Used macro lense. What to look for / avoid

Discussion in 'Lighting and Hardware' started by Dyslexicbloke, Aug 10, 2018.

  1. Dyslexicbloke

    Dyslexicbloke TPF Noob!

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    I was going to say budget is key here but to be honest if I can't find a reasonable lense for £100-£200 I will probably not bother.

    I don't see there point in buying a lense I am going too be disappointed with.

    Could I use the Nikon zoom with rings?

    I am not worried about AF but I do need to be able too control apatite.

    I was looking at F2 stuff but it occurs too me that DOF may be an issue.

    Is an F2 lense, stopped down, still better than a lense that cant get that low, wide open?

    I like zoom for composition but do I need it for macro or should. go prime.
    Definitely want good mag, proper macro so better than 1:1

    Thoughts?

    Cheers,
    Al


     
  2. dxqcanada

    dxqcanada Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Best to use a fixed focal length with extension tubes.
     
  3. Dyslexicbloke

    Dyslexicbloke TPF Noob!

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    O...
    Was planning to experiment with fixed illumination as opposed to flash.
    ring flash esque, but LED based like a video light.

    Anyone have want idea what sort of mcd/cd output I would need, assuming we are only talking about few tens/hundreds of mm to the subject.

    Thanks
    Al
     
  4. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Yes, you could use a zoom lens + extension rings. A 12mm or 13mm ring would be useful for much close-up work. For really close-in work, more extension would likely be necessary, and this is where a 20mm or 25mm extension ring would likely be useful, I give approximate ring lengths because different extension ring sets (extension tubes,same thing,different name) come with different lengths.

    An AF extension ring set, like the Kenko AF set, is the BEST for use with an AF d-slr, not so much because of the AF, but because of the CPU connections! The AF tube sets are vastly easier to work with than ultra-cheap, $10, no-contact cheapie sets. Kenko AF is nice; there are other sets, like Vello or whatnot, that are also AF-compliant.

    90mm AF f/2.8 macro lens from Tamron is a nice one. Tokina ATX-Pro 100mm f/2.8 is another good used option. Nikon 105mm f/4 Ai-era manual focus might be a viable lens on a D7200. 105mm f/2.8 Ai-S manual focus is another lens. BOTH are actual "macro lens" types.

    I am not so sold on 55mm AF or 60mm AF-D macro lenses from Nikon, even though I own the 60/2.8 AF-D...I use my Tamron 90mm AF more often.

    I dunno...for MANY uses, a 70-200 or 70-300 or 55-200 or 55-300 zoom lens + a 20mm extension tube ought to be adequate.

    FIXED illumination is likely going to be very dim, and require a tripod and slow shutter speeds...flash is usually MUCH brighter, and much easier to work with. OF course, YMMV.
     
  5. BrentC

    BrentC Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Instead of tubes I would highly suggest using your 18-140mm with a Raynox DCR-150 or DCR-250.
     
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  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Could be a very good option; Raynox makes good-quality, two-element close-up lenses. DCR-150 Macro conversion lens for D-SLR cameras, 4K and HDV Camcorders This is a 4.8 diopter lens.

    DCR-250 Super Macro conversion lens for D-SLR cameras, 4K and HDV Camcorders This is an 8-diopter lens

    I have seen some very GOOD work done using Raynox accessories. We have some members here who have used their products with good results!

    Nikon used to make two thread-in, two-element close-up lenses, the 5-T was 52mm diameter, and the 6-T was 62mm diameter. I own a couple of the 6-T models; quality with a few specific lenses is excellent. With the old 100-300 5.6 Ai-S and the 6-T reverse-mounted on the front of the lens, the quality is superb, as in not just good, and better than excellent-actually superb. Flat-field, sharp, no chromatic aberration. it helps that the lens was designed with that specific close-up filter as part of the design parameters.
     
  7. Dyslexicbloke

    Dyslexicbloke TPF Noob!

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    I like the look of that...
    well within budget and the performance looks good.

    I took all the flowers, al-pics | photo.net, with the 18-140, which gets fairly close in the first place so I expect that, it, would work well with there add-on lense.

    I didn't even know these things existed...
    thanks folks.

    Al
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
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  8. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The Raynox models earlier shown, and the Canon 500D and Canon 250D and the discontinued Nikon 5- and 6-T accessory lenses are all the highest-quality accessories.

    These are NOT the cheap, single-element plus-diopter screw-in filters, but something else entirely.
     
