Adapter? Extension tube? Macro lens?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Latefa, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. Latefa

    Latefa New to TalkEmount

    Oct 9, 2013
    I have sony Nex-7 with the following lenses: 50 mm , 18-200, & 18-55 .
    I had nikon D60 with different lenses.
    I want to take insect macro pictures so what macro lense would u recommend? Is the sony 30mm with extension tubes going to give me crazy details? ImageUploadedByTalkNEX1381326720.109448.


    Such as the ones above (I dont own these pictures)

    Also, I like my sigma 70-300 mm on Nikon but wanted to know if I can use an adapter to attach it to sony nex7

    if yes, what adapter should I get?

    Never tried anything except for the camera, the lenses, and the tripod, so never mind the noob question

  2. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    30mm is pretty short for a macro lens and that sony isn't very good for a macro lens. I like my Panagor 90mm macro quite much (just going to test my new macro arm with it).
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    If you want to shoot insects (and want sharp pictures) the best option are 100mm macro lenses. You can use 50mm macro lenses too but they're a bit on the short side for insects.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Mattithjah

    Mattithjah TalkEmount Veteran

    Jan 17, 2013
    Czech Republic
    Real Name:
    Super-macro shots you show above, have some specialities...

    For wildlife insect-macro shots up to magnification 1:1 (1cm of insect is 1cm on your sensor), 100, 150, 180 or 200 mm marco lenses are the best.


    E. g. shot of this jumping-spider is in magnification 1:5 (1cm of insect is 5cm on you sensor)...
    For this magnification you need 3 things...

    1. Canon MPE 65mm lens or some reversed-mount lens (some 28mm lenses are good), or some reversed lenses on another lenses (28mm reversely mounted on 100mm, e. g.) or something like this + some lens around 50 mm. 100-200mm lens are not good for this type of macro...

    2. you have to shoot 30-100 pictures and than stack it togather... just find focus-stacking on google

    3. you need non-moving object... death or slightly freezed insect or something like this...
    • Like Like x 1
  5. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Real Name:
    Does this sound like a good buy?

    I'm looking, too, to get a better macro setup and planned to save my $ for a 100mm Sony and the Sony to E-mount adaptor, but that's quite a lot more $ than what I just found for a Panagor 90mm macro 2.8 Olympus mount - on eBay, and found an Olympus lens to e mount adaptor as week. I'll search for some of your Panagor shots on this site. Is this combo I found similar to yours?

    • Like Like x 1
  6. f/otographer

    f/otographer TalkEmount Regular

    Aug 20, 2013
    As already stated, the shots you posted are not going to be found out in the field as something you can shoot handheld on the fly. They are carefully prepped studio shots with perfect lighting and lots of work put into them to make them look so fantastical.

    I shoot a lot of macro myself with a NEX 7 (used to use a Canon 40D) and almost all my shots are on old manual focus lenses. Some are actual macro lenses, like the Minolta Rokkor X Macro 50/3.5 or the Yashica ML Macro 55/4, but many are just regular lenses either mounted on an extension tube or using a combination of close up filters. The truth is you can shoot macro with a cheap old lens and some inexpensive macro filters. You dont absolutely need an expensive setup. Just make sure your lens is a good quality lens. Having an actual MACRO lens can help since they are usually corrected for field curvature at extreme magnification. But none of this matters until you get your technique down and learn the difficulties in shooting this type of photography.

    I shoot all of my Macro handheld with no flash. I have developed my eye over the years to use available natural light and I have developed my breathing technique to help me get the shot. Please take a look at my flickr macro photo to get an idea of what is possible with a NEX 7 with no flash or tripod.

    I know that 100mm macro lenses have been recommended and they are good to be sure. But most of mine were shot on different 50mm lenses. It does mean you have to get closer to your subject, but I have never found that to be an issue. A 50mm Macro lens is just easier to use handheld. I simply cant use a tripod in the field, its to limiting. Bugs are moving around all over the place and I have to follow them to where they land. One time I followed a Mayfly for about 30 yards, stopping every few feet as she landed on flowers and blades of grass. No way to do that with a tripod.

    Anyway, point is you dont need to spend a fortune on gear to shoot good macro. Much more important is practice, practice, practice and an eye for composition. When you shoot macro your depth of field becomes EXTREMELY narrow. It takes a fair amount of work to get all the little details down to where you can do it without thinking. But its highly rewarding and I suggest you stick with it. Its really great fun.

