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01-05-2011, 05:25 PM   #16
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Great info aliasant!

01-06-2011, 08:24 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by aliasant Quote
Are you going to shoot live in nature or inside in a controlled enviroment?
Are you going to use a stand or freehand?
Thanks for so many replys,

Im going to photograph in nature with freehand.

Cant you guys just tell me what to buy :-)

Today i tried extensiontube + tamron 17-50 it was very dark. even with the ringlight it was dark.
01-06-2011, 08:48 AM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Purusam Quote
Thanks for so many replys,

Im going to photograph in nature with freehand.

Cant you guys just tell me what to buy :-)

Today i tried extensiontube + tamron 17-50 it was very dark. even with the ringlight it was dark.

Lol

I wish it was that easy. Just buy this..... but there are so many ways to the bugs
I dont think you will need to get much closer the 1:1 if your shooting freehand.
That bug image in my previous post was shot at about 1:1 and I then cropped of the sides and rotated it a bit so that image is probably only 40% of the real frame.
Maybe you should just get the Sigma 105mm 2.8 Macro lens?
I have seen others get great results with it.
It goes down to 1:1 so that will get you far.
If you need to get closer just put a reversed, smaller lens on top of that.

Just for fun....
Heres another way that I havnt really tried in the field yet.

I use an old Exakta lens that has a nice and big button to close down the aparture. The lens is a Carl Zeiss Pancolar 50mm f2.0 that you should be able to find on fleebay or similar.

It can be used on extension tubes both normal and reversed.
You will get a lot closer if you reverse it so thats probably the best way to go.

Heres my lens with a total of 50mm tubes. Not reversed.
This is great for flowers and similar when you dont need to get that close and theres no bug to scare of.





Heres a full frame of that kit but reversed on a 20mm extension tube + a flash. Click on it to see the full version.




Heres the same shot cropped 100%.
My focusing skills on this shot wasnt that great though.




The great thing using these old Exakta lenses is that big button.
I hold my thumb on that one while trying to find the focus/distance and this is with the lens fully open. When I think I found it I press the button to close the aparture and then take the picture with flash. I used f8 or maybe 11 on this picture.
I have never tried a ring macro flash so I cant say what the result would be. My flash is an older Pentax AF240Z. I use it slightly pointed up so that I dont get the direct hard light. Putting a diffuser on it works great too.

Last edited by aliasant; 01-06-2011 at 09:02 AM.
01-06-2011, 09:28 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by aliasant Quote
Maybe you should just get the Sigma 105mm 2.8 Macro lens?
Yeah maybe its the esiest way for a rookie like me :-)

But wich is the best Sigma 105mm 2.8 Macro or the pentax 100mm wr ?

And do i get more close up with extension tubes on there lenses ?

01-06-2011, 09:42 AM   #20
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Does your tamron have an aperture ring on it? I don't see one in the photos of that lens that I'm looking at. If not (which I believe is the case) you are shooting at f32 with it mounted on extension tubes. When you move the lens away from the camera, you also decrease the amount of light reaching the sensor. If (in general) you have moved it as far away as the lens itself is long, you now have 1/4 the light reaching the sensor. To effectively use a lens without an aperture ring, you need extension tubes that will A, Actuate the aperture lever and B, send aperture info to the camera (contacts on the tubes).

If your extension tubes lack the lever to open the aperture, then as you've found, you'll have almost no light in the photo, even with a ring flash. The Cheapo Chinese tubes typically do not have the lever. If they do have the lever but your lens lacks an aperture ring, then you will be working with 2 settings on the lens, depending on your camera exposure mode (Av, M, etc). Wide open in the case of Av, and fully stopped down in the case of M. In this case you need tubes that have the contacts so the camera and lens can still talk back and fourth about what aperture to use. Actually, without an aperture ring and depending on the tubes you have, I would be surprised you can even see to focus.

