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04-15-2008, 12:45 AM   #1
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Cheap macro

Hello! I am looking for some oldie macro lens, but i am absolute beginner in macro photo! Can you suggest some lens.

P.S. Will use on k100d!

04-15-2008, 07:04 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by brr Quote
Hello! I am looking for some oldie macro lens, but i am absolute beginner in macro photo! Can you suggest some lens.
Buy a Raynox DCR-150 or DCR-250 close-up lens. These close-up attachments comprise three elements of optical glass, so they are very well corrected. They are equipped with an universal adapter, allowing to use them on any lens with a filter thread between 52 and 67mm. The DCR-150 (4.8 diopter) focusing distance is 210mm with a lens set to infinity (less when the lens is set to its minimum distance), and the DCR-250 (8 diopter) focusing distance is 109mm again with a lens set to infinity.

The big advantage of these attachments over teleconverters, extension tubes or bellows, is that they maintain the original lens aperture over the whole focusing range. If you have a 50/1.7 lens, it will remain an F/1.7 lens, even when used to shoot critters located 10cm from the image plane. Last but not least, they are quite affordable ($38.95 for the DCR-150 and $43.95 for the DCR-250 or $79.95 for both at B&H).

Cheers!

Abbazz
04-15-2008, 07:31 AM   #3
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If you wanna a lens take a look to this one if you can find one:

Phoenix AF 100mm f/3.5 Macro Telephoto Reviews

It's a "Phoenix" 100mm but optically it is like a vivitar. The magnification ratio goes up to 1:2 and with an adaptor can go to lifesize macro 1:1.

Extension tube are as cheap as close-up lens. As Abbazz was pointing out they change the aperture of your lens BUT they do not change the optical quality whereas close-up lenses do.
04-15-2008, 07:46 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Abbazz Quote
Buy a Raynox DCR-150 or DCR-250 close-up lens. These close-up attachments comprise three elements of optical glass, so they are very well corrected. They are equipped with an universal adapter, allowing to use them on any lens with a filter thread between 52 and 67mm. The DCR-150 (4.8 diopter) focusing distance is 210mm with a lens set to infinity (less when the lens is set to its minimum distance), and the DCR-250 (8 diopter) focusing distance is 109mm again with a lens set to infinity.

The big advantage of these attachments over teleconverters, extension tubes or bellows, is that they maintain the original lens aperture over the whole focusing range. If you have a 50/1.7 lens, it will remain an F/1.7 lens, even when used to shoot critters located 10cm from the image plane. Last but not least, they are quite affordable ($38.95 for the DCR-150 and $43.95 for the DCR-250 or $79.95 for both at B&H).

Cheers!

Abbazz
How's the IQ of these filters, Abbazz? I have a Century Optics +2 diopter, but the IQ degradation is more than I wanted.

04-15-2008, 03:59 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by aegisphan Quote
How's the IQ of these filters, Abbazz? I have a Century Optics +2 diopter, but the IQ degradation is more than I wanted.
They are simply the best additional additional lenses I have ever tried. There is a bit of degradation at the edges of the frame and a smudge of added chromatic aberrations, but these are hardly visible, even on a 30x40cm print. And the main subject is rarely at the edge of the frame in macro shooting. Anyway, the big advantage of shooting macro at the lens' real aperture outbalances these small optical defects.

It's like any optical attachment: if you start with a good lens, you will get good results (stay away from bad quality zooms). For the price, these Raynox close-up lenses are hard to beat.

I shall post some pictures when I have some time...

Cheers!

Abbazz

Last edited by Abbazz; 04-15-2008 at 04:06 PM.
04-15-2008, 07:05 PM   #6
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The cheapest route to quality macro:

Bellows or extension tubes mated to your favorite 50mm lens (must have aperture ring). Add a focus rail to make focusing easier.

What it costs: probably less than $50

What you get: excellent results without playing cheap macro lens roulette

See this thread for more information:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-photography-knowledge-base/24622-m...l-bellows.html
04-15-2008, 07:27 PM   #7
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$200: Oh man. Undoubtedly the best 1:1 macro lens for the price is the Sigma 50/2.8 1:1. I think there's one at KEH for $200. It is very sharp, the colors are true, and the AF is relatively fast. I got mine new at B&H for $270.

$40ish?: Raynox close-up lenses. I've seen some very extraordinary results from these. Just make sure you have a decent lens to start with: not the kit 18-55!

$20-60?: Extension tubes. Although these, unlike the Raynox, will also hinder your aperture, so if you're shooting a low-light bug wide open at f/2.8 (or wahtever the lens you'll be using is), an extension tube (or 2 or 3) also affects your aperture. Depending on what size extension you're using, your aperture will be 1.5x or 2x or 3x what your aperture is, meaning light loss.