  9. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just to start playing with close up, I suggest an inexpensive 3-lens closeup lens/filter set. They are not the best of quality but probably the cheapest way to get close.

    Then I would look at the older used micro lenses.
    • I have a 55 f/2.8 or 55 f/3.5 AI micro, probably from the 1980s.
      • Warning, for your D7200, do NOT get a pre-AI lens, unless it has been converted, or you will damage the AI follower.
      • I see some of the 55 f/3.5 for less than $50 USD on eBay.
      • You need the PK-13 extension ring to get to 1:1 on FF. On the D7200, you might be close to 1:1 without the ring.
    • There is the 105 f/2.8 AF micro, which gives you AF when you use it as a regular 105 lens.
    The advantage of the longer micro/macro lenses is that they give you more working distance from the subject, which makes it easier to deal with lights and to avoid shadow caused by the lens being too close to the subject.

    If you want to go beyond 1:1 you are into really close stuff.
    At that level, I would go old school, and use a bellows and bellows lens.

    I would also look into a 4-way rail (F/B and L/R). The rail makes it a lot easier than moving the tripod an inch +/-.
     
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  10. Dyslexicbloke

    Dyslexicbloke TPF Noob!

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    Interesting...Thanks.

    The reason I asked about greater than 1:1 is that even with the D90 I seas getting reasonably good, perhaps I will realise how that assesment is wrong some time soon, images of bees on flowers and the like, most by using the 18-140.

    It is capable of focusing quite close to begin with but I apriciate I will not be taking a full frame ant with it or focusing on an insect eye.

    My goal is to get as much magnification as I can afford, whilst retaining quality, and to do it whilst staying as far, relatively speaking, from the subject as possible.
    (So that I don't desturbe it)

    I like the frame idea, I had wondered about a rail but hadn't considdere both X & Y.

    Sorry to be vague but what is AI? I wouldn't want to damage anything.
    How would I know, if buying used online, weather a lense was AI or not?

    What about this lense reversal stuff... I am assuming I will be manual anyway and if I am using old lenses with apature rings the electronics will not be an issue.

    Cheers,
    Al
     
  11. ac12

    ac12 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Caution
    In macro work, you are generally CLOSE, REALLY CLOSE to the subject.
    Shooting the eye of a bug will be pretty hard, without it jumping away.
    Old trick; put the bug in a jar in the fridge. The cold makes it sluggish.
    I did not do this, so I have no idea how well it works.​

    For bugs, I would use a LONG macro lens, just to give you more distance and less spooking of the bug.
    The old 105 AF seems to the the longest macro that is generally available, and at a reasonable price.

    Reversal is flipping the prime lens around, so the back of the lens is towards the subject. This was done for macro work. But you are going to be REALLY CLOSE to the subject. Since I have a macro lens, I have not tried reversing a lens.

    There are many books on macro photography. I suggest going to the library to look at them, and check out a few, to learn the subject. Then start practicing. For me, close up and macro is a very different world.

    AI = Auto Index
    The back of the aperture ring is cut to mate with the AI follower on the camera. This was to eliminate the use of the coupling prongs on the cameras, and made mounting the lens just a little bit faster.
    • If the back of the aperture ring is FLAT, it is a pre-AI lens.
    • If the back of the aperture ring has different levels, it is an AI lens, or converted to AI lens.
    • If the meter coupling prong is solid, it is likely a pre-AI lens.
    • If the coupling prong is skeleton, and there is a 2nd smaller set of aperture numbers near the back edge of the aperture ring, it is probably an AI lens.
    As you shop for lenses, you will need to check the Nikon lens/body compatibility charts, to determine if the lens is compatible with your camera.
    Compatibility is one of the problems of the changing Nikon lens coupling over the years.
    While the F mount has not changed since the 1960s. The lens aperture, focus, autofocus coupling has changed, MANY times.
     
  12. Dyslexicbloke

    Dyslexicbloke TPF Noob!

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    Glad I asked...
    there isnt any of that which I wa aware of and the mechanical issues sound like they could be a big issue.

    Charts it is.

    I know macro and micro will be a challange, and I apriciate I amm going tiomhave to do some reading. To be honest I just wanted to make sure I wasnt missing anything.
    Given that yiu seem to be clued up, what is your opinion of the 8 diopter addon to my 18-140?

    How would I work out mag ratio? (assuming its is worth playing with in the first place) I u

    Thanks for taking the time, I am feling a bit like Bamby in PC world rioght now!

    Cheers,
    Al
     

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