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09-27-2011, 06:40 PM   #1
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budget macro photopgraphy

Hi Guys,

Im new to the forum and new to photography, just got my KR 2 weeks ago and loving it.

I just bought extension tubes, 2X teleconverter, 28mm-210mm Vivitar lens Macro 1.4 x.

I havent tried them out yet.

How do I tell if a lens is a true macro lens, what do the ratios mean? 1.4 x?

Just wanted to know if there are any budget macro photographers out there and what's your set up?

1. extension tubes
2. tele converters
3. raynox
4. or a combination of all or any of the above.
5. what type of lens

few free to post your macro shots and your set up details.

09-27-2011, 06:57 PM   #2
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I don't do a lot of macro photos, but when I do it is with a Sigma A 50mm f/2.8 macro.

I do have a set of M42 extension tubes and one day I'll get around to putting my Super Tak 50/1.4 on them.

Last edited by boriscleto; 09-27-2011 at 07:03 PM.
09-27-2011, 07:31 PM   #3
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great shots, love the ant, and thanks for the link, its very informative.
09-27-2011, 07:50 PM   #4
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This one was a 35-80mm reversed on a homemade tube set up

This one is a 50/2 reversed on same tube with homemade flash deflector in a room with very little light

09-27-2011, 07:52 PM   #5
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First off, welcome to the forums

As boriscleto mentioned, check out the link he posted, really good stuff.

About the lens - the "1:4" magnification is essentially magnification up to a quarter (25%) life size whereas "1:1" is life size, your 1:4 is more on the lines of "Kind-of-Close-Focusing" and not really macro (I see macro as 1:2 or better).

I am not too familiar with that Vivitar lens, is it a newer one? Some of the zoom type macro lenses have kind of what could be seen as zones; meaning, macro magnification is only within a certain focal range of the lens, like -> 70-210 macro, macro only 120-210 range (if that makes sense to you ). There are a ton of great dedicated macro lenses out there, and a "ga-zillion" other lenses that can be tubed that make great macro lenses. For me, here is my current macro lens lineup:

Vivitar 105mm 2.5 Macro
Vivitar 28-105mm 2.8 Macro (IMHO, one of the best zoom MF macro's to be had)
Panagor 90mm 2.8 Macro
Vivitar 55mm 2.8 Macro
Vivitar Automatic Tubes (use with many different K-mount lenses)

IMO, something as important as your lenses is your lighting - without proper lighting is won't matter what lenses you are using. Here are some macro shots I have taken recently with a couple of the listed lenses:

Good luck and hope to see some of your macro work posted here on the forums ...

09-27-2011, 07:56 PM   #6
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My problem is shaky hands and eyes that are not what they used to be.
09-27-2011, 08:21 PM   #7
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Hi there. I wrote the CHEAP MACRO article. Glad you like it!

As you might see from the article, I'm not a big fan of teleconverters. There are various ways to approach macro work, depending on your needs and budget. If you have a big budget, buy a great dedicated AF macro lens. If you have less money, my article covers lots of stuff.

Here's what I do myself:

* I really really like using cheap enlarger lenses on bellows and tubes; great flexibility.
* I keep a Raynox DCR-250 and some cheap closeup sets in my bag always, just in case.
* I have many sets of macro tubes and use them often when I don't need to change focus.
* I have some manual-everything macro lenses. I love them & use them some, but not much.
* I have various mount-reversal rings for when I want to work very very close to a subject.
* I have a couple variable-magnification macro teleconverters but hardly ever use them.
* I usually don't reverse-stack lenses because I rarely work at such extreme magnification.

That's just me. Your mileage may vary. If you really want to learn about macro, get the classic Field Photography: Beginning and Advanced Techniques : Alfred A. Blaker which is still a major steal at Amazon. Have fun!
09-27-2011, 08:49 PM   #8
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joe.penn, love the spider shots, especially the one taken with 28mm-105mm vivitar.

eBay Australia: Buy new & used fashion, electronics & home d?r

this is the lens I purchased.

I'll try out some shots tonight with that lens and extension tubes and post them up.

RioRico, after reading your article, I purchased a reverse adaptor, I have a few old Mamiya ZE lens lying around which are 52 mmm so I'll put them to good use.

I've got most things now, I think now its just a matter of playing around with the setup to see what's best.

09-28-2011, 05:22 AM   #9
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i use my da 55-300 with raynox 150 and i must say im very happy with the results, but its really really hard to focus, especially without a tripod.

09-28-2011, 07:39 AM   #10
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Whatever your option is I would recommend a flash with a diffuser
10-07-2011, 01:50 PM   #11
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I definitely recommend the Raynox 150 (or 250 for shorter lenses). I picked one up on ebay for less that $50.00 and it does wonders with my DA 55-300!
10-07-2011, 02:34 PM   #12

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QuoteOriginally posted by hangman43 Quote
My problem is shaky hands and eyes that are not what they used to be.
Tripod, macro focusing rail, and ring flash are your friends.

10-07-2011, 03:03 PM   #13
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I really would love a ringflash.. maybe after the UWA lens.. for now I just reverse my 43mm in front of a SuperTak 55mm f2.0 or use my Tamron SP 60-300 Macro or Takumar-A 28-80mm Macro.. real macro modes, not lame "close focusing"
10-07-2011, 03:37 PM   #14
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Cheap macro's what I do

The basics are already covered above so i wont bother re-posting them. What do you want to shoot? Flowers? Tiny insects?

Also primes are the way to go for macro.

Doesn't matter if its a $20 Pentax M 50mm F/1.7 reversed...

$20 el nikkor 50mm F/2.8N enlarging lens reversed....

$10 componon 80mm F/5.6 enlarging lens reversed.....

etc. etc.

the key there is reversing the lenses on some sort of extension, whether it be bellows or extension tubes. You can also go about the stacking way, which works very well with certain lens setups (see: The other key is a flash setup, homemade diffuser's, brackets, etc.

Last edited by yeatzee; 10-07-2011 at 03:43 PM.
10-10-2011, 08:58 PM   #15
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yeatzee, these shot are crazy... and you do this only with reversed lens

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