Sigma Minolta A mount 16mm fisheye adapted for extreme macro work

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by mobias, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. mobias

    mobias TalkEmount Regular

    Nov 4, 2012
    Miserable rainy afternoon here in Edinburgh so I thought I'd sit in and tell you about the lens I use for doing most of my botanical macro work. Sometime in the early 90's I bought a second hand 16mm fisheye lens for using with my trusted old Minolta 9000. It was a good quality lens and one of a range of wide angle manual focus Minolta A mount lenses sigma made at the time. Because of the convex lens surface its not feasible to mount filters on the front of the lens so the lens screws apart to allow the user to attach small filters internally. I soon learnt that using only the barrel part of lens screwed to the camera body allowed for it to be used as an extreme macro lens with a very, very shallow depth of field. I had fun mucking about with it and experimenting and soon learnt that the lens used this way really leant itself to getting really interesting botanical shots. Even with the lens stopped down reasonably far the depth of field is so shallow you only really get a millimetre or two in focus with hugely dramatic bokeh that really blooms out the colours and textures in the background.

    For many years I've now used this lens for my botanical work and built up a vast portfolio of images based around it. Its quite difficult to use in some ways since the slightest movement will throw an image out of focus and its quite often not practical to use a tripod. I've only used it with my 5N a few times now but it seems to work just as well as it does with my Sony A700. One of the reasons I got my 5N was that my eyesight in my right eye is starting to deteriorate from years of peering at plants and flowers through the viewfinder. I really needed a camera with live view. The small size and tilting screen of the 5N also makes holding and composing photographs a lot easier for my botanical work. I'm really please with how I've got on with it so far.

    So the lens details are. Sigma 16mm fisheye F2.8 multicoated filtermatic. They come up on Ebay from time to time and seem to go for around the £200 mark. Even just used as a regular fisheye its a good quality lens.

    Here's some photos of it plus a few of my own shots using it. I've photographed my iPhone plug at f7.1 so you can see just how small the focal point is.









    This looks really abstract but its actually a twist at the tip of a Bromeliad leaf. Its probably about a cm or so long.

    Another Bromeliad leaf, this time photographed looking right across its very fine edge.

  2. gio

    gio TalkEmount Veteran

    Sep 12, 2012
    Manchester, uk
    I like those photos and your story, necessity is the mother of invention and your doing just great
  3. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Real Name:
    Those shots have a magical, "dreamy" feeling to them - I like 'em a lot!!! ;)
  4. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Real Name:
    Incredible shots, very well done!
  5. mobias

    mobias TalkEmount Regular

    Nov 4, 2012
    Cheers folks. Its always good fun mucking about and experimenting with your kit. I think you're more likely to get something interesting and unique if you try a bit of experimentation.
  6. Dioptrick

    Dioptrick TalkEmount All-Pro

    Feb 4, 2012
    New Zealand
  7. scinkk

    scinkk TalkEmount Regular

    Jan 9, 2013
    Czech Republic
    Very nice and the red blossom photo is great!
  8. allcity

    allcity TalkEmount Regular

    Nov 30, 2012
    Oakland, CA
    Real Name:
    wow....those are some amazing shots!!!!! love all of them!
  9. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Real Name:
    Looks like the combination is working wonderfully for you.