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macro kit

Discussion in 'Sony Chat' started by gazraa, Apr 2, 2003.

  1. gazraa

    gazraa Well-Known Member

    I have a dynax 5 and am keen to get into more macro shots. Real close ups of bugs etc so maybe more than 1:1

    Using my current equipment:
    Minolta f1.7 50mm
    Minolta f3.5-4.5 28-70mm
    Sigma 70-300 APO Macro
    jessops AF extension tubes 50 odd mm i think all together
    +4 diopter for the Sigma
    Minolta 3500xi Flash
    Uni-loc 1600 system tripod with std 30 head

    what would be the best combination, and what additions would be of the most benefit to me bearing in mind the following:

    budget - not much
    my skill level - still learning (less than 6 months experience)

    I have obviously tried out various combinations, but it's all been fairly hit and miss as i expect technique plays a major part too. I've got john shaw's close ups in nature book too which looks great.

    So there you go.... any tips that might benefit my macro photography??
  2. Larry Shone

    Larry Shone Well-Known Member

    well for macro forget the 28-70, if it's anything like Canons kit zoom it'll be far too soft, plus you wont get anywhere near macro with it.
    The 50 1.7 with extension tubes may be the best bet, especially if you can reverse mount it.
    The 70-300 APO Macro probably goes down to 1/4 lifesize, so is not true macro, but with a 1 close up lens may get to half lifesize and be quite sharp.If you use the 4 as i did you'll get quite soft images but appealing in their own right, depends if you want all your shots to be ultra sharp.
    (I believe Sigma do an AML for it(auxillary macro lens))

    <i>I will be rich and famous one day, just not today!</i>
  3. Audemars

    Audemars New Member

    Hi, it's like what i'd been through,i guess. i mean, i like to do this close-up things and own almost same equipment like you, yet still in the learning process too. 28-70mm i think can be left behind, while 50mm f1.7 is a sharp lens and i think with close-up lens, you can get closer. I haven't tried this yet.I've been using my sigma 70-300mm DL Macro Super for this kind of work. So far, it's reasonably sharp with maximum magnification of 1:2. Tips from Practical Photography i.e. stop down it to f8 and above, i got nice and sharp close-up. I also bought the AML lens, allowed mag. 1:1 with much closer distance to the subject, but image is not as good as you get without it. If you have more money, why not try to buy a real macro lens, try get the 2nd hand one. If you are lucky, can get good lens like sigma EX 105mm, or Tamron SP 90mm for below £200. Try searching around the net, including ebay. Good luck.
  4. RonM

    RonM Alpha Napper

    Garry the best combination will be the 50mm f/1.7 and the Extention tubes, if its the Jessops M-Xi/AF set then with the 31mm plus 21mm added to the lens then you'll get 1:1 if you add the other 13mm tube then you'll get better than 1:1 I don't know the maths behind it Huw is the forum mathematician. Just remember to get sufficient DoF you will need to stop the lens well down, but unless you are going to get a true Macro lens you are not really going to improve much upon what you already have. Personally I would also forget about using AML filters, all you are doing is placing an other element in the light path which will further degrade the image.

    <font color=blue>RonM IRIPN</font color=blue>
    Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film.
  5. gazraa

    gazraa Well-Known Member

    so this reverse mounting the lens, is it fairly simple to do considering it's an auto focus lens?
    would i be better getting a manual lens, where i can set the aperture on the lens (instead of through the camera) and reverse mount that? .... or something?

    would that work on a dynax 5?
  6. Larry Shone

    Larry Shone Well-Known Member

    Re: macro kit/ AMLs and maths!

    the macro lens i have uses an AML to bring it to lifesize and the quality is quite impressive!
    As for the maths you divide the amount of extension by the focal length of the lens, thus 25mm extwension with a 50mm lens gives half lifesize (1:2)

    &lt;i&gt;I will be rich and famous one day, just not today!&lt;/i&gt;
  7. Larry Shone

