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Soligor Macro Teleconverter

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Bimjo, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    The other day there was a thread about what would make a more effective macro lens and I created a whole list of ways to get there.

    I've been searching for some combination of lens/adapter that I can use for flower shots. I have a Leica M mount helicoid for my Voigtlander lenses, but I always find myself either too close or too far away for the lens I have mounted at the time. A zoom would be much more convenient in the flower shooting scenario for me. So, I unboxed the PK mount Tamron XR Di 28-75/2.8 and gave that a shot. It works great, but the size leaves a little to be desired. So, I was thinking MD 35-70 3.5 macro, which has been shown to be a stellar performer on the 5N (which I use).

    Before taking the plunge on buying one I decided to explore the possibilties with the equipment that I have on hand. In the other thread I talked (and Brian clarified my point) about macro teleconverters. Last night was more than a tad boring (Mariners got slaughtered again) so I drug out the Soligor Macro Teleconverter and had a go.

    These teleconverters are set up to convert a 50mm lens into a 100mm macro lens with 1:1 (life size) rendering. Obviously they work with other focal lengths as well, but the magnification ratios are off depending on the lens used.

    I have a Vivitar 24/2.8 in C/Y mount that I've used once or twice on the 5N because it's a nice small lens, even though it's a real inexpensive lens- I paid $35 for it brand new in the box 10 years ago and then never used on my RTS II because I had bought a Nikon Coolpix 4500 (remember those?) and just never shot it with film.

    So, anyway, I mounted the Vivitar on the Soligor and mounted the whole mess on the 5N. Looks like this:
    viv_macro.

    Sorry for the crappy phone pic- no caffeine yet. ;) That's in the infinity position, turning the lens into a 48mm/5.6 equivalent (before the crop factor) lens. It's about ¾" longer in the 1:1 position. So last night I was playing with it and shot this little setup. The following shots were taken @ f/8.

    First shot is converted from RAW, resized with no sharpening applied.
    screwdriver_seed130420_01.

    And this one is sharpened a bit.
    screwdriver_seed130420_02.

    Here's a 100% crop from the RAW file, converted & unsharpened.
    screwdriver_seed130420_03.

    I'm kind of impressed. Granted, this was a controlled situation and shot off the tripod, but still! So, this morning I went out to see how it performed in the real world, hand held (which is always dicey with me since I can't stand still for anything). There was a slight breeze blowing, which makes things even more fun- is that me moving or the flower? It's why God invented tripods. :p

    First shot is teleconverter@ infinity.
    lilac130421_03.

    Then set @ 1:3.
    lilac130421_01.

    And then set @ 1:2.
    lilac130421_02.

    I'd show you 1:1, but with this lens that moves the focus point somewhere behind the front lens element. :)

    So, what did I accomplish? More confusion frankly. This inexpensive lens performed well past my expectations. I'm not sure that a 24mm lens is what I want to shoot flowers with all the time, but it would certainly work. The quest was to get smaller/lighter than the Tamron. This combo is lighter by 35 grams (510 vs 545), but it's only about ¼ shorter when mounted on the camera. Still, it is easier to put in the bag because it is a much more narrow package then the Tamron.

    If I can find my m42-to-PK mount adapter I'll break out the Vivitar version of the macro teleconverter that I have and see what my SMC Tak 55/1.8 can do. I fully expect it to provide better IQ than the Vivitar, but it will be a somewhat longer package than the Vivitar is.

    So, where does all this lead me? I dunno. Confused, that's where it leads me. Honestly, I'm still leaning toward a zoom lens & the MD would probably fit the bill admirably. But I already have the teleconverters and they work. But the MD would be smaller/lighter. Obviously I need to play some more. [sigh]
     
  2. claude

    claude TalkEmount Top Veteran

    585
    Jan 13, 2013
    Ottawa Canada
    Looks like you are having fun. It looks real good on this screen. Btw your sharpening technic is quite good.
     
  3. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Thanks claude, it is fun to play around with this stuff. :)

    My sharpening "technique" is an action I created about 5 version of Photoshop ago. I came up with a level of sharpening that was about as far as I'd ever sharpen, made the action make a copy the original layer and sharpen it. That way I can use the layer opacity to control how much sharpening you see. It works well because I don't have to mess with different settings for different size pics. I just adjust the opacity to suit each size. Did I mention that I'm lazy? ;)
     
  4. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