    The absolute cheapest way to get into macro would be to use your existing 50mm lens with a set of Close Up Lenses. I recommend the old Minolta Close Up lens set. Can be found on ebay. I think there were 4 lenses but maybe only 3. They are very high quality glass with (I believe) an Achromatic coating. I think they might also be two element glass, with means its actually two lenses cemented together. Its not just a cheap set of magnifier glasses like you can find today selling all over the place. The Minolta Close Up set is really good stuff. Search for them on the acution site. Here is an example.

    They come in different sizes, just like regular filters, so if you get a set you might want to make sure they are all the same. The one I just listed is a 55mm filter size whereas the No.2 I own is a 49mm size. Whichever one you get you can always make it fit your lens (if its the wrong size) by getting a filter step up or step down ring. Those are cheap.

    If you want to spend a little more money then just buy an old 50mm or 100mm Macro lens preferably with the tube to go with it. Minolta, Yashica, Pentax, Canon, Nikon...they all made really good macro lenses that still work fine today. Great thing about macro is you dont need Auto Focus. You compose with the lens then move yourself back and forth ever so slightly to get things in focus. Works like a charm.

    Hope this helps.
    • Like Like x 5
  7. Larry

    Larry TalkEmount Regular

    May 23, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    Real Name:
    What a great mini tutorial. I use a Tamron 60 macro. I tried using the AF but it was so slow the bug would be gone. Macros focusing ring is geared lower for the fine adjustment. I also use my body movement to track the bug focus. Sometimes it can be real challenge.

    • Like Like x 1
  8. sleekdigital

    sleekdigital TalkEmount Regular

    May 7, 2013
    Those are probably pretty good, but extension tubes are even cheaper. That said, I do prefer a good quality achromatic over extension tubes since there is virtually no extra loss of light.

    I generally find 50mm too short for my taste. More often I use use either my Tamron 90mm 2.8 (72B) macro or Cosina 100mm 3.5 macro...

    Unless there is really good natural light (not often) I use a diffused flash for anything around 1:2 magnification or more. On very rare occasions I will use a tripod if there is some insect that decides to cooperate and sit still for a long time.
    • Like Like x 3
  9. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    My macro images are not very interesting (plant details, mycelium growing etc.). There are others images there and all over internet. There are several third party about 100 mm macros that are very good and cost about 200 euros (I paid 70 Euro for that Panagor but there was some fungus in it). Tamron 90 mm is liked macro lens and Cosina 100mm is available some times quite cheaply (ffordes have two at the moment for 50 GBP, other with Vivitar name). Tokina made a good 90mm macro too. The Cosina is called 'plastic fantastic'. It tells something about its construction. Cosina and Panagor (actually Kiron) macro lenses are sold by many names.

    Good sources for lens reviews are and

    Start slowly.

    50mm macro lenses are much cheaper and cheapest route is to use extension tubes. Cheap close up lenses are terrible.
    • Like Like x 2
  10. markoneswift

    markoneswift TalkEmount Veteran

    Oct 17, 2012
    I'm just getting round to using my Canon FD 50 / 1.8 on a Vivitar 2x macro-focusing teleconverter that I bought on Ebay for $20. It should make my 50 / 1.8 somewhere over 100 / 2.8 ( ish ?? ). I also picked up a reversing ring for coupling lenses together which, until typing this, I had forgotten about !!! I also own a Canon FD 70-210 F/4 macro zoom which produced the following :-


    and whilst that isn't anything like as close as your examples above, I reckon it's pretty good. I plan to reverse a 28 / 2.8 onto the end of it for some silly magnification. I also have an old Sunpak ring flash that I bought for £20 off Ebay - just waiting on a hot shoe with PC sync adapter to fire it with.
    • Like Like x 5
  11. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Real Name:
    Just got my 37-year-old Vivitar 90mm f/2.8 (Kosina) last night. Working long hours so only took a couple test shots last night. Promising! I compared it to shots using tubes and also Raynox 250 on various Sony emount lenses. Tubes look pretty good and so does Vivitar. Raynox is fine but the bigger magnification looks better on tubes and Vivitar. Also, Vivitar has nice soft bokeh.
  12. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Real Name:
    Congrats on the new lens. :)
  13. pworden

    pworden TalkEmount Veteran

    Aug 26, 2013
    State College, PA
    Real Name:
    Thanks - will try to get up early tomorrow morning maybe try it outside on the resident ambush bug.
  14. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Mar 2, 2012
    New England
    Has anyone tried using a 49mm reverse coupler with the 55/210 and either the SEL50F18 or SEL24F18Z for macro shots?

    My math says you ought to get a little better than 4:1 with the 210/50, and nearly 9:1 with the 210/24