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Thread: Starting Macro(graphy)

  1. #1
    Member marsulein's Avatar
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    Default Starting Macro(graphy)

    Always fascinated by macro; but limited by budget; I had been trying macrography since my PnS era.

    When I moved to DSLR the very first lens I bought was 18-200mm since I want an all rounder and don't like the idea of swapping lens while shooting. Not satisfied with the lens magnification I stack a +4 close up filter. While magnification is OK picture quality is not so OK.

    Now after saving up I recently bought a 105mm Micro. Seeing all those fantastic shots of spiders where you can actually count the number of eyes the spider has or mesmerizing eyes of the insect families I'm so motivated to try out. Only to end up in disappointment....

    1. How can one achieve such magnification with just the lens alone without moving so close to the subject?
    2. How compatible the lens is with other accessories e.g Raynox, Close up filter, Extension tube etc?

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    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Starting Macro(graphy)

    Quote Originally Posted by marsulein View Post
    Always fascinated by macro; but limited by budget; I had been trying macrography since my PnS era.

    When I moved to DSLR the very first lens I bought was 18-200mm since I want an all rounder and don't like the idea of swapping lens while shooting. Not satisfied with the lens magnification I stack a +4 close up filter. While magnification is OK picture quality is not so OK.

    Now after saving up I recently bought a 105mm Micro. Seeing all those fantastic shots of spiders where you can actually count the number of eyes the spider has or mesmerizing eyes of the insect families I'm so motivated to try out. Only to end up in disappointment....

    1. How can one achieve such magnification with just the lens alone without moving so close to the subject?
    2. How compatible the lens is with other accessories e.g Raynox, Close up filter, Extension tube etc?
    Simply put, focus with your lens to full 1:1 magnification. That's the maximum you can get out of your current lens as it is.

    If you wish to increase magnification ratio beyond 1:1, you'd have to consider using close-up filters (which may degrade the IQ, image quality depending on what kind of filters are used) or extension tubes (which is recommended).

    Here is a shot of a caterpilla which is shot using a Tamron 90mm macro lens with a 24mm lens reversed onto it.



    Compare this against the original 90mm 1:1 shot

    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

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    Member marsulein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Starting Macro(graphy)

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the advice as well as picture for comparison.

    Been torn between Raynox/Other close up filter and Extension tube. Any idea whether it will results in vignetting if I use tube on the 105mm?

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    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Starting Macro(graphy)

    Quote Originally Posted by marsulein View Post
    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the advice as well as picture for comparison.

    Been torn between Raynox/Other close up filter and Extension tube. Any idea whether it will results in vignetting if I use tube on the 105mm?
    It depends on the length of the extension tube. There are choices of 20mm, 24mm and 36mm, and you can also stack them up for more magnification. But each choice depends on the focal lenght of the lens and it's characteristics. You may find that the image focal point may end up inside the lens if you stack too much.

    With almost all the increased magnification choices, your focusing will be pretty limited and you'll have to move the whole rig back and forth to get the focusing correct.

    In which case, you'd have to invest in another whole line of gear, namely a good tripod and a focusing rail.
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

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    Member marsulein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Starting Macro(graphy)

    While roaming around this afternoon I came to know about the wonder product, focusing rail, what a brilliant invention but at the same time means more spending!

    Guess I'm going for extension tube instead of close up filter. Any brand recommendation or things that I should look out for when buying brand new? Got meself SIRUI just last week but focusing rail have to hold first, meanwhile I'll move my bump around to refocus.

  6. #6
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Starting Macro(graphy)

    Tubes have no optics involved so it's not so much of a headache. Just make sure the mount is good and secure.

    And internally, its evenly coated to prevent stray lights from bouncing.
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  7. #7
    Senior Member Elite77's Avatar
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    Default Re: Starting Macro(graphy)

    Quote Originally Posted by marsulein View Post
    While roaming around this afternoon I came to know about the wonder product, focusing rail, what a brilliant invention but at the same time means more spending!

    Guess I'm going for extension tube instead of close up filter. Any brand recommendation or things that I should look out for when buying brand new? Got meself SIRUI just last week but focusing rail have to hold first, meanwhile I'll move my bump around to refocus.
    U don really need a focusing rail. Just adjust ur camera angle to ur subject
    D800E|105mm F2.8D micro|16-35mm F4 VR|Raynox 250|R1C1

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    Member gymak90's Avatar
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    Default Re: Starting Macro(graphy)

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    Simply put, focus with your lens to full 1:1 magnification. That's the maximum you can get out of your current lens as it is.

    If you wish to increase magnification ratio beyond 1:1, you'd have to consider using close-up filters (which may degrade the IQ, image quality depending on what kind of filters are used) or extension tubes (which is recommended).

    Here is a shot of a caterpilla which is shot using a Tamron 90mm macro lens with a 24mm lens reversed onto it.



    Compare this against the original 90mm 1:1 shot

    Nice vignette! Looks like some microscopic study

    I know many guys out there are using extension tubes. I'm wondering, will 1 be enough? Or having multiple tubes gives greater magnification? So you keep getting them until you think it's sufficient
    The best things in life are free.

  9. #9
    Member marsulein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Starting Macro(graphy)

    Quote Originally Posted by gymak90 View Post
    Nice vignette! Looks like some microscopic study

    I know many guys out there are using extension tubes. I'm wondering, will 1 be enough? Or having multiple tubes gives greater magnification? So you keep getting them until you think it's sufficient
    I see threads in the Mass Sales are mostly selling them as a 3 pieces so just keep practicing till you get the desirable magnification?

  10. #10
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Starting Macro(graphy)

    Quote Originally Posted by gymak90 View Post
    Nice vignette! Looks like some microscopic study

    I know many guys out there are using extension tubes. I'm wondering, will 1 be enough? Or having multiple tubes gives greater magnification? So you keep getting them until you think it's sufficient
    There is a mathematical formula for macro extension tube to calculate the magnification ratio. Let me try to google it out.

    Quoted from John Shaw's book "Closeups in Nature"

    The total amount of extension you need in order to get to any given magnification depends on the focal length of the lens you are using. Notice that I say "total" extension; it does not matter how you gain the extension -- some could be added by using extension tubes, some could be in the focusing mount of the lens -- since the entire amount being used is what is important. A basic formula gives approximate magnification rates:

    Total extension used / Focal length used = Magnification

    If you want to photograph at 1/2x with a 50mm lens, you can see that you need 25mm of total extension. But on a 100mm lens, the same 25mm total extension yields only 1/4x, and on a 200mm lens it yields 1/8x. Any given amount of extension yields less magnification when used with a longer focal-length lens.
    Michael Lim
    My Flickr Site

  11. #11
    Member gymak90's Avatar
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    Default Re: Starting Macro(graphy)

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    There is a mathematical formula for macro extension tube to calculate the magnification ratio. Let me try to google it out.

    Quoted from John Shaw's book "Closeups in Nature"
    Thanks for the info and headstart I'll go read up more on extension tubes.
    The best things in life are free.

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