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Shooting Macro (on a budget) ?

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  • Shooting Macro (on a budget) ?

    Greetings all!
    Been a while since I've posted here, and true to form I come crawling back for help.

    I've always wanted to shoot macro, but cannot afford another lens. I never really thought about extension tubes, as I was under the impression they were no good.
    (tubes or rings? Is there a difference?)

    I recently heard otherwise and saw some fantastic photos taken using extension tubes (or rings, not sure).

    Anyway. I own:
    - D90
    - Sigma 28-105mmD, IF
    - Nikon DX AF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5 - 5.6
    - Nikon 105mm 1:2.5
    - Nikon ED 70-300mm 1:4 - 5.6

    So I was after some advice on my best option for starting to shoot macro photography.
    I'm after the cheapest possible option, but am also open to hearing other ideas and the ideal setup aswell I guess.

    Thanks in advance for any help, much appreciated

  • #2
    Ever thought of using diopters (close-up filters)? They aren't perfect, but they will get you pretty close to macro and they don't have some of the fall off problems that you have with a macro lens or extension tubes, plus they have the advantage of being a fraction of the price. Now don't get me wrong; there is no substitute for the real deal, but they will get you started and will confirm whether macro is as much fun as you think it is.
    Lee R
    http://lucentbydesign.blogspot.com//
    The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
    -Marcel Proust

    Comment


    • #3
      +1 Lees suggestion. They can be cheaper per lens than the price of a big Mac meal.
      They may not get you to the extreme close ups like a genuine macro, however they will get you closer.

      Also consider using a "macro" setting on a point & shoot camera (if you have one.) Will get you fairly close and have the advantage of a relatively large DOF.

      I have been experimenting with dioptre lenses lately and they may meet your needs. All taken with a Canon 135 F2 L lens (It is one of the better primes around) and will give you an idea if what you can get out of them. The Dioptres are cheapies from China (Around $AU6 each)
      Larger versions can be seen on my Flickr stream
      All have been sharpened the same from the RAW files.

      (1) At the wider apertures they are not good (unless you want that soft dreamy look). Of course you have very shallow DOF.
      At F2 and hand held. I have never taken a sharp pic with a dioptre at F2

      F2 (Uploaded for a thread)

      Camera Canon EOS 5D
      Exposure 1/4000 sec
      Aperture f/2.0
      Focal Length 135 mm
      ISO Speed 400
      Exposure Bias 0 EV
      Flash Off, Did not fire

      (2) @ F5.6 & hand held.
      F5.6 (Uploaded for a thread)

      Camera Canon EOS 5D
      Exposure 0.001 sec (1/1000)
      Aperture f/5.6
      Focal Length 135 mm
      ISO Speed 400
      Exposure Bias 0 EV
      Flash Off, Did not fire

      (3) Once you get to around F16 things look a bit better.
      Also a bit of DOF helps.
      @ F22 with on camera flash. Hand held.
      Small butterfly
      Camera Canon EOS 350D Digital
      Exposure 0.005 sec (1/200)
      Aperture f/22.0
      Focal Length 135 mm
      ISO Speed 400
      Exposure Bias 0 EV
      Flash On, Fired

      I would not expect the same performance from some zoom lenses.
      I have ordered another set that fits some of my zoom lenses and I will be curious to see how they go.
      Last edited by RichardTaylor; 07-23-2011, 02:46 AM.
      Flickr stream.
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/34094515@N00/

      Comment


      • #4
        I use extension tubes. They don't degrade the image quality like close up filters, and they work with my sharp prime lenses. The tubes can be had for $25-50 and a cheap 50mm can be had for about the same. Total: $65 or so. I plan on picking up a nice 28mm to reverse on the tubes for crazy magnification.

        This one was taken with my 50mm reversed on 68mm extension tubes


        The rest were taken with the 50mm on the extension tubes, but not reversed






        You can see more here
        My Portfolio | My 500px | My Photo Blog | My Picasa Albums
        K-5, Q, K20D, Pentax DA 15mm f/4, Sigma 85mm f/1.4, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, DA 55-300mm, DA 18-55mm WR, Vivitar Auto-Extension Tubes, Metz 50 af-1, Yongnuo YN-560ii, Cactus v5

        Comment


        • #5
          @ i speak in math

          Superb series.
          Flickr stream.
          http://www.flickr.com/photos/34094515@N00/

