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Thread: Recommendation for cheap manual macro lens

  1. #1
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    Default Recommendation for cheap manual macro lens

    Hi all, been doing a bit of researching on the Internet, and have narrowed down to 2 lenses,
    the Canon FD 50mm f3.5 Macro and the Olympus OM 50mm f3.5 Macro.

    Budget: Around $70-150

    Weight and size would be a consideration, although I will be using it most of the time at home for toy photography. Is there a magnification that would better suit toy photography? Still trying to understand on extension tubes.

    I am using a Sony A7 system. Veterans please advise on which manual lens would be a better choice.
    I am open to other brands/focal lengths too, thanks much!
    Last edited by jamesxgz; 13th July 2016 at 10:14 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Recommendation for cheap manual macro lens

    I'm not a macro specialist. but reading comments and reviews of canon and olympus 50mm f3.5 macro
    lenses seem favourable for both lenses for your use for toy photography.When it comes to manual macro lenses you are spoilt for choices as there are other brands like Sigma,tamron,vivitar,chinon ,etc and the various big brands of the film camera era.You also have the zooms that can do macro also like tamrom SP35-80mm.If you can get these two (canon/olympus) cheap buy both.Ebay or better KEH.com or locally at peninsula shopping center.Can't say too much as your choice is personal so do your own research as being specific and naming brands and lenses will create a price frenzy, so mum's the word. Shhhh...

    PS: Extension tubes increase magnification (depends on size) but light gets dimmer so metering have to be trial and error testing.But if you are using home studio lighting not a problem.

    photo canon 50mm macrof3.5: http://photo.net/canon-fd-camera-forum/00VKky

    photo FF canon macro f3.5: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3903467

    Review canon macro 50mm f3.5: http://erphotoreview.com/wordpress/?p=2254

    photo olympus 50mm f3.5 macro :
    https://28mmf2.wordpress.com/2013/03...mm-f3-5-macro/

    photo olympus 50mm f3.5 macro :
    https://28mmf2.wordpress.com/2013/03...mm-f3-5-macro/

    Review olympus 50mm f3.5
    http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography...acrozuikoC.htm

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Recommendation for cheap manual macro lens

    Actually, if you have some existing prime lens, you may just want to look at the extension tubes. Those are probably the cheapest option for close up. As for extension tubes, there are those with electrical contacts and those without.

    Those with electronic contacts can allow you to control the aperture via the camera body (if your lens does not have the aperture ring). Of cos, this will be more expensive than the other one.
    Too many great equipments but too little quality photos. [My Flickr] | [My Blog]

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    Default

    Appreciate the elaborate reply one eye jack! Will check out KEH.com definitely. Went down peninsular plaza for viewing but the prices are quite ex compared to eBay, but understand their need to upkeep, with the lens maintenance and preservation work. Will continue to do some more read up by myself

    SkyStrike: I've had some time with cheap EF mount extension tubes last time. But sold off due to change to Sony system. Read a bit on reverse mounted lens technique via an adapter too but I was thinking of getting an actual legacy lens since there are some priced within my budget. Do you have any legacy/ manual lenses to share?
    Last edited by jamesxgz; 14th July 2016 at 09:44 AM.

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    Default Re: Recommendation for cheap manual macro lens

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesxgz View Post
    Appreciate the elaborate reply one eye jack! Will check out KEH.com definitely. Went down peninsular plaza for viewing but the prices are quite ex compared to eBay, but understand their need to upkeep, with the lens maintenance and preservation work. Will continue to do some more read up by myself

    SkyStrike: I've had some time with cheap EF mount extension tubes last time. But sold off due to change to Sony system. Read a bit on reverse mounted lens technique via an adapter too but I was thinking of getting an actual legacy lens since there are some priced within my budget. Do you have any legacy/ manual lenses to share?
    Sorry, don't have any experience with legacy/manual lens... too pampered by newer technology that comes with AF...
    Too many great equipments but too little quality photos. [My Flickr] | [My Blog]

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    Default Re: Recommendation for cheap manual macro lens

    SkyStrike: All cool bro!

