Macro lens - UPDATE!

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by Golfhacker27, Oct 11, 2016.

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  1. Golfhacker27

    Golfhacker27 TalkEmount Regular

    26
    May 15, 2016
    So I am looking for a 1:1 macro lens. My options that I can think of within my 500 euro budget:
    • A Sony 30mm for my A6000 (good reviews, price is good, AF too)
    • A Sony 50mm for my A7 (no reviews, price is 3x the 30mm and outside budget, AF)
    • A Sony 90mm for the A7 (at that price? No!)
    • A Canon 100mm macro (std EF or the L) mounted via my Fotodiox (good reviews, price s/h is okay, slow AF)
    • A Rokinon/Samyang 100mm macro (good reviews, price new is acceptable (but 2x the Sony 30mm), MF (don't mind))
    • Extension tube for Sony 28-70 zoom on the A7 (price very good! No idea about resulting DOF, image quality, magnification, AF (some tube versions - e.g. Neewer - state AF is retained))
    • Extension tube for Vivitar 70-150 Canon-fit zoom on A7 (but this adds a tube to an adapter, no idea about resulting DOF, etc, etc, and MF). Really not excited about this one apart the very cheap price of tubes.
    • Buy a cheapish Sony or 3rd party prime (e.g. Samyang 85mm) and add a tube.
    Any other options to suggest? (I also have the Sony 70-300G but putting that on a tube is probably insane....?)
    And any comments on the options above very gratefully received.
     
  2. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Another option is to get a legacy 50mm or 100mm macro lens with matching extension tube, something like this. Most legacy macro lenses go to 1:2 on their own and to 1:1 with their matching extension tube, but any fitting tube(s) with approximately the right amount of extension will work. Disadvantages: MF only, (cheap) adapter needed, no EXIF. Advantages: excellent image quality for a low budget, wide range of choices. Almost all macro lenses are excellent, pick anything from the major brands of the time, Minolta, Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Konica, Leica, Pentax; even the third-party lenses are generally very good, like those of Vivitar, Panagor, Tokina, Tamron, Sigma etc.

    Extension tubes will often throw off the focussing capabilities of a zoom lens or a legacy lens with some form of internal focussing; the Micro-Nikkor AIS 2.8/55 comes to mind, or the Canon FD Macro 4/200; tubes work best on lenses that move the optical system as a whole for focussing without changing the positions of lens elements between each other.
     
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  3. Nexnut

    Nexnut TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Before I'd burn $500 on a macro setup or single lens I'd first think about what I'd want to primarily shoot with it. The focal lengths of the lenses on your list are all over the place - reaching from 30 up to 150mm - a factor of five! - a HUGE difference in the FOV. I wholeheartedly second Ad's suggestion to get a (affordable) legacy macro lens from the usual suspects first, for general purposes something between 50 and 100mm, getting some (cheap) extension tubes, maybe some macro lighting gear and to move on from there - you'll most likely end up manual focusing most of the time anyway.
    Another great macro lens to consider is the Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 - has your 1:1 requirement built right into it.

     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
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  4. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul TalkEmount Veteran

    347
    Feb 14, 2016
    Aberdeen, Scotland
    Paul
    I think 30mm is too short for a practical macro lens.
    In my Micro Four Thirds days I had a 60mm macro (120mm FF equiv) and even that was only just long enough.
     
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  5. Golfhacker27

    Golfhacker27 TalkEmount Regular

    26
    May 15, 2016
    Yes, I would like to keep to the 100mm-ish range.
    The suggested Tamron 90 : seems to at least two models, 400-800 euros new (quite a difference).
    Also the Sigma 105 macro.
    Both Tamron and Sigma would have to be in Canon mount (to work with Fotodiox. Don't really want to add expense of Sigma adaptor or Sony A mount adapter). Is AF, exif etc gonna work? (My only experience of a Canon-mount Sigma on the A7 was not good)
    Are there no other Sony FE mount macro lenses apart from the Sony and Rokinon?
     