Getting contacted extension tubes can either be an expensive rare purchase (no one is making them for Pentax) or it can be cheap if you want to play with it. Get a few cheapo 2x teleconverters that have the contacts and remove the glass from them. The one I have is branded Focal and removing the glass was a simple matter of unscrewing it.

Barring all that however, I would like to know your budget before giving you a solid what to buy answer. You can pick up a manual 50mm lens (Pentax-M 50 f1:1.7) relatively cheap and with your extension tubes, you'll have a full manual 1:1 macro. You can look for a Vivitar macro focusing 2x teleconverter ($50-$100 depending on where you find one) with the contacts, and use your Tamron. At 50mm on the Tamron, you'll have 1:1 macro but it will be f5.6. Or you can buy a dedicated macro lens (there are Many other options) that does 1:1 and be done with it. As noted, for back yard freehand bug shooting, it's good enough. To give a solid recommendation though, Budget.

Pentax DFA100mm f2.8 WR with the Pentax AF160 ring flash (cropped photo), total cost about $950.



Mamiya 55mm f1:1.4 on extension tubes using a bounced Pentax AF540, total cost about $60 (plus the flash). The berry is about the size of a pencil eraser.



http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4111/5006447204_99cc789b36_o.jpg

Pentax A 100mm f4 1:2 macro (no flash), about $200ish



http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4147/4946238313_0f4edaa4f9_o.jpg

So, how much do you want to spend. Tell us and we'll spend every penny for you.



Last edited by JeffJS; 01-06-2011 at 09:54 AM.
01-06-2011, 09:59 AM   #21
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My budget

Well i tought about buying the pentax 100 mm macro wr lens so that cost + maybee 100 USd im ready to spend. And you are right i have no aparture ring on my tamron, and the extension tubes are cheap chinese "junk" maybe i dont know.

But i have not seen so many closeupps photos with the pentax macro 100mm wr


I got a ringlight ( ring48, google it) its not a flash just light.

This was realy hard :-), thanks again for all replyes you guys are realy helpfull
01-06-2011, 10:18 AM   #22
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I believe the non WR version has the same optical formula (and it has an aperture ring).

Pentax smc P-D FA 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens Sample Photos and Specifications

Edit:

one more..

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=pentax+dfa100&z=m

01-06-2011, 10:26 AM   #23
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The currently available macro lenses around 100mm would be the Tamron 90mm, the Pentax 100mm and the Sigma 105mm. All are highly regarded. A ~100mm macro lens gives enough working distance not to bother live insects too much. This helps with lighting the subject too as the shadow from the gear or the user doesn't fall on it as easily as with other lenses.

As for extension tubes, the basic variety works fine as long as the lens has an aperture ring. Fancier ones with the aperture lever and electrical contacts do exist, but would not seem to be available new; such a tube would be needed to use the WR version of the Pentax 100mm macro, only the regular DFA 100mm macro has the aperture ring.

01-06-2011, 10:33 AM   #24
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By the way... Have you looked here to see what can be done with the many different options available to you?

Macro Photography - PentaxForums.com

I would readily recommend the 100 2.8 WR if you want to spend the money on it but like your tamron, it isn't going to play well with the cheapo extension tubes. If the tubes don't matter to you, you're all set.

01-06-2011, 12:10 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by kryss Quote
You need to be at least 10-20" away for macro insects,as they tend to fly/jump if too close + DOF is very very shallow at high Magnification.Macro photography can be frustrating but keep at it if you don't first succeed.I have been into macro for quite a number of years and your easiest route would be Pentax bellows + cheap, cheap enlarging lenses 50mm_80mm. or any brand 28mm on reversing ring. Good luck.
All of my macro's are taken far closer than "at least 10-20"" and I seem to do fine Its all about stalking technique and patience

To the Op: I use A: Pentax F 28mm reversed on extension tubes or B: broken M 50mm F/1.7 reversed on extension tubes or C: F 135mm with a 50mm or 28mm.... this is all depending on the subject and magnification needed. I also own a macro lens (sigma 105mm) but it is never used. I prefer the challenge and rewarding experience when getting shots with my ghetto setups (plus I hate 1:1)

Really, in macro most of it depends on your lighting setup. Even at 1:1 i suggest using a flash. As you get more and more magnification, the more light you will need.

