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Thread: Macro - help needed....

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    Macro - help needed....

    I'm trying to decide what lens to get for macro and have been following the other thread. I don't want to get that completely off topic so I will pose the questions here.

    From prior work with a super zoom camera I have few different close up lenses. Canon 250D (52mm) and both Nikon 3T & 4T (52mm). I also like some of the images at pretty high magnification (see shots at bottom).

    My 50mm f1.8 lens has 52mm threads so I put the Canon lens on and took this shot. No cropping done. (I'm shooting on an angle so the OOF areas make sense)

    Attachment 3929

    Without the close up lens this is the full frame at the closest distance I could get focus.

    Attachment 3930

    If I had a macro lens like the 60mm and was at 1:1 and then added a close up lens I assume I still magnify even further. Correct? Any big downsides to working this way?

    Assuming the answer above is I get more magnification and the effect is not undesirable then the next question.....The 60 macro lens has a 62mm thread but a small front element. Do you think using step down ring to get to 52mm would cause a vignetting problem? The front element looks significantly smaller than 52mm.

    Attachment 3931

    Here are a couple from last year with a long zoom and close up lens:








    Thanks,
    terry

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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    Terry,

    I would think that the Nikon 105 VR would take the shots you show here. It can also be used with the Teleconvertor that you have.

    You are welcome to try mine in San Juan. I'll have it along.

    Best,

    Ray

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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    I liked the 60mm because of it's size and also it hunts less. Buy the 60mm and try Rays in San Juan and if you like the 105 better than sell the 60mm. I hate when i am logical and make sense. I will be good and not even tell you about the Zeiss 50 macro f2 but if you want i will stuff it in my bag somewhere for you. The Zeiss 50mm macro is a lens of merit.
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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    Terry,
    Would you like to try the 60 for yourself?
    thanks
    -bob

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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    I like using this DeWijis 3.6:1 f/90 Macro Stereo lens. This one happens to be on a Canon 5D. To view the image in stereo, cross your eyes slightly till you see three images and concentrate on the center image. This is an African Violet pestle.

    (Reducing this image to fit the size criteria certainly does wreck the effect after going to the web.)
    Last edited by Greg Lockrey; 6th May 2008 at 00:01.

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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    HI Terry
    I've been here, and I've got the tee-shirt!
    I think you need to ask yourself some questions

    1. Are you after the best QUALITY lens, or the most functional
    2. Do you want to go to lifesize
    3. Do either you, or your subjects move? (wobble or wind)
    4. Do you want to keep your distance (bugs, snakes, bear's eyes).

    1. quality
    I'm pretty sure that the Zeiss lenses are the best quality - Guy obviously thinks so (and who are we to disagree ). On the other hand the new nikkors have nice bokeh, and there's certainly nothing bad about them.

    2.lifesize
    quite simply, the nikkors go to lifesize and the Zeiss lenses don't (1/2 lifesize). I would have thought that full lifesize was always going to be enough though.

    3. movement
    If you're using a tripod and your subjects are static (i.e. no wind, no bugs), then manual focus is fine . . . if you are going to handhold (in which case you will sway) or if you are going to take pictures outdoors (in which case your subjects will sway), then having autofocus is a REAL benefit - and so is the fast AFS on the current nikkor macros.

    4. distance
    The 60 will be a 90 on your D300 - which is probably fine for most purposes. If you want to be further away then you'll want 100mm.

    Personally, if I were in your position and the answer to 3 was that something is gonna move, then I think I'd get the Nikon 60mm. If nothing is going to move, then I'd definitely go for the zeiss.

    Helpful? Probably not!

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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    The biggest issue with Macro is Depth-Of-Field. The longer the lens, and the closer you get, the bigger the problem because DOF becomes thinner and thinner at any given f stop as you get closer, especially with a 100mm.

    AF does NOT necessarily solve the "moving subject" issue. To achieve greater Depth-Of-Field requires stopping the lens down to a smaller aperture, which in turn lets in less light ... which in turn requires a slower shutter speed for proper exposure at any given ISO ... which is how a moving subject becomes blurred.

    AF makes a Macro lens a bit more versatile so you can use the lens like a normal one, but does not solve this DOF problem.

