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Old Aug 20, 2008, 9:57 PM   #1
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Im trying to add onto my very small collection (1 lens haha), I just have the 18-70 kit lens, I just ordered the Tamron 70-300 today, but for my next lens I'm really wanting a Macro lens. Sony offers the 50mm and the 100mm, what would you choose and why? not necessarily sony but probably 50 or 100mm, unless you can advise something better.

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Old Aug 20, 2008, 10:14 PM   #2
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Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on a macro lens, you could try out extension tubes on the lens(es) you have. Extension tubes are available in sets or individually.

See http://www.thkphoto.com/products/kenko/slrc-04.html

The set of 12mm, 20mm, & 36mm Kenko extension tubes goes for $169 at Adorama, and the 12mm and 25mm tubes go for $59 and $69 respectively. (Stay away from the Pro Optic brand.)

These are also frequently available used for a lot less.
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Old Aug 21, 2008, 1:35 AM   #3
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I didn't know such a thing existed, Thanks! Sounds like a much cheaper route for sure and still getting the same job done.

I think I will go that route...
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Old Aug 23, 2008, 1:15 AM   #4
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I was viewing some macro lens photos and saw these pics that were taken using the Minolta AF 3x-1x 1.7-2.8 Macro. Could I get these kind of results without buying a $1500 macro lens? I would love to get pics like that.

http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/forum_posts.asp?TID=17070
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Old Aug 23, 2008, 8:08 AM   #5
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Most "Macro" lenses only get to 1:2 magnification. That's .5x magnification.

Macro lenses get to 1:1 magnification. That makes the image on the sensor the same size as the subject.

Instead of ending at 1:1, the Minolta AF 3x-1x 1.7-2.8 Macro is just getting started. It goes from 1:1 to 3:1, where the image on the sensor is three times the size of the subject. It is a very capable lens, one of the finest of its kind ever produced (and that price if $1,500 must have been quite some time ago.)

You could do better than 1:1 by putting extension tubes on a macro lens.

The following is an uncropped reduction of a shot I took with my KM5D, Sigma 90mm f/2.8 Macro with the 'Life Size' (1:1) attachment, and a 25mm and a 12mm extension tube. That's the Macro-est I can do.
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Old Aug 23, 2008, 9:21 AM   #6
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You will see "Macro" applied to lenses that have a ratio of 1:4 so read the fine print if you are looking for better than that.


Another option is add-on lenses that fit like filters on your current lens. Any time extra glass is added you have a chance of quality reduction, and there are various degrees of quality.

The below was shot with an add-on lens at about 1:2

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Old Aug 23, 2008, 11:32 AM   #7
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I just dida little more playing around and found that I can also stick in a teleconverter to get some more magnification. Something on the order of 3.5:1!
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Old Aug 23, 2008, 1:25 PM   #8
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3.5:1 sweet! How does the addition of the teleconverter affect the quality?
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Old Aug 23, 2008, 3:07 PM   #9
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firstascent wrote:
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3.5:1 sweet! How does the addition of the teleconverter affect the quality?
The lens by itself is pretty good, and the TC has worked well for me on other lenses. I was just playing around handheld. I wouldn't want to steer you in any particular direction based on my preliminary results.

I will say that, with the extension tubes and the teleconverter, the viewfinder was getting pretty dim. Therein lies the strength of the Minolta AF 3x-1x 1.7-2.8 Macro.
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