Of course, you can always use a teleconverter with a macro lens, which will give you a 2:1 ratio or something. Very hard to focus, but very amazing results! Or three extension tubes, a teleconverter, and the raynox filter all on a 1:1 macro lens. Haha, there are a lot of possibilities with macro!
04-15-2008, 07:38 PM   #8
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I have to disagree with Fastphotography at the $200 point option. I wouldn't call that lens the best. There are many fine longer focal macros that would be at least equal to the Sigma. And the bonus is that you get a longer focal, longer working distance. A few that I can list right here:

Vivitar S1/Lester Dine/Kiron 105/2.5
Tamron SP 90/2.5
Vivitar S1/Tokina 90/2.5
Kiron/Panagor/... 90/2.5

If you only want macro, then AF is not needed. Even if you intend to use it for other things, AF is not a critical point. For a macro newbie, I would suggest you to get a dedicated macro. It's much easy to work with than to use Bellows or extensions tubes due to the light loss and cumbersome setup.

Close up diopter could be a cheap way. I've not tried the Raynox to know the quality, though Abbazz and Fastphotography really like theirs. Of course these would degrade the IQ. So you should've used a good lens, or else the result would be unusable.

However, when you're comfortable with macro, to increase your magnification, Bellows and Extension tubes are the best way to go while still maintaining your IQ.

04-15-2008, 07:49 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by aegisphan Quote
I have to disagree with Fastphotography at the $200 point option. I wouldn't call that lens the best. There are many fine longer focal macros that would be at least equal to the Sigma. And the bonus is that you get a longer focal, longer working distance. A few that I can list right here:

Vivitar S1/Lester Dine/Kiron 105/2.5
Tamron SP 90/2.5
Vivitar S1/Tokina 90/2.5
Kiron/Panagor/... 90/2.5
Yes, you can find those excellent lenses for about $200, but those days are passing quickly. The last Lester Dine I saw went for close to $300 at auction.

QuoteOriginally posted by aegisphan Quote
...Bellows and Extension tubes are the best way to go while still maintaining your IQ.
So true. I guess I just came into the macro game through the high effort route. I got the bellows first and the Sigma 50/2.8 Macro sometime later. (BTW, the Sigma, good as it is, cannot hold a candle to the bellows paired with my Pentax-M 50/1.7.)
04-15-2008, 09:58 PM   #10
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.

I can vouch for the following:

SMC-M 50mm f/4 can be had for under $150, and it's remarkable.

Vivitar Series 1 105 f/2.5 (And Lester Dine/Kiron) - one of the best ever, but $$$


.
04-16-2008, 04:01 AM   #11
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Speaking of Raynox 250. Did any of you test this on the Tamron 70-300, which has a 62mm filter thread? Is there any vignetting?
Can someone, who owns the combination do the quick test for me?

Thanks!
04-16-2008, 04:38 AM   #12
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SMC-M 50mm f/4 macro, would be a good choice and for under $150 not bad, for the cheapest you can go without a dedicated macro lens I think an smc-M 50mm 1.7 and a 50mm auto extension tube would do the trick, and get you 1:1 or use a 100mm ET to get greater than life size. you can get a 50mm 1.7 in the marketplace right now for $40. but of course all would be more difficult than just buying a macro lens I cant hep you their though as I don't own a macro lens.
04-16-2008, 10:37 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentagor Quote
Speaking of Raynox 250. Did any of you test this on the Tamron 70-300, which has a 62mm filter thread? Is there any vignetting?
Can someone, who owns the combination do the quick test for me?

Thanks!

Anyone?
04-16-2008, 11:24 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentagor Quote
Speaking of Raynox 250. Did any of you test this on the Tamron 70-300, which has a 62mm filter thread? Is there any vignetting?
Can someone, who owns the combination do the quick test for me?
I just did the test. The Raynox DCR-250 fits fine on the Tamron zoom. There is no vignetting, even wide open at 70mm, and the image quality seems very good. I don't use much the Tamron 70-300 because of its ubiquitous purple fringing (for general photography, I prefer the Pentax FA 80-320), but this combo seems worth further investigating...

Cheers!

Abbazz
04-17-2008, 12:07 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Abbazz Quote
I just did the test. The Raynox DCR-250 fits fine on the Tamron zoom. There is no vignetting, even wide open at 70mm, and the image quality seems very good. I don't use much the Tamron 70-300 because of its ubiquitous purple fringing (for general photography, I prefer the Pentax FA 80-320), but this combo seems worth further investigating...

Cheers!

Abbazz

Thank you so much Abbazz. I really appreciate it. I think I'm about to purchase DCR-250.
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