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Author Topic: Any Old Gem Macro Lenses?  (Read 2419 times)

swiftrandomness94

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Any Old Gem Macro Lenses?
« on: October 30, 2013, 07:09:49 AM »
I have a hacked Canon 35-80mm f/4-5.6 mki and shoot it on a crop, but i still want more reach. At least 50mm more. Is there an older, sub $200 all manual lens out there that is pretty damn sharp and meets my needs? Even if it is strangely unique, as long as it works without much fuss. I can make things work.


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Any Old Gem Macro Lenses?
« on: October 30, 2013, 07:09:49 AM »

paul13walnut5

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Re: Any Old Gem Macro Lenses?
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2013, 07:23:23 AM »
What are you trying to achieve with the new lens?  Do you want in closer (more magnification) or do you want more working distance around the subject?

Bellows aren't a bad idea, and you can adapt manual lenses to bellows without worrying about infinity focus etc.

You can pick up EF bellows (without communication) or M42 bellows pretty cheaply.

I used to use Minolta SR cameras and had a set of bellows adapted to my 400D with Minoltas very decent f3.5 50mm macro.  This could give up to 3x lifesize magnification at the film plane / sensor, and with the crop became effectively more telephoto as well (note difference between crop and magnification, different concepts although similar ends) and you could probably pick all this up online pretty cheap, MF ring, aperture ring. Sharp.

You may also want to consider a sliding macro plate, something like a manfrotto 454, as you'll set the magnification on the bellows, and focus by altering the film plane-subject distance.

swiftrandomness94

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Re: Any Old Gem Macro Lenses?
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2013, 07:49:08 AM »
What are you trying to achieve with the new lens?  Do you want in closer (more magnification) or do you want more working distance around the subject?

Bellows aren't a bad idea, and you can adapt manual lenses to bellows without worrying about infinity focus etc.

You can pick up EF bellows (without communication) or M42 bellows pretty cheaply.

I used to use Minolta SR cameras and had a set of bellows adapted to my 400D with Minoltas very decent f3.5 50mm macro.  This could give up to 3x lifesize magnification at the film plane / sensor, and with the crop became effectively more telephoto as well (note difference between crop and magnification, different concepts although similar ends) and you could probably pick all this up online pretty cheap, MF ring, aperture ring. Sharp.

You may also want to consider a sliding macro plate, something like a manfrotto 454, as you'll set the magnification on the bellows, and focus by altering the film plane-subject distance.

Thank you, but bellows aren't for me unfortunately. Same goes with sliding plates. I am looking for a lens of which I've described even though bellows may evidently be the answer. Can you explain how bellows increase the focal length? Like at 80mm, where would a pretty standard length bellow get me? I need further separation from the subject, that is all. Closer focusing distance would be nice too, but keep in mind that this lens hack has a fixed focus so it may not work being too close. As of now i am shooting with my T3i, hacked 35-80, two flashes (getting a ring flash asap), and a cheap Wal-Mart tripod that gets the job done.

paul13walnut5

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Re: Any Old Gem Macro Lenses?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2013, 07:56:40 AM »
Further seperation is down to perspective (getting closer, and so focusing closer) and can be helped with fast apertures and increased focal length.

So in effect any manual lens that has a stop-down lock (old nikon's may be best option here, I know MD won't work unless you jam the pin) and a filter thread to EF mount reversing ring.

Choose your length, lots of cheap 135's kicking around as these have fell out of favour.

Something like a Nikon pre-Ai lens would probably be pretty cheap as well.

DFM

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Re: Any Old Gem Macro Lenses?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2013, 08:04:20 AM »
If you're trying to get closer, macro extension rings are often the better option over bellows these days. The variability of bellows was important in the film days with primes, when getting the subject to fill the negative was all-important. A zoom lens and three extension rings will give you the same degree of adjustment, but in all but the super-cheap versions they'll also pass the electrical contacts through. Even when you're shooting manual it's handy to get the right EXIF data on file.

Going the other way, pairing teleconverters with a macro setup will increase the subject distance but you'll take a big hit on exposure. You can go to town and put TCs and extension tubes together on a 200mm telephoto, and you'll be snapping flies from 6ft away. Probably need a tripod for that though  ;)

sandymandy

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Re: Any Old Gem Macro Lenses?
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2013, 08:04:44 AM »
1100D with 35mm 2.8 flektogon (16cm minimum focus) @ 2.8 think.  not edited really so there shall be light!






swiftrandomness94

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Re: Any Old Gem Macro Lenses?
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2013, 08:09:28 AM »
Further seperation is down to perspective (getting closer, and so focusing closer) and can be helped with fast apertures and increased focal length.

So in effect any manual lens that has a stop-down lock (old nikon's may be best option here, I know MD won't work unless you jam the pin) and a filter thread to EF mount reversing ring.

Choose your length, lots of cheap 135's kicking around as these have fell out of favour.

Something like a Nikon pre-Ai lens would probably be pretty cheap as well.

Thanks! I'm checking ebay and i don't know which ones are pretty sharp or not. If you had to pick the best sub $200 one, which would you recommend considering my circumstances?

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Re: Any Old Gem Macro Lenses?
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2013, 08:09:28 AM »

swiftrandomness94

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Re: Any Old Gem Macro Lenses?
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2013, 08:16:43 AM »
If you're trying to get closer, macro extension rings are often the better option over bellows these days. The variability of bellows was important in the film days with primes, when getting the subject to fill the negative was all-important. A zoom lens and three extension rings will give you the same degree of adjustment, but in all but the super-cheap versions they'll also pass the electrical contacts through. Even when you're shooting manual it's handy to get the right EXIF data on file.

