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12-20-2018, 09:39 PM   #1
Liney's Avatar

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Mitakon Zhongyi 20mm f/2 4.5x

I've been playing round with Macro for a while now and my current setup seems to work quite well, but trawling through the camera shop websites I came across the Mitakon Zhongyi 20mm f/2 4.5x super macro lens.

Now it's not your traditional macro lens (or rather traditional lens that can be used for macro) and while there are a couple of reviews on the forum I got the impression they didn't use it for the type of images I was intending (studio work with lots of light and a focus rail).

So the question is, has anyone used this type of lens before, specifically in a studio type environment, and can they provide feedback.

Many thanks

12-21-2018, 01:29 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Moved to the lens forum (the production suggestions & feedback forum is meant for one-way feedback for the Pentax/Ricoh folks).

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12-21-2018, 01:46 AM   #3
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Original Poster
Thanks Adam, I wasn't sure where the best place for it was
12-21-2018, 05:04 PM - 1 Like   #4
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I haven't used this lens, but I've been wondering about it, along with the Laowa 25mm f2.8 2.5-5X Ultra Macro. (The latter has had some interesting reviews, including this one:
Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5x - 5x Ultra Macro lens review )

I've been pleased with results I get from reversed cine lenses and reversed kit zoom lenses (which like the Laowa offer a range of magnifications). I want to try some reversed enlarger lenses, too. I've got some cheap Vivitar and Rodenstock ones I haven't played with yet (mostly because of my general satisfaction with my results with the reversed lenses mentioned above.) So I've got a number of ways to go beyond 1:1 macro. Going this route is cheaper, but you do have to find the right bits to make it work for what you want to do. Reversed normal (or shorter) primes can work well, too. Lens stacking, too. I've tried them all, they're all fun. Not always easy or straightforward, but really satisfying when the images work out. I usually am shooting outdoors handheld, single shots rather than stacking. I've not done any vigourous testing or comparisons with these different ways of working under more controlled studio conditions. I probably should...

I'm wondering how much better in IQ they would be than my cobbled together set-ups. Both the Mitakon and the Laowa are non-automatic diaphragm, so neither will prevent the darkening of the OV that comes with stopping down. Live view can help with this to a great degree, but I guess I'd have to see a big improvement in IQ to make it worthwhile.

12-21-2018, 06:23 PM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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Original Poster

Thanks for the response. I'm currently using the "extension tubes and lens with macro facility" option but it is limited in terms of magnification. Plan B is to get a set of bellows, looking at the websites there is a nice one for a quarter of the price of the lens.
12-21-2018, 06:49 PM - 1 Like   #6
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I have one. It's nice and compact. Lighting is tricky in such a confined space and it seems vital to keep any light from hitting the front element or contrast starts to vanish. If you stop down at all, triangle bokeh is very bizarre. Not an issue if you are stacking and have no out of focus highlights though. Diffraction starts to kick in pretty quick, so you don't really want to stop down much anyway.

I don't find it nearly as sharp as my dedicated macros (DFA 100 & 50), or my 2x magnfication combo (dfa100+DCR250) or even my 3x mag combo (dfa100 with a reversed A28/2.8), but I'd put it above my previous 4-5x combo (the A28/2.8 reversed onto a bellows).

It's not easy to use, an automated rail would probably be a good idea. I have a manual velbon clone, and it's borderline at 4x magnification.

The above equipment represents the bulk of my macro'ness. I'm really a rookie at greater than 2x magnification. If there's something specific about the Mitakon you'd like to know, please ask. I've had it for about a year, but part of the reason I bought it was for a project I was still gathering materials for and will be shooting in the next few weeks so I should have things ready to go.

This was 8 stacked shots under studio lights (caterpillar was naturally frozen on a snow bank and brought indoors for a quick shoot). This is the full frame of the k5iis at 4x mag:

Edit- to add a 1024x701 pixel section of one of the slices that went into the above stack:

Last edited by BrianR; 12-21-2018 at 06:56 PM.

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