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Old Aug 31, 2006, 6:00 PM   #11
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it's been awhile but i think about 1 1/4'', lens to subject. you get less mag with a 100mm and a lot more with a 28mm. i found the 28mm too hard to work with. as far as speed goes you need to shoot at the highest possible with the smallest aperture. i know that doesn't answer your question but it's all i've got..

roy
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Old Aug 31, 2006, 7:14 PM   #12
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Hi Greg,

There's another option -- Macro Focusing Converters. They come in two types that I am aware of, both fitting between the lens and body. One type just allows the fitted lens to focus closer -- essentially an extension tube with some optics, and the Macro Focusing Teleconverter, which will multiply the focal length of the fitted lens and act as a variable length extension tube to give magnifications all the way up to 1:1, or just act as a normal TC, focusing to infinity.

I have one of each. A Tokina AT-X MFC which I have found of limited usefulness, and a Vivitar KA 2x MFTC which I have found to be very useful. The Vivitar has seven elements and is very respectable optically for a 2x TC. Add the macro focusing function, and it earned a place in my permanent kit. It's manual focus only, but the KA version has the contacts to pass the aperture info from the lens to the body, so all exposure automation is possible. They also made a manual version without the contacts. It will make a 50mm f1.4 into a 100mm f2.8 1:1 macro. Is it as good as having a Pentax A/F/FA/DFA 100/2.8 Macro -- no, but it's not too shabby, and a relatively inexpensive way to get reasonable results (figure something under $100 USD used -- they have been discontinued for a while, I believe.)

If you have a use for a 2x TC and want to turn any of your lenses into a 1:1 macro lens carrying only one item, this might be something to look into. I can only vouch for the Vivitar -- other mfgs have made them also. JensR from DPR PT forum did a test:

http://www.jr-worldwi.de/photo/macro3_shootout.html

Scott




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Old Aug 31, 2006, 8:35 PM   #13
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scott, i can't believe i forgot that option and i just sold one. a panagor. it did not do the 2x converter but did work well with a 50mm at 1:1. i really think the ext tubes do it better..
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Old Aug 31, 2006, 8:51 PM   #14
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Hi Roy,

You're probably correct about the tubes being better, with no additional optics to mess with things, but the Vivitar MFTC is a great multitasker, and I've used it with my DFA 100/2.8 macro to get a 200mm f5.6 macro @ 2.5:1 -- no pics to brag about -- just did some test shots.

It is also a competent 2x TC -- not the best, but the only one that I'll probably ever own, just something to play with.

Scott
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Old Sep 1, 2006, 1:13 AM   #15
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thanks everyone, thats clears everything. looks like getting extension tubes si the easiest way for beggining.

really appreciate all yr help

greg
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Old Sep 1, 2006, 8:49 AM   #16
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I have looked at all the alternative. They are all with stellar results particularly those from Roy. These show that non-macro lens are good for macro shots in the hands of a good photographer.
Having said that , I would still say for bang for the buck, nothing beat a regular macro like Pentax 50mm &100mm&200mm, Tamron 90mm or Sigma 105mm+180mm. All of them are great lens even for non-macro purpose.
I use my 100mm all the time for non-macro shots and they are amongst the best of that focal length. And you just have to deal with the super sharpness which has to be toned down a bit for portrait.

Daniel
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Gumnut wrote:
Quote:
i wish i knew
i am interested in what the answers will be

i am going to guess you cant beat a true macro lens
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Old Sep 1, 2006, 10:45 AM   #17
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My take on this question.

1. dedicated macro lens (like 1:1 105mm) - is 1:1 magnification achieved by very close focus distance? if not what is focus distance? how hard is it to shoot handholding? how big is DOF?

The dedicated macro lens is the easiest to use and can be used for regular photographs just like a normal lens!

2. extension tubes - it's possible to get 1:1 with 3 tubes and 50mm lens, but what is focus distance (do they shorten native min focusing distance)? is it easier to use than macro lens? does extension tubes force you to use faster shutter speed (like long lenses)? and how about DOF? is it bigger or smaller than macro lens?

Tubes are the least expensive option and they work very well and your final image will be just as sharp as the lens you are using will allow!

3. dipoters - I know they're best used on longer lenses to get max magnification but you need fast shutter speed and DOF is close to nothing. that was my way of shooting macro with my FZ 10. not very easy

I don't like putting the extra glass on my lenses since they degrade the image!

4. reversed lens - I knoe wtat reversing lens in front of another works like very strong diopter, but how about single reversed lens? usual questions: what's the focus distance and how big is DOF? is it better to luse longer or shorter lens? which gives higher magnification? I know this technique is for shooting really really small things.

This actually works very well, but the rear glass on a lens is very soft and can be damaged if you are not careful!

5. bellows, which will take any lens you have and give it macro capabilities just like extension tubes do.

Bellows work very well, but they are a real pain to use especially in the field!

You can get some manual focus macro lenses for next to nothing used if you look around and many of them are very sharp. Extension tubes are even less expensive, but not as handy to use as a macro lens.

Tom
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Old Sep 1, 2006, 8:27 PM   #18
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Tom,
I have seen K mount bellows described as "auto bellows." If you have some experience with bellows do you know if this means they work with auto aperture? A month ago I would have assumed any lens marked "auto" was an auto focus, so I would not be surprised if the meaning on bellows was something else entirely.

Thanks,

Tim
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