Macro... telephoto or wide angle?

13 years 2 months ago #36085 by chasrich
I've seen some enviable macro shots on this forum. I've been poking around looking at lens and have notice macro ratings on both telephoto lenses and wide angle lenses. What is an ideal setup for macro considering a macro lens with one of the other lenses?

“Amateurs worry about equipment, professionals worry about money, masters worry about light, I just make pictures… ” ~ Vernon Trent
13 years 2 months ago #36168 by Screamin Scott
Zoom lenses withy a "macro" function won't give the same results as a dedicated macro lens. They normally don't go past 1/4 life size altough some will get to 1/2 life size. They are not designed with a "flat field" & as such the IQ falls off the further away from the center of the frame you get. If you are serious about shooting macro, a true macro lens is the way to go. Unlike tubes & screw in diopter lenses, you don't lose infinity focus & the magnification is variable (with tubes & diopters you have to add/subtract them to change the ratio). Another added bonusof a true macro lens is that the focus ring allows for easier "fine tuning" of your focus due to the extended throw as opposed to standard lenses.

Scott Ditzel Photography

Photo Comments
13 years 2 months ago #36188 by crystal
If you want to shoot macro, don't play around, just get a true macro lens. prime lens. 1:1 macro.
13 years 2 months ago #36215 by chasrich
Thanks. I might play around a bit with what I've got so far and save up for a dedicated marco. Donations can be sent to... :rofl:

“Amateurs worry about equipment, professionals worry about money, masters worry about light, I just make pictures… ” ~ Vernon Trent
13 years 2 months ago #36300 by Joves
Well there are a couple of different ways to do it. One of the good old fashioned ways is mounting a 50mm lens on a reversing ring. It works and is down and dirty but with mixed results. Then there is rails and bellows which is actually the best way for results, but is somewhat cunbersome and takes alot of setting up. The third way is tubes, they come in various lengths and work well, the are very easy to setup and use. I like using them with primes like a 60mm, 80mm and 100mm. I actually dont shoot macros much now. Also with true macro lenses many times that is all they are good for, you cant use them for anything else. Nikons Micros arent true macros but they will do 1:1 and alot more, with tubes or bellows they will render much higher ratios.

13 years 2 months ago #36352 by Yasko
Yeah, reversing a prime lens gives great results! IMO image quality is just as good as a dedicated macro, you just don't get quite as much depth of field as a dedicated macro lens (but it's close). This is a great option if you're on a budget, or want to get REALLY close.

They call this "the poor man's macro", because you can do it for less than 50 bucks if you do it right! Before I got a dedicated macro, I was reversing my prime lenses, and I still do it this way when I want to get really close-up. Here's what you do:

1. Get a used 50mm or 28mm lens. There's tons of used ones still in great condition on used camera gear sites. A great place to get a guaranteed clean used lens is . Canon FD and Pentax lenses are always found there. Both brands have great IQ and are cheap. Example:

Local pawn shops can be a good resource for old primes too. Since brand doesn't matter when reversing lenses, you'll find tons of obsolete brands like Yashica, Petri, Soligor, and Canon FD. They're usually willing to sell them for only a few bucks because they won't fit modern cameras. The important thing to remember when getting a lens to reverse is that it has an adjustable f-stop ring. Modern canon EF lenses don't have one, so they won't work.

2. Once you get your lens, check the screw-on filter size (usually between 49mm and 58mm) and look up a reversal ring on ebay. These usually run between $2 and $10. Make sure it's for canon EOS.

That's it. screw the reversal ring to the filter threads on the lens, and attach to your camera mount. One thing to remember, shoot in aperature priority or manual mode, and you won't have autofocus, but with a little practice you get used to simply moving back and forth to get good focus on your subject. These were all shot with reversed 50mm, 28mm, and 17mm primes.

13 years 2 months ago #37215 by alley

Thanks Yasko




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