          Comment


          • #6
            Amazing shots! I have to keep practicing!
            Steve
            My flickr
            My Blog http://stevehughesphotography.wordpress.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              that last photo in the series is just incredible... the detail is incredible!
              Corrina
              Canon 60D : 18-200mm and 50mm cool:

              Comment


              • #8
                Beautiful shots, just what I want to try to get. I have a set of the vivitar tube coming over for my birthday. Are you using a macro ring flash as well? I was thinking of buying a cheap one as well.
                Jd
                Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 50mm f1.4 USM, Canon EF 100mm Macro f2.8 USM L, Canon EF 35-350mm f3.5-5.6 USM L Tokina AT-X PRO 20-35mm f2.8
                Bronica S2 Medium Format, Nikkor-P 50mm f2.8

                My flickr photostream

                Comment


                • #9
                  My butterfly pic is with an external flash on a L bracket.
                  Flickr stream.
                  http://www.flickr.com/photos/34094515@N00/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by i speak in math View Post
                    I use extension tubes. They don't degrade the image quality like close up filters, and they work with my sharp prime lenses. The tubes can be had for $25-50 and a cheap 50mm can be had for about the same. Total: $65 or so. I plan on picking up a nice 28mm to reverse on the tubes for crazy magnification.

                    This one was taken with my 50mm reversed on 68mm extension tubes


                    The rest were taken with the 50mm on the extension tubes, but not reversed






                    You can see more here
                    Wow,, could you quantify the magnification?
                    May I know the gap between ur lens and the subjects???

                    Anyone try using a real macro lens + Macro filter + Extension tube?
                    Last edited by ccting; 08-09-2012, 08:17 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ccting View Post
                      Wow,, could you quantify the magnification?
                      May I know the gap between ur lens and the subjects???

                      Anyone try using a real macro lens + Macro filter + Extension tube?
                      I think the magnification is somewhere around 1.4:1 or slightly more than life size. The gap between the lens and subject is pretty short -- maybe 2 inches at most.
                      My Portfolio | My 500px | My Photo Blog | My Picasa Albums
                      K-5, Q, K20D, Pentax DA 15mm f/4, Sigma 85mm f/1.4, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8, DA 55-300mm, DA 18-55mm WR, Vivitar Auto-Extension Tubes, Metz 50 af-1, Yongnuo YN-560ii, Cactus v5

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        WOW! Amazing photographs!! I would love to get shots like these!

                        I love RichardTaylor's soft and dreamy photographs with the flowers. They look like they have been painted, amazing

                        I think I may invest in a few lens filters. My friend did buy a Polaroid but hasn't been able to benefit yet. But as Ive been really enjoying trying with macro I may look into these dioptre filters as look like a much cheaper option to buying the macro lens! At least this way I should be able to get some real macro shots and still get my 70-300 lens for now whilst I'm learning

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LeeR View Post
                          Ever thought of using diopters (close-up filters)? They aren't perfect, but they will get you pretty close to macro and they don't have some of the fall off problems that you have with a macro lens or extension tubes, plus they have the advantage of being a fraction of the price.
                          Could you please elaborate on the fall off problems when using macro lens or extension tubes?
                          Zafar
                          Nikon D300s, Nikkor 50mm F1.4G, Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 VC, Tokina 11-16mm F/2.8, Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 VC, Nikkor 18-300mm F3.5-5.6, Nikon SB 900
                          Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/zafarsami/

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Effectivly you are decreasing the aperture as you increase the distance between the lens and the film/sensor plane so there is less light reaching the sensor..
                            Flickr stream.
                            http://www.flickr.com/photos/34094515@N00/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RichardTaylor View Post
                              (3) Once you get to around F16 things look a bit better.
                              Also a bit of DOF helps.

                              I would not expect the same performance from some zoom lenses.
                              I have ordered another set that fits some of my zoom lenses and I will be curious to see how they go.
                              Richard, did you ever get to test diopters with zoom lenses? Also, you used on camera flash for the last photo (great photo by the way). My zoom lens is so big that it casts a shadow with on camera flash (the in built one). Have you had that problem? In general, I would assume that the separation of lens and on camera flash axes when shooting very close would make it almost useless, and some other type of on axis lighting would be needed? Is that correct?
                              Zafar
                              Nikon D300s, Nikkor 50mm F1.4G, Tamron SP 24-70mm F2.8 VC, Tokina 11-16mm F/2.8, Tamron SP 70-200mm F2.8 VC, Nikkor 18-300mm F3.5-5.6, Nikon SB 900
                              Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/zafarsami/

                              Comment

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