    Larry Shone Well-Known Member

    yes, you would be better with an old s/h manual lens, any make, even M42 mount lenses, which are dead cheap and will give sharper images reversed than just using the 50 1.7 with extension tubes.These lenses arent designed to be used when the subject to front element distance is less than the rear element to film distance.Of copurse youll be using stop down metering and manual flash(i think, not sure about Dynax's TTL flash set up) but if you perservere youll get amazing images.
    you'd ned a reversing ring which can be like Hen's teeth to find unless you go here:
    &lt;A HREF="http://www.srbfilm.co.uk/"&gt;http://www.srbfilm.co.uk/&lt;/A&gt;

    &lt;i&gt;I will be rich and famous one day, just not today!&lt;/i&gt;
  8. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    If you go for an old M42 lens, the East German Carl Zeiss Tessar (multicoated version) is brilliant reversed. And cheap!

    Nick BSRIPN
  9. Larry Shone

    Larry Shone Well-Known Member

    i recently spotted a set of M42 extension tubes for £3! and now that i have a PK to M42 adaptor i can dust that old Zenith 58mm lens off and see how it performs!

    &lt;i&gt;I will be rich and famous one day, just not today!&lt;/i&gt;
  10. gazraa

    gazraa Well-Known Member

    right, i think i get it.
    so i would have to get a reversing ring for minolta AF (just happens to be the most expensive one srbfilm do) and then pick up a s/h lens.
    But can you tell me what M42 mount lenses are? Is it a minolta lens or is it another manufacturer. What would be a good one to get? 50mm, 100mm ???
    As you may guess, I'm not exactly clued up on camera equipment.
  11. Larry Shone

    Larry Shone Well-Known Member

    an M42 mount is an old screw mount, originally called the Pentax mount(help me out here nick),but now ususally found on zenith cameras.
    Theres not a high demand for such lenses and so they can be picked up very cheap(Recently saw a 300mm telephoto for about £30!)
    Of course if you have the money you'd probably be better investing in a macro lens, which is designd for close up work.They ususally have the extra extension built in to achieve lifesize. As for focal lengths, well, it depends what youre shooting and how much you want to use it. You can get a 50mm macro or a 100mm , the later giving extra working distance for shy subjects like insects.there are also things like sigmas 180mm which is the bees knees or even minoltas own 200mm macro! Expensive but what a lens!
    to work out the magnification acheieved with extension tubesyou didved the amount of extension by the focal length.

    &lt;i&gt;I will be rich and famous one day, just not today!&lt;/i&gt;
  12. gazraa

    gazraa Well-Known Member

    right, well money is an issue (isn't it always) and the lowest cost for decent results is the route I want to take.
    A proper macro lens would be great, I just can't afford the cost right now.
    I think the reversing ring, and a manual lens will be the way to go to get some real closeups, I'm just not quite clear on what woud be the best lens to get and whether this will all work with my dynax 5.

    I'm hoping to achieve about 4:1 magnification if possible. Is that achievable with a reversing ring and reversed lens?
  13. Larry Shone

