Cheaper alternative for macro lens?


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cutiedoggy

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Nov 28, 2009
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Hello, just got my k-x and i'm looking at taking macro shots for my sch work but the thing is that i've seen macro lens wayyy over my budget for now.

Any cheaper ones that i can get that is equally good compared to the original macro lens? :D
 

darrrrrrrrrr

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Sep 19, 2006
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#2
Sigma/Tamron 70-300 gives you 1:2 macro ratio (plus a free telephoto zoom lens!) for $200. But it's difficult to work with for macro due to the long focal length, and the 1:2 doesn't let you do bug shots very well.

Raynox, extension tubes, reverse adaptors, reverse rings. No personal experience with them.
 

elavan

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Sep 19, 2009
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raynox is a cheap and good alternative to dedicated macro lens. these can be fitted on most lenses with varying filter sizes. they pop up from time to time in BnS, or you can get 1 new for about $100. Good value for money. google for Raynox 250 for more information.
 

sebianos

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Aug 23, 2005
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#5
I use Marumi close-up filters in +1, +2, +4. All 3 for $48. Can stack them up to get +7 diopter.

Still too noob in macro to make any recommendations or comment on the quality of these filters.

Oh this is a shot of moss on a rock i took at the Jap Gardens 2 weekends ago with +4 filter.



It's a nightmare to focus handheld.
 

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elavan

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actually there's a $0 solution, just take a 50mm and reverse it, cup on to your camera body, nothing will fit, just use your hands to keep it in place :bsmilie: the only criteria is: the lens has to have an aperture selector :bsmilie:
 

Jan 16, 2009
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I thought about this for a while and ended up getting a closeup filter (Raynox DCR-250). You can get it from the local distributor here: http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=189427 at $120, but you can get it cheaper from overseas even including shipping. I paid about $100 for mine.

I considered reverse adapters, but it's scary exposing your lens rear element to the wild. Extension tubes forces you to manual focus and lose aperture control unless you get the expensive ones that will electronicly relay. Closeup filters have drawbacks, of course. You can use auto focus, but your focal distance range is quite limited (~9cm - 12.5cm).
 

pinholecam

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Get a 0.5X or 0.45X wide angle lens with macro. You have a wide angle lens, and if you remove the front component, you get a macro filter to use. Check it out.

http://www.clubsnap.com/forums/showthread.php?t=514733
These stuff usually don't work too well with DSLR lenses. Vignetting and poor quality images being 2 of the main problems. Been there, done that. The only chance of them working ok would be on prosumers (cause they have smaller lens and use only the better center portion of the attachment; and can stop down a lot to improve image quality). Eventually, I decided to get a Sigma 10-20.

The macro feature works like a close up filter. A Hoya one cost around $35.

Extension tubes are cheap (~$20 for a set) and work with all lenses. Negligible light loss and no image quality loss. Downside is the loss of auto focus and auto aperture.

Close up filters are ok, but I dislike the fact that they have specific diameter for the cheap Hoya ones. The Raynox, need fiddling about for mounting. The plus is that they work with AF and auto aperture.
 

felixcat8888

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#11

night86mare

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#12
Hello, just got my k-x and i'm looking at taking macro shots for my sch work but the thing is that i've seen macro lens wayyy over my budget for now.

Any cheaper ones that i can get that is equally good compared to the original macro lens? :D
what others have said.

there are two routes to this, either psuedo macro lens (which actually just work like normal lens with built in extension tubes that's all), like the sigma 70-300 macro or tamron version will give you 2:1, not full macro, but it will be good enough for closeups.

the trouble with these lenses are that for the longer ones which are able to give 2:1 magnification, they tend to be soft.

this is shot with longko's sigma 70-300 on k100d.



the other route, which is better for preservation of image quality, is to do add-ons.

reverse rings + extension tubes (not combinatino of two, please) will be the best choice, though there are compromises.

to have control over dof you will need lenses with aperture ring for extension tubes i think. here are some examples i have with a 50mm fa f/1.4 being used.






the next best option is macro adaptors like that of raynox, they will cost more but should retain AF if you have AF on the lens.

