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10-31-2011, 06:24 AM   #1
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Affordable macro shots?

Looking for macro-closeness, but really cannot afford splashing out on a lens (unless there is an uber affordable lens option....suggestions?). I see there are glass attachments out there, for capping the lens to give a magnified effect. Has anyone experience in these? I fear they would be a bit crappy but I'm hoping my intuitions are wrong on this occasion.

I'm (soon to be) shooting with a K7, with my Pentax 18-55 AL2 lens.

Any help is much appreciated!

10-31-2011, 07:38 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by tezahad Quote
I fear they would be a bit crappy but I'm hoping my intuitions are wrong on this occasion.
Well, yes and no.

QuoteOriginally posted by tezahad Quote
Looking for macro-closeness, but really cannot afford splashing out on a lens (unless there is an uber affordable lens option....suggestions?).
You will get a Ga'Zillion options in replies, the best thing to do is to tell us what your budget is first, knowing your budget will get you the best answers to you post from the start...








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10-31-2011, 08:06 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by tezahad Quote
Looking for macro-closeness, but really cannot afford splashing out on a lens (unless there is an uber affordable lens option....suggestions?).
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/152336-cheap-macro-b...lose-work.html

QuoteQuote:
I see there are glass attachments out there, for capping the lens to give a magnified effect. Has anyone experience in these? I fear they would be a bit crappy but I'm hoping my intuitions are wrong on this occasion.
See the article on closeup adapters. In brief: You can find cheap sets of closeup strap-ons, often as +1+2+3 or +1+2+4+10 dioptre sets. These are simple meniscus lenses, uncorrected for optical aberrations. They let you work more closely, with some magnification depending on the lens. Typically, images aren't good around the edges -- but if edges don't matter, they're fun! And cheap! Like well under US$20 shipped.

Rather more expensive are the corrected achromatic adapters from Raynox and others. These may be limited to +5 and +8 dioptres (dpt), but give brilliant results. See the Raynox Club here for some splendid shots. The Raynox adapters are usually around US$60.

Another front-loading adapter is a variable-closeup type (often +1-10 dpt) from Panagor and HCE and others, often costing US$20-$30 on eBay. Image quality is similar to the uncorrected types.

QuoteQuote:
I'm (soon to be) shooting with a K7, with my Pentax 18-55 AL2 lens.
None of these adapters will give much magnification with an 18-55mm lens. A longer host lens is really necessary. The least expensive way to get quality macro images with your lens is to find a couple of A-type 2x teleconverters on eBay for maybe US$20 each. A-type TC's have contacts for aperture automation (very damn handy for macro work!) but not autofocus. REMOVE THE GLASS from the TCs. Now they function as extension tubes and cost less than readymade A-type macro tubes. There's more detail in the article.

Cheap macro is possible; we do it all the time. Have fun!
10-31-2011, 10:38 AM   #4
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joe.penn, my budget would pretty much be the cheapest effective option. Ofcourse, I'm not expecting amazing results having given such a comment, but would just like to get some good close shots.

In that respect, I think RioRico has given a pretty perfect answer! I didn't realise there were so many low-cost options. Had a quick google on using the teleconverter tubes as extensions, can't seem to find anything...but I'll read the above article for some more inspiration.

Thanks for the help!

10-31-2011, 11:02 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by tezahad Quote
Had a quick google on using the teleconverter tubes as extensions, can't seem to find anything...but I'll read the above article for some more inspiration.
Try gargling for DEGLASSED TELECONVERTERS.
10-31-2011, 11:33 AM   #6
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ive also covered this topic on my blog, including taking shots with most of the different techniques

you can see the series of articles here if you are interested in reading some more - Macro Photography Techniques – Part 1 | Jezza's Photography Stories
10-31-2011, 11:34 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by tezahad Quote
Looking for macro-closeness, but really cannot afford splashing out on a lens (unless there is an uber affordable lens option....suggestions?). I see there are glass attachments out there, for capping the lens to give a magnified effect. Has anyone experience in these? I fear they would be a bit crappy but I'm hoping my intuitions are wrong on this occasion.

I'm (soon to be) shooting with a K7, with my Pentax 18-55 AL2 lens.

Any help is much appreciated!
look for a used bellows

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/90010-look-out...tml#post916534

the bellows on this setup cost me $30 complete with modifications to put a K mount on the back.

