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02-01-2012, 06:18 AM   #1
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Raynox macro lenses

As an avid gardener and recent K-r owner, I would like to do some macro photography this spring. Typical insect, flower, leaf kind of stuff. I'm wondering if anyone can share any experiences with the Raynox DCR-150 and DCR-250 on the following lenses:

Kit DA-L 18-55mm
Kit DA-L 55-300mm
Pentax M 50mm f2

Just wondering if I can expect decent results with these lenses and either of the Raynox. Also, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to afford both the 150 and the 250 without being thrown in the doghouse by the wife (and I can't really say I'd blame her), so I'm having trouble deciding which one to choose. I know the 250 is more powerful, but maybe even more fussy in terms of DOF and other considerations? Of course I'd like to get as close to the subject as possible. Any advice is appreciated. I'm new to macro photography, so go easy on me.

02-01-2012, 06:26 AM   #2
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I have the Raynox 250 and used it with the 18-55, it vignettes on the wide end, gone at around 26mm (just past the 24 marker).
I also tried to use it on my Tamron 70-300 and let me say at 300mm its really hard to use hand held, I would imagine a similar situation with your 55-300... I would say the optimum focal length to use it is at 100mm
02-01-2012, 06:54 AM   #3
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Of the 3 lenses you mentioned, the 55-300 offers better IQ than the 18-55, and variable macro magnification compared to the 50. I suggest building your Raynox solution around the 55-300.

The Raynox 150 is a good match with 55-300. Maximum magnification can exceed 2:1. The 250 can go even higher but isn't practical for handheld use.
02-01-2012, 07:10 AM   #4
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The Raynox 250 is too powerful for your intended use. The 150 may be better but I suspect again it is too much lens for your subjects (except for insects). For flowers, leaves etc a 1:2 macro capable lens is enough (Tamron 70-300 has excellent 1:2 macro and sells for around $100).

02-01-2012, 07:54 AM   #5
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Close focus vs macro

I have tried hand-held, outdoors true "macro" photography and found that it is very difficult to get good results. The dof is so shallow that even the most gentle breeze will throw everything out of focus. Not to mention the subject just walking out of range. Lately I have concentrated on close focus photography with a Sigma 70-300 APO DG, and the results are much more to my liking. I have both the Raynox 150 and 250. The 150 is usable, barely, handheld. I have yet to get anything decent with the 250. Others will scoff at my results, but I would try a close focus lens, perhaps with the Raynox 150, and see if it suits your definition of "macro". The samples below are with the Sigma without the Raynox. I may have used a monopod or other support.
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02-01-2012, 09:28 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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The basic limitation of either Raynox closeup lens is the working distance. The DCR-150 is +4.8 dioptre with a working distance of about 6-8in / 150-200mm. The DCR-250 is +8dpt with a WD of 5in / 125mm. Those stay the same NO MATTER THE FOCAL LENGTH OF THE HOST LENS. The magnification obtained from these or any other +dioptre closeup adapter is given by:
M= F*D/1000 where F is focal length in mm and D is dioptres
So the DCR-150 on a host lens set to 30mm gives (30*4.8=144)/1000= ~1:7 which ain't very macro at all. For the DCR-250 it's (30*8=240)/1000= ~1:4. Neither Raynox gives useful magnification at short focal lengths. Also, the DA18-55 has a close focus of about 8in / 200mm which is in the DCR-150's range, so it doesn't even provide much in the way of close-ups.

What's the optimum focal length for a DCR-250's host lens? As Verglace said, it's around 100mm. The DCR-250 on a 135/2.8 host lens would have ~1:1.1 magnification at the same working distance as a 135mm lens on sufficient extension.

How do such adapters compare to dedicated macro lenses? A macro lens will have a bit better IQ and a greater range of working distances than will a lens with a Raynox attached. But the Raynox is easily detached for non-macro shooting, so its main inconvenience is just the limited working distance.

A big Raynox advantage is that it doesn't eat light. A fully-extended macro lens loses 2 stops of light compared to the same lens at infinity focus (zero extension). A Raynox or other +dioptre lens actually boosts light a little.

The Raynoxi are graet -- just take their limitations into account.