Going the other way, pairing teleconverters with a macro setup will increase the subject distance but you'll take a big hit on exposure. You can go to town and put TCs and extension tubes together on a 200mm telephoto, and you'll be snapping flies from 6ft away. Probably need a tripod for that though  ;)

So you're saying that using extension tubes will not only increase the focus distance, but the magnification/focal length as well? If that's true, then lets say I'm at 80mm on my lens. How many sized ones would i need to get to 150mm?

paul13walnut5

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Re: Any Old Gem Macro Lenses?
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2013, 08:36:19 AM »
I used a rokkor (minolta) md 135mm f2.8 and rokkor mc 200mm f3.5 in my film days, but never reversed!

I don't know what other manual mounts can be switched to stop down mode off camera (so that reversed the diaphragm can still be closed)

sawsedge

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Re: Any Old Gem Macro Lenses?
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2013, 08:49:30 AM »
If you can find a Kiron 105 f/2.8 macro (perhaps a Nikon mount + adapter) for a good price they are great. I had one in my Minolta days and loved it.  There may be other old manual macros you can adapt for a decent price as well.

But I generally think you should save for the Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM macro (non L, non IS) as you won't have to deal with stop-down metering.  They are around $550 new, which for that lens is a steal.

Another option would be a Tamron 90mm.  As far as I know, unless you luck into a deal, you'll need at least $400 for a true macro.

Yet another option: find an old Pentax or Nikon 135mm, adapt it, and put extension tubes behind it.

Extension tubes do not increase focal length, they only cause a lens to focus closer. 


swiftrandomness94

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Re: Any Old Gem Macro Lenses?
« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2013, 08:55:27 AM »
I used a rokkor (minolta) md 135mm f2.8 and rokkor mc 200mm f3.5 in my film days, but never reversed!

I don't know what other manual mounts can be switched to stop down mode off camera (so that reversed the diaphragm can still be closed)

Wow! Thanks! Found this thread: http://forum.mflenses.com/viewtopic.php?p=1252018

So you can really focus that close with that 200mm? :DDDDD

swiftrandomness94

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Re: Any Old Gem Macro Lenses?
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2013, 09:02:29 AM »
If you can find a Kiron 105 f/2.8 macro (perhaps a Nikon mount + adapter) for a good price they are great. I had one in my Minolta days and loved it.  There may be other old manual macros you can adapt for a decent price as well.

But I generally think you should save for the Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM macro (non L, non IS) as you won't have to deal with stop-down metering.  They are around $550 new, which for that lens is a steal.

Another option would be a Tamron 90mm.  As far as I know, unless you luck into a deal, you'll need at least $400 for a true macro.

Yet another option: find an old Pentax or Nikon 135mm, adapt it, and put extension tubes behind it.

Extension tubes do not increase focal length, they only cause a lens to focus closer.

Ok thanks! I'm not that familiar with the whole stop down metering thing. I've just googled it and it's left me even more confused, so i'll have to see and mess with it myself to get it down. I'll look more into Pentax, thanks :)

swiftrandomness94

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Re: Any Old Gem Macro Lenses?
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2013, 09:10:10 AM »
If you can find a Kiron 105 f/2.8 macro (perhaps a Nikon mount + adapter) for a good price they are great. I had one in my Minolta days and loved it.  There may be other old manual macros you can adapt for a decent price as well.

But I generally think you should save for the Canon 100mm f/2.8 USM macro (non L, non IS) as you won't have to deal with stop-down metering.  They are around $550 new, which for that lens is a steal.

Another option would be a Tamron 90mm.  As far as I know, unless you luck into a deal, you'll need at least $400 for a true macro.

Yet another option: find an old Pentax or Nikon 135mm, adapt it, and put extension tubes behind it.

Extension tubes do not increase focal length, they only cause a lens to focus closer.

Never mind, got it down now! Metering can be a big issue, i was afraid of something like that since my subject will be moving!

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Re: Any Old Gem Macro Lenses?
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2013, 09:10:10 AM »

DFM

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Re: Any Old Gem Macro Lenses?
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2013, 10:12:49 AM »
Extension tubes only change the focus distance (shortening the minimum at the cost of preventing an infinity focus). Subjects can look bigger because you can get closer, but the perspective will suffer too. Teleconverters increase magnification and flatten perspective but don't significantly change the focus distance (there is a tiny change, maybe on a 400mm lens your MFD will increase by 20cm or so). Combining the two on a long telephoto you can get physically closer to your subject than the lens itself would usually permit, increasing the magnification without messing with the tele's perspective distortion (or lack thereof). You don't have to be crammed right up against the subject anymore, I tend to use a thinner extension tube so the lens will focus at a couple of feet at "infinity", so it should be giving the best image quality and I don't get shadows or scare the critters. Cranking a lens all the way to MFD is never a good idea.

Image quality won't be as good as with a dedicated macro, but an f/2.8 400mm macro lens is going to cost you a fair amount more. Although you lose a lot of light, for fieldwork all the bits do other things so there's less to hump up the side of a mountain.


So you're saying that using extension tubes will not only increase the focus distance, but the magnification/focal length as well? If that's true, then lets say I'm at 80mm on my lens. How many sized ones would i need to get to 150mm?

brad goda

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Re: Any Old Gem Macro Lenses?
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2013, 06:01:38 AM »
uh try the canon EF 50 macro 2.5
its incredibly sharp... flat image... and is not an expensive lens
check out the reviews... this lens is a sleeper.

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Re: Any Old Gem Macro Lenses?
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2013, 06:01:38 AM »