    Larry Shone Well-Known Member

    if you reverse a 50mm you'll get just over lifesize, reverse a 24mm(as i used to with my minolta x300) and you get about 2.5X.
    To get 4X you'd need special 'macro' lenses which are tiny affairs not to be confused with commerically available macro lenses. These true macros are very short in focal length.You can also use old cine lenses or microsciope lenses.Of course at this magnification youre gonna have one hell of a job focusing and would need a focusing rail, no good trying to focus the lens, it wont work, you have to move the camera closer which of course means youre subject is going to be something inanimate. I'm intrigued as to what youre intending to photograph at 4X lifesize, thats a fly's portrait!
    We're talking specialist equipment such as bellows, a studio,(you wont be able to do this in the field) working out the flash is going to be a nigthmare as most flash units are way too powerful and have to be held about 4 to 5 feet away!(I know i recently tried such a thing with the shutter locked open an d firing the flash manually.)You want something like a small unit with a GN of about 12 or a ringflash, preferably one that allows part of the unit to be switched off to give modelling.
    The alternative, what i do cos im onna tight budget is to use an anglepoise lamp and fit a blue filter over the lens, tho at 4X thats gonna be impractical
    theres one other alternative left for macro which is to stack lenses, that is you reverse mount a shortr lens onto a longer one.This way you get high magnification,full use of the cameras electronics and TTL flash, yay!
    To do it you need a medium tele(youre 70-300 would do at about 200mm) and then reverse mount a 50mm onto it.The 50mm becomes a highly corrected suplementary lens of about 20 dioptre, giving in this case 4X!
    The downside, getting hold of an adaptor, but then again theres SRB!
    The only problem you may have is vignetting, but that could be cropped out at a later stage.
    the ideal combo is a 105 mm mounted onto a 200mm but this only gives about 2X lifesize, but good enough for most subjects!

    &lt;i&gt;I will be rich and famous one day, just not today!&lt;/i&gt;
  14. gazraa

    gazraa Well-Known Member

    hmmmm ok. better rethink what i want to do a bit more now i've got this extra (very useful) information.
    using my 70-300 at 200 and a manual lens reversed onto that sounds like it might be the way forward, as long as SRB can come up with the bits :)

    Right, I think I've got enough info to look for the right bits now. The 70-300 is off being fixed at the moment so I'll have a play around when that comes back.

    Cheers for all the info. You've been more than helpful.
  15. Larry Shone

    Larry Shone Well-Known Member

    shame about the 70-300, hope he gets better soon!
    I took this photo using my 75-300 with a #4 supplemetaery lens, using household lighting, and a blue filter. The result is very soft but I like it! The magnification is a bot 1.2X.
    what are you intending photographing, i might be able to give more advice if i know what youre shooting.

    also i have a macro page on my website:

    &lt;i&gt;I will be rich and famous one day, just not today!&lt;/i&gt;
  16. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    It won't be as good as a Tessar. The Helios is based on the Biotar, an East German design similar to the Planar. In itself it's actually a very good lens, but the design doesn't lend itself to being reversed as well as the more symmetrical Tessar. In fact the old Russian Industar 50mm f3.5 is awful for general purpose photography, but is great for close-ups or on tubes/bellows the right way round, as it's a very flat field lens.

    Nick BSRIPN
  17. Larry Shone

    Larry Shone Well-Known Member

    well,it'll do me for nowt! i just love experimenting, and sometinmes soft focus is good!

    &lt;i&gt;I will be rich and famous one day, just not today!&lt;/i&gt;
  18. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Sorry, I don't mean to say it won't be any good - it might well be. And as you say, it's what you've got!

    Nick BSRIPN
  19. gazraa

    gazraa Well-Known Member

    what i want to photo....

    i really like the pictures of insects that i've seen in various books and web sites, so that what i'm going to aim for.
    Flowers are good too, that's what I've experimented with so far.

    I quite like the idea of doing a 'what is it?' project, where i take a close up and another picture showing what it is to try and get some interesting compositions and make people use their brain a bit.
    I also want to enter macro shots in our club competitions as no one really seems to do any macro stuff, just landscapes, landscapes, landscapes, wildlife, landscapes etc etc ZZZzz, doesn't matter if it doesn't win, just be nice to see something different for a change.

    So any tips or advice would be great.
  20. Larry Shone

    Larry Shone Well-Known Member

    I'm all for something different.i particularly like macro in black and white, something you don't see a lot of, especially flowers, but they look cool in mono.Also i like soft focus at times and will often use a cheap lens to deliberately soften the image, depending on what mood I'm in.It is art after all, not just documentation.

    &lt;i&gt;I will be rich and famous one day, just not today!&lt;/i&gt;

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