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Macro
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Jun 17, 2019 11:06:32   #
Charles 46277
 
Gene51 wrote:
Only 2 element achromatic diopters are worth considering if you are looking for reasonably high quality in a flexible setting - you can pretty much used them with any lens. Several mfgrs make them currently - Canon (500D and 250D), Marumi, Sigma (SD15), Century Precision Optics, and Kenko - though the Kenko Achromats are very inexpensive, which leaves me wonder how good they are.

A macro is the best all-around choice for what you want to do, especially since the focusing ring has more to turn from infinity to minimum focus distance in many (but not all) cases, and the lens is optimized to perform at it's best at or near its minimum focus distance.

If you want closer than a true macro, using extension tubes with a macro is preferable to using a diopter.

The last consideration which you didn't mention is a bellows. Fotodiox makes bellows for popular DSLRs that are under $50.

You may want to check out B and H's Explora page on macro - there are some other options as well"

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/photography/buying-guide/macro-photography-gear-bellows-reversal-rings-macro-couplers-and-focusing
Only 2 element achromatic diopters are worth consi... (show quote)


Gene, the bellows is worth mentioning here. I used one on my Canon film camera for many years and used enlarging lenses (the finest ones are cheap by comparison). I can use my digital Canon on a 4x5 camera back with adapter--same deal either with large format lenses, enlarging lenses, or lenses made for close work such as Claron, Artar, etc. The finer (later) large format lenses focus down to 1/3 life-size already, and the others pick up there and go beyond. Cine lenses were recommended by Kodak for large format macro work--the 25mm Kodak cine was used on an 8x10 sheet film for the cover of their Macrophotography book. I have attached here a couple of shots of a Japanese vase, the first with the Canon 60mm macro/portrait lens (not a zoom), the second with the Kodak 25mm. The third is the Kodak cropped more, and the fourth is the lens adapted to Kodak, focusing by moving to and fro rather than with bellows. The last shot is from the Canon macro lens on tripod. The Canon may have snappier contrast, but the Kodak has richer color, perhaps, but both are very fine.

Of course it depends on what one is trying to do. If you want to go around snapping things by hand in the wild, a macro lens is definitely the most convenient. But in general macro work is tedious by design. Everything is magnified--including motion--while plane of focus is reduced or narrowed, so the whole process is different from the point and shoot approach (even the very professional p&s techniques). If you want what a tripod and bellows can do, that is where you have to start. It puts us in a box with clear limits, but it liberates us to do what other methods cannot do.


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Jun 17, 2019 12:21:57   #
photogeneralist
 
I shoot with a Sony A mount camera body. I found (on E-bay) a legacy Minolta A mount 50 mm f 2.8 macro lens capable of 1:1. Although autofocus is admittedly a little slow compared to new entertain equipment it focuses accurately. It was cheap compared to non-legacy glass. This was one of the finest available when it was new. It's still one of the sharpest arrows in my quiver. Perhaps you could find a similar deal on a high quality macro lens that will fit your camera

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Jun 17, 2019 12:31:29   #
NatureRocks
 
It seems that you have received numerous suggestions and lots of information. I too am a newbie in macro in digital, but own the old Olympus OM macro bellows and 2 of the 3 lenses specifically adapted for that system. With a Sony (both A7rii & Nex-7), I am able to obtain unusual magnification (15X+). In order to have sufficient light, I bought an inexpensive light box from Amazon. This works well indoors, but outdoors, I use Sony macro lenses; trying to configure the total Olympus setup outdoors is just too much to go through. With a macro focusing rail, I am able to focus well, either outside or inside.

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Jun 17, 2019 12:37:26   #
photogeneralist
 
Look for a USED high quality macro lens from the past (legacy glass).capable of 1:1 image size on the sensor. If it was a good lens back then it will still deliver very respectable photos today. If autofocus is important to you, then make sure the lens has that capability on your camera body.
My Minolta 50 mm f 2.8 Macro fits my Sony A Mount body. It was purchased on E-bay for about $100 and is easily one of the finest lenses in my quiver. Admittedly it autofocuses a bit slowly, but the focus is accurate.

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Jun 17, 2019 13:00:28   #
SteveG
 
Ditto!

