How do I pick a macro lens for my camera (Sony NEX) - Advice needed

erotavlas

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Ok I'm confused again. Basically I was looking to experiment with macro but there are so many options available with this camera I'm a bit overwhelmed and am confusing myself a bit.

First there is the Sony 30mm E mount for NEX - not sure this is a good choice since I suspect you would have to get really close to subject and this might interfere with lighting. If anyone thinks this is not the case please explain since I would prefer to just get this if it easy to work with at 1:1.

Alternatively I considered getting an old school manual focus lens with apeture ring. There are many options available in used stores. Some I found are the following

Nikon 55mm f2.8
Pentax 50mm f4
Yashika 55mm f4
Nikon 105mm f4

I learned that many of these are only 1:2 macros and require some sort of attachments behind the lens to bring them to 1:1. I was told that because I am useing the nex, the adaptor will act as a bellow and bring it to 1:1. Is this true?

Also between the manual focus lenses will I get more working distance from a 50mm macro (compared to the Sony 30mm E mount nex macro)?

When I attach these leses which were designed for 35mm SLR cameras, will a 50mm say still be a 50mm or will it turn into something longer like a 70mm on my camera?

Last I found something called the Raynox that I can use with my existing kit lens for instance, and it attached to the front. People seem to say this is good quality and it might serve my purpose since I'm only starting out. I saw some photos with this on flickr and it seems to work well. This option seems pretty straight forward.

Anyway was hoping if someone could help clear up the questions I have.
 

mjhoward

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On a 1:2 macro that is 50mm, you'll need a 25mm extension to get 1:1 and for the 55mm you'll need 27.5mm extension tube to get 1:1

The 105mm will give you more working distance which is something most people prefer.
 

cgipson1

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There are some good threads on the Raynox here.. if you do some searching.

can't help with the other.. don't know Sony at all!
 
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erotavlas

erotavlas

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On a 1:2 macro that is 50mm, you'll need a 25mm extension to get 1:1 and for the 55mm you'll need 27.5mm extension tube to get 1:1

The 105mm will give you more working distance which is something most people prefer.

Why are most of the old manual focus lenses 1:2 and require the axtra extension tube, but today some of the newer lenses already are 1:1?
 
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erotavlas

erotavlas

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Since the 30mm sony macro has a short focal length, would it be possible to extend the focal length further away from the lens through any modification?
 

DiskoJoe

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what did you want to take macro picture of? This would be a basis for determining what focal length might be good for you to use.
 
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erotavlas

erotavlas

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what did you want to take macro picture of? This would be a basis for determining what focal length might be good for you to use.

plants, flowers, insects, water drops etc, - natural subjects But I want it to be versatile which is why I wanted to be able to place the lens some distance away so I don't have to be right on top of the subject. Even a couple inches ( from front of lens ) From what i understand the E mount 30mm needs to be almost touching the subect to get 1:1 maybe I'm wrong but its probably that close

I guess I could always get the LA-EA1 A to E mount adapter by Sony, then I can get the 50mm or 100mm A mount lens.
 

unpopular

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Use enlarging lenses with a bellows attachment and focus rail. They are much, much better suited at greater than 1:1, especially when mounted in reverse. And since you don't have AF or Auto-Aperture anyway, there really is no drawback. You will need an m39 to m42 adapter for most enlarging lenses, which are found on ebay. Some longer enlarging lenses are in m42.

No matter what though, use bellows. Extension tubes are stupid, especially if you don't have lens coupling anyway.
 

DiskoJoe

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30 mm would be a bit wide. I would say something like a 50 or 100 would be better. This would give you some distance to work with. Really cant recommend which to buy. not really familiar enough with the nex system. I use an alpha.
 
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erotavlas

erotavlas

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30 mm would be a bit wide. I would say something like a 50 or 100 would be better. This would give you some distance to work with. Really cant recommend which to buy. not really familiar enough with the nex system. I use an alpha.

I agree so decided against the 30mm. I tried it in the store and basically I had to have the lens almost touching the subject to get a full sized image. So I ended up getting the LA-EA1 adaptor from B&H and now I have a lot more lens choices available.
Aside from the alpha mount 100mm Sony macro, I was looking at the 70mm Sigma macro which people say is amazingly sharp. Or even the Tamron 90mm macro which is a lot cheaper. both of them come in sony alpha mount.

Plus I decided against the older macros since really they are not 1:1 but 1:2 and I'd have to find extension tubes for them although on the nex with an adaptor it might not be necessary. Anyway I found that the price of the older manual focus lens + adapter wasn't cheap enough to justify me getting them over the new lenses with AF and auto exposure. And also many of them had apeture that started at f4
 
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DiskoJoe

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I really like sigma. Great image resolution on most models.
 

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