Here's a couple of my images using my various setups:













etc. etc.

(also, I use those cheap $10 extension tubes....)

(edit: This thread makes me want to go out again and take some more.... haven't done it in a while. Im going to be buying a focusing rail here pretty soon so expect some heavy stacking in the next couple of weeks)

Last edited by yeatzee; 01-06-2011 at 12:15 PM.
01-06-2011, 12:20 PM   #26
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Great macros Yeatzee! Patience and dedication are what produce images like those...
01-06-2011, 04:07 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ubuntu_user Quote
Great macros Yeatzee! Patience and dedication are what produce images like those...
Thanks Im sure all macro photographers will agree that patience is something you must have to be truly successful. Bugs are almost never cooperative, and usually take some time getting used to your presence (especially jumping spiders). Btw, the images are of LIVING bugs and are several images in one (focus stacking)

My light setup is quite terrible right now and needs major improvements but im lost as to what direction I should be heading in. Im thinking A: 2 AF 360fgz's or 2 of the 200FG's and imitating the canon macro rig some way or B: buying an arm like that of Thomas' setup (first page, lovely image) with one bigger flash. Than I need to figure out a productive flash diffusion setup

01-06-2011, 04:16 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by yeatzee Quote
Thanks Im sure all macro photographers will agree that patience is something you must have to be truly successful. Bugs are almost never cooperative, and usually take some time getting used to your presence (especially jumping spiders). Btw, the images are of LIVING bugs and are several images in one (focus stacking)

My light setup is quite terrible right now and needs major improvements but im lost as to what direction I should be heading in. Im thinking A: 2 AF 360fgz's or 2 of the 200FG's and imitating the canon macro rig some way or B: buying an arm like that of Thomas' setup (first page, lovely image) with one bigger flash. Than I need to figure out a productive flash diffusion setup


Im somewere close to that situation. Fixing good light for next season is my main prio now.
And yes. PATIENCE together with a good stalking method is very important.
Sometimes it can take an hour or even more to get the bug to "accept" a lens shuved right up its nose.
I often start at maybe 1.5 meters and then move in slowly a couple of inches at the time. If this is done so that the bug isnt scared of they often stay even if you have your lens just centimeters away. That is satisfaction
I did have this Locust thingy that I could touch after hours of work. When I found it I couldnt even get within 3 meters before he jumped away.

I ended up petting him on his forehead instead of taking pictures
01-06-2011, 04:37 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by aliasant Quote
Im somewere close to that situation. Fixing good light for next season is my main prio now.
And yes. PATIENCE together with a good stalking method is very important.
Sometimes it can take an hour or even more to get the bug to "accept" a lens shuved right up its nose.
I often start at maybe 1.5 meters and then move in slowly a couple of inches at the time. If this is done so that the bug isnt scared of they often stay even if you have your lens just centimeters away. That is satisfaction
I did have this Locust thingy that I could touch after hours of work. When I found it I couldnt even get within 3 meters before he jumped away.

I ended up petting him on his forehead instead of taking pictures
Good story Praying mantids will let me pet them eventually as well depending on the species.

For the OP:

M 50mm F/1.7 - $30 in fairly good condition
extension tubes - $10
Teleconverter hollowed out for another extension tube - $5
Pentax AF 360FGZ - $130
DIY stuff - $5
Reversing ring - $5

total WITH flash: $185
I use the above setup 80% of the time.

(the first and third images I posted above were done with that very setup)
01-07-2011, 05:39 AM   #30
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Very interesting thread indeed.....

I already have a 28mm lens (Vivitar 28mm f2.8) so I'd like to give this a go...

I would need to buy extension tube(s) and the reversing ring...my question is what length extension tubes do I need? Any recommendations?

Thanks.
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