Author Topic: ' macro close-up lenses, Should i buy? '  (Read 10064 times)

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Offline gregb

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' macro close-up lenses, Should i buy? '
« on: December 28, 2008, 09:26:06 PM »
I am looking for some lenses or filters etc for taking macro shots, i am a beginner and just want something that enables me to take decent macro shots and found this on ebay for a seemingly reasonable price
the link is - http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/MACRO-CloseUp-Lenses-for-Sony-Alpha-A100-A200-A300-A350_W0QQitemZ260336125005QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_CamerasPhoto_CameraAccessories_CameraLensesFilters_JN?hash=item260336125005&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72:1301|66:2|65:12|39:1|240:1318
(yes its REALLY long :P )

If anyone knows about these sort of things then...
Oh and if its any help then i just have the lense you get with the sony alpha 300.


Greg.

Offline Clive

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Re: ' macro close-up lenses, Should i buy? '
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2008, 10:06:47 PM »
The short-term answer is "yes". The long-term answer is "no."

The price is low and therefore you really can't lose. These will allow to learn some macro techniques. The image quality will be less than ideal (probably not crisp) and DOF (as I recall) is very shallow.

For learning some closeup techniques (such as using a tripod and lighting) you can't go wrong. Give them a try if you are okay with spending the money.

The next step us is extension tubes. Image quality is not compromised. You lose light and DOF is hallow. There are other issues, but they most certainly are very functional. I've had a set for almost 20 years and still use them on occasion -- attached to my macro lens actually.
http://cgi.ebay.ca/Kenko-Auto-Extension-Tube-Set-DG-Macro-Sony-Minolta_W0QQitemZ290280100893QQihZ019QQcmdZViewItem

Good luck with your decision.

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Offline Numpty

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Re: ' macro close-up lenses, Should i buy? '
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2008, 10:11:15 PM »
Every piece of glass you put infront of the lens will degrade image quality.
I have no experience with these types of macro tools.
I would imagine a set of extension tubes (which fit behind the lens with no glass to allow you to focus much closer) would be a better option although I dont know how much these sell for.

I have the tamron 90mm macro and absolutly love macro photography if you can wait and save its a very good lens you wont regret it
Sony A300, Sony A550, Sony 18-70mm,18-55mm, 50mm SAM, 35mm SAM, 70-300 SSM G Tamron 90mm Macro, 17-50mm, Sony HVL-36FM 2xYonguno 460 Flash, Delta Macro FLash
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Offline Numpty

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Re: ' macro close-up lenses, Should i buy? '
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2008, 10:12:20 PM »
Beat me to it and explained much more clearly.
Sony A300, Sony A550, Sony 18-70mm,18-55mm, 50mm SAM, 35mm SAM, 70-300 SSM G Tamron 90mm Macro, 17-50mm, Sony HVL-36FM 2xYonguno 460 Flash, Delta Macro FLash
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Offline fother

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Re: ' macro close-up lenses, Should i buy? '
« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2008, 10:22:51 PM »

Yeah, to me me these are a second rate option.

First rate options:

- extension tubes
- macro lenses (lenses, not filters)

Extension tubes come in sets of three different lengths. They're used one at a time or stacked, between the lens and the camera body - so they literally extend the lens away from the sensor. This dramatically reduces the focal length (and the depth of field). They can be used with most lenses (above 50mm) but are better with primes than with zooms. They're fairly affordable. (see Clive's link above)

The more expensive, but best option, is a dedicated macro lens. The Sony brand lenses are the 50mm macro and 100/2.8 macro. Minolta used to also do a 200/4 Macro, but Sony haven't re-released that one (yet...)

Lots of zooms will have the word macro written on them - ignore that, it's marketing. You want a proper macro lens (1:1 magnification).

There are cheaper third party options - the Tamron 90mm macro is very well thought of. Sigma also have a couple, but I'd stick to Sony/Minolta or Tamron

Offline fother

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Re: ' macro close-up lenses, Should i buy? '
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2008, 10:26:33 PM »

Just saw your other thread.

So, the lens advice is probably not useful - go for the extension tubes :)

Offline pjjohnson

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Re: ' macro close-up lenses, Should i buy? '
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2008, 11:40:15 PM »
Well I guess I'm going to be a party pooper here as I have a tele-to-macro converter that I have used for years and the quality has been absolutely fine. I've used it to take butterflies and flowers and its never let me down. Admittedly I've never used it with my Sony DSLR but I have attached it and tested it briefly and it seems to work just the same as with my Fuji cameras.

I've moved on with my macro photography so I asked Santa for a macro lens and got a Sigma 105 DG :-).

