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Thread: Differences in macro options

  1. #1
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    Default Differences in macro options

    Hi guys, been sieving through the more recent macro threads and none seemed to satisfy my curiosities. Also, I was wondering if it's more appropriate to place this in the Newbies Corner or General, Reviews and Tech Talk. But since I'm a newbie with respect to reverse-lens macro, I guess it's somewhat appropriate to place this here.

    Ok. I know there are a number of ways for macro photography:
    -close-up filters
    -dedicated macro lens
    -bellows/extension tubes
    -reverse mount lens

    I've got close-up filters for my FZ20, so I know how that works.

    I haven't got any of the rest.

    So now I've got myself a Nikon film SLR and I still wanna do macros with it. Haha! So should I buy a dedicated lens, extension tubes, or just a BR2A for reverse lens? I've got a 50mm f1.8, and a 35-70mm f3.5-4.5. I think both would be good for macro, yes?

    I've read and SEEN that reverse lens (the direct onto the body kind) macro can be really good. But what is the pulling force of a dedicated macro lens, since it's that much more expensive than extension tubes or a compatible BR2A, especially since you can still do great macro with a reverse lens setup and ET?
    incywincyspider climbup the waterspout...

  2. #2

    Default Re: Differences in macro options

    so what exactly are you asking for? a reverse lens can be good for macro but remember, there's no auto focus and there's only one standard focal length, which means that you have to go right up to your subject till you see that it is sharp. But of course if you want quality images, a macro lens is definitely the key though it can be costly as compared to the other options. Different ways of shooting macros have different final quality. So what do you want? cheaper alternative? or quality shots? your pick =D

  3. #3

    Default Re: Differences in macro options

    Quote Originally Posted by karnage View Post
    Hi guys, been sieving through the more recent macro threads and none seemed to satisfy my curiosities. Also, I was wondering if it's more appropriate to place this in the Newbies Corner or General, Reviews and Tech Talk. But since I'm a newbie with respect to reverse-lens macro, I guess it's somewhat appropriate to place this here.

    Ok. I know there are a number of ways for macro photography:
    -close-up filters
    -dedicated macro lens
    -bellows/extension tubes
    -reverse mount lens

    I've got close-up filters for my FZ20, so I know how that works.

    I haven't got any of the rest.

    So now I've got myself a Nikon film SLR and I still wanna do macros with it. Haha! So should I buy a dedicated lens, extension tubes, or just a BR2A for reverse lens? I've got a 50mm f1.8, and a 35-70mm f3.5-4.5. I think both would be good for macro, yes?

    I've read and SEEN that reverse lens (the direct onto the body kind) macro can be really good. But what is the pulling force of a dedicated macro lens, since it's that much more expensive than extension tubes or a compatible BR2A, especially since you can still do great macro with a reverse lens setup and ET?
    maybe this thread will help you understand the difference.

    most dslr users will either just use macro lens alone, or non-macro lens with closeup/ET/reverse lens, or macro lens with both. it all depends on firstly, the magnification ratio that you want, are you ok with 1:1? or do you want to go even closer?

    another limiting factor for the decision is of course, as you have mentioned, price. not everybody is willing to fork out 1k upwards for a dedicated macro lens.

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    Default Re: Differences in macro options

    Quote Originally Posted by allstar View Post
    so what exactly are you asking for? a reverse lens can be good for macro but remember, there's no auto focus and there's only one standard focal length, which means that you have to go right up to your subject till you see that it is sharp. But of course if you want quality images, a macro lens is definitely the key though it can be costly as compared to the other options. Different ways of shooting macros have different final quality. So what do you want? cheaper alternative? or quality shots? your pick =D
    Haha! I'm asking for what the pull is from a dedicated macro lens...

    As for autofocus, do people use AF on dedicated macro lens? Haha! Coz all the while I take macros, it's always on MF, and I guess I've gotten used to MF such that I'm surpirsed that people do macros with AF. Hahaha! Suaku...

    And as for focal length, no mah, you can use a zoom lens to reverse also. So in a sense, you do have variable focal length. No?

