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02-12-2014, 08:06 PM   #1
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Suggest to me a cheap Macro option

I may or may not have just blown my budget on a 150-500mm on ebay which I couldn't go past...

I was planning on buying instead a Sigma 70mm macro, so in the mean time, suggest to me a cheap option for macro

My lens lineup is currently

K - mount
Sigma 10-20mm
Sigma 30mm
Pentax F 35-70mm
Sigma 70-200mm
Sigma 150-500mm

M42 mount
Jupiter9 85mm
Tair 11A 135mm
Tair 3PhS 300mm

The way I see it my options are....

Find some cheap K mount tubes to go with the F 35-70mm, but they would need to have aperture control, and I havent come across any lately that would suit for cheap
Get a Raynox or similar to go on a lens
Get a full set of M42 tubes, but the M42 lenses I have are very heavy, not keen on that option hanging so far off the adapter
Get a cheap macro lens, AKA Cosina/Vivitar plastic fantastic 100mm f3.5, but they are hard to find with the 1:1 adapter
Suck it up and wait till I can replenish the budget for the Sigma 70mm

So what would you do?

02-12-2014, 08:27 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Reversing rings for the M42 lenses? A quick ten buck solution?
02-12-2014, 08:30 PM   #3
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For an F lens you don't need tubes with aperture.
The aperture is controlled at the lens.
02-12-2014, 08:30 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jezza323 Quote
I may or may not have just blown my budget on a 150-500mm on ebay which I couldn't go past...

I was planning on buying instead a Sigma 70mm macro, so in the mean time, suggest to me a cheap option for macro

My lens lineup is currently

K - mount
Sigma 10-20mm
Sigma 30mm
Pentax F 35-70mm
Sigma 70-200mm
Sigma 150-500mm

M42 mount
Jupiter9 85mm
Tair 11A 135mm
Tair 3PhS 300mm

The way I see it my options are....

Find some cheap K mount tubes to go with the F 35-70mm, but they would need to have aperture control, and I havent come across any lately that would suit for cheap
Get a Raynox or similar to go on a lens
Get a full set of M42 tubes, but the M42 lenses I have are very heavy, not keen on that option hanging so far off the adapter
Get a cheap macro lens, AKA Cosina/Vivitar plastic fantastic 100mm f3.5, but they are hard to find with the 1:1 adapter
Suck it up and wait till I can replenish the budget for the Sigma 70mm

So what would you do?
This old post by Rio Rico may be useful

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/54-pentax-lens-articles/152336-cheap-macr...lose-work.html

02-12-2014, 08:32 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by southlander Quote
Reversing rings for the M42 lenses? A quick ten buck solution?
Yes, another good option
02-12-2014, 08:33 PM   #6
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Do you want tubes with the A contacts or just the lever? Getting some cheap teleconverters and removing the glass can be very cheap route. They all have the aperture lever, many have the contacts as well. Each one is about 25mm of extension. I've ended up with 4 so far and only explicitly paid for one of them, the rest came with other stuff I wanted.
02-12-2014, 08:34 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
For an F lens you don't need tubes with aperture.
The aperture is controlled at the lens.
Ah yes true. I guess I had discounted it from my mind since I would prefer to focus wide open and stop down to shoot. I have done stopped down focusing before for macro, but its mostly guess work at f16 & f22! Definitely an option though

---------- Post added 13-02-14 at 01:38 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
Do you want tubes with the A contacts or just the lever? Getting some cheap teleconverters and removing the glass can be very cheap route. They all have the aperture lever, many have the contacts as well. Each one is about 25mm of extension. I've ended up with 4 so far and only explicitly paid for one of them, the rest came with other stuff I wanted.
I have been keeping my eye out for some, but haven't come across any that are all that cheap
02-12-2014, 09:15 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jezza323 Quote
Suggest to me a cheap Macro option I may or may not have just blown my budget on a 150-500mm on ebay which I couldn't go past... I was planning on buying instead a Sigma 70mm macro, so in the mean time, suggest to me a cheap option for macro My lens lineup is currently K - mount Sigma 10-20mm Sigma 30mm Pentax F 35-70mm Sigma 70-200mm Sigma 150-500mm M42 mount Jupiter9 85mm Tair 11A 135mm Tair 3PhS 300mm The way I see it my options are.... Find some cheap K mount tubes to go with the F 35-70mm, but they would need to have aperture control, and I havent come across any lately that would suit for cheap Get a Raynox or similar to go on a lens Get a full set of M42 tubes, but the M42 lenses I have are very heavy, not keen on that option hanging so far off the adapter Get a cheap macro lens, AKA Cosina/Vivitar plastic fantastic 100mm f3.5, but they are hard to find with the 1:1 adapter Suck it up and wait till I can replenish the budget for the Sigma 70mm So what would you do?
Well here is what I've picked up over the past 2 years - mostly for less than $30 an item
cheap set of M42 extension tubes
m42 bellows
K extension tubes - have since sanded down the back faces to ensure contact with the body so the lens will stop down
49, 52 mm reversing rings
a 3X macro focusing teleconverter - I find it works better as a 3X TC than the macro, but if you slap on a 50 mm lens you get 1:1, and it has A contacts
2 Takumar-A teleconverters, at least one of which will be deglassed to make an A contact extension tube

