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07-17-2008, 08:27 PM   #1
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Raynox 250, day one

The Raynox 250 came today. I shot several frames with each of three long zooms, the Pentax 18-250mm and 55-300mm, and the Tamron 70-300mm (In macro mode. I don't think that matters, but I used it anyway.) Fitting the Raynox is as easy as installing a lens cap. Just remember to remove any filters first. I didn't remember the UV filter the first time I mounted the 55-300mm and I ended up cursing the lens instead of the dope behind it. I used minimum aperture for most shots, and still the dof was really, really shallow. I quickly decided AF was a waste of time.

I mounted the Sigma 530 Super flash at -7 degrees and dropped the built-in diffuser. Someone more clever than me would have removed the little flash highlights. The photos have not been processed or cropped, they are exactly as they came out of the camera.
Picasa Web Albums - Dan - Raynox 250

It's tough work taking these macros, you have to get right down there in the flowers with the stinging insects and poke a giant lens within a few inches of where they're working. Fortunately there were no unpleasant incidents. It was very difficult to find focus, or even find anything at all. Mostly you're looking at a blur, not knowing whether to move in closer or back out, and often you aren't even on the right flower. It's frustrating that you can't find a creature that's in plain view. Bees were the worst, they are hyperactive. I couldn't fit a whole bee in the frame at 300mm, I had to zoom way out. The 18-250mm could not capture extreme closeups like the 300mm lenses. I have never been so painfully aware of camera shake. I was wondering if I would get any useable shots. I think overall the 55-300mm was the best performer. Strangely, I didn't notice the Tamron giving me a more macro view. They seemed pretty much equal, with the 55-300mm showing its usual slightly superior sharpness and colour. I should do a test of the magnification of each using the same size subject.

If you've been wondering whether to get one of these inexpensive add-on lenses, I recommend you go for it. It's a lot of fun for a $60 investment.

07-17-2008, 09:05 PM   #2
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Those aren't bad for the first go around with the setup. Macro/extreme closeup takes practice, patience and a bit of luck.
07-17-2008, 09:46 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Those aren't bad for the first go around with the setup. Macro/extreme closeup takes practice, patience and a bit of luck.
I'm thinking a tripod and a chemical that immobilizes the insects would be ideal.
07-17-2008, 09:49 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I'm thinking a tripod and a chemical that immobilizes the insects would be ideal.
CO2 can be used to anesthetize or slow down certain insects but it is hard to fly when asleep or cold. Tryout a monopod as well.

07-18-2008, 05:06 AM   #5
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It's hard work isn't it. You managed to get one or two in focus. When you get it right it's great though, here is my latest (I need a stoffen or a fong badly) .....

07-18-2008, 05:46 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
It's hard work isn't it. You managed to get one or two in focus. When you get it right it's great though, here is my latest (I need a stoffen or a fong badly) .....
It's probably easier to take a photo like this, when your subjects are, hmm... distracted.

Good depth of field. What focal length were you at? Maybe I'm making a mistake by going for the extreme zoom. DOF should open out if I use the wide end instead of the long end, right?
07-18-2008, 07:00 AM   #7
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You can't really use the wide end or it vignettes. This is the 50-200 at 200.

I find the Tamron at 180mm, set at it's closest focus distance is a great compromise.
07-18-2008, 07:55 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
You can't really use the wide end or it vignettes. This is the 50-200 at 200.

I find the Tamron at 180mm, set at it's closest focus distance is a great compromise.
Yeah, the Tamron at 180mm is what I was thinking to try. I'll probably keep the Tamron/Raynox as my macro setup.

Does it really matter if you use the Macro switch? AFAIK that's just for telling the camera to close-focus, so it shouldn' matter on MF, right?

07-18-2008, 08:19 AM   #9
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Yeah it does matter, even in MF it will nto allow you to focus in the macro range unless you flip the switch.
07-18-2008, 08:25 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
Yeah it does matter, even in MF it will nto allow you to focus in the macro range unless you flip the switch.
That's what I would have thought, but the 55-300 doesn't even have a close focus feature, and it seemed to be able to get in as close as the Tamron. I can't be sure of this though, since the subjects came in several different sizes.
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