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04-21-2014, 09:24 PM   #16
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Shooz, great shot and fantastic detail. I see your point about the zoom and focus rings, I guess that's fun I'll have to come!

Thanks

04-21-2014, 11:26 PM   #17
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Well had a play, and by holding the lens in front of the camera the wrong way round (and holding still) I snapped the following




Last edited by Liney; 04-21-2014 at 11:28 PM. Reason: embeding photo
04-22-2014, 07:34 AM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Liney Quote
Baro-nite, I guess I haven't selected a subject genre yet, although all the close up bug shots always amaze me and make me want to emulate them. My initial desire is to try out some of the aspects without a lot of cash layout, if I find something I like then I can take it further. My interest in all things mechanical and electrical would take me towards small devices as a starting point.
OK, that's helpful to know. That means you have more control over conditions and lighting than you would shooting insects in the field, for example, and can deal with smaller working distances. So, some thoughts:

You will want to use a tripod and/or flash to eliminate the problem of camera shake, which becomes acute at higher magnifications. If you already have a tripod, great. If you don't, you can get good results using the camera's pop-up flash as long as you add a diffuser, which is easy to cobble together with stuff lying around the house. (Paper and various plastics work pretty well, although tend to introduce color casts.)

A serious limitation of the pop-up flash is that with a manual lens the flash always fires at full power. A reversed lens is of course fully manual.

A supplementary lens would allow you to use the camera's automatic exposure modes, including with the pop-up flash. This could be a Raynox (the DCR-250 has been reported to work well with the DA50-200) or a standard lens attached in reverse with a macro coupling ring (a ring with male filter threads on both ends). Or a cheaper "closeup filter", although results may not be so good. The Raynox isn't particularly cheap, though. But it's probably a better long-term value than cheap (generic) extension tubes or reversing rings, which will probably have poor resale value.

I love reversed lenses, extension tubes, bellows, etc., but ordinary lenses (dedicated macro, or a standard lens plus supplementary lens) are certainly more convenient for many types of shooting.
04-22-2014, 08:24 AM - 1 Like   #19
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Well, it would help to know what kind of small things you wish to photograph first. Macro is a very wide topic, and you may eventually have to think about lighting too, not just lenses. I'm surprised that no one upthread has linked to the cheap macro article yet.

Personally, for someone looking to just dip a toe in to see if they like it, I'd recommend starting out with an inexpensive macro lens. Something like either a Pentax-M 50mm F/4 (superb optics, 1:2, $80-ish) or a Promaster/Cosina/Phoenix 100mm F/3.5 (also 1:2, sometimes sold with a matched diopter to go to 1:1, a bit north of $100). That way you get a real lens, that retains infinity focus and will be useful for other types of photography, especially if you're lens stable isn't huge. A Raynox DCR-250 is another alternative, if you already have some long, reasonably close-focus lenses. I'd also advise to steer clear of the super cheap extension tubes that don't even have aperture levers, and the equally cheap diopters. Once you've built up a little experience using an inexpensive lens, and started to document yourself on the use of tubes and other more advanced techniques like lens reversal, you can - if you're still enjoying macro - start to experiment with more advanced techniques and possibly also buy a more expensive, quality, 1:1 macro lens.

04-22-2014, 08:34 PM   #20
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Baro-nite, some more useful advice, many thanks. I have a tripod already, and not only the pop up flash but a seperate flash which I can probably mount off the camera which gives me more options.

Doundounba, Thanks for the feedback, and the link to the website. I'll read through it when I get a chance.
04-23-2014, 04:49 AM - 1 Like   #21
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I think if you're starting out in macro you'd be much better off buying a Raynox 150 closeup lens. This would let you use both autofocus and in-camera aperture, so you would have less of a steep learning curve.
04-23-2014, 10:38 AM - 1 Like   #22
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I used to have a raynox 150 with da 55-300, then "upgraded" to a dfa 100 macro.
I think i had more fun with the raynox combo, first, it was cheaper, second, at 300mm offer greater magnification than 1:1 and third, i never knew macro lens loss a lot of light at 1:1, so most of the time i had to use the flash. But the macro lens is super sharp.

Here a couple examples
Da55-300 with raynox 150


Dfa100


obviously this is not a scientific comparison, but you get an idea

04-23-2014, 02:53 PM - 1 Like   #23
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Stay away from the cheap tubes on ebay. They do not have aperture control causing you to have to focus stopped down. Get a cheap 2x converter and remove the glass. Most are about 25-30mm and make great extension tube for macro because you have aperture control.
04-23-2014, 04:43 PM   #24
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Nass, thanks for the feedback although I'm not afraid of manually focusing or juggling setting if I the aperture is out of reach. Two of my lenses currently have manual focus rings which gives me the flexibility I need.

Bluestringer, thanks to you too, asabove I have the option to use manual aperture lenses. I have an old Tamron 2X convertor but I don't really want to sacrifice it, so I'll probably go with me original plan of a reversing ring and extension tubes and see how it goes.

---------- Post added 04-24-14 at 09:14 AM ----------

Sekul, nice shots, and I see the difference.well done
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