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    maybe this thread will help you understand the difference.

    most dslr users will either just use macro lens alone, or non-macro lens with closeup/ET/reverse lens, or macro lens with both. it all depends on firstly, the magnification ratio that you want, are you ok with 1:1? or do you want to go even closer?

    another limiting factor for the decision is of course, as you have mentioned, price. not everybody is willing to fork out 1k upwards for a dedicated macro lens.
    Thanks night86mare. I read that thread after I posted this question, but it still doesn't tell me what's the pull of a dedicated macro lens vs reversed. Because the magnification of the subject is dependant on the focal length of the reversed lens, as I've mentioned above, we can use zoom lens to reverse, so if your lens has a wider end, say 24mm or wider, you definitely can get larger than life-size magnifications, right?

    I'm asking because I'm wondering if I want a dedicated macro lens. Haha! I just ordered a BR2A from online, and I guess I'll have to borrow some extension tubes and/or dedicated macro lens to know what I want.

    So-o-o... maybe I'm just looking for opinions/suggestions/advice from those who've tried them all?
    incywincyspider climbup the waterspout...

  5. #5
    Senior Member Leong23's Avatar
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    Default Re: Differences in macro options

    If you are into macro-photography, you should invest in a dedicated macro lens.

  6. #6
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Differences in macro options

    Quote Originally Posted by karnage View Post
    Haha! I'm asking for what the pull is from a dedicated macro lens...

    As for autofocus, do people use AF on dedicated macro lens? Haha! Coz all the while I take macros, it's always on MF, and I guess I've gotten used to MF such that I'm surpirsed that people do macros with AF. Hahaha! Suaku...

    And as for focal length, no mah, you can use a zoom lens to reverse also. So in a sense, you do have variable focal length. No?



    Thanks night86mare. I read that thread after I posted this question, but it still doesn't tell me what's the pull of a dedicated macro lens vs reversed. Because the magnification of the subject is dependant on the focal length of the reversed lens, as I've mentioned above, we can use zoom lens to reverse, so if your lens has a wider end, say 24mm or wider, you definitely can get larger than life-size magnifications, right?

    I'm asking because I'm wondering if I want a dedicated macro lens. Haha! I just ordered a BR2A from online, and I guess I'll have to borrow some extension tubes and/or dedicated macro lens to know what I want.

    So-o-o... maybe I'm just looking for opinions/suggestions/advice from those who've tried them all?
    Dedicated lens is much easier to use, you can focus without having to move back and forth if you are not looking for a fixed reproduction ratio.

    AF vs MF, I shoot macro with AF. I do not use a tripod thus, I need to try a few shots each time with hits and misses and currently I am still not good with manual focusing so I leave it to the camera and chimp later.

    Variable focal length?? I'm not really sure as I normally only reverse using a fixed prime lens. Also if you wish to stop down the lens for more DOF, you have to do so manually and will be hampered with a small aperture which allows less light for you to view thru the viewfinder. I normally drop to f5.6 without external light and f8 with a torchlight to illuminate the subject.

    Note that the BR-2A is a 52mm thread, so the variable focal length lenses may not fit unless you add a step down ring.
    Michael Lim
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Differences in macro options

    I'm not very sure of using reverse zoom lenses to shoot macro because from what I've seen and heard, most people use prime lenses if they were to reverse it. Shooting MF or AF doesnt really matter to me. Cos I've tried many AF macro lenses and many a times, I feel that they cannot focus fast enough when you are too near the subject, and thus, MF may be a good idea as well. If I'm not wrong, I tried using a 105mm micro before, putting it to MF mode turning the focusing ring till I get f2.8 leave it as it is, and focus on the subject by moving yourself and the camera instead of focusing using the lens. That way, I believe you can move nearer to the subject, and thus making it bigger. =D Of course a dedicated macro lens would be the best option for shooting macro. Adding more lenses in from of a lens whether macro lens or a normal zoom lens will certainly affect the quality of the picture though many do not seem to mind the change of quality because perhaps, it can be editted. But the more lenses that are added, the quality of the picture is certainly reduced, unless a really good quality close up filter is used (I'm unable to reccommend any cos I don't use any). So that's what I have for you. =D

  8. #8

    Default Re: Differences in macro options

    Quote Originally Posted by karnage View Post
    As for autofocus, do people use AF on dedicated macro lens? Haha! Coz all the while I take macros, it's always on MF, and I guess I've gotten used to MF such that I'm surpirsed that people do macros with AF. Hahaha! Suaku...

