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Dedicated Macro Lens or Extention Tube

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by davect01, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    I have a couple of lenses with "Close Up" functions, but would like to have a true Macro lens.

    I am looking at a few options.


    1- A true Macro lens. I have found a 1:1 50mm Legacy lens that I really like.


    2- An Extention tube. I already have the 50mm SEL that seems like it would be a great choice.


    What are people using/suggest?
     
  2. quezra

    quezra TalkEmount Top Veteran

    916
    Aug 22, 2012
    Meike have some electronic extension tubes for pretty cheap... I would personally try that first before going for a true macro lens, given how expensive those can be, but I have not yet done so, so what do I know! ;)
     
  3. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    I believe christian, a member here posting some EXCELLENT macro photos, is using these extension tubes mentioned above with his Sigma 60 2.8. You should check out his work - its pretty amazing!!!
     
  4. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    Both of course. ;)

    Sigma 60 mm/2.8 with electronic extension tubes works very well as a macro lens but I think it has got a slight field curvature so it isn't perfect for flat subjects (coins, stamps etc.) but it is quite good with plants, insects etc.. Those extension tubes weight few grams so you can carry them always with you. No experience with the SEL.

    Dedicated macro lens allows focusing from infinity to close range so it will duplicate as a normal fixed lens too.

    That way you can bring along the lens you think will suit your present situation best, for example take extension tubes to a holiday trip and macro lens to a visit to arboretum.
     
  5. christian

    christian TalkEmount Veteran

    447
    Apr 12, 2014
    Boston MA
    Thanks a lot Nick!

    Yes I do use Viltrox extension tubes. They have electronic contacts and cost only $40. That's the cheap solution. If you have some money to spend for a macro lens, I would suggest the Sigma 90mm or 105mm or even 150mm with an adaptor or just wait for the new Sony 90mm f/2.8 G lens.
    My Sigma 60mm combined to these extension tubes is a pretty nice combo in the end.

    You can see my pictures in my Flickr gallery and I also wrote an article about how to get great macros for only $40 LOL

    All the pictures shown in the following links are take with my 16-50mm kit lens and Viltrox tubes.
    http://ilovehatephoto.com/2014/07/14/how-to-take-great-macro-photos-for-only-40/
    http://ilovehatephoto.com/2014/07/21/the-top-5-tips-to-better-macro-photography-part-1/
    http://ilovehatephoto.com/2014/08/0...raphy-part-2-and-5-subjects-of-predilections/

    Here it's taken with my Sigma 60mm lens and Viltrox tubes.
    http://ilovehatephoto.com/2014/08/25/the-fairytale-garden/
    http://ilovehatephoto.com/2014/08/20/how-to-shoot-artful-droplets-on-flower-petals/

    Hope that helps :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. christian

    christian TalkEmount Veteran

    447
    Apr 12, 2014
    Boston MA
    And by the way, some pros use macro lenses AND extension tubes. They do it especially with long lenght focal macro lenses like 150mm.
     
  7. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    That's what I've found with the vast majority of my macro interests being in nature / wildlife...I have both approaches available and this summer my first hand experiences from Arboretum or Woods walks have resulted in now always reaching for / mounting the Canon FDn 200 Macro because it covers not only the macro closeups I might run across, but also serves as a normal 200mm tele.
    And I tuck the Canon FDn 50mm Macro in a pocket for the rare wider angle macro shot, as well as the benefit of a normal 50mm lens if needed.
    Since getting the Macros, I haven't used extension tubes at all for my kind of photography interests.
     
  8. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    For me major attraction with extension lenses is their weight. So I can take them with me everywhere I take my camera. If I know that there is something macro shooting to be done I will take a macro lens but Sigma 60 mm is a lens I usually carry along any way. I don't have car so weight is important, besides I often lug guite a heavy amout of stuff with me (up to 40 kg when I am going to my summer cottage).

    I have to test extension tubes with longer lenses next summer, 135mm and 180mm to be precise. That depends about time too, I am interested in plants and if I have time I may visit some arboretum abroad.

    Especially 50mm legacy macro lenses are inexpensive. Worth getting even if one doesn't plan to shoot macro because of flat field and copy work. Unfortunately 200 mm ones are much more expensive.
     
  9. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    This slideshow was my first test run with a Canon FDn 100mm / 4.0 Macro at a local Arboretum back in June this year.
    In addition to its color rendition and IQ, it shows both capabilities of it as a Macro and a 100mm telephoto.
    For my kind of photography interests, a major benefit of the true Macro tele is not having to get right up on the subject so close that it might get scared off, or having the light blocked, etc.

    Password = 100macropeek
    http://smg.photobucket.com/user/rou...RAPHY/MACRO FDn 100mm Arboretum 060914?sort=6
     
  10. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Thanks for the great advice all.

    I think I am going to give the Extention Tube a try first.
     
  11. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    And then, when you've got addicted to macro photography, try the 50mm Touit. It's one heck of an amazing lens.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. dannat

    dannat TalkEmount Regular

    86
    Jun 22, 2014
    VIC
    my viltrox tubes ordered with ebay didnt work with 2 diff bodies nor the sig 60/2.8 zeiss 32/1.8
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
  14. christian

    christian TalkEmount Veteran

    447
    Apr 12, 2014
    Boston MA
    Hum too bad, that must be bad luck, mine work well with my sigma and 16-50mm kit lens.


    My flickr: https://m.flickr.com/#/photos/118310489@N03/
     
  15. oylo

    oylo TalkEmount Regular

    125
    Aug 16, 2012
    Norway
    I like this Kenko ext.t..

    Kenko.JPG

    and here are one picture taken with 16mm + 10mm (26mm). It´s used on my A7R and CZ 5518. (no tripod)

    Frokapsel.JPG
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. eno789

    eno789 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    720
    Jan 1, 2012
    NoCal, USA
    Brian
    If you find legacy 50 ~ 60mm macro lens for less than $60, I'd say grab one. They are usually excellent quality, designed in a way that don't need hood, and pretty light. I like the fact that I can use one on the A7 series as a normal angle, covering close-up to infinity. Canon FD/Minolta/Konica/Olympus/Nikon/Takumar all have one that goes to 1:2; and Sigma 50mm/2.8, Takumar Preset 50mm/4, Vivitar 55mm/2.8, Mamiya 60mm goes to 1:1.

    Longer focal length macro lenses give you more working distance, and more subject isolation. One relatively inexpensive one I can recommend, is the Cosina 100mm/3.5 macro.

    If you're using adaptor anyway, there're some adapters for Nikon/m42/Contax mount that has helicoid built-in, for $30 ~ $40. When the helicoid is at the shortest, you can still focus the lens to infinity; When you want to focus to macro range, you can extend the helicoid. This is like a flexible sized extension tube built-in to the adapter.

    Dedicated macro lens and helicoid adapter has the benefit of not needing to change lens in the field, which is a plus in my book.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
  18. SamSS

    SamSS TalkEmount Regular

    166
    Oct 11, 2014
  19. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Well I went ahead and got this set. Just showed up and I had to shoot something.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/151411715011?_trksid=p2060778.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT

    I tried them with my NEX-6 and 50mm 1.8 Not a very bright room, and all handheld. Shot at f1.8, probably should have taken them to f4-6.

    This is as close as I could get with the 50mm alone.

    DSC02946.JPG

    With the 16mm

    DSC02950.JPG

    With the 16mm and 10mm

    DSC02943.JPG

    I like the results so far. The biggest issue is that you have to carry them around, you can't focus normally with them on.
     
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