the last option which is about same cost as reversal ring/extension tubes, but degrade image quality visibly.. while allowing you af, would be macro filters.
 

cutiedoggy

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Nov 28, 2009
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#13
wow thanks for all the reply, okay but not still trying to absorb all these i-dont-know terms haha!

the Raynox 250 & reverse ring seems not bad, but isit the kind i can just add on to my kit lens?! it have auto focus unlike the Extention tubes right?

nice pictures Night86mare!! really nice.
 

night86mare

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wow thanks for all the reply, okay but not still trying to absorb all these i-dont-know terms haha!

the Raynox 250 & reverse ring seems not bad, but isit the kind i can just add on to my kit lens?! it have auto focus unlike the Extention tubes right?

nice pictures Night86mare!! really nice.
i don't think you can AF with reversal ring, what it does is reverse the lens, i.e. front element goes in first and rear element protrudes out. there is no way for the camera to communicate with the lens.. :)

raynox can be added, i think, might need some form of step up or step down ring. i have not used it before.
 

darrrrrrrrrr

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#15
i don't think you can AF with reversal ring, what it does is reverse the lens, i.e. front element goes in first and rear element protrudes out. there is no way for the camera to communicate with the lens.. :)

raynox can be added, i think, might need some form of step up or step down ring. i have not used it before.
in my very little experience with reversal rings and stuff, there is like only 1 focus distance and that is very very near to the lens. so you don't autofocus but you move the camera back and forth till you reach the right distance.

come to think of it, most macro shooting is like that.. :think:
 

night86mare

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in my very little experience with reversal rings and stuff, there is like only 1 focus distance and that is very very near to the lens. so you don't autofocus but you move the camera back and forth till you reach the right distance.

come to think of it, most macro shooting is like that.. :think:
well, i haven't used them before..

http://digitalphotographer.com.ph/forum/showthread.php?t=17854

http://www.talkphotography.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=46438

but these seem to support what you say. also, take note of the points mentioned about having to open up the aperture, etc.. if not it will be too dark.

hahahaha, yeah, focusing in macro is easier to do the back and forth thing rather than keep adjusting the focus ring.. :bsmilie:
 

Jan 16, 2009
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#17
You can get extension tubes quite cheap locally here at $20: http://store.tagotech.com/product_info.php?products_id=163

Reverse adapters probably best to search ebay stores. You need to find out what filter thread size your lens (e.g. 18-55mm uses 52mm), then get the appropriate adapter (search for "pentax macro reverse 52mm") e.g. http://cgi.ebay.com.sg/52mm-Macro-Reverse-Adapter-Ring-for-Pentax-K-PK-Mount_W0QQitemZ330354656440. IMO works best with old cheap manual prime lenses, so heart no so pain if you accidentally damage the rear element of your lens...

Reverse rings are not very popular. You will need two lens, preferably both prime. Mount the first lens on the camera as normal, then the reverse ring, then screw the second lens onto the reverse ring.

The Raynox works with the 18-55mm, but you need to use 55mm. There may be slight vignette at 55mm already and anything less than that would make it worse. The Raynox will come with a spring mount that fits on filter threads between 52mm to 68mm. For certain lenses like the FA 50mm f/1.4, you will need to use either a 49mm->43mm stepdown ring (harder to find, but still can get easily from ebay stores) which can directly mount the lens, or use a 49mm->52mm stepup ring with the spring mount.
 

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night86mare

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#18
Reverse rings are not very popular. You will need two lens, preferably both prime. Mount the first lens on the camera as normal, then the reverse ring, then screw the second lens onto the reverse ring.
you can also do it with one. :)

the two lens method, is actually just using the second lens like a raynox, i think.

 

Jan 16, 2009
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#19
Yes, I believe
reverse adapter = one lens
reverse ring = two lens

The Raynox is a 8x diopter lens, the reversed lens in the two lens method gives you a 1000/F diopter lens (e.g. 20x diopter if you reverse a 50mm lens)
 

cutiedoggy

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Nov 28, 2009
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#20
these are a few macro shots i took using just the kit lens. okay? ;p





 

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