A cheap close-up solution.

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by ruslan, Dec 15, 2012.

  1. What do you think about such close-up solution as to use Nikkor 50/1.4 Ai-s lens via adapter and attaching macro filter onto front thread of it. I have this lens, adaptor is cheap. Close-up lens would be probably Marumi or B+W. If used on full-frame Canon - won't it have any problems with mirror? What shall I expect in terms of quality of photos?
     
  2. You might look into getting a Nikon extension ring instead of the screw in diopter lens.
    If you're interested in doing more of this kind of photography, a good manual (and macro work tends to be manual anyhow) solution is to get the AI or non-AI Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 or the f/4 version (both require an extension tube to get to 1:1 anyhow). These are considerably cheaper than most AF macro lenses and are very quality lenses for close-up photography.
    Although automatic focus is not so critical for macro, there is an advantage to automatic diaphragm and you might eventually want to look at the cost-effective Tamron 90mm AF Macro, as well as the Canon versions.
     
  3. ...or use your Canon EF 50mm lens and pick up a Kenko extension tube. You can find them in different single sizes on eBay or buy a set of three. You will retain auto focus. I picked up a set on Craig's List cheaply last year, works great.
     
  4. If you are trying this out for the first time, the "close-up filters" (or "diopters") can be a great, convenient, and inexpensive option. One path is to try it out this way - and then if you become truly passionate about macro work consider a dedicated macro lens rather than the extension tubes.
    Dan
     
  5. When you want to start with macro photography there are two simple/cheap options: extension tubes or a close up lens. WRT to the extension tubes: Canon/Nikon air is not better than Cosina/Kenko's so you might buy the cheapest set. Close up lenses are more critical, you get what you pay for. The better ones consist of multiple lenses kitted together and they are not cheap. Forget the simple, single lens, uncoated ones; their results will be disappointing. After a while most macro photographers end up with one or more macro lenses and these are almost no-brainers, I have to see the first really bad macro lens.
     
  6. One benefit of trying first with extension tubes, rather than a close up lens, is that extension tubes work with any lens, including dedicated macro lenses. So, if you get hooked on macro, you can use the tubes with a macro lens to get higher than 1:1 magnification. I use a set of Kenko tubes, which can be stacked, giving you a range from 12 to 68mm of extension. I use them with both a 60mm and a 100mm macro lens. (They provide more magnification with a shorter lens.) In contrast, a close up lens can only be used with lenses that have the same diameter filter ring.
     
  7. Here is my low cost macro setup. I bought one of those adapters that allows you to put a FD lens on a EF mount Canon
    camera. I then removed the lens that is in the adapter. Now when a FD lens is mounted with this adapter to an EOS
    camera the lens will not focus at infinity, the metering and aperture have to be manually set, and there is no auto focus.
    The adapter acts as an extension tube. I mount on the adapter a Canon FD 50 mm f/3.5 macro lens. The lens came
    from KEH a few years ago and it is super sharp. I am getting an image size somewhere between 1:1 and 1:2.
     
  8. Another low cost option is to use a reverse adaptor ($10?) for your existing lenses, like your Nikon 50 or a Canon 50mm F1.8.
     
  9. How much do you want to spend? Cheap to you may not be cheap to anyone else. Consider getting a used Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM for around $400.
     
  10. Regarding extension tubes working with all lenses, it ain't quite so. And those that do work don't always work the same way. For example, I like to use and extension tube with my 24-105 (where it, surprisingly, produces really lovely bokeh!) but the AF is a giant mess in this configuration. I resort, with a great deal of success, to using MF with focus confirmation and moving the camera slightly forward/backward until I get focus.
    It also doesn't exactly work great with my 70-200mm f/4 either.
    I still hold that for most people who want to given this an initial try, the screw-in close up lenses are a fine way to go. It is certainly correct that they will not produce the same quality that you get from a dedicated macro, but they work on your existing lens(es) and also cost a ton less - and that means that you can try macro or near-macro shooting first at little expense and decide. (That's what my wife did... and she eventually went straight to the 100mm f/2.8 L IS macro.)
    If you are certain that you are going to be very serious about macro shooting and will do a lot of it, then a dedicated macro of the appropriate focal length will produce the best image quality... at a cost.
    Dan
     
