Best Macro Bang for My Buck?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by PhilGarber, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. PhilGarber

    PhilGarber TPF Noob!

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    Hi all,

    I've realized that I am really into Macro photography... I've been looking at prices and found that even a beginner lens is like $299.00 USD. What is a good affordable lens? ($100.00 USD or less?)

    For a example of the quality I'm looking for I want to be able to see the texture of a basketball at about an inch.

    Thanks!

    Phil,

    PS-If you use a different currency then the US Dollar please include the US equivalent, thanks!
     
  2. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    Well, I'm not sure what you currently have, but you're probably going to have a difficult time finding macro lenses for under 100 dollars. The way I see it you have a few options

    1. you might be able to find an older macro lens (not sure) that would work, perhaps one that would only manual focus.

    2. You could get extension tubes (I know Kenko, and of course nikon and canon have them) they will increase the focal length allowing you to focus from a closer distance. (I think I said that right)

    3. you could get step up filters which will do much the same thing as number two. (again, there are more technical differences there, I just don't know them)

    #2 you could find for $75 or less (though you may lose your autofocus ability with that) or for 150ish if you kept your autofocus. However, it's probably your best bet if you want to stay in that price range.
     
  3. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes... it would be nice to know what camera you own...

    My budget macro setup:
    * Used Samsung GX-1L $150 (K-mount DSLR)
    * Used Tamron 90mm f/2.5 Macro Adaptall lens $100
    * Used Tamron 2x Adaptall teleconverter (gets you 1:1 mag) $60 (KEH)
    * New-Old-Stock Vivitar 6000AF ring light $100
    * Used K-mount Adaptall Adapter $30

    [​IMG]

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  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    BTW.... some sort of lighting (ring light) is practically a must in Macro photography. You should include one with your budget. It could be ring light, flash on an off-shoe cord, macro dual head light.... something.

    Another setup (relatively inexpensive) to consider...
    M42 screwmount adapter for whatever camera you are using
    M42 screwmount bellows unit
    Takumar 50mm f2 lens

    This setup will require a bit more adjustment so tripod is necessary.
     
  5. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    A few thoughts - the 'Don't skimp on the glass' rules applies doubly in macro work. Don't buy a cheap lens; if you can't afford a decent one (and remember, there's no shame in buying used gear; it already has that patina on it) wait until you can. Tubes or close-up lenses are a good hold-over and work well.
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    At that kind of price you may want to look into reverse lens macro photography, or using close up filters or bellows.

    A reasonable best bang for buck actual macro lens would be the Nikkor AF 105mm f/2.8 D Given that the AF-S version was released last year this should be available for ~$500 second hand.
     
  7. GwagDesigns

    GwagDesigns TPF Noob!

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    Id also look into the Sigma 105 2.8 macro, ive been using it for a while now, very sharp, very crisp, in both macro work and portraits
     
  8. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Just a note

    Auto focus is hardly used compared to manual focus with macro - so having no AF is not a problem
    If you are going for extension tubes, as they are just a gap for air might as well go for a 3rd party - canon and nikon are rather expensive
     
  9. Alfred D.

    Alfred D. TPF Noob!

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    Best Macro Bang for Your Buck:

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  10. PhilGarber

    PhilGarber TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, but thats only for lighting...right?

    Anyway, I use a Rebel XT with an 18-55mm lens..do you think buying a lens off Ebay is too risky?
     
  11. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I buy from ebay all the time.... no problems yet. There is risk involved much like any bargain hunting. You just have to be smart about how you play the game.
     
  12. PhilGarber

    PhilGarber TPF Noob!

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    Thanks! I'll go browse Ebay now!
     

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