    In my opinion, the best Macro dedicated lens for Nikon mount is the manual focus 85/2.8 Macro Tilt/Shift. Canon does not make a counter-part to this lens (their 90 T/S is not a Macro lens.)

    The Nikon 85/2.8 T/S Macro allows you to use a larger aperture to keep the shutter speed higher, while employing the tilt feature to alter the plane of focus to be more parallel to the portion of the subject that's of interest. So you have the equivalent of stopping down without stopping down as much = faster shutter speed and less subject movement.

    I have used this lens, and it is one of the sharpest out there. It is actually an incredible lens for a lot of applications because it can also be rotated on axis to produce all kinds of creative control over your image. It, along with the new 24/2.8 T/S, are lenses I want to add to the Nikon bag, even though I have the Zeiss 50/2 and 100/2 Macros.

    BTW, most commercial Macro work is done with a view camera featuring Tilt/Shifts, and special Macro lenses like the Rodenstock or Schneider 120 APO Digital Macros ... because DOF is an even bigger problem with larger formats.

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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    Terry,
    I have my 60mm micro-nikkor up for sale.
    -bob

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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    AF does NOT necessarily solve the "moving subject" issue. To achieve greater Depth-Of-Field requires stopping the lens down to a smaller aperture, which in turn lets in less light ... which in turn requires a slower shutter speed for proper exposure at any given ISO ... which is how a moving subject becomes blurred.
    Hi Marc
    Although it seems like you're disagreeing with me . . . I think you're actually reinforcing my point.

    Basically, if you have a subject that's moving around in the wind - then it really is virtually impossible to nail it with manual focus. If you have continuous auto-focus then you do, at least, have a chance.

    I think it depends largely whether you're doing 'casual' macro - i.e. taking pictures of things which catch your eye when they come up. Or you're doing 'serious' macro - i.e. planning a shoot of an object and preparing for it properly . . . so, maybe I should have come up with a 5th point.

    As for Depth of field - I couldn't agree more, and it's an argument for having a shorter focal length; Point 6!

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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    Still disagree ... respectfully.

    Greater DOF without stopping down solves the motion issue better than AF. Shutter Speed is the issue, not AF. You can nail the focus but have a slow shutter speed, so the subject will still be blurred.

    I have the Canon 100/2.8 AF Macro, and it's hit-and-miss in AF with shallow DOF when trying to control the absolute point of focus on a moving subject.

    The best solution would be an AF-T/S lens, but to my knowledge there is no such animal.

    BTW, the Nikon 85/2.8 T/S is quite portable, and can be pre-tilted in a nano second.

    Shorter focal lengths force you close to the subject for a decent magnification ... live subjects don't like that much ... and blocking the light is often another disadvantage ... which is why many of the really serious Macros are longer ... like 180mm.

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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Still disagree ... respectfully.
    Thank you! I'm not sure that I deserve it (nobody around here respects my opinions THAT's for sure ) . . . except the dog.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Greater DOF without stopping down solves the motion issue better than AF.
    But not if you want a small depth of field. Quite often plants can be moving a matter of inches in either direction - I just don't see that increasing the depth of field is going to allow you to handle this

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Shutter Speed is the issue, not AF. You can nail the focus but have a slow shutter speed, so the subject will still be blurred.
    But if you have autofocus which will actually track the movement, then you can keep your small depth of field (and your fast shutter speed), and allow the AF to track the object, in which case you get neither motion blur nor focus problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I have the Canon 100/2.8 AF Macro, and it's hit-and-miss in AF with shallow DOF when trying to control the absolute point of focus on a moving subject.
    Well, I don't have that lens, but I have been using the 105 AFS nikkor, and although it isn't perfect (let's face it, nothing's perfect if you have something moving an inch or more) - it does, however, do a really good job.

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    The best solution would be an AF-T/S lens, but to my knowledge there is no such animal.

    BTW, the Nikon 85/2.8 T/S is quite portable, and can be pre-tilted in a nano second.
    Here we can certainly agree - I'd love to have the nikon T/S - whether it was AF or not (but better if it is).

