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04-22-2014, 07:34 AM   #1
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smc DA 50mm to macro?

Hi to everyone!
I'm a new member of this forum and a recent owner of a K-50.
I want to make my first steps to macro photography but i can't afford another lens right now.
I have the kit lens 18-55mm and the smc DA 50mm F1.8.
Is there any way i can reverse one of these lenses (or both?). I saw they sell some adapters for these purpose but i don't know exacly what to do...
Any suggestions?
(Apologies for my English)
Thanks

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04-22-2014, 07:53 AM   #2
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You have a few options, excluding buying an actual macro lens:

- use your lenses at the minimum focus distance; This might work semi-well with the 50mm, but the 18-55 is VERY soft at 55mm and MFD.

- get a reverse adapter; EDITED

- get a set of close-up filters; some filters are extremely good and don't degrade IQ very much, while some do. Raynox seems to be the brand of choice for these.

- get a set of extension tubes and a tripod (actually, while this is almost a requirement for using extension tubes, it applies to macro shooting in general too). No IQ degradation and cheap, but you do get less light to the sensor.

- get a set of bellows. Similar advice and properties as above, but gives more control over magnification.

I would strongly suggest looking for an old macro lens, one that might only go down to 2:1, possibly third party. Oh, and a tripod .

Last edited by Giklab; 04-22-2014 at 12:05 PM.
04-22-2014, 07:58 AM   #3
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I think i'll go with the filters. It seems the easiest solution for start. Thank you for your reply. It really help
04-22-2014, 08:58 AM   #4
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The old manual focus macros are pretty cheap.

04-22-2014, 10:09 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mr. K Quote
I think i'll go with the filters. It seems the easiest solution for start. Thank you for your reply. It really help
You're welcome. Just a last suggestion, try to find out how the filters work on your lens (would be best if you got them for the 50mm). I have a 52mm filter here which worked very well on my Nikon 18-55, but was absolutely useless on my 75-150. I plan on getting an additional one in 62mm size for my 18-135, for just a bit more versatility.
04-22-2014, 10:42 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
- get a reverse adapter; this would not work that well for the 50mm, which is a symmetrical design (in effect, it gives a similar magnification whichever direction it's mounted in).
On the contrary, 50mm is perfect for using a reverse ring. It gives about 1:1 magnification or a bit less (depending on how you set your focus ring).
The problem with the OP's lens is that it doesn't have an aperture ring so I think it will be stuck at f/22. He would need a lens with an aperture ring.

Here's my Pentax-M 50mm f/1.7 with a 5 dollar reverse ring:



100% crop:

04-22-2014, 11:09 AM   #7
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Great advice so far. Here is what I would suggest you do before buying anything:
-Mount the 18-55mm kit lens
-Set camera to Av mode and f-number between f8 and f14. ISO should be low as possible, but you can have it set to Auto 100-1600 for now.
-Switch camera to MF - Manual focus.
-Zoom lens to 55mm, and twist the focus ring to the closest possible focus (one side of the focus ring is infinity, the other side is nearest possible focus. You always get the maximum magnification at the closest focus)
-Now simply leave the focus ring alone and come as close to the object as you can, until it appears to be in-focus. Move back and forth, but don't change the focus, leave it at minimum. Slowly press the shutter and take that photo.

That is not quite *true* macro (macro is usually 2:1 magnification or higher. Modern Pentax macro lenses go to 1:1, older ones need an extension tube to get that far), but it is pretty close!
Bonus points if you have a tripod and use 2sec timer (and ISO 100, if you have enough light or the object in frame is stationary). This is good practice to know what to expect with macro. You can also get some old Pentax 100mm macro lenses fairly cheap, almost as cheap as a good set of Raynox filters:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/showcat.php?cat=all&stype=1&si=macro
These can double as general portrait and tele photography lenses. The older ones are manual, but with macro you won't be doing much focusing anyway (with macro, MF is usually the way to go)
04-22-2014, 11:16 AM   #8
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Using a reverse ring on the da 50 wouldn't work too well (it doesn't have an aperture ring - so you'd be locked at f22). You *might* be able to find extension tubes that support electrical contacts, but I can't ever recall having come across a set like that? (so again, you'd be stuck at f22).
If you can find a macro teleconverter with electrical contacts, that might work (but again, i've never come across one of those)
Close up filters are the only option here (unless you are prepared to pick up an old 'm' lens)

04-22-2014, 12:04 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChristianRock Quote
On the contrary, 50mm is perfect for using a reverse ring
Derp Derpinson reporting. I have no idea why I thought that my 50mm did not give a good magnification.
04-22-2014, 12:08 PM   #10
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