  7. #7

    Default Re: Recommendation for cheap manual macro lens

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesxgz View Post
    Appreciate the elaborate reply one eye jack! Will check out KEH.com definitely. Went down peninsular plaza for viewing but the prices are quite ex compared to eBay, but understand their need to upkeep, with the lens maintenance and preservation work. Will continue to do some more read up by myself

    SkyStrike: I've had some time with cheap EF mount extension tubes last time. But sold off due to change to Sony system. Read a bit on reverse mounted lens technique via an adapter too but I was thinking of getting an actual legacy lens since there are some priced within my budget. Do you have any legacy/ manual lenses to share?
    You may consider Nikkor macro 55mm F2.8 (bigger aperture!)at around us$100 on ebay (buy it now vs bidding).Please note/add shipping price. Take note there is some listed as P (actually PC or perspective control,so beware.)

    There is also Vivitar 55mm F2.8 macro but I think you want branded one.Please note the camera mount it comes in.

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    Default Re: Recommendation for cheap manual macro lens

    Quote Originally Posted by one eye jack View Post
    You may consider Nikkor macro 55mm F2.8 (bigger aperture!)at around us$100 on ebay (buy it now vs bidding).Please note/add shipping price. Take note there is some listed as P (actually PC or perspective control,so beware.)

    There is also Vivitar 55mm F2.8 macro but I think you want branded one.Please note the camera mount it comes in.
    I'm open to other brands, I'm looking at Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f3.5 Macro Zoom as we speak
    Will have a look on Nikkor 55 micro, you've been a great advisor!

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    Default Re: Recommendation for cheap manual macro lens

    I have the Olympus OM 50mm f3.5 Macro lens and I use it with the Sony A7ii. It works fairly well and you can achieve a magnification ratio of 1:2. By adding an OM 25 extension tube, you can achieve a magnification ratio of 1:1 and further reduced working distance.

    I bought the lens for US$90 and the extension tube for US$15 from B&H, so it should be within your budget.

    It is a fairly compact lens and not too heavy. But with the OM-NEX adapter and the extension tube, the combination becomes longer and heavier. It should be fine if you are using it at home. Also, while I mostly rely on natural lighting, I think you would need home studio lighting to get the best effect for your toy photography.

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    Default Re: Recommendation for cheap manual macro lens

    Quote Originally Posted by jouste View Post
    I have the Olympus OM 50mm f3.5 Macro lens and I use it with the Sony A7ii. It works fairly well and you can achieve a magnification ratio of 1:2. By adding an OM 25 extension tube, you can achieve a magnification ratio of 1:1 and further reduced working distance.

    I bought the lens for US$90 and the extension tube for US$15 from B&H, so it should be within your budget.

    It is a fairly compact lens and not too heavy. But with the OM-NEX adapter and the extension tube, the combination becomes longer and heavier. It should be fine if you are using it at home. Also, while I mostly rely on natural lighting, I think you would need home studio lighting to get the best effect for your toy photography.
    Thank you for the insights jouste!
    Last edited by jamesxgz; 14th July 2016 at 05:24 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Recommendation for cheap manual macro lens

    Hi

    My recommendation is the Minolta MD 50 mm f3.5 macro. The different legacy macro lenses cost about the same anyway for the same focal length and since u are using Sony A7, Minolta colours may be a better match. As A7 is full frame, an alternative is the Minolta MD 100 mm f4. With extension tubes, they go to 1:1. Really good value.
    Legacy macro lenses mentioned so far are all great btw.

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    Default Re: Recommendation for cheap manual macro lens

    Quote Originally Posted by overworked View Post
    Hi

    My recommendation is the Minolta MD 50 mm f3.5 macro. The different legacy macro lenses cost about the same anyway for the same focal length and since u are using Sony A7, Minolta colours may be a better match. As A7 is full frame, an alternative is the Minolta MD 100 mm f4. With extension tubes, they go to 1:1. Really good value.
    Legacy macro lenses mentioned so far are all great btw.
    Never occurred to me on the color part. Good thinking overworked!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Recommendation for cheap manual macro lens

    Vivitar 55/2.8 works well, though almost any macro lens will do well too.

    Cheap, good MF feeling to it, and generally nice to use.


    Taken with it on a Pentax Q7.











    Last edited by pinholecam; 18th July 2016 at 09:57 AM.

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