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03-19-2007, 08:51 PM   #1
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Question about macro filters

Hello, This is mostly likely a dumb question but how much better is a dedicated macro lens than attaching a closeup/macro filter to a FA35 or FA50? I have a +6 macro filter that I have attached to my FA50 to take detail shots of miniatures that I have painted and some flowers they are okay but the do seem to lack something. Would a real macro lens help me out? Thanks.
John

03-19-2007, 09:56 PM   #2
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I have a set of macro filters that I put on my FA50 also. Here is what I got with it the other day.



Without seeing your pictures, I wonder if your lighting is all right?

I may get a true macro lens someday, but for now, I like my filters that I bought for $1.

Jeff
03-19-2007, 10:33 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jfrejo Quote
Hello, This is mostly likely a dumb question but how much better is a dedicated macro lens than attaching a closeup/macro filter to a FA35 or FA50? I have a +6 macro filter that I have attached to my FA50 to take detail shots of miniatures that I have painted and some flowers they are okay but the do seem to lack something. Would a real macro lens help me out? Thanks.
John
Attaching close up filters means adding more pieces of glass on the lens which will lower image quality. I would assume +6 to be a fairly strong filter so you may get some distortion too.

I use reverse macro rings. They are very cheap going for like $5-10 on ebay. They have a screw thread on one side and a K Mount on the other and lets you mount the lens on backwards. This gives you about the same effect as a macro lens would. However you must focus by usually moving the camera closer to or farther away from your subject for it to focus. Some lens designs may enable you to actually focus using the focus ring although its a bit hard as you tend you unscrew the lens.

Another tip. I cannot explain why but reversing lenses of wider focal lengths yields more magnification. The reverse lens technique only seems to work up to len focal lengths of around 70-80mm. Anything longer doesn't seem to focus.

And using FAJ/DA lenses are rather hard because the aperture assume f22 or f32 position as there is no way to open the lens up without an aperture ring. (other than to carefully push the pin on the back. you can easily touch the rear element like this.)

Here's what the setup would look like. Note, I used the 18-55mm for this one. Its generally not recommended and primes with aperture rings are much better suiting for this task.







Make sure you buy the right macro ring size for your lenses. If you have alot of 49mm filter thread lenses, get a 49mm. I have both a 49mm macro ring and a 52mm one.
03-19-2007, 10:44 PM   #4
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Here's an photo I took with a reversed M 50mm f/2.0.



03-19-2007, 11:11 PM   #5
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here's another example of the reverse mounted lens.

somewhat tricky to use....

03-19-2007, 11:13 PM   #6
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nice photo! and..eh...ew..haha.

What lens did you reverse?
03-20-2007, 04:39 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by FotoPete Quote
nice photo! and..eh...ew..haha.

What lens did you reverse?
smc pentax - f 35-80 f/4-5.6

kit lens that came w/ zx-50
03-20-2007, 08:48 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jfrejo Quote
Hello, This is mostly likely a dumb question but how much better is a dedicated macro lens than attaching a closeup/macro filter to a FA35 or FA50? I have a +6 macro filter that I have attached to my FA50 to take detail shots of miniatures that I have painted and some flowers they are okay but the do seem to lack something. Would a real macro lens help me out? Thanks.
John
There are no dumb questions, only the ones left unasked!

A good macro lens would of course give you superior results compared to a filter - that's what they're designed for, after all. The question then becomes, can you justify the expense for the amount you'd use it? If you think you'll just take the occasional shot of your miniatures, it would probably make more sense to stick with the filter, or better, get a reversing ring as already suggested. But if you see yourself getting more into macro work, then maybe you can talk yourself into a macro lens. Main advantages: optics designed for macro, ability to focus, ability to take non-macro shots without changing anything (provided it's the focal length you want!), less fiddly. Main disadvantage: cost.

I'm lucky enough to have a Tokina 90mm, it's a lovely lens. Here's one taken with the lens alone (1:2 macro)


and another with the macro extender (1:1 macro)


Both of these taken with a DL, hand held in good light.

Warning: macro is addictive!

Julie

03-22-2007, 09:33 AM   #9
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Not a true macro lense, but I also use the kit 18-55 lens with a Porter's Kit that has +1, +2, +4 & a MACRO filter in it. I've had surprising results with the +4 so far with sharp images that hold the color well.

Here are a few I've posted here thus far...







It'll do until I figure out what my next lens will be.
03-22-2007, 09:10 PM   #10
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thanks for the responses

Thanks, for all the responses to my questions. I guess I don't think my shots are that sharp or maybe its the +6 macro ring that I was using. I do like macro shots so I will eventually get a macro lens until then my wife has some african violets starting to bloom so I will try taking some pictures of them . Here is one of the pictures I took, It just doesn't seam as good as it could be.
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