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Thread: Lazy (cheap, or effective..) Macro lenses

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    Default Lazy (cheap, or effective..) Macro lenses

    We all want to maximize the use of current lenses that we own. Many times I don't really want to haul around another lens with me. (Really the 35-100 and 90-250 are enough for any human to haul )
    So I decided to start looking for other alternatives. This isn't perfect, in fact far from it, but really it makes a decent combo when needed.
    The 35-100mm without a extension Tube or close up lens can only get about 4 -4.5 feet from a particular subject this isn't close enough fro macro.
    (Click on any picture for a larger image)

    The result will be something like this:

    So I have an extension tube and decided to try that. The advantage is that you can get really close but really its hard to focus. In fact nearly impossible. I usually do better by just moving the camera back and forth until I find the desired out come. So that in itself isn't ideal.
    But the result is you are only inches away from a subject.


    So what I did was buy a couple B+W filters (A +2 and +3)
    With a +2 filter I could get within 2 feet and shoot away. I had auto focus, and it worked much better. (However though the LCD screen the images were all blury. For some reason it was very dificult to focus manually and when I put the +2 & +3 filter together it was even more difficult. The answer either trust AF, or use the viewfinder.


    With the +2 filter:
    Really at +2 you are around 2 feet, and it was a nice working distance.



    The +3 filter:
    You are about 1 foot from the subject and it too isn't bad to use..




    So really for near 1:1 results I cannot complain about either filter. However, when a super macro lengths are needed you can stack the +2 and +3 filter together for really high zoom abilities.
    again now your range in front of the object is only a few inches but auto focus works. However, the image in the LCD will really be blurry (Perhaps because the image on the LCD is at F2.... I was shooting at F11 for all these sample images. (really you should think about F16)
    This one is at 100mm....

    This one is at 47mm...

    Overall these close up filters are very useful. If you want to do macro on the cheap.... or light these offer you another option. The image quality isn't that bad, but remember when shooting Macro the focal lengths will be very close. Also you will need to use a macro flash option. In this one I used a RRS flash bracket off shoe cable, and compensated my FL-50 for -3 stops.






    So overall, it should give you something to think about when you go out shooting.
    I bought all my filters through amazon.
    (I bought B+W but here are some cheaper ones)

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    Default Re: Lazy (cheap, or effective..) Macro lenses

    Tony - my First experiments into the Macro world were with Filters.

    A set of 3 with a +1 +2 and +3 filters cost me around $20 so no large outlay was needed.

    I can say that I was fairly happy with the results, and like you just relied on AF to work.

    I had no problems with them and the Iq was quite acceptable to me, the problem I had is more of a logistical one. I went out and moved from the Kit Lenses that had a 58mm filter thread on them to the mid-range of Lenses. The 14-54 has a 67mm, as does the 50-200.

    I simply never got around to getting another set of 67mm Filters and purchased an Extension tube more for the convenience factor than anything else. I can use it with All lenses and not worry what the filter size is.

    I do not have a dedicated Macro lens as unless I was shooting Macro's all the time I, like a lot of others could not justify the expense, but with either an extension tube (mid cost) or using a Close-up filter it is possible to shoot macro on a budget.
    About Bob

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    E-3, HLD4, E300, HLD3, ZD11-22, ZD 14-45, ZD14-54, Sigma 30 f1.4, ZD35 Macro, ZD40-150(orig), ZD50-200, EC-14 and EX-25, fl-36.

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    Default Re: Lazy (cheap, or effective..) Macro lenses

    I have both the 25mm tube and the 1.4 converter. I cannot remember the last time I used the tube but I use the converter with the 50-200 lens and get quite good close ups of dragonflies/butterflies Etc.
    I have used close up lenses and they do work and are not expensive but I find the converter suits me best. I just leave it on camera, no screwing on C/U lenses.
    Dave.

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    Default Re: Lazy (cheap, or effective..) Macro lenses

    Of course, I will point out that the ZD 35/3.5 macro std. lens has an excellent reputation, can be used as a short tele-prime, and costs only $200 online. It's also light, small, and not much bigger than an extension tube or teleconverter. It WILL give much better results than a non-macro lens plus filters, all things being equal. That being said, with the 35mm, you do need to get close to the subject or switch to a 50mm/f2.

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    Default Re: Lazy (cheap, or effective..) Macro lenses

    Although owning the 50 & 35mm macro lenses, I to sometimes prefere to travel light and have found that the Sigma lens attachment for its 70-300 apo macro is a perfect match for the zuiko 40-150mm and the same filter thread size.

    This little guy is the size of a thumbnail, taken with 40-150 and Sigma attachment handheld.

    Regards Paul
    One day I hope to be the person my dogs think I am.

    http://www.pbase.com/paulsilkphotography

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    Default Re: Lazy (cheap, or effective..) Macro lenses

    I reality, both the 35mm and the 50mm are good lenses, for each in its class I would give them a excellent rating, however, this adds 1 more lens to carry, vs a little filter. Also it at times isn't long enough to capture what you want.
    so buying a high quality +1, +2, and/or +3 filters have a big advantage to capture the little world around us.
    I would at least recommend carrying a +2 filter for your long lens such as the 50-200, 40-150, or 35-100mm.

