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09-06-2010, 04:58 PM   #1
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I need advice on Macro lens purchase.

I currently use a Vivitar Macro TC with a 50mm f1.4 Smc-A and I've taken some very nice pics so far with it. My problem is the focus plane is too thin. I want more of the object to be in focus. I take pictures of flowers, bugs, vegetables and anything interesting. I would like it to be inexpensive as I don't make money from photography and some lenes are really expensive! What focal length should I look for and why? Can I get more focus depth with my TC? I have reverse mounts, a TC and extension tubes as well. I'm looking to spend up to $300. Some examples-



Last edited by mrjamesabels; 09-06-2010 at 05:13 PM.
09-06-2010, 05:01 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrjamesabels Quote
I currently use a Vivitar Macro TC with a 50mm f1.4 Smc-A and I've taken some very nice pics so far with it. My problem is the focus plane is too thin. I want more of the object to be in focus. I take pictures of flowers, bugs, vegetables and anything interesting. I would like it to be inexpensive as I don't make money from photography and some lenes are really expensive! What focal length should I look for and why? Can I get more focus depth with my TC? I have reverse mounts, a TC and extension tubes as well. I'm looking to spend up to $300. Some examples-
Why post such small thumbnails?

Anyways, if more DOF is what you want may I ask what aperture you normally shoot at for macro's? Have you ever tried stacking?
09-06-2010, 05:12 PM   #3
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How would I stack? f10 ? I stop down as far as I can but the light gets low. Also, why can't my viewfinder show accurate DOF???

09-06-2010, 05:12 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrjamesabels Quote
I currently use a Vivitar Macro TC with a 50mm f1.4 Smc-A and I've taken some very nice pics so far with it. My problem is the focus plane is too thin. I want more of the object to be in focus. I take pictures of flowers, bugs, vegetables and anything interesting. I would like it to be inexpensive as I don't make money from photography and some lenes are really expensive! What focal length should I look for and why? Can I get more focus depth with my TC? I have reverse mounts, a TC and extension tubes as well. I'm looking to spend up to $300. Some examples-
I won't comment much on technique other than to say, the closer you are to your subject, the more shallow your DOF will be. That's photographic truth and there is no getting around it (in a single shot) other than to stop the lens down, or pull back and crop. That's true of any lens, in any situation. The combo you have is a very nice one. You can get dedicated 100mm macros in your budget, there are a couple M100mm f4 (1:2 macro) lenses for sale right now over in the marketplace. However, your results in the same situations are going to be about, the same.



09-06-2010, 05:15 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrjamesabels Quote
How would I stack? f10 ? I stop down as far as I can but the light gets low. Also, why can't my viewfinder show accurate DOF???
Set your camera to M, and use Optical Preview, and it will (but like other DOF previews, it's going to be darker as you stop the lens down). It doesn't show it naturally because the lens is held wide open as you focus. It only stops down at picture snapping time.

09-06-2010, 05:20 PM   #6
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A ha! Thanks I didn't know that about the aperture being wide open til snapping time. So a 100mm should do the trick!
09-06-2010, 05:28 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrjamesabels Quote
A ha! Thanks I didn't know that about the aperture being wide open til snapping time. So a 100mm should do the trick!
That's what you're using with your 50 and vivitar combo so I assumed that's the range you were looking at. There are others available of course, both Pentax and Sigma offered 50mm macros that can be had reasonably. If you want to spend some cash and don't mind getting real close, the DA35 is a 1:1 macro lens as well. Sigma had a 70mm, 105mm, 180mm (find one of Those! but not for $300), Tamron a 90mm, etc. Or you could look at some of the work done around here with bellows, extension tubes, reversing adapters, and cobbled combos of all of them.

Stacking, unless I'm wrong, is taking multiple exposures each with a different part in sharp focus. Then combining them in post processing to make one sharp image. From what I've seen here, it works quite well though I've never tried it myself. The bugs always fly away before I get the second shot .

09-06-2010, 05:47 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mrjamesabels Quote
How would I stack? f10 ? I stop down as far as I can but the light gets low. Also, why can't my viewfinder show accurate DOF???
The images are still small thumbnails.

It seems to me you need to work on your lighting setup first and foremost
Get a usable light setup using a flash so you can stop down more while keeping the IQ at its peak (in regards to shutter speed and ISO).

09-06-2010, 05:53 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by yeatzee Quote
The images are still small thumbnails.
Click on the thumbnails in his second post.

09-06-2010, 06:52 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Click on the thumbnails in his second post.

I have been... still small
09-06-2010, 06:56 PM   #11
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Try this..

mrjamesabels's Album: Everything I Like - PentaxForums.com

09-06-2010, 07:15 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Thanks.

It appears the IQ is pretty bad in all shots but the first flower photo in your album.
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