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  1. #11

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    I remember a brochure from Leica during the 70's. It showed closeup of a map taken with an extension tube and an Elpro. I believe the lens was a 90mm Elmarit R.

    The matched set of Elpro and lens beat very decisvely the extension tube.

    Does the maker of your camera offer closeup lenses?
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  2. #12
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    I'll take a tube over a diopter lens any day (okay, maybe there are one or two closeup lenses matched to specific prime lenses, but in general this is not the case). If you decide to do more macro, eventually you'll want to upgrade to a macro lens and/or you might want a bellows. If you get an extension tube, you can always use it, no matter how sophisticated your macro setup gets.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  3. #13
    Lee L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claire Senft
    I remember a brochure from Leica during the 70's. It showed closeup of a map taken with an extension tube and an Elpro. I believe the lens was a 90mm Elmarit R.

    The matched set of Elpro and lens beat very decisvely the extension tube.

    Does the maker of your camera offer closeup lenses?
    Leica suggests specific combinations of Elpro lenses (which are achromatic doublets) and focal length lenses. I have an Elpro that I don't use often, but the few photos I took with a 180mm and Elpro last spring on Velvia 50 showed no sign of the softness that shows up away from center with many other supplementary lenses I've seen. Minolta made doublet close up lenses as mentioned earlier that you might find used, and some filter makers also produce them, although I forget whom. In addition to the Nikon and Canon, I'd check on B+W, Heliopan, and perhaps Hoya for doublets.

    Lee

  4. #14
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    A bellows, a quality enlarging lens of maybe 100 to 150mm focal length, and an adaptor to use it on the bellows may be cheaper than a OEM dedicated macro lens. A 50mm enlarging lens reverse mounted on a bellows gives more magnification at little additional expense. Some enlarging lenses don't stop down far enough for good depth of field. Also, a little math is needed in using these setups.

  5. #15

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    Diopters work very well, most of the soft shots come from operator error, they buy cheap glass and then don't spend the time to learn how to use them . the best are the canon 500D & 250D along with the Nikon T series . Buy to good stuff and learn how to use it . You can get plenty of DOF along with excellent sharpness, easier to get an accurate focus because of no loss of light .

    here is a shot of a sunflower that is 3 " in dia , with dof out the you know what.

    I'll even through in a old dragon fly shot . 500D was used.

    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Hicks; 03-07-2010 at 02:12 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #16

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    Mike, this is an old question that's unfortunately not going to go away. The right answer is to buy a used macro lens that will fit your camera or a new Phoenix/Vivitar 100/3.5. Do it right, don't dick around with second-best solutions that cost as much as doing it right.

    Once upon a time there was a photography magazine called Modern Photography. Successor to, IIRC, Minicam Photography. Back before self-focusing cameras came in, MP ran a cycle of educational articles. It took about two years and then repeated.

    I mention this because among the articles that showed up every other year was one on whether the cheapskate closeup photographer -- in those days discounts were few and far between and there weren't many macro lenses on the market -- was better off with a set of extension tubes or a set of diopter lenses.

    The answer, after exhaustive testing of a fair number of normal lenses for SLRs, was always "it depends on the lens." Some lenses gave better image quality closeup behind a diopter than in front of a tube or two, other gave better image quality on a tube or two than behind a diopter. The only way to know which was best for a lens not in the test was to get tubes and diopters and ask the lens. Go for it! Or don't go for that, do it right.

    Cheers,

    Dan

  7. #17

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    The one characteristic about diopter lenses is how powerful they can be when used with long focus lenses. A 1 diopter lens will focus whatever lens it is put on at on at a distance of 1 meter. Therefore, if a 1 diopter lens were put on a 300mm lens, it will be focused at 1 meter, a number 3 lens will focus a 300mm telphoto at approx 13 inches.

    It is very doubtful that even the very best of these closeup lenses will fully equal a fine macro lens. It is also true that for the investment good closeup lenses do add a goodly measure of flexibility to you kit.
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  8. #18
    Aggie's Avatar
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    SHOULDN'T THIS DISCUSSION BE IN THE MACRO FORUM?
    Non Digital Diva

  9. #19

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    Aggie, are you yelling at me?
    Claire (Ms Anne Thrope is in the darkroom)

  10. #20
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    I almost always have a set of extension tubes in my kit. They will essentially work with any lens to allow one to focus closer and without the inherent quality loss of most closeup lenses. Oh, and they are pretty inexpensive. No name brand tubes work just as well as OEM tubes. Reverse adapters are another inexpensive choice. You can (and I have) spend a bunch of money on macro gear, however it is pretty inexpensive to get ones feet wet. <[8^) Bill Barber

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