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Jun 17, 2019 13:26:21   #
cactuspic
 
Screamin Scott wrote:
I have two of the Lester Dine 105's and a Kino made Vivitar S1 105mm macro. I still prefer them over my AF Micro Nikkor 105 or my AF Sigma 105 macro lenses. I also have a 55mm F2.8 Micro Nikkor (1/2 life size), A 55mm MM F2.8 Komine made Spiratone macro, a 180mm AF Tamron Macro and a Komine made 135mm F2.8 Vivitar macro (another one that only goes to 1/2 life size but is a true macro). Not to mention Bellows ( including specialty macro lenses for them), tubes, several types of diopters and a 2x macro focusing TC (meant to be used with a 50mm lens)
I have two of the Lester Dine 105's and a Kino ma... (show quote)


When I was researching my Kiron (Kino)branded 105mm, it was indicated that the same lens was rebranded as a Lester Dine 105mm. It was also indicated that the Vivitar series 1 macro was manufactured by Kino although it is of a different optical configuration

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Jun 17, 2019 16:42:40   #
bobfitz
 
I use a focusing rail for my macro photography. You take several exposures of the same subject, moving your focus point forward in tiny increments. Once you have covered the full subject you bring all of the exposures into Photoshop as a stack and Photoshop can blend them all. Go to YouTube for videos on the subject. Search "Phocus Stacking". Good Luck

Bob

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Jun 17, 2019 17:34:23   #
imagemeister (a regular here)
 
R Crawford wrote:
I have the Canon 6DII, my lens is the 70-300 f4-5.6


The Canon 500D close up lens (+2 diopter) or the canon 12 and 25mm EF extension tubes would work for you getting you to maybe 1:2 at the most with the 70-300.
.

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Jun 17, 2019 17:56:02   #
DWU2 (a regular here)
 
R Crawford wrote:
I love macro photography. I have been away from it for many years. Back in the old film days (my own darkroom) I was into it big time.

Things are so different now, so I ask the question....

May I have opinions on the various methods?

A: Diopter lens.

B: extension tubes.

C: True macro lens.

Bear in mind my resource pool determines many of my decisions.


I typically shoot with my 90mm Tamron macro. If that were not available, I'd opt for extension tubes, such as Kenko, which are wired for focus and exposure.

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Jun 17, 2019 19:18:56   #
hardymorgan42
 
If it will fit your camera, the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Lens is about as good as you'll find. Not cheap.
I used it for plants, but mostly for making copies of old fragile documents that i could blow up later.

Hardy Morgan

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Jun 17, 2019 19:28:18   #
Screamin Scott
 
I have yet to find a true macro lens that didn’t deliver. One’s technique is more important than brand. The major differences between brands , other than price, is in features and build quality. Even the lowly old Vivitar “ plastic fantastic” delivers. That said, if you decide on a macro lens, get one with the features that are important to you. Personally, I prefer older manual focus lenses as auto focus and vibration reduction features are ineffective once you get past half life size and I mostly only use my macro lens for macro shooting. I have many other lenses for those other photographic situations.

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Jun 17, 2019 21:00:09   #
Blair Shaw Jr (a regular here)
 
R Crawford wrote:
I love macro photography. I have been away from it for many years. Back in the old film days (my own darkroom) I was into it big time.

Things are so different now, so I ask the question....

May I have opinions on the various methods?

A: Diopter lens.

B: extension tubes.

C: True macro lens.

Bear in mind my resource pool determines many of my decisions.


I recently purchased the Canon 500D close-up lens that merely screws into the face of your telephoto-zoom lens just as a filter lens would and it gives a nice macro effect without having to swap-out my main lens and I don't have to carry the extra weight around. They come in several sizes and can be used on teles up to 300mm I believe and fir right in my shirt pocket. Brian Petersen @ Adorama TV tuned-me into it some time ago and I found one on eBay for under $100.00. It is very well made and comes in a screw-down Lucite Case that protects it flawlessly. I use it on my 24-105mm & my 100-300mm L series lens.

Worth a look and you won't break the bank either.

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Jun 17, 2019 21:06:19   #
Gene51 (a regular here)
 
Screamin Scott wrote:
I have yet to find a true macro lens that didn’t deliver. One’s technique is more important than brand. The major differences between brands , other than price, is in features and build quality. Even the lowly old Vivitar “ plastic fantastic” delivers. That said, if you decide on a macro lens, get one with the features that are important to you. Personally, I prefer older manual focus lenses as auto focus and vibration reduction features are ineffective once you get past half life size and I mostly only use my macro lens for macro shooting. I have many other lenses for those other photographic situations.
I have yet to find a true macro lens that didn’t d... (show quote)



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Jun 17, 2019 21:12:09   #
pquiggle
 
I've done the same--loved macro in the film days then got a career that left too little time for photography. Retired two weeks ago. As I have been converting to digital I look back at what I ended up with film and then have tried to replicate what I liked with modern alternatives that worked the same way. I avoided all the things that I tried and before and did not work for me. Enjoy!

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Jun 17, 2019 21:27:22   #
pauldh
 
One other option is a Reversing Lens Adapter. Here's a link that explains how it works.

https://digital-photography-school.com/reverse-lens-macro-close-up-photography-lesson-3/

Leverage the current lens you own.

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