Macro advice

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I would like to play with some insect macro photography, some of the examples here have really inspired me, but I fear I will have to invest in a lens.

I currently have a DS5200 with the kit AFS-DX 18-55 and AFS DX 55-200 lenses. At this point this is curiosity and playing around so I don't want to empty the bank. What would you suggest for me to get started?

Did I mention I am a digital noob? back in the day I did some macro stuff but then all it took was a reversing ring.. I suspect that won't work with the DSLR..
 

cgipson1

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You could use a reversing ring... but since you don't have an aperture ring on those lenses... it would be kind of "DARK"! ;)

You could buy tubes... decent ones are $200.... cheap knockoffs with electrical contacts are around $70. You could get a Raynox DRC-250 for around $80 Amazon.com: Raynox DCR-250 Super Macro Snap-On Lens: Camera & Photo It would work with both your lenses... and is capable of good IQ.

Or you can hit Ebay... find a "D" lens with an aperture ring, buy a reversing ring... and go that route.
 

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There's two types of reversing rings. One (Nikon BR-2A) will reverse a single lens onto the camera.

06Reversed50mm.jpg


The problem with this is you have NO WAY to control the aperture. You either shoot with the aperture completely closed (long shutter speeds!) or use a BR-6 to hold the aperture wide open (shallow DOF).


The other option is to reverse one lens onto another.

0850reversedonmacro.jpg


You can use the BR-6 to hold the reversed lens' aperture open and use the aperture on the lens attached to the body to control exposure/DOF.
 
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ok, so with the kit I have I could do your second example with the addition of a double male 52mm thread adapter.. then what would I to at the end to mount a ring light? is that where the BR-6 comes in or is that another adapter?
 

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ok, so with the kit I have I could do your second example with the addition of a double male 52mm thread adapter.. then what would I to at the end to mount a ring light? is that where the BR-6 comes in or is that another adapter?


The BR-6 is meant to hold the aperture of the reversed lens open or allow it to close. With lenses the have an aperture ring, you can set it to whatever you want and open/close it using the BR-6. But G lenses, lacking an aperture ring, will only work with a BR-6 wide open or closed all the way down.... there's no way to set a lens to, say, f/11. If you get a BR-6, it will have 52mm threads on it. So if you want to mount a ring light to the end of your 'stack', you'll need a 52mm adapter for it.
 
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I like the idea of that setup because it retains the auto features of the non-reversed lens, but the cost of the BR-6 jumps it right up there. Might I be just as well or better off with something like a
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 SLD DG Macro Lens with built in motor for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras in manual mode for $150?
 

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a bellows is also a cheap and very effective option. Or I guess maybe extension tubes for you silly Nikon folks who can't control your apertures and need electronic connections.

(With Canon you can hit the DOF preview button and then disconnect the lens while holding it down, and it will stay in whatever aperture you had set while disconnected. bwuahaha)
 

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I like the idea of that setup because it retains the auto features of the non-reversed lens, but the cost of the BR-6 jumps it right up there. Might I be just as well or better off with something like a
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 SLD DG Macro Lens with built in motor for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras in manual mode for $150?

That is NOT a macro lens.. it has some cheesy close focusing capability is all... but only 1:4 magnification (1/4 life size). IQ is not the greatest either....

If you are interested... I have a Nikon D series 36-72 telephoto already setup with a reversing ring... and I even made an adapter for the base end so it will take a lens cap. I would sell it for a reasonable price, and it produces excellent images.
 

cgipson1

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a bellows is also a cheap and very effective option. Or I guess maybe extension tubes for you silly Nikon folks who can't control your apertures and need electronic connections.

(With Canon you can hit the DOF preview button and then disconnect the lens while holding it down, and it will stay in whatever aperture you had set while disconnected. bwuahaha)

Lets not get started on what system can do what! There are several things Nikon can do that Canon can't (and vice versa).... and we don't need a flamefest, or to sidetrack this thread.
 

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Bellows are cheap?????? All the ones I've seen are expensive. Apparently I'm looking in the wrong place.
 

480sparky

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Bellows are cheap?????? All the ones I've seen are expensive. Apparently I'm looking in the wrong place.


NIKON bellows are not cheap.

You can buy 3rd-party bellows on fleabay all day long for fifty bucks or less.


Keep in mind: You get what you pay for.
 

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