The front accepts T mount rings, and you can easily adapt any M42 lens to fit with the appropriate T mount ring, or as I did, put an enlarging lens on the front.

If you put an SMC 55/2 lens on this you could have a pretty decent macro setup for $60 30 lens 30 bellows.
10-31-2011, 03:50 PM   #8
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Pretty sweet looking setup you've got yourself there. Have you attempted any out 'n' about shots with it? i.e. involving hoiking all the kit about with you? Some serious magnifigation though, very impressive!

10-31-2011, 04:06 PM   #9
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Not as much as I should. I built it out of boredom and the fact that I found the bellows cheap. I also have an SMC-M 100/4 and SMC Macro-tak 50/4 that get more work.
11-01-2011, 09:51 AM   #10
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Macro is one area where you can be a cheap mad scientist inventor and get as good or better shots than the big budget solutions. Yes, with a big budget lens, you have luxuries like using the lens for something else, but still the same struggles with depth of field, light, etc. With bird photography, sometimes you just need a lens that costs as much as a car and there's no way around it, but macro isn't like that.
11-01-2011, 10:37 AM   #11
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So, after a bit of research I rekon I'm going to invest in an old wide angle 28mm or 50mm, depending on the best deal, at F1.8 or so, as I hear these tend to be good fast lenses for night shots. Then I can just pick up a reverse mount adapter for a few quid and my fast 50 will double as a macro.

I shant take the credit for this ofcourse, the inspiration came from the various posts and blogs mentioned above. Considering I knew nothing about all this yesterday morning, I think you've all done yourselves proud! Cheers to all
11-01-2011, 11:15 AM   #12
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reversing a 28mm will give you pretty big magnification, but will also require very small working distances.

i took this one with a revsersed 28mm on a standard 2x teleconverter. this bug would have been ~5mm long


11-01-2011, 11:41 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by tezahad Quote
So, after a bit of research I rekon I'm going to invest in an old wide angle 28mm or 50mm, depending on the best deal, at F1.8 or so, as I hear these tend to be good fast lenses for night shots. Then I can just pick up a reverse mount adapter for a few quid and my fast 50 will double as a macro.

I shant take the credit for this ofcourse, the inspiration came from the various posts and blogs mentioned above. Considering I knew nothing about all this yesterday morning, I think you've all done yourselves proud! Cheers to all
Pentax M 50mm F/1.7 is a great lens for macro when reversed and coupled with some extension tubes. Do note, if your serious about it a flash will be very important. Which means some type of L bracket and a PTTL cable is required in addition to the flash + some ingenuity to make diffusers. BUT now im just getting ahead of myself


This is with an M 50mm F/1.7 reversed on tubes:




Reverse a 50mm on the body alone wont do you much good, reversing a 28mm on the body will give you pretty good magnification. If your going the 50mm route pick up some extension tubes to increase magnification.
11-01-2011, 11:51 AM   #14
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Reversing any lens means working close, like at ~4.5cm for Pentax-compatible primes. You can boost that to ~5.5cm by reversing a T-mount (T2, TX, etc) prime. Zooms are a little different. The A35-80 is arguable the worst lens Pentax ever sold, but it's sharp when reversed. IIRC on my K20D, at 35mm it produces ~2:1 magnification at ~4cm; at 80mm it gives ~1:2 magnification at 15cm, and will focus past infinity. A true macro-zoom! Fifteen bucks for the lens, five bucks for the mount-reversal adapter, and off you go!

For greater magnification, reverse-stack a short prime (with an aperture ring) onto a longer prime with a cheap thread-reversal ring (~US$4). If I put my SuperTak 105/2.8 on my camera, then a 49-49mm M2M reversal ring, then the SuperTak 35/3.5, I get 3:1 magnification at ~4.5cm working distance. Stack a 50 onto a 200 for 4:1, same working distance. See the CHEAP MACRO article for details.

HINT: Get a cheap PK macro tube set also, for ~US$7 shipped from Shanghai. Use a short section as a lens hood on reversed PK glass. Same thing with M42 if you reverse those.
11-01-2011, 11:58 AM   #15
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Great hint!

QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
.....
HINT: Get a cheap PK macro tube set also, for ~US$7 shipped from Shanghai. Use a short section as a lens hood on reversed PK glass. Same thing with M42 if you reverse those.
What a great hint!

A hood can be important for reversed lenses but hard to find.
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