Peter.
A550 & A350 & NEX-5n

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Sigma 105mm EX DG Macro & 18-250mm DC OS HSM & 100-300mm F4 EX DG & 10-20mm EX
Tamron SP AF 200-500mm Di LD IF
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Offline gregb

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Re: ' macro close-up lenses, Should i buy? '
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2008, 11:45:58 PM »

Offline winjeel

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Re: ' macro close-up lenses, Should i buy? '
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2008, 11:49:37 PM »
I agree with fother, extension tubes, or if you're skimped, a cokin magnifier (gives soft images, but you can make it look pleasing with a little camera practice, and perhaps some light photoshopping.) For an idea of macro photography, take a little look here.

As for filters, Lee are probably best, but I use cokin, and they seem totally fine. Here's some info on filters.

I was just about to post and saw an update. If it says 'alpha', it'll be fine for any Sony or Minolta slr. Since I don't have extension tubes myself, I'm not exactly sure of the effect. Would a x2 make a 50mm lens 100mm? Would it make a 1:3.5 something more like 1:1.75?
JapanesePhotos.Asia; Some basic photographic how to's.
Sony the200, Minolta 28mm 2.8, 50mm 1.4, 70-300mm Gregarious, 100mm 2.8 macro.

Offline fother

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Re: ' macro close-up lenses, Should i buy? '
« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2008, 11:58:57 PM »
Would this kind of thing suffice for a sony alpha 300? http://cgi.ebay.com/2X-AF-DG-TeleConverter-Lens-for-Sony-Alpha-A300-A-300_W0QQitemZ220330117562QQcmdZViewItemQQimsxZ20081215?IMSfp=TL081215113007r15841

thank you for all your replys btw

Greg

Ahh, that's a different thing again - you're asking good questions!

That's a teleconverter - basically makes the lens longer - in this case 2 times longer, so a 100mm lens becomes a 200mm lens.

It's used in the same way as an extension tube, but the optics are completely different.

Extension tubes are just that - tubes. There's no glass in them.
Teleconverters have glass in them - as in this case.

There are different brands available for both. Teleconverters (TCs) are complex in terms of which lenses work with which TCs - because the mount shape varies slightly. I'd hold off on them for now, as they're not achieving the macro effect you're after.

For extension tubes, Kenko is the most common brand, and is good. You might also look at Gadget Infinity (an ebay store) - they sometimes have extension tubes for specific brands of DSLR :)

Offline fother

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Re: ' macro close-up lenses, Should i buy? '
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2008, 12:04:53 AM »

Just had a look at gadget infinity's store for you...

they've got a variety of extension tubes at the moment, for pentax, nikon, canon, etc. Not sony.

However, they have Minolta MC/MD extension tubes - that's the older manual focus mount from pre-1984 cameras. Now, that won't mount on your camera, but you can use a MC-AF adaptor to connect to camera, and an AF-MC adaptor to connect the lens.... but in fact that costs more than getting the Kenko tubes Clive linked in the first reply on this thread ???

Offline FarmerDave

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Re: ' macro close-up lenses, Should i buy? '
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2008, 08:34:06 AM »
I have use close-up filters (they are stackable) on MF non-zoom lenses before but only because macro lens for MF is either not available or VERY expensive. Bellows (kind of zoom extension tubes) are cumbersome. Ideally nothing beats real 1:1 macro lenses. As a matter of fact just picked up a Sony 100F2.8 macro few hours ago. Macro with extension tubes are overkill but needed if you want >life size.
The 100mm macro is very good for portraits as well.

Offline gregb

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Re: ' macro close-up lenses, Should i buy? '
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2008, 07:09:09 PM »
So would it be worth saving up that much more money to but a good sony macro lense?
If so which lense should i be looking at (keep in mind im poor)

Thank you all for your help :)

Greg

Offline Clive

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Re: ' macro close-up lenses, Should i buy? '
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2008, 07:25:24 PM »
Gregb,

That is a worthy goal. The Sony 100mm macro is about $600 USD ... or more. Many here have Sigma and Tamron macro that are less expensive. The Tamron 90mm is about $500. Have a look around. Some discussion here.
http://photo.net/sony-minolta-slr-system-forum/005Ptj

The tubes are very good stepping stone. They are not as versatile as macro lenses but deliver pretty good results. They cost about ~ 30 percent of a good macro lens. 

And like I said at the start, the image quality of the "filter" type lenses will never be as good, but it is a good way to learn closeup techniques. They will give you decent images provided you are not making large prints. For email and small prints you will get okay images.

It is all a compromise and something you will have to decide on.

Good luck.

Clive
 
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Offline FarmerDave

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Re: ' macro close-up lenses, Should i buy? '
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2008, 03:55:44 AM »
The Sigma 105f2.8macro has received very good reviews and I almost bought one because it is 15-20% cheaper than the Sony.
In the end it was just asthetics that won me over. I just don't like the looks of the Sigma for some reason.
I would suggest saving up for the macro if you plan to shoot a fair bid of close-up AND portraits.
If you don't plan to shoot portraits and will only do the rare close-up then extension tubes are probably the way to go.