the only problem is that I really can't afford a dedicated macro lens at this point. I have a reversing ring that I've used on my 50/2 that produces good results, but I would like a little more length between me and my subject. I've thought of a some ideas and I wanted to run them by the collective wisdom of the forum to see which one would be the most viable until I could afford to get a dedicated macro.

1. Can you use a reversing ring on zoom lenses?
2. In comparison to the reversing ring, do extension tubes work any better on a prime?
3. Can you use extension tubes on zoom lenses?

I've got a 70-210 on the way to me and if I could use either a reversing ring or extension tubes on it, that would work until I could afford a dedicated macro.

If anybody has any other suggestions, I'm open to those, too.

Thanks!
Heather

01-15-2008, 01:06 PM   #2
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If you are trying to distance yourself from the subject then extension tubes probably aren't a good option. With all my tubes on my 50mm I have to get within inches of the subject. Yes, you can use tubes on a zoom, but I actually get closer-up shots with my tubes on my 50mm than I do with my tubes on my telephoto zoomed in to 300mm. Yes, you can reverse your 50mm, or other lens, onto a telephoto. I haven't tried this myself, but I have heard it works great. A lot of people who I have heard of doing this bought a cheap, but nice, piece of glass off ebay that they never attach to their body, it is solely used for reversing, which means it doesn't even matter what brand of glass you buy, since you just care that the thread size matches your reverse ring. Hope that helps.
01-15-2008, 01:35 PM   #3
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So Travis are you saying that you could use a Canon lens with a reverse ring attached to your Pentax? What about an old Canon film lens? I'm guessing that would work as well. Where is a good place to purchase a reverse ring for my K110D?
01-15-2008, 02:25 PM   #4
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I don't understand?

I have seen lots of pentax SMC-M 100mm F4 lenses at about $100, also extension tubes and close up lens sets at about $50 each.

How cheap do yoou want?

01-15-2008, 03:18 PM   #5
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For a reversing ring, as long as the filter size of the reversed lens matches, the brand doesn't matter. You may also want to look at macro couplers, where you attach a second lens in front of, and face to face with, your primary lens. I don't think these give any better working distance though.

I've got cheap (ie. $8 + free) results using M42 extension tubes + 2x doubler - depending on where you put the doubler you can get a longer working distance. E.g. 50mm+2x=100mm + extension tube = 100mm macro.

Extension tubes work on any lens, including zoom. You lose light with the tubes, so a zoom may become unacceptably dark for focusing.

(I also managed to snag a Tamron SP 90mm for $40 - with another lens - but I already had the adaptall mount. With patience you may be able to get a >50mm macro lens, cheap. Anything with a K mount is tough though, those pieces get scrounged pretty heavily by all the Pentaxians with LBA)
01-15-2008, 03:26 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Willys Woolies Quote
So Travis are you saying that you could use a Canon lens with a reverse ring attached to your Pentax? What about an old Canon film lens? I'm guessing that would work as well. Where is a good place to purchase a reverse ring for my K110D?
Thats exactly what I'm saying. Because the reverse ring just attaches to the threads of the two lenses the brand doesn't matter except for the lens that you attach to your body. The second lens can be any one, just make sure you buy the reverse ring with the correct thread sizes. I haven't bought one myself, so I don't know of a good place, but things like that are usually pretty cheap on ebay. I got my step-up rings for around $2 a piece on ebay. Some people have been worried that the reverse ring isn't strong enough to hold up the second lens, but from what I've heard most people use a 50mm prime lens out there and say there aren't any problems. Again, I can't offer too much more on this because I haven't tried it myself.
01-15-2008, 05:36 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Willys Woolies Quote
Where is a good place to purchase a reverse ring for my K110D?
I got mine from Adorama. For Pentax, they have both 49 & 52mm. You can also get them on eBay.

HTH,
Heather
01-15-2008, 05:42 PM   #8
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I may try the macro coupling option and see how that works. I'll still stay on the lookout for a cheap manual macro (less than $100), though. I've even given the teleconverter option some thought, as well.

As I said before, other than getting a dedicated macro lens, anything else I'll go with is a temporary choice until I can afford the lens itself.

Thanks!
Heather

01-16-2008, 08:34 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by hwblanks Quote
I got mine from Adorama. For Pentax, they have both 49 & 52mm. You can also get them on eBay.

