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Old Jun 26, 2007, 1:12 PM   #1
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I have been using this old lens I inherited. (pictures below) I have no idea how powerful it is, but most of the shots come out blurry whether I use a tripod or not. It is a manual focus lens. I get the impression looking at the Raynox lenses online that they are focused by the camera, and I think that is what I need. So, my questions are:

1. For an FZ7, is a Raynox 150 or 250 the best lense to get at a reasonable price, or is there something else I should consider also?

2. Does autofocus work well with these lenses?

3. Most of my macro shots will probably be critters in the back yard with no tripod. Based on that, is the 150 a better choice?

These are a couple of my backyard insects.

1. Young Praying Mantis.


2. Day flying moth of some sort.


3. My current lens - Head on view


4. Side view



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Old Jun 26, 2007, 1:57 PM   #2
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The dcr150 has a fixed focussing distance of 8 inches, and the 250 = 4inches. Most people focus manually by getting roughly within this focussing range then moving the camera back and forth until focus is achieved(camera set to manual focus). You can use autofocus with them though, i recall vaiboy mentioning he uses autofocus with his dcr250.
Which one of these lenses you choose really depends on the size of subjects you intend to shoot (larger subjects the 150 is probably better and vice versa), or whether you intend to take extreme closeups (in which case the 250 would probably be better), and also how close you can approach the subjects.
I`ve only personally used the 150, so cant comment on how difficult the 250 is to use,in comparison. If you`re handholding the camera most of the time, whichever lens you choose, its always best to brace yourself (or the camera) against something solid if you can which helps a lot. Depth of field is very narrow with both these lenses so its easy for slight camera movements to knock an image out of focus as youre shooting.
Another thing to bear in mind is that as the 250 focusses at 4 inches, you would need some sort of flash bounce for the cameras onboard flash to work at such a close distance, with the 150 focussing at 8 inches the onboard flash will work ok(better if its diffused though). Unless you had really good light and high shutter speeds, flash is almost essential to get sharp shots with these lenses, especially when handholding.

Mark


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Old Jun 26, 2007, 3:11 PM   #3
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That is a cool looking lens, I haven't seen one like that before. It looks like you turn the dial to set the focus distance? I might need to get one of those to play around with!
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Old Jun 26, 2007, 3:28 PM   #4
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vaiboy wrote:
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That is a cool looking lens, I haven't seen one like that before. It looks like you turn the dial to set the focus distance? I might need to get one of those to play around with!
Thanks Mark. You answered some of the questions I forgot to ask and thought of while driving around. I would like to use autofocus if possible. I wear glasses and have discovered that when I do macro either they fog up or I sweat and get it on the glasses. And even with diopter adjustment I can't tell when the focus is great. And that zoomed manual focus I find hard to use as it seems to jump all over on me.

Vaiboy, there was one on eBay and I just checked and it is listed again. Comes from Australia.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=220125517914

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Old Jun 26, 2007, 4:11 PM   #5
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The manual focus method most people adopt with these lenses is done by moving the camera back and forward Steve, not with the cameras manual focus system. Judging focus via the manual method is difficult at times anyway, regardless of eyesight (glare on the lcd etc etc). One way of increasing the chances of a good shot with this method is to shoot slightly either side of where you think the perfect focus point is. Sometimes these are the shots that come out the best.
One indication of good focus is that the pixels at the point of focus "glint", its hard to explain but if you try it you`ll hopefully see what I mean.
From your mention of dioptre adjustment etc I assume you mean using the viewfinder. Using the lcd instead might help (it also means you can hold the camera out in front of you slightly, so you`re not physically as close to the subject, lessening the chance of spooking it).
Regardless, autofocus should work ok with these lenses once you get used to it if thats the method you`d prefer.

Mark

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Old Jun 26, 2007, 4:45 PM   #6
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Steve, you might also consider the Nikon 3t and 4t. They are 52mm threads and I don't know what the FZ7 is. I use both lenses hand held and auto focus all the time. When I stack the two together I use a tripod. I have not used the DCR lenses but have seen some great shots from them also.
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Old Jun 26, 2007, 5:27 PM   #7
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Thanks Ted, I will look at those also. 52mm is what the FZ7 is. Also my current lens, which came with an old Nikon F.
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Old Jun 26, 2007, 9:31 PM   #8
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I don't use the lenses much differently than Mark except I use auto focus in spot focus mode. I still move the camera to get it close to in focus, then I put the spot on what i'm trying to focus on, normally the eyes. ThenI half press the shutter and watch the LCD to make sure it focuses on what I'm after. Sometimes it misses and focuses on the wrong part or doesnt focus at all but then I just let go of the shutter button and try again. Once it looks like the focus is correct I press the shutter button the rest of the way. It's still sort of hit or miss, I don't have the steadiest hands. I'm lucky if 25-30% of the macros I take are in focus, properly framed, and presentable.

I found some other lenses like the one you have, Ijust ordereda Star-D Vari Close-up lens. Something new to play with!
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Old Jun 26, 2007, 10:13 PM   #9
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You probably already do this but i forgot to mention I always shoot in high speed burst mode. Also spot focus as valboy said and to get greater DOF as high an aperture setting as possible while maintaining sufficient shutter speed.

I have a 50mm lens I used to use reversed but I have not tried it in some time. Now I am going to have to go out and give it a try again.
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Old Jun 26, 2007, 10:29 PM   #10
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Thanks again Ted, and vaiboy, I hope you enjoy your new lens. I almost asked my original question by picking someone to PM. Glad I started a thread as it is becoming filled with useful info.

By the way, has anyone seen a moth like the one above? I can't find a picture anywhere. I may send a picture to the local museum if I can't figure it out somehow.
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