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Shorter focal lengths force you close to the subject for a decent magnification ... live subjects don't like that much ... and blocking the light is often another disadvantage ... which is why many of the really serious Macros are longer ... like 180mm.
    Quite agree - horses for courses, and it depends what you're going to shoot (I did mention this though).

    Of course, the problem with such discussions is that they begin to seem black and white, and I'd have said that this one was a 14 bit grey scale version

    As for the respect - of course, it's entirely reciprocated. I hope the discussion is helping Terry!

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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Thank you! I'm not sure that I deserve it (nobody around here respects my opinions THAT's for sure ) . . . except the dog.


    But not if you want a small depth of field. Quite often plants can be moving a matter of inches in either direction - I just don't see that increasing the depth of field is going to allow you to handle this



    But if you have autofocus which will actually track the movement, then you can keep your small depth of field (and your fast shutter speed), and allow the AF to track the object, in which case you get neither motion blur nor focus problems.



    Well, I don't have that lens, but I have been using the 105 AFS nikkor, and although it isn't perfect (let's face it, nothing's perfect if you have something moving an inch or more) - it does, however, do a really good job.



    Here we can certainly agree - I'd love to have the nikon T/S - whether it was AF or not (but better if it is).



    Quite agree - horses for courses, and it depends what you're going to shoot (I did mention this though).

    Of course, the problem with such discussions is that they begin to seem black and white, and I'd have said that this one was a 14 bit grey scale version

    As for the respect - of course, it's entirely reciprocated. I hope the discussion is helping Terry!
    Hey, I NEVER thought of using AI Servo AF focusing to track Macro movement. If that really works, I change my opinion

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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    OK,
    Wow...lots of info sort of.

    All three samples that I supplied were actually I believe beyond a 1:1 ratio and used either a +4 or +8 diopter. Sometimes I like to get in really tight and explore the details. I've done that with small cameras and close up lenses in the past....

    Attachment 3940

    So, what I was really trying to figure out was on a macro lens like the 60 or 105 micro what happens if you attach a front element like the one in the picture to give more magnification to go beyond 1:1.

    I know I need to decide what lens to get and right now it is between smaller lighter less expensive 60 micro and the the bigger heavier 105 micro (which gives a bit more working distance).

    I was leaning towards the 105 when I noticed how small the front element was on the 60 and the idea popped into my head that perhaps I could then use the close up lens pictured above without a vignetting problem because of the 52mm close up lens vs. the 60 macro being 62mm.

    If I am completely out to lunch just let me know. I've never done macro work with a dslr before.

    (as an aside the ability to use a teleconverter on the 105 is also interesting but I definitely was not getting the camera to focus that reliably in the store with the 1.7x attached. Anyone else have that issue?)

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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    Terry, Jono has listed all the questions that you need to answer.

    If you are really serious (ie you would do a lot of them) about doing >1X macros,
    you do need special lenses such as the Zeiss Luminars or the Macro Nikkors (both sets old, discontinued and pricey).

    I posted some examples here: http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1696

    If you have a lens with FL >50mm (say a 105mm lens) then a TC plus extension tube is better than a diopter to increase the magnifications.

    Longer FL while yielding longer WD also makes shake related problems more acute.

    I prefer to get close to the static subjects.

    The 85 PC Micro Nikkor mentioned by Marc is a superb piece of optic. Perhaps the sharpest Micro Nikkor made by Nikon to date.

    I like it more for portraits than close-ups. For close-ups with this lens, one does need a tripod. Not hand-holdable, IME.

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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Hey, I NEVER thought of using AI Servo AF focusing to track Macro movement. If that really works, I change my opinion


    Isn't it amazing how one can have an elaborate argument without quite understanding what each other meant.

    Yes - if it isn't for continuous AF, then I completely agree with you - pointless and hamfisted (and irritating).

    It does really work though (of course, like everything else it isn't perfect).

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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    Thanks Vikek,
    It isn't that much of a passion for me to go and get really specific equipment that is pricey. However it had dawned on me that the 60 micro might work with what I already have for those times when I do want high magnification. In making my decision between the 60 and 105 that would be a big plus for getting the 60mm lens.

