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5x Macro lens, any good?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by Michael Johansson, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. Michael Johansson

    Michael Johansson TalkEmount Regular

    73
    Dec 15, 2012
    Ystad, Sweden
    Michael Johansson
  2. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Yep, it's really quite okay. However, its only good at magnifications bigger than 2:1, and you can't really get a composition at these distances - structure shots are almost all you'll get with this lens.
     
  3. Michael Johansson

    Michael Johansson TalkEmount Regular

    73
    Dec 15, 2012
    Ystad, Sweden
    Michael Johansson
    OK, thanks!

    But with a magnification between 4 and 5 the target will be 7 - 5.6 mm. DOF will probably be very small I guess. How about focus stacking with this lens? Is it possible, bad idea or is it better to use a long macro lens in combination with a front mounted reversed short focal lengs lens? With a 180mm macro and a reversed 35mm the magnification will be about the same as the NANOHA x5. Any ideas on which will give the best IQ?
     
  4. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    The problem with the longer macro lens is lighting - which is built into the Nanoha. Focus stacking works just as it would on any other lens.
     
  5. lowbone

    lowbone TalkEmount Regular

    99
    Oct 21, 2012
    I have the Canon MP-E-65 macro lens which is capable of 5X magnification. If the NANOHA is similar and I think it is you should be aware of the following. Focus can only be obtained by moving the camera back and forth, there is no focusing ring. AF is useless at these magnifications. As you approach 5X the image in the viewfinder becomes very dark, almost black adding to the focusing problems. A focusing rail could be used on a tripod but this makes field photography of insects almost impossible. The focusing range of the lens is four inches maximum to one inch minimum. At 5X you will be at one inch. Using a flash with diffusion is almost mandatory. The NANOHA has LED lights but these are just focusing aids. LED won't give enough light to stop movement. Generally speaking diffraction sets in at about f 16 so f 22 and 32 would be unusable at magnifications above 3X.Depth of field is almost non-existant A lens like this has a huge learning curve. I have seen the NANOHA advertised but have not seen a review or photos from it. The Canon MP-E-65 is an excellent lens in the right hands with the right amount of time spent learning it. I'm not sure about the NANOHA and would wait until there is more information available.
     
  6. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    Some little mistakes in your post, lowbone, although you've got generally good points to bring up.

    First, the Nanoha can be focused, but only from 4 to 5x magnification (so sorry for saying it's only good for more than 2x). Second, diffraction is defined by the pixel size. On a NEX-7 sensor, for example, diffraction begins at f/5.6. f/16 to f/22 is only accurate for older ff cameras with lower pixel count. But although diffraction theoretically sets in at this aperture, I doubt the Nanoha lens will resolve good enough that you'll notice it before f/11 to f/16. The Nanoha only is able to stop the aperture at f/11, f/16, f/22 or f/32, so your best call is probably to use one of the faster settings and focus stack the hell outta it.

    Then, the lighting system. At these magnifications, you can't shoot anything that's moving anyways, and for most other things the included target holder should do the job. Lighting anything with a flash that sits just 11mm in front of your lens isn't that easy anyways.

    But then again, once you've learned everything it CAN produce stunning looking shots - it my just be hard to find a subject that's small and interesting enough.

    This sample shows quite well what the lens is capable of (although it has a small resolution - and I fear the reason might be sub-par per-pixel sharpness due to diffraction): http://www.yasuhara.co.jp/nanoha/image/gallery/Gabriel01/ant.jpg

    Edit: Just saw their other samples are full size - and not any good at 100%. So it really depends on what you want to use the lens. For web usage, the results will look awesome! For print sizes above A3 - not recommended imho. http://dl.dropbox.com/u/62967250/Jean01/P1030472.jpg
     
  7. lowbone

    lowbone TalkEmount Regular

    99
    Oct 21, 2012
    I was basing my post on what I knew about the MP-E-65 figuring the Nanoha was similar which it is but not exactly like the MP-E-65. The one photo is rather impressive, the others not so much. I have seen the lens advertised for over $500. I think for that amount of money I would expect better quality. Having the Canon I am not really interested in this lens but I would imagine that if a person bought it and didn't like it finding a buyer would not be particularly easy. That being said I think the smarter approach to high magnification photography would be to use a reversed lens or as suggested in another post a lens with another lens reversed on it. Photographing dead insects would definitely get tiresome after a while. If you were to go to the fredmiranda.com: Specialized in Canon - Nikon SLR Cameras, Forum, Photoshop Plugins, Actions, Reviews, Hosting and Digital Darkroom and check out their macro forum you will see that high mag photos of live insects are definitely possible and done on a regulat basisi