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Old Jan 19, 2007, 2:41 PM   #1
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Hello there...

This place is a wealth of information for me and I love coming here. Now I have another question. I have a D50 and a 28-80 lens that does pretty well taking pictures of smaller items, but I want to get closer. I tried looking on ebay and found the lens reversing ring, and a bellows attachment. Affordable they are, but how well do they actually work? I want to get closer to say a quarter, or a medal from WWII. I do not have a lens that will do that and now I seek information here.

I used to have a Panasonic FZ, and I liked it. It could focus closer then I was comfortable getting to some things. Some thing you have to give a little distance. So i want to be close without having to on it and cast my big headed shadow everywhere. I tried the close up filters and while they were a great idea, the quality was low. They were cheap as it was mainly a test. I also tried to build myself a little light tent and it came out pretty well. It also made me realize I dont have the equipment to use it well.

How do you get close for macro photography?

Tried a bellows lens?

Do close up filters work well if you get good ones?

Thanks for any help and information!
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Old Jan 19, 2007, 3:46 PM   #2
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Best solution is a real macro lens as you would expect!

Reversing the lens can give you some macro ability but you would only have manual focus and exposure. You also have the bayonet end of the lens exposed to dust and the elements. As well you will have to operate the diaphragm manually.

Bellows are fragile things and you can easily put a twig through them when working in the field. Twig - 1 : Bellows - 0

You could investigate extension tubes, such as from Kenko or your camera manufacturer, as they are metal or plastic and more rugged. They move the lens away from the sensor similar to bellows and allow closer focus. Extension tubes will also bring out the worse in your lens though, hence my first suggestion.

Close up "filters" are really simple lenses like a magnifying glass. The cheap ones only have one element and will introduce undesired distortion and colour fringing as you discovered. Canon has a line of double element close-up lenses that people claim work well. I have no experience with them so can't confirm. If they don't have your size get the next larger size and use a step ring to mount on your filter threads.
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Old Jan 19, 2007, 5:20 PM   #3
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Thanks,

Yes I am seen the bad of the closeup filters. I like the idea, just wish it took useable pictures.

So what is a good macro lens that will let me stay away from something but still get close to something? As I said, ebay is just a pain for even browsing things like this with all the crap being sold like the reversing rings.
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Old Jan 19, 2007, 7:25 PM   #4
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Selected macro lenses that should allow good spacing between the camera and subject:

Nikon AF Micro 105mm f/2.8D

Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED

Sigma 105mm F2.8 EX DG

Sigma 150mm F2.8 EX DG

Sigma 180mm F3.5 EX DG

Tamron SP AF90mm F/2.8 Di 1:1 Macro

Tamron SP AF180mm F/3.5 Di LD (IF) 1:1 Macro

I didn't have the budget for a dedicated macro lens so I opted for the Sigma 70-300mm APO DG MACRO which allows up to half life size on the sensor. The subject can be as close as 95cm from the camera. Not the best telephoto/macro in the world but it works for me until I can afford to replace it.
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Old Jan 19, 2007, 7:41 PM   #5
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Here is an example using the Sigma 70-300mm on my D70s, SB600 bounced off the ceiling. Figurine about 10cm high on a sheet of legal sized paper to make a seamless backdrop. Reduction 1:2.9 so about 1/3 life size on the sensor.


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Old Jan 21, 2007, 9:26 PM   #6
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Pardon me for dropping into a thread, but perhaps I have the same question ? I have a D80, 18-135mm and 70-300mm VR . I asked, in my local camera store, about macro lenses and they quoted me about $1000 for one and $1700 (Canadian ) for the other. Is there a way to use my current lenses to get close ? I also have a Coolpix 8800 that takes remarkable close ups, but would like to take the odd flower etc with the D80. I'm a bit out of date with new Nikons and still have my 1970's gear, including a 55mm macro. Is there a digital equivalent ?

Thanks, Steve
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Old Jan 21, 2007, 9:58 PM   #7
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Actually, there is a low-cost macro option with decent quality.

I'd take a look at the Vivitar (I believe it's also marketed under the Phoenix, Promaster, and Cosina brand names) 100mm f/3.5 macro lens.

It goes natively to 1:2, but the matched converter brings it to 1:1 (with a slight loss in quality).

It used to sell for $140 or so new, but it seems it's out of production. Still, you should be able to find it used on Ebay for less than $100.

The image quality is beyond anything you would get with close-up filters, and unlike with a reversing ring, you retain all autofocus and autoexposure capabilities.

The only drawback to this lens is that it goes only to 1:2 native, and the build quality is very cheap (it really feels like a toy, though it does have a metal mount).
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Old Jan 22, 2007, 3:38 AM   #8
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The Scubbler wrote:
Quote:
Pardon me for dropping into a thread, but perhaps I have the same question ? I have a D80, 18-135mm and 70-300mm VR . I asked, in my local camera store, about macro lenses and they quoted me about $1000 for one and $1700 (Canadian ) for the other. Is there a way to use my current lenses to get close ? I also have a Coolpix 8800 that takes remarkable close ups, but would like to take the odd flower etc with the D80. I'm a bit out of date with new Nikons and still have my 1970's gear, including a 55mm macro. Is there a digital equivalent ?

Thanks, Steve
It depends on exactly how old your 55 Micro is, but if it is AI or later it should work fine.

Keith.
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Old Jan 23, 2007, 4:46 PM   #9
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Thanks , Keith, but my old lenses are pre A1 and I was too dumb to have them converted, way back when. I keep hoping there is a Miracle Adapter that will put life back in the old gang !

Steve
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