Cheap Marco Photography Questions

Discussion in 'Macro Photography' started by time1985, Aug 2, 2009.

  1. time1985

    time1985 TPF Noob!

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    I am looking at cheap options for macro photography.

    Currently I have a Nikon D200 with an 18-200mm lens and a 50mm f/1.8 lens.

    I am looking at Zeikos ZE-CU472 close up lens attachments to mount on my 18-200mm lens.

    OR

    Reverse mounting my 50mm lens with a BR-3 from Nikon.

    - Do either of these affect the aperture?
    - Would either cause a vignette on the image?
    - Which is better?
    - Are there any other methods or products which you can recommend?
     
  2. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    OR

    A macro coupler ($10).

    That will let you mount your 50, reversed, on your 18-200. With the 18-200 at 200mm, you would have 4:1 magnification.
     
  3. Battou

    Battou No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Reverse mounting you will have no control over your aperture unless you have full manual lenses to reverse mount and all my Nikon lenses do not have full manual aperture control so yeah, it's forced wide open with a Nikon lens. The neat thing with reverse couplers is that you are not confined to mount specific glass allowing for the use of Full manual capable Canon FD or M-42 lenses on your D200 as long as fit the reverse couplers threading.

    Close up filters will generally narrow your DoF considerably requiring smaller apertures to get useable DoF but they are quite useable as they only narrow the DoF slightly and the effect becomes more noticable at the close up filters are stacked.
     
  4. tomhooper

    tomhooper TPF Noob!

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    Have you considered extension tubes?
     
  5. time1985

    time1985 TPF Noob!

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    I would love to get some extension tubes, preferably the kenko ones that fit. But they are out of my price range for the time being.
     
  6. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I honestly think a macro coupler is the best bang for the buck you can get if you want greater than 1:1 macro.

    Some people will try to talk you out of it (...filter threads are made to hold a filter, not a lens...), but with a little common sense, you'll be fine.


    Just to give you an idea what 4:1 looks like:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The chip is 1mm square...
     
  7. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Hmm unless your 50mm lens has a manual aperture control you won't be able to adjust your aperture on that lens when its reversed using the BR-3 (as far as I know Nikon lenses without manual aperture controls will always open the aperture blades when removed from the camera- thus meaning you can't trick them open for reversing like you can with canon ones)

    As for filters I would recomend looking at the Raynox brand ones - they are a very high quality make and many a macro photographer is starting to use them for cheap macro and for going greater than 1:1 magnification. The DCR 250 is one of the most popular.

    As for getting 4:1 on the coupler that certainly sound very interesting, though I would ask OIIIIIO if zooming out on the 18-200mm would give a lesser magnifcation - I have shot at around 3:1 magnifcation and its hard and not something I would recomend to a beginner. Its not impossible, but I would get a good working understanding of 1:1 (or thereabouts) magnification and then work down - this is also because you need to build up an understanding of lighting for macro work also - something that becomes more demanding the more you magnify the image
     
  8. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Yes, it would.

    Magnification is calculated like so - longer lens divided by wider lens.

    A 200mm & a 50mm is perfect IMO. Anything less than that is nothing special, anything more than that is a pain in the ass to use.

    Also, using a zoom lens, zoomed out there will be severe vignetting.
     
  9. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Keep in mind that at this level of magnificatin, everything is harder...

    DOF is maybe a few milimeters. You have to move the subject, not the camera to attain focus.

    (A macro focusing rail would probably help.)
     
  10. Dwig

    Dwig TPF Noob!

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    To date, all versions of the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 lens have an f/stop ring so there would be f/stop control with reversed with a BR-3a.

    Its the other way around. All Nikon F-mount lenses, MF or AF, close their aperture when removed from the body. They close to the aperture set on the f/stop ring or, with "G" lenses that lack their own aperture ring, the close to their minimum aperture.

    I agree with Josh that a "macro coupler" offers the best bang-for-the-buck. In effect, these make a closeup lens out of the reversed lens. In the OP's case, the 50mm fi/1.8 would be reversed on the front of the 18-200 which would be mounted on the camera normally. The 50mm lens, used this way, is a very well corrected +20 diopter closeup lens. This works better than almost any of the inexpensive "macro" closeup lenses.

    The 50mm f/1.8 Nikkor will also deliver excellent results when mounted reversed directly on the body using a Nikon BR-2a ring (use the BR-2a on AF bodies and not the old BR-2). The BR-3 the OP mentioned will not do the trick. It is for mounting 52mm filters on the rear (now front) of a reversed lens since it has a female body flange on one end and a female 52mm filter thread on the other. The BR-2a is male lens flange to male 52mm filter thread.

    Using a macro-coupler results in the primary lens mounted normally so all connections to the body are present. There will be full metering and AF, although AF is often problematic in extreme macro. When the primary lens is a zoom, as it is in this case, you also have a good deal of magnification control.

    Using a BR-2a reversing ring disconnects everything. No meter coupling, no auto diaphram (the auto close down from max to desired shooting aperture when the shutter is fired), and no AF. The OP's D200 can still meter in this situation, but many Nikon DSLRs can't. Metering is difficult as it must be done at working aperture. Also, there is absolutely no adjustment of magnification unless you add some additional extension in the form of extension tubes or bellows.
     
  11. tomhooper

    tomhooper TPF Noob!

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    You can get a set of Pro-optics (I think that's the brand name) on either Adorama or B & H, I forget which for less than $100.00. I have a set of them, a set of Kenko, and a couple of actual Canon. They are really only hollow tubes and I honestly can't tell the difference in any of them. I even use up to about 45mm on my Canon 300mm L and the AF works fine. Just a thought.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2009

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