Several macro questions

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Ironlegs

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Ok so after few weeks of researching, i cant decide which way to go. I am deciding between 1) Extension tubes + Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 + raynox 250 2) Extension tubes + pentax 1.7 50mm prime reversed

I asked 2 very good macro photographers which way to go... and both are telling me 2 different things... one says with 2) i will have better image quality and second one says 1) is a lot better, the viewfinder wont be so dark, has better quality on higher resolutions. Now i am completely confused and i would like to decide which way to go already so i have to ask you guys what to do cause i am helpless... :(

Is the image quality and sharpness good on full resolution picture from a pentax 1.7 reversed ?
 
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Part of the problem is that image quality will likely be pretty good on both - esp if you're stopped down and not shooting wide open (ergo using a "sharper" aperture). This is one of those situations where you've got to jump in and just find out for yourself I think.

See if there's a local camera club you might be able to try some of the setups or similar ones if people there have some of the kit.
 
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Part of the problem is that image quality will likely be pretty good on both - esp if you're stopped down and not shooting wide open (ergo using a "sharper" aperture). This is one of those situations where you've got to jump in and just find out for yourself I think.

See if there's a local camera club you might be able to try some of the setups or similar ones if people there have some of the kit.

As we were talking earlier, Raynox 250 is basicaly another lens = added glass = worse IQ... but 2 photographers told me that i should go for raynox cause it has better quality on higher resolution than the 50mm reversed technique... and then one told me that the 50mm will have better quality :D i am a student i dont want to throw money around so i am really taking my time to decide.

This was taken by the photographer with 50mm f/1.7 reversed
Phidippus regius Flickr - Photo Sharing

And this by the photographer with 100mm + raynox 250
Turkish beauty 2 Flickr - Photo Sharing

What do you think ? :)
 

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At web size there really isn't much between them - plus by different photographers means you can't be sure the process and user skill is the same.

More glass also doesn't always mean less image quality. My 70-300mm f4-5.6 has a lot less glass than my 70-200mm f2.8 yet the 70-200mm blasts the 70-300mm out of the water. It's not about the volume of glass; it's about the quality of that glass.
 

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But extension tubes have no glass in it so it cant really reduce the image quality right ?

This is a common point that IMO misses something. Adding extension doesn't itroduce any extra issues with IQ but it does make the issues already present more noticable, as it magnifies the image. The higher magnification also adds issues with DOF, movement, lighting...

Working at such high magnifications is very demanding, unless you're already very experienced in macro I'd suggest using the reversing ring & extension tubes seperately at first. It's certainly possible to get great photos with them combined, but it will be easier to master the techniques if you don't push too far at the start :)
 

petrochemist

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Haha, i linked pictures from Thomas Shahan and i am talking about him for like last hour here, you didnt read through :D He is a big inspiration to me.
Thats why i am not sure what to do, if i should get around 65-100mm of extension tubes and reversed 50mm or go for 28mm reversed and extension tubes... cant decide whats a better solution for me... If i did that with the 50mm lens it would be cheaper for me. So my problem is, that i cant decide and i am also worried about the focusing.
By the way those pictures are nice !

( sorry for double post )

If your considering that much extension a bellow might be the better way to go. I know they've fallen out of fashion but they're cheap & work well, just a little more awkward to handle. They do give easy adjustment of extension & a much greater range than any helicoid (variable length extension tube) :)
There are plenty of cheap solutions for macro, including DIY extension tubes/diffusers... Even the very top macro lenses need good technique to show advantages over the best that can be done on a tight budget.
 

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You don't have to worry about the viewfinder being dark...
 

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Bellows are great because they offer a variable magnification increase without having to remove or add parts. The big downside is that they lack electrical contacts unless you get a very high-end set or something like the Novoflex adaptor which lets you fit to mounts (one to camera and one to lens) that have a cord between them which carries the contacts (its mostly aimed at reverse macro but also for use with regular bellows).

If you've a manual lens you can control the aperture blades on its not as much a problem - but for most digital setups most affordable bellows are impractical.
 

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If you've a manual lens you can control the aperture blades on its not as much a problem - but for most digital setups most affordable bellows are impractical.
Surely there aren't many interchangeable lens digital cameras that can't work without communication with the lens. I know M42 lenses are used on Canon, Nikon (despite infinity focus issues), Sony, Pentax, micro four thirds...
If your using a manual lens (often available in reasonable condition for under £10) there are twin cable release options to automatically close the aperture prior to taking the shot, though with live-view that's not really an issue. The darkening from extension is no different if the extension is via bellows or tubes.
My bellows have been from the budget end of the range (all my sets where <£40) and I've not found them impractical on my DSLR or mirrorless cameras. When mating unusual lenses on the camera I've sometimes found them the most practical & not always just for macro either.
 

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