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Old Nov 13, 2008, 5:58 AM   #1
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Hi All,

I'm no macro expert but fancy getting into this crazy world. What sort of results am I likely to get using extension tubes with one of my current lenses (I have a wide selection to choose from) or get something like the sigma 105?

I'm most likely to use this with my 1D MKIII so working with a 1.3x crop factor. If going for extension tubes the lens options are Canon 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8, 24-105mm f4, 70-200mm f2.8 and a Sigma 24-70mm f2.8.

Basically my questions againare:

What sort of results would I get with extension tubes?

How much better would a genuine macro lens be?

I will probably go for which ever option it is this weekend so please let me know.

If you can share examples that would also be wonderful so I know what to expect.


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Old Nov 13, 2008, 7:30 AM   #2
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Hi Mark,
I'd like to point out this article: http://www.jr-worldwi.de/photo/index..._shootout.html for comparison reasons, maybe this answers one of your question. (have a look at other articles there, too)

I'd suggest you start with a simple macro-lens, that you attach to one of your lenses like a filter. If available, use a achromatic lens. The other choice are extension tubes. Then get a feeling how close "MACRO" is and how thin the DOF, how easy you ran into lighting problems and so on. Maybe you like it, maybe you hate it... who knows? It's a cheap way to find out.

If you want to spend a bit more:

The Vivitar 2x macro teleconverter is my favourite for occasional macro works (am still looking for an affordable "A" exemplar :roll:, mine is fully manual...), best choice as long as you aren't going for SERIOUS macro works and/or can use the macro lens for normal photography, too.

Another hint: Get a feeling for DOF at http://www.dofmaster.com/.

For a good start I'd choose a short or even wide prime-lens, that has a good IQ at f/13, f/16, f/22 and couple it with the Viv macro converter. (see comparison again in 1st link). Pro: affordable, good image quality, can prolly use internal flash because the lens combo is short enough.

Since fall arrived I don't have enough light to really do available-light 1:1 macro's with my Vivitar 90/2.5 (1:1) macro, so can't really say something about quality in everyday use... but I've done some shots with it after it arrived, can see it here:

- http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=94
- http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...amp;forum_id=7

Other shots:

Viv 2x macro TC + 85/2 lens:
- http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=94 (the spider pic)

Some other macro shots with different lens/TC combos are linked and discussed here: http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...ht=thkn777+viv

Maybe that's a start for you, best regards,

P.S. Rule of thumb: if it moves (i.e. insects) you want a longer focal length, otherwise a shorter lens is easier to hold and cheaper
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Old Nov 13, 2008, 8:03 AM   #3
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Hi Mark,

A dedicated macro lens is definitelythe best way to go, having said that very acceptable results are possible with extension tubes, and also don't forget macro

bellows ... they can often be found fairly cheaply on Ebay. Another possibility that crops up on Ebay from time to time is the Vivitar 2X macro TC with a good low light

50mm lens results are very much on a par with a pure macro lens, you'd be splitting hairs to see a difference, it depends on the Viv being available for your make of

camera, though I believe it comes in several flavours. I started this way, and was inspired by results shown on the pages linked below, check the comparison between

the Viv + a 50mm/1.4, and a true macro lens. Sorry at the moment I'm unable to show examples, my second PC is down and most of my pics are stored on that. ... Jack


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Old Nov 13, 2008, 8:10 AM   #4
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Sorry that link doesn't take you directly to the comparison ... Go to lens comparisons on theleft side then scroll to the bottom of the list and double click the title of the Viv + 50mm combination as indicated below. ... Jack

Edit. ... Looks like thkn777 beat me to it, I'm pretty sure I pointed him at the Viv combo originally. LOL
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