I've used some of these more than others. One of my favorite combinations is to hang a 135mm lens off of the extension tubes. Not the fastest lens to use, but it means you can stand well back of the object you are shooting. I've also put 50mm lenses on the tubes. I've not found this to be too heavy a combination. One of my favorite lenses for close ups (1:4) is the A35-105/3.5 which allows close focusing across the entire zoom range. The beauty is that you can use a combination of zooming and focusing so you have less stepping back and forth with your feet to get it right. It is a heavy lens, but I may still try it with an extension tube once I deglass.

For a little more money I bought a Vivitar 90/2.8 m42 lens. Beautiful glass. Great for macro. Only problem I have is that the focus throw is something like 900 degrees, and my copy is a bit stiff. So it can be hard to focus at times, especially if I go from a macro shot to a non macro one. If it wasn't for that, I'd use this lens a lot more often. There is at least one for sale on the forums, and the seller also has the vivitar 100 you mention, but without the extension tube. (Not an endorsement for the seller, but just to indicate you can price each of these lenses on the forum).

All of these tools have their ups and downs. Extension tubes are fine if you don't want to change magnification much, otherwise they are fiddly. The bellows is huge - I've yet to try it out properly yet. Reversing rings only give you very close focusing - you don't get the extra magnification without putting extension tubes in between.

One option you haven't mentioned is to pick up a set of m42 tubes and a cheap m42 lens like the SMC Takumar 55/2 or 55/1.8. I find 50mm a bit short for macro as you have to be very close to the object when you focus.
I'll close by saying I tinker, with the exception of the Vivitar macro lens, I don't think any of my tools are great ways to do macro, especially in an uncontrolled environment, but they were cheap options and I've had some fun learning how to use them.

02-12-2014, 09:32 PM   #9
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I would like to add a Helios 44-2 back into my Russian M42 collection, so perhaps that would be an option for M42 with extension tubes, 58mm f2
02-12-2014, 09:43 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jezza323 Quote
I would like to add a Helios 44-2 back into my Russian M42 collection, so perhaps that would be an option for M42 with extension tubes, 58mm f2
I think I've tried that too. I have two Helios - a 44 preset and a 44M. The focusing on the preset is really stiff so I think once I got the 44M I stopped using it, but stiff focusing is a common problem. I see two factors that work against it. One is that it isn't a light lens given its size. At that focal length the Takumar 50 or 55 is a lighter choice, although I know they render colors very differently. The other problem I find is that the lens is okay at f8 and maybe f11, but at f16 it gets really dark, and the metering, at least is Av mode is horribly wrong.

If you are interested in some of the results, here are a few of the pics I posted some time ago.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/12-post-your-photos/185947-macro-bargain-basement-maco.html - lenses used Tak 135, 55
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/12-post-your-photos/190588-macro-2-bugs-w...work-safe.html - lens used Helios
02-12-2014, 09:47 PM   #11
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See if you can find an apochromatic macro adapter. (Example here.) These are not the same as the closeup lens kits. They often came with 100mm or so lens to make them true macros, often at 49mm. I have one that I screw on to the front of a TeleTakumar 200mm f5.6, and it gives me 1:1 macro. Here's an example:
02-12-2014, 10:06 PM   #12
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I recently picked up an Industar 61 LZ M42 50mm2.8 Macro lens for $50.

Cheap.
02-13-2014, 11:51 AM - 1 Like   #13
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You are probably still going to want that Sigma lens. Really the best thing to do is to just wait until you can afford it. Its also the less fun idea
02-13-2014, 03:02 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by southlander Quote
Reversing rings for the M42 lenses? A quick ten buck solution?
That is a good idea, but get one for the wider lenses, not the longer M42 lenses. The wider the lens, the greater the magnification when the lens is reverted.

From what I read, the rule is that a 50mm lens, when inverted, will give you a 1:1 magnification macro lens. A 28mm lens, when inverted, will give a 1.79:1 magnification.

This is a Tokina 11-16mm reversed (I assume in its 11mm setting - NOT my picture):



Those are sugar grains

I just bought a couple inverter rings from KEH by the way... one 52mm and one 49mm... I should have them soon. I should also track down a 67mm for my 19-35mm Tokina that is on its way... as long as the lens has an aperture ring you're good to play with it!

Right now I have an Achromatic Macro lens (52mm) from Sigma. Here's a pepper taken with it on my Rikenon 50mm f/1.4 (at f/11):



I can't see those little white bugs on the leafs, with my naked eye. I had no idea they were there...
02-13-2014, 06:04 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by miltona580 Quote
You are probably still going to want that Sigma lens. Really the best thing to do is to just wait until you can afford it. Its also the less fun idea
I am very aware of this right now! lol

Thanks for the suggestions everyone I might look at reversing a lens onto another lens, see what I can come up with for now
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