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Thread: Shooting Macro (on a budget) ?

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    compleks's Avatar
    compleks is offline dPS Forum Member
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    Default 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

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    LeeR's Avatar
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    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
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    RichardTaylor is online now dPS +1000 Club
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    +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 at 02:46 AM.
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    i speak in math's Avatar
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    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
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    RichardTaylor is online now dPS +1000 Club
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    @ i speak in math

    Superb series.

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    slh
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    Amazing shots! I have to keep practicing!

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    that last photo in the series is just incredible... the detail is incredible!
    Corrina
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    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

    My flickr photostream

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    RichardTaylor is online now dPS +1000 Club
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    My butterfly pic is with an external flash on a L bracket.

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    ccting is offline Banned
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    Quote 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 at 08:17 AM.

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