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    Default Re: Lazy (cheap, or effective..) Macro lenses

    "and have found that the Sigma lens attachment for its 70-300 apo macro is a perfect match for the zuiko 40-150mm and the same filter thread size."

    could you provide a link for the Sigma lens attachment item ? could not locate the product from the web. maybe i just did not know what i was looking for ..

    I just bought the ex-25 to be used with by 40-150 and 14-45 lenses and am currently examining what to buy next
    maybe a couple of close up filters could do (?) (like proposed).
    I would also like to photograph butterflies among other bugs but those are pretty hard to get close enough ..
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    smogu (e-300),14-45,14-54 mk1,40-150,ex-25,ec-20,70-300


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    Cool Re: Lazy (cheap, or effective..) Macro lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by smogu View Post
    "and have found that the Sigma lens attachment for its 70-300 apo macro is a perfect match for the zuiko 40-150mm and the same filter thread size."

    could you provide a link for the Sigma lens attachment item ? could not locate the product from the web. maybe i just did not know what i was looking for ..

    I just bought the ex-25 to be used with by 40-150 and 14-45 lenses and am currently examining what to buy next
    maybe a couple of close up filters could do (?) (like proposed).
    I would also like to photograph butterflies among other bugs but those are pretty hard to get close enough ..
    I went to the local butterfly place this weekend, specifically to try out the EX-25 with my 50-200mm. I found it frustrating as you have to anticipate exactly where the butterfly is going to land, and the exact distance the EX-25 + lens will focus at. I eventually took off the EX-25, and just used the 50-200mm alone and was happier with the results.

    IIRC, the 14-45mm lens probably can only be used at 45mm with the EX-25.

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    Default Re: Lazy (cheap, or effective..) Macro lenses

    14-45 + ex-25 at 25mm, 15.3 - 15.7 cm focusing range, 0.99x - 1.14x.
    edit: yup, the target is almost right at the lens , very tricky.

    i havent had very good opportunities to try it because the
    weather outside is bad and dont have enough interesting
    targets inside

    i quess the way to go for dragonflies and butterflies is
    then the 1.4 tc + 40-150 for me.. too bad the 1.4 tc is
    kind of pricy ..

    anyways .. here is my fightfish with 40-150 + ex-25
    Attachment 4968
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    smogu (e-300),14-45,14-54 mk1,40-150,ex-25,ec-20,70-300


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    Default Re: Lazy (cheap, or effective..) Macro lenses

    Want lazy, cheap, and lightweight? How about using your compact digicam?

    Seriously, I find my C-770UZ great for tiny subjects, as long as they are not moving. The AF works very well, and you can get plenty of DOF without having to stop down too much.

    Obviously it's not the perfect solution for all macro situations, but a digicam has the advantage of being compact, and since you can get high shutter speeds, you don't need a tripod, either. You can take it anywhere, any time. "The best camera is the one you have with you," as they say.

    These are not the best examples, but I was able to snap them while walking my dogs. (Click on the link below thumbnail to avoid banners.)

    Cherry blossoms (f/6.3, 1/640", ISO 64):


    Click here!

    These flowers were 7-8mm across (f/4, 1/640", ISO 100):


    Click here!

    These were only 3-4mm across (f/3.5, 1/250", ISO 100):


    Click here!

    I have the EX-25, and I've used it with the 50-200, but I don't know if I care for it. I like Dave's idea of using the 50-200 with just the teleconverter. I will try that.

    Julie


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    Default Re: Lazy (cheap, or effective..) Macro lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Meissner View Post
    I went to the local butterfly place this weekend, specifically to try out the EX-25 with my 50-200mm. I found it frustrating as you have to anticipate exactly where the butterfly is going to land, and the exact distance the EX-25 + lens will focus at. I eventually took off the EX-25, and just used the 50-200mm alone and was happier with the results.

    IIRC, the 14-45mm lens probably can only be used at 45mm with the EX-25.
    Yea I too find in most cases the 25mm ext tube is very frustrating. No Auto focus, and you have to get really close. However a +1 or +2 will allow a person a little working distance, autofocus abilities, and still a decent image. So I think in many cases a close up filter is a better idea than the extension tube. Its not perfect for every situation, you have to have the proper sized filter for each lens, but this allows you shoot. If shooting a still life, you should be fine with the extension tube. But I find the normal lens not enough for most shots. So its a good balance between the other options.

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    Default Re: Lazy (cheap, or effective..) Macro lenses

    I use both close-up filters and the ex 25, I've never had trouble with auto focus on either. Working that close I perfer MF over AF but it works.
    The trick is that you have to be within the usable focal range for AF to work. If you are too far away it will hunt.
    A while back I posted the working distances from the front element that AF would work on both the 40-150 and 50-200.

    For most dragonflys and butterflys using either is too tight for anything but partial shots. While mouth parts and eye shots can be a impressive display of macro abilitys, they don't sell many prints.
    E 5, E 3, E 330, C-8080, 8mm FE, 7-14, 11-22, 12-60,PL 25MM F 1.4, 35MM, 50MM F 2, 50-200, 70-300, EX 25, EC 1.4 & 2.0, FL 40, FL 5Or, FL 20, SRF-11, Foam Ring Flash.

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    Default Re: Lazy (cheap, or effective..) Macro lenses

    Don't own the EX25 but I shot this with the 14-54+EC14 combination.



    Exposure: 0.011 sec (1/90) Aperture: f/4.9 Focal Length: 76 mm

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