  11. Regarding extension tubes working with all lenses, it ain't quite so. And those that do work don't always work the same way. For example, I like to use and extension tube with my 24-105 (where it, surprisingly, produces really lovely bokeh!) but the AF is a giant mess in this configuration. I resort, with a great deal of success, to using MF with focus confirmation and moving the camera slightly forward/backward until I get focus.
    It also doesn't exactly work great with my 70-200mm f/4 either.
    I still hold that for most people who want to given this an initial try, the screw-in close up lenses are a fine way to go. It is certainly correct that they will not produce the same quality that you get from a dedicated macro, but they work on your existing lens(es) and also cost a ton less - and that means that you can try macro or near-macro shooting first at little expense and decide. (That's what my wife did... and she eventually went straight to the 100mm f/2.8 L IS macro.)
    If you are certain that you are going to be very serious about macro shooting and will do a lot of it, then a dedicated macro of the appropriate focal length will produce the best image quality... at a cost.
    Dan
     
  12. Regarding extension tubes working with all lenses, it ain't quite so. And those that do work don't always work the same way. For example, I like to use and extension tube with my 24-105 (where it, surprisingly, produces really lovely bokeh!) but the AF is a giant mess in this configuration. I resort, with a great deal of success, to using MF with focus confirmation and moving the camera slightly forward/backward until I get focus.
    It also doesn't exactly work great with my 70-200mm f/4 either.
    I still hold that for most people who want to given this an initial try, the screw-in close up lenses are a fine way to go. It is certainly correct that they will not produce the same quality that you get from a dedicated macro, but they work on your existing lens(es) and also cost a ton less - and that means that you can try macro or near-macro shooting first at little expense and decide. (That's what my wife did... and she eventually went straight to the 100mm f/2.8 L IS macro.)
    If you are certain that you are going to be very serious about macro shooting and will do a lot of it, then a dedicated macro of the appropriate focal length will produce the best image quality... at a cost.
    Dan
     
  13. Regarding the extension tubes - they must have EOS mount on both sides - but I speak about Nikon F Lens - 50/1.4 AI-s. Are there tubes with different system mounts?
    And why doesn't anybody say about mirror? No damage of breaking the mirror? (my future EOS 6D)
    I don't need 1:1 - I may need 1:3 ....
    Regards.
     
  14. And picking a macro lens of good producer (like B+W), I would have the same diameter (52 mm) for both the Nikkkor 50/1.4 AI-s and my future 40/2.8 STM. It might be a great idea. Macro lenses are really cheap.
     
  15. Ruslan, I've experimented with all these routes.
    Close-up lens: A good one can be handy; the cheap ones are worthless. Larger diameter one can be used with many lenses, including good results with some zooms. However, I find that the focusing range with the lens+diopter is very limited. I was utterly frustrated trying to use this combination for flower shots.
    Macro lens: Better quality. The manual focus lenses can be had very cheaply. These always have a long helical so you have an a wider focusing range. Perfect for hands, jewelry, flowers, etc.
    Extension tubes or bellows: for things like small coins or even smaller objects.
     
  16. Sebastian, thank you! If macro lens - I do like the Zeiss 50/2 Makro Planar - but its price frightens me!
     
  17. Another opttion is the Vivitar/Phoenix/Cosina 100mm f3.5 macro. It is of very common, but can be found for $70-150 on
    eBay. It is a 1:2 lens normally, but comes with a close up filter giving 1:1 life size. It is actually very good, not just for the
    price. Another one is Tamron/Promaster made a 70-300mm zoom. There are 2 versions, 1 is a 1:3.9 macro (not very
    good macro performance), the other is 1:2 (1/2 life size). It is good for macro. I have one. I personally have lucked it on
    some great macro lenses (older manuals focus). I got a Lester Dine 105mm for /$25, a Vivitar 55mm for $35 both 1:1
    and a Vivitar 90mm Series 1 f2.5 macro legend 1:2 for $45.
     
  18. Dennis, you did luck out if you got a Lester Dine for $25! Another good, cheap macro is the Quantaray 50mm f/2.8. It's actually a Sigma macro and compares very favorably to the Canon 50mm f/2.5 macro. I picked mine up on eBoy for around $70 which is less than a Kenko tube set. (tip: get the tube set anyway. They are a pretty useful item especially if you have a prime, flat field macro lens.)
     
  19. I picked up a nikkor 50mm f3.5 with the M extension which takes it to 1:1 for less than $70 on ebay. Add another $10 for a nikon to EOS adapter. The combination has worked wonderfully for me.
     

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