  6. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    You seem to limit yourself to AF lenses. If you don't mind MF, you'll get a 90-100mm lens for much less and an adapter only costs a few euros when purchased off China or Hongkong.
     
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  7. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    IMO, having & using manual Canon FD 50, 100, and 200mm Macros on the NEX7...I can't even imagine that auto-focus would be satisfactory for true macro shots.
     
  8. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    658
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    AF and macro is an oxomoron.
    As Paul mentioned, 30mm on aps-c and 50mm on FF is to short for a macro though it's fun to play with the shorter focal lengths reversed. Id say go for a 90-105mm lens on aps-c no less than a 60mm.
    105mm afd nikor. DSC07935.JPG
    55mm ais nikor
    DSC07892.JPG
    35mm ais nikor reversed
    DSC07816.JPG
    25mm zeiss zf reversed
    DSC08005.JPG

    This is not a very good pic but to show the sharpness of the 60mm sigma on 26mm extension tubes
    DSC07641.JPG
    I know I missed the eyes.
    And just one more with that combo
    DSC07677.JPG

    Hmm they don't look as good here as my files on the computer :(
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
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  9. Tipton

    Tipton TalkEmount Rookie

    18
    Jan 30, 2016
    Rae Leggett
    I'm a budget photographer, so I go legacy wherever possible. My favorite macro lens is the Vivitar Series 1 90mm Macro. Even without the extender, it does 1:1. The extender does 2:1.

    The Vivitar 90mm was manufactured by Tokina in the 70's. It's functionally the same as the later Tokina AT-x 90mm macro. And it looks nice on the A7.
     
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  10. JMM

    JMM TalkEmount Regular

    43
    Jul 29, 2016
    John
    Hello, unfortunately some of above answers have errors or mistakes.

    First i'll answer your question about DOF:
    No matter which lens, focal lenght, with or without tubes, you will get same Depth Of Field with given aperture and magnification. What focal lenght is giving to you is WORKING DISTANCE.

    In MACRO there is no aperture or focal lenght EQUIVALENT. 50mm f2.8 on APS-C is a 50 f2.8 NOT a 75mm f3.5. What you get on FullFrame is more Field Of View. So if someone advise you 100 on FF but 60 on APS-C... it makes no sense... WORKING DISTANCE will be crappy.

    Third and most important factor is EFFECTIVE APERTURE -> factor which dictate your set RESOLUTION and DOF. On a6000 24mp sensor, you will get BEST RESOLUTION with EA lower than 5,6. DIFFRACTION will show itself on EA 8 and you'll start loosing resolution with smaller EA, but you'll also get increased DOF.

    Now your lens isnt neccesary showing EA. Example is an SEL30M marked as f3.5 . How to tell? As you get closer, you'r image gets darker. That means that your EA gets smaller, ergo lens macro capabilities are "extension tube like". Im not sure about other lenses, but it's a thing that you should be aware of.

    Now with usage of extension tubes, you can calculate your EA, DOF, and given magnification. Or just use this awesome website calculations
    Macro Calculators, including extension tube, bellows, closeup lens and stacked lens calculators

    Example EA=f*(m+1)
    28-70 lens @ 70 and f5,6 with 26mm extension tubes will give you about 0,5x magnification (!sic) EA of f9 (so its just in diffraction territory, but still quite ok) and working distance of about 20-30 cm.


    Now some guys will tell you that you dont need autofocus or stabilisation :) I wouldnt personally trust them :) Thats what guys with pure interest of flowers shots sais. Try to shoot flying bee without theese...

    IF your using tripod and flashes with static subject - you dont need any of those, but if you wont to shoot from free hand and with daylight, you will WANT them, and you will love them.

    About working distance and focal lenght, i wouldnt go bellow 100mm lens for living subject, so from native lenses only real choice is 90mmG (price!). But if you're into coin / stamps / flowers photography, 30mm lens without OSS or AF will do.
    If you're OK with canon lenses, Sigma 150mm f2.8 is OUTSTANDING with EA of 2.8 and very comfortable WD and OSS! Friend of mine is using it on canon, im waiting for mine mc-11 to try it on a6000. About legacy lenses i would avoid 1:2 lenses. There is also 180mm lens from sigma, but i've never seen it personally.