Last edited by RioRico; 02-01-2012 at 10:35 AM.
02-01-2012, 10:03 AM   #7
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Excellent information - thanks so much everyone. Sounds like I'll be giving the 150 a try with the 55-300. Much appreciated!
02-02-2012, 06:35 AM   #8
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Can I ask one more question? I saw this very nicely done video about macro insect photography that got me thinking:

This fellow just uses a set of extension tubes and a reversed 28mm and his results appear to be outstanding. Would this be a better way to go than the Raynox? And if so, what magnification can I expect with my 50mm prime compared to his 28mm? I don't think I understand the implications of what happens to a beam of light when you put it through a lens backwards. :-)

Thanks!

02-02-2012, 06:56 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pericombobulation Quote
Can I ask one more question? I saw this very nicely done video about macro insect photography that got me thinking:

This fellow just uses a set of extension tubes and a reversed 28mm and his results appear to be outstanding. Would this be a better way to go than the Raynox? And if so, what magnification can I expect with my 50mm prime compared to his 28mm? I don't think I understand the implications of what happens to a beam of light when you put it through a lens backwards. :-)

Thanks!
Now thats the kind of macro I want to do! I was planning on using my 55-300 Pentax DA-L, Raynox 150 (have not bought yet) and a similar flash setup. Can I expect results as such or is that a pipe dream with the setup I am talking about?

Other option would be extension tubes (I don't have) and my 50 F2 reversed.
02-02-2012, 07:30 AM   #10
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Keep in mind that as soon as you plop in those extension tubes or reverse the lens, you are operating in a full manual environment - for some that's a plus, for others, not so. Attaching an auxilarily close-up lens to a DA (L) lens gives you the option to go either way.

Close-up lens: Pros- automation available, minimal light loss; Cons- it is another glass surface that can further distort the image
Extension tubes: Pros- adds no additional image distortion, Cons- fully manual exposure, some loss of light
02-02-2012, 07:52 AM   #11
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Claimed4all, it sounds like you and I are in the exact same boat! Tell you what - you get the Raynox and I'll get the (cheaper) extension tubes and reversing ring and we'll compare results. :-)
02-02-2012, 08:01 AM   #12
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How about I get the tubes and you just get the 100mm Macro Lens?

haha

I feel like I would get better mileage out of the Raynox. It will fit in my bag so I will use it more. If I go with tubes they will more than likely sit on my desk and hardly get used. Just not sure if it will do Macro as nicely as done in that video.

I think your Bees would love to stare you down on the opposite end of a 100mm Macro.
02-02-2012, 08:30 AM   #13
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LOL, I'm sure they would! I'd have to sell a lot of honey to pay for a 100mm macro.
02-02-2012, 08:48 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
Keep in mind that as soon as you plop in those extension tubes or reverse the lens, you are operating in a full manual environment
You can get auto tubes, that let you do stop down metering properly. You can also get tubes that have the contacts for aperture information, so you can use A series lenses to their full potential (and newer ones with everything but autofocus). The latter are rare and expensive, the former are just uncommon-rare. I have a set of Vivitar AT-22 tubes that handle stop down metering (they have aperture linkage but no contacts). The Vivitar AT-23 tubes do both.

QuoteOriginally posted by claimed4all Quote
Now thats the kind of macro I want to do! I was planning on using my 55-300 Pentax DA-L, Raynox 150 (have not bought yet) and a similar flash setup. Can I expect results as such or is that a pipe dream with the setup I am talking about?
Check out the raynox club thread to see what can be done with this kind of setup. You can get some really nice results, but to reach the higher magnification and sharpness you often see in macros, you may need more involved techniques. There are of course limits to what can be done handheld. Tubes eat a lot of light, which means either a flash or a longer exposure. Higher magnification means narrower depth of field, so smaller apertures are needed, cutting light even more.

Playing with different techniques is really half or more of the fun. It's worth experimenting with raynox, tubes, bellows, reverse lens stacking, etc.
02-02-2012, 09:15 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Philoslothical Quote
Check out the raynox club thread to see what can be done with this kind of setup.
I am sold.

After see post #337, I am officially sold. Its the same setup I am eyeing up, DA 55-300 an Raynox 150. Thanks
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