Poor-man's Macro Lenses

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Neuner, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. Neuner

    Neuner TPF Noob!

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    Hi! New the forum and I hope you can answer my question about cheap macro lens configurations.

    I've studied as much as I can about all of the ways to obtain a cheaper macro lens (extension tubes, lens coupling, reverse lens adapter), but I have a couple of questions that remain unanswered.

    First, I'm just starting out in the dSLR world with a D80 & a Nikkor 24-120mm. I'd like to get 1:1 - 4:1 magnification. From what I've read the extension tube & stacking methods can provide with this.

    First question: Which of the methods allow you to be the furthest from the subject or all of them about the same?

    Second: My 120mm lens has a 72mm filter size. I'd like to couple it with a reversed 50mm f/1.8 which is 52mm. Can I use a 72 to 72mm macro adapter paired with a 52 to 72mm step up ring and not have vignetting (Main lens zoomed to 120mm)?

    Thanks for the help, I greatly appreciate it!

    Neuner
     
  2. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Working distance is determined by the focal length of the lens.
     
  3. Orgnoi1

    Orgnoi1 TPF Noob!

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    Welcome to the forum! First off while 1:1 is usually obtainable 4:1 is pretty difficult... I am not sure of the equation for tube stacking but a real cheap/easy/fun macro set up that my girlfriend used up till she got her lens is the 50/1.8 and a Kenko 20mm tube. That set up alone has got her countless incredible macro shots. I for one have never reversed a lens although I do hear it works great...
     
  4. Orgnoi1

    Orgnoi1 TPF Noob!

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    That statement holds fairly true until you put macro lenses into the mix... there are significant differences in focusing distance between my Canon 200/1.8L and my girlfriends Nikon 200/4 Micro...

    Minimum Focusing Distance:
    Canon 200mm f/1.8L (non macro lens) = 98inches
    Nikon 200mm f/4 Micro = 19.4inches
     
  5. Neuner

    Neuner TPF Noob!

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    Thanks! I appreciate the suggestion and think I will give it a try. Either way I think I will need to get a 50mm.
     
  6. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    FMW is correct. You can't compare a macro lens with a non macro lens. A 180mm macro lens will allow you 1:1 at much further working distance than a 100mm macro at 1:1. Either of those will get you significantly further away from the subject than a 50mm macro.
     
  7. Jeremy Z

    Jeremy Z No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Another thing to consider is that you may not actually need true macro capability unless you're going to make large prints.

    Often times, a good close shot at full resolution and full quality, and tightly cropped will serve your purposes. (such as posting pix online)
     

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