    You can check my close-ups results with SEL lenses (mostly sel5510) and extension tubes via my signature link. I will add micro and macro shots (1:1 and above) there later too, so you can check it in the future too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
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  11. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Kind of like this one? misstakes
     
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  12. JMM

    JMM TalkEmount Regular

    43
    Jul 29, 2016
    John
    That was very helpfull, thank you sir. Now my shots will be much sharper.
     
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  13. bargainguy

    bargainguy TalkEmount Regular

    72
    Jun 29, 2016
    I still have my trio of Micro Nikkors: 55, 105, 200. They were all designed for different purposes.

    The 55 Micro was essentially a flat field lens, best used on a copy stand, not so great for 3-D subjects. But there were some photojournalists back in the film days who permanently hung one on a camera instead of a standard "nifty fifty" for its ability to get quite close to the subject and show detail, even though they tended to be much slower, say f/2.8 or f/3.5 instead of f/1.4. Having said that, you needed to get quite close to your subject to fill the frame, at which point you start running the risk of blocking available light and/or spooking a live subject. So generally not the best choice.

    The 105 Micro was the best all-around performer. Especially good for 3-D subjects, longer working distance than the 55, reasonably fast aperture (f/2.8 or f/4).

    The 200 Micro was ideal for blurring a background wide open, or for working distance when you wanted to not spook subjects. But it took a steady hand, a monopod or a tripod to use one, and they were generally slower than the 105's (f/4 max aperture), so not great for low light etc. As somewhat of an outlier, I still have a Sigma 180/2.8 macro that does quite nicely, but some design quirks (weak tripod collar, tends to wiggle even when the collar is tightened firmly) prevent me from using it more.

    I still have at least a dozen macro lenses in legacy glass. When I need one for my a7/ii bodies, my favorite is the Micro-Nikkor 105/2.8 D AF. It's my bargain recommendation if you can find one - I often see these in the $300 US range.

    There is also one macro lens that is permanently affixed to my studio setup - an old Vivitar Series 1 90-180/4.5 flat field macro. When I need to photograph small subjects on a sweep table, it's the lens of choice. Sharp as a tack, the zoom allows me to use my small studio space quite efficiently, and the f/4.5 aperture doesn't really matter since I'm using studio strobe. But it wouldn't be the best lens for field work.
     
  14. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    658
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    Well if you want to maintain a certain magnification ratio e.g. 1:1 but the focal length determin the extension and distance at which you get this lifesize reproduction on the sensor.
     
  15. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    USA
    Good reply...and I've definitely found my manual Canon FD 200/4.0 Macro to be my most used of mine...primarily for the increased working distance and flexibility...ie: Swamp Darner.


    042016 B_Cropped_Dragonfly hanging on branch_FS+Shad100-HL100+Con50+Shp25.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
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  16. pbizarro

    pbizarro TalkEmount Veteran

    358
    Nov 24, 2014
    Portugal
    If you have the 70-300G lens, just get a high quality "close-up" filter, Canon and Nikon make really high quality ones. Search for Canon 500D close up dioptre, for example, works great with tele zooms. And a lot cheaper than a dedicated macro lens.
    An example taken with said filter plus the 70-200G lens.
    longueira_3_9_15_1_net.
     
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  17. Golfhacker27

    Golfhacker27 TalkEmount Regular

    26
    May 15, 2016
    Thanks! That looks like an interesting option. Nice photo too.

    Thanks to everyone else for feedback and discussion. All very usefull.
     
  18. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    I also looked at this canon 500F close up lens before and its quite expensive! I think it was something like 250$ used...
     
  19. JMM

    JMM TalkEmount Regular

    43
    Jul 29, 2016
    John
    Raynox DCR are bit cheaper and widely regarded as the best.
     
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  20. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    658
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    Widely? Well I didn't know it untill now :) will look into that.