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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    My issue with the AF and the 105 is it hunted a lot with the wind. Now i did not try continuous focus and Jono may have a point there on that function. But to be honest I have 0 patience for hunting. 9 times out of 10 i switched to manual. But that's me

    I also agree with Marc the 85 PC is killer for this stuff
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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    Terry:

    To answer your original question, the Canon 250/500 and Nikkor 5/6T colse up diopters are excellent quality. They will work on any lens you can mount them to. Moreover, at sub 1:1 magnifications, it is unlikely your 52mm 250 will vignette on the Nikkor 60 with a step-down ring. All that said, the combo might place the front of your lens so close to the subject that the lens itself covers the subject in shadow, but it's certainly a low cost experiment since you own all but the inexpensive step ring

    Another option is to reverse your regular 50mm lens on the front of your long zoom. The reversed 50 acts like a very high quality diopter and with it, you can get high magnifications -- divide the Zoom focal by the reversed diopter focal and you get the magnification factor: so a 50 reversed on a 200 will generate a 4:1 magnification and still give you pretty good working distance. Obviously to do this, you need a male-male filter thread reversing adapter. Kirk sells some good quality versions of these: http://www.kirkphoto.com/polarizers.html though B&H may have them locally for you.

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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    terry: if you are really hell-bent, I have a Nikkor 85 PC Micro you can try out

    jm

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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    Thanks all,
    Jim not totally hell-bent just trying to figure out my options before either spending between $600-$800 on a new lens.

    Jack- you may have just saved me on the purchase of a macro lens. Certainly going to experiment with the close ups before buying a lens. My 50mm wonder lens is the best investment to date. Got me the great shot in Carmel and now I can simply reverse it. What would be funny is to get a second el cheapo 50 ($109) and reversed you are at 1:1. Not elegant but.....not needed very often. Buying the 60 macro was bugging me because I had the 50, 24-70 is good at 60, and I have 60 covered again on either 16-85 or 18-200.

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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    Terry

    One final thought.

    If you have serious inclination to buy a D3 at some point that should also influence your choice. Although the 60mm is 90 effective on the D300 it will go back to 60mm on the D3. I find that allows too little working distance for my macro shooting style. So I bought the new 105 VR II and absolutely love it. If I need more working distance i put the 105 on my D300 where it becomes an effective 150mm. Lots of versatility with this lens and the two bodies.

    Woody

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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    My issue with the AF and the 105 is it hunted a lot with the wind. Now i did not try continuous focus and Jono may have a point there on that function. But to be honest I have 0 patience for hunting. 9 times out of 10 i switched to manual. But that's me
    I don't believe this . . . neither of you have tried continuous focus with moving objects for macro . . . . .

    I'm gobsmacked.

    I thought that was the whole advantage of dSLR macro these days!

    Incidentally, I just tried single focus with the 105, and I agree, you get a focus, try again and the damn thing zooms off to infinity and back . . . not with continuous though

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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    I know brain not thinking. LOL
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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I don't believe this . . . neither of you have tried continuous focus with moving objects for macro . . . . .

    I'm gobsmacked.

    I thought that was the whole advantage of dSLR macro these days!

    Incidentally, I just tried single focus with the 105, and I agree, you get a focus, try again and the damn thing zooms off to infinity and back . . . not with continuous though
    Hey, you learn something every day ... if you hang around long enough and keep an open mind.

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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    You Guys
    I was kidding - the amount of stuff I've learned around here.

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    Re: Macro - help needed....

    Quote Originally Posted by woodyspedden View Post
    Terry

    One final thought.

    If you have serious inclination to buy a D3 at some point that should also influence your choice. Although the 60mm is 90 effective on the D300 it will go back to 60mm on the D3. I find that allows too little working distance for my macro shooting style. So I bought the new 105 VR II and absolutely love it. If I need more working distance i put the 105 on my D300 where it becomes an effective 150mm. Lots of versatility with this lens and the two bodies.

    Woody
    This is why I am selling my 60mm since I opted to go all FX with my Nikon kit.

    Also, since Jack mentioned it, a really flexible option is a bellows kit and appropriate lens, which might include something live a reversed 50. That way you also get a bit of swing action going.

    So, Terry, your two options have turned into many

    -bob

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