HTH,
Heather

Thank you Heather, I'll check them out! What lens are you pairing yours up with and how are your results???
01-16-2008, 09:27 AM   #10
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Check out this set on my flickr MacroTests - a photoset on Flickr

I did some tests on various combos of 50mm, 28mm, Extension tubes, 2xTC, reversed, etc....

A nice option I found is a 135mm on a set of tubes on the 2xTC - this gives approx 1:1 @ approx 15" working distance.
01-16-2008, 09:31 AM   #11
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Hi Heather,

You can also look for macro focusing teleconverters. I recently got one from Ebay for maybe $40 or $50 shipped if I remember correctly, well under $100 at any rate. They still pop up from time to time. Mine is a Vivtar. With a 50mm lens it's supposed to give you a 1:1 macro but I would assume you lose some light due to the lenses in it. I like mine so far.

jr-worldwi.de: Photography: Technic

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01-16-2008, 09:50 AM   #12
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Save your pennies and keep your eye out for a Kiron 105mm macro lens. They were made in the 80's and none have ever been made any better. They come badged as Kiron, Vivitar Series 1, or Lester Dine. I've had one for years for my Konica stuff, and I bought a Pentax mount one last year (Viv Series 1 version) brand new in the box for $175. I know it's a little over what you want to spend, but well worth the money.

Cheers
01-16-2008, 10:22 AM   #13
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Heather,

I think that you should for the most part save up for a dedicated macro lens.

However I know that might take you a while, and I might have a affordable alternative for you.

I have this set of 3 - 55mm threaded Kenko close up filters, along with the case.

I'll rate them in good shape. No scratches or anything.
E-bay sellers would probably rate them as like new

I got them in a $50.00 mystery camera bag with 3 lenses and a few extra items, so they were pretty much free for me, and I've only played with them 2 or 3 times.

If you don't have a lens with a 55mm filter thread you can buy adapters for about $10.00.

I can try them on my 18-55mm kit lens if you'd like to see what they can do.

I'd be willing to mail them to you for $10.00 to cover my costs, if you'd like them.

I could part with the adapter for my kit lens if you require as well, but I'd ask for $10.00 as well. I bought it just to try them, and only slipped it on once.

Before I have anyone else saying that they want them I'm giving Heather first choice.
01-16-2008, 10:53 AM   #14
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Another option is a macro adaptor lens

I have not seen anyone mention close up lenses that attach to the filter threads yet. (oops Little Laker just posted before me) haha

I have a Sony m3358 and a raynox 250 than work on existing lenses. They take my DA50-200 and make it a fairly good closeup/macro lens. Here is a shot with that combo...





Here is the sony on the 50-200... the raynox is more versitile as it clips on to different sized lenses. It does nice work on the zoom or on my old M135 f2.8 or even the M200 F4


There is the Raynox 250 or 150, and the threaded canon 250 or 500 or the sony 3358. They are all pretty nice pieces of glass IMO. And a cheap option to play with macro/close-ups.

The raynox lenses are in the 39$ area. Here are some raynox shots





For $149 ish you can get the tamron 70-300mm with macro... not a true macro maybe but you can take real close in shots and then still have a 300mm lens for birds...




Good luck,
gus
01-16-2008, 11:29 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
Heather,

I think that you should for the most part save up for a dedicated macro lens.

However I know that might take you a while, and I might have a affordable alternative for you.

I have this set of 3 - 55mm threaded Kenko close up filters, along with the case.

I'll rate them in good shape. No scratches or anything.
E-bay sellers would probably rate them as like new

I got them in a $50.00 mystery camera bag with 3 lenses and a few extra items, so they were pretty much free for me, and I've only played with them 2 or 3 times.

If you don't have a lens with a 55mm filter thread you can buy adapters for about $10.00.

I can try them on my 18-55mm kit lens if you'd like to see what they can do.

I'd be willing to mail them to you for $10.00 to cover my costs, if you'd like them.

I could part with the adapter for my kit lens if you require as well, but I'd ask for $10.00 as well. I bought it just to try them, and only slipped it on once.

Before I have anyone else saying that they want them I'm giving Heather first choice.
If Heather doesn't want them, I'd love to have them. Let me know.
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