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How do you macro on cheap with your nex lens

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by alaios, May 20, 2015.

  1. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    Dear all,
    I want to do some type of close up photography. Lets say that I want to shoot a human eye for example. Are there extension macro tubes for sony lenses. Do they support auto focus and would you use it for such case?

    Regards
    Alex
     
  2. xXx1

    xXx1 TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 15, 2013
    There are macro tubes for E-mount with electronic contacts that allow autofocus but with macro it is better move the camera and keep focus distance constant (or manually focus). Shoot lots of images and with luck some are focused correctly.
     
  3. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    You can also consider close-up lenses that mount in the filter thread of the lens, retaining all functionality of the lens. You can get them cheaply for instance as sets of +1/+2/+4 diopters, enough possibilities to play around. Search on eBay and you'll get a thousand hits.
     
  4. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    I have a Close-up lens, (less than 1:1, but often marked as Macro), a true 1:1 Macro lens, as well as extension tubes.

    The Close-up and true Macro lenses are a lot of fun, and also allow you to use them as regular lenses.

    Extension tubes are great as you can use the existing E-Mount lenses you already have. The only caveat is that you have to carry them around with you. No big deal if you have a bag, but I often do not.

    A recent post I made with two different ways:
    https://www.talkemount.com/threads/11885/
     
  5. Kirkp

    Kirkp TalkEmount Regular

    151
    Nov 2, 2014
    If you want a lot of magnification the Raynox DCR-150 (4.8 diopter) and DCR-250 (8 diopter) macro filters are pretty good. You can find many impressive photos taken with them on Flickr.
    http://www.raynox.co.jp/english/dcr/dcr150/indexdcr150eg.htm
    Or if you have any legacy lenses, try one with an extension tube of the same brand. I found a Minolta extension tube set for a reasonable price on ebay. I think it's easier to shoot macro with a manual lens locked at infinity than with a lens designed for auto focus.
    I've read that non-macro lenses perform better for macro if you turn them around with a reverse ring on an extension tube. One of these days I'll try that and report on the result.
     
  6. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    too much information. I will have to read each post carefully again tomorrow, so I can understand what are the tradeoffs... how much quality is lost for example and if focus work works or not
    Alex
     
  7. Kirkp

    Kirkp TalkEmount Regular

    151
    Nov 2, 2014
    Sorry for too much detail in my last post. Addieleman had the best suggestion for getting started. Macro gets more difficult as you increase magnification, so you might want to start with something easy (1 - 3 diopter filters). As you learn, progress to equipment that will give you higher magnifications.
     
  8. eno789

    eno789 TalkEmount Top Veteran

    720
    Jan 1, 2012
    NoCal, USA
    Brian
    The greater the magnification, the less useful AF is.
    There're e-mount extension tubes with electronic contact that support AF. They're not very expensive.
    If you go the route of close-up diopter, make sure you get achromatic ones (2-element or more, Raynox are 3-element ones IIRC).
    The advantage of macro lens (adapted or native): flat field, sharpness, and focus coverage from MFD to infinity.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    eno789's advice for close-up add-on diopters is spot on.

    I was where you are now, experimenting with the new Sony body and native lenses, looking for simple solutions for macro captures.

    The close up filters added to the Sony kit and 50mm prime weren't satisfactory. Poor DOF and aberrations. They were single element units.
    Next came E-mount extension tubes. ~$20 for plastic ones with contacts. Resolution much better than the close up filters. Full electronic control of the lenses. Still had DOF/ flat field issues.

    I'd recommend starting with E-mount extension tubes since their cost is comparable to a set of close up filters, but IMHO, the results are superior.
    But be fore-warned, as you do more close up shooting with the extensions, you will desire higher performance. And begin researching macro lens options.
    ;)

    Attaining the results seen in most macro photography, (ie. sharpness, DOF, lack of aberrations and fringing) a macro lens was the inevitable conclusion.
    With diligent shopping, a used manual focus macro lens can be had for under $30. Definitely for $50 USD. Most have 1:2 magnification. A few 1:1.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. dmward

    dmward TalkEmount Veteran

    200
    Mar 21, 2015
    Metro Chicago
    David
    A less obvious benefit of a macro lens is its slow manual focus. i.e. it takes more twist on the focus ring to get it to move the focus plane. This helps with finding critical focus plane with narrow DoF. If the lens is has a maximum focus range of 1:2 it can easily be extended to 1:1 with an extension tube. Naturally that means that infinity focus is lost until the tube is removed. Some 50mm macro lenses have a matched extension tube.

    The biggest benefit of a true macro lens is the flat field of focus with good edge-to-edge sharpness.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  11. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    Thanks all for the replies. I did not have time to reply as "personal" domain became funny.. I will post back when I will go through the answers and I will look for solutions
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. tillman

    tillman TalkEmount Regular

    91
    May 28, 2014
    Keizer, Oregon
    Tillman
    I've used close up diopters and found them to be a decent solution for casual macro photography, but as others have mentioned there can be issues with aberrations, etc.

    I find that a dedicated macro lens delivers more consistent quality. Also as others have mentioned, autofocus becomes more of a hinderance than a help when working so close to the camera. I use a Minolta 50mm f2.8 macro on a dumb adapter and find that it's not too bad.
     
  13. Kirkp

    Kirkp TalkEmount Regular

    151
    Nov 2, 2014
  14. tillman

    tillman TalkEmount Regular

    91
    May 28, 2014
    Keizer, Oregon
    Tillman
    Looks sort of funky but should work ok given a good match up between the lenses. It's a cheap experiment if you've already got the lenses, let us know how it works!
     
  15. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran

    396
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    Two ways for me... first, not cheap, SAL50M28 on a LA-EA4 on my A6000.

    Second, cheap, I found a nice vintage B+W chrome 49mm close-up lens in Israel. Fits most lenses, and I like the chrome version so I can just leave it on and instantly know which lens is holding it. It typically will live on my SEL50F18.

    This was the SAL50M28/LA-EA4/A6000 set up (AF off as suggested, moving camera in/out to focus):

    caterpillar.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  16. tillman

    tillman TalkEmount Regular

    91
    May 28, 2014
    Keizer, Oregon
    Tillman
    Looks pretty good to me, if it works for you and fits your needs I'd say it's a win. B+W are good quality so if you're going the close up lens route I doubt you could do any better!
     
  17. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD TalkEmount Veteran

    396
    Nov 25, 2012
    Viera, Florida, USA
    Steve
    Don't forget, there are close up filters and apochromats with multiple elements...