    And as for focal length, no mah, you can use a zoom lens to reverse also. So in a sense, you do have variable focal length. No?
    well, i haven't really heard of many using AF for macro, i would expect it is a pretty hit and miss thing. because compared to other genres of photography, one small move for the subject, one big move for your world through the viewfinder.

    why would you want a variable focal length? i can understand longer lens for better working distance - especially with jumpy subjects like certain butts; but why would you want to "zoom in and out"?

    anyways, i think better to let leong23 and the rest explain, i have limited macro experience.

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    Default Re: Differences in macro options

    Quote Originally Posted by Leong23 View Post
    If you are into macro-photography, you should invest in a dedicated macro lens.
    Why?

    Quote Originally Posted by allstar View Post
    Adding more lenses in from of a lens whether macro lens or a normal zoom lens will certainly affect the quality of the picture though many do not seem to mind the change of quality because perhaps, it can be editted. But the more lenses that are added, the quality of the picture is certainly reduced, unless a really good quality close up filter is used (I'm unable to reccommend any cos I don't use any). So that's what I have for you. =D
    Oh, the reverse lens setup I'm referring to is the direct reverse mount onto the body, not the reverse lens onto another lens. That one got super vignetting. Haha!

    Quote Originally Posted by night86mare View Post
    why would you want a variable focal length? i can understand longer lens for better working distance - especially with jumpy subjects like certain butts; but why would you want to "zoom in and out"?
    Because variable focal length will give you different magnification. For example, most people reverse a 50mm prime lens. But if you reverse a 35mm or a 28mm, the magnification ratio is gonna be much bigger than the 50mm one. Of course, that would mean even less DOF. Haha! But just for argument's sake, ya, a shorter focal length reversed will give you a more magnified image. At least, that's what I understood from reading so much on ClubSnap. Haha!
    incywincyspider climbup the waterspout...

  10. #10
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Differences in macro options

    Quote Originally Posted by karnage View Post
    Why?


    Oh, the reverse lens setup I'm referring to is the direct reverse mount onto the body, not the reverse lens onto another lens. That one got super vignetting. Haha!


    Because variable focal length will give you different magnification. For example, most people reverse a 50mm prime lens. But if you reverse a 35mm or a 28mm, the magnification ratio is gonna be much bigger than the 50mm one. Of course, that would mean even less DOF. Haha! But just for argument's sake, ya, a shorter focal length reversed will give you a more magnified image. At least, that's what I understood from reading so much on ClubSnap. Haha!
    Yes.. a short lens reversed gives a higher reproduction ratio but at a cost. Very close working distance and also thin DOF.
    Michael Lim
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Leong23's Avatar
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    Default Re: Differences in macro options

    Quote Originally Posted by karnage View Post
    Why?

    Quality and ease of use

    Oh, the reverse lens setup I'm referring to is the direct reverse mount onto the body, not the reverse lens onto another lens. That one got super vignetting. Haha!

    If you know the correct combination of stack lens, there wouldn't had any vignetting

    Because variable focal length will give you different magnification. For example, most people reverse a 50mm prime lens. But if you reverse a 35mm or a 28mm, the magnification ratio is gonna be much bigger than the 50mm one. Of course, that would mean even less DOF. Haha! But just for argument's sake, ya, a shorter focal length reversed will give you a more magnified image. At least, that's what I understood from reading so much on ClubSnap. Haha!

    Yes, reversed short focal length lenses have higher magnificant ratio, but it is more difficult to handle to achieve good images. Better start off with 1:2 then 1:1 first before venture further.
    AF or MF, it is very individual. Many butterflies shooters are using AF.

    Btw, from the way you reply to others, you don't sound that you really need advise..... good luck in you shoot.
    Last edited by Leong23; 12th May 2008 at 02:29 AM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Differences in macro options

    Quote Originally Posted by Leong23 View Post
    AF or MF, it is very individual. Many butterflies shooters are using AF.

    Btw, from the way you reply to others, you don't sound that you really need advise..... good luck in you shoot.
    Haha! Thanks for that. =) I do try to find out info before I ask questions. Because I know sometimes the same question gets asked over and over again. People just become lazy and want a quick answer, so they just create a new thread.

    Anyways, yeah, looking forward to reverse lens macro for a change. *crosses fingers* Hope things will be ok. Might consider getting extension tubes too.

    Thanks for your replies!

    Cheers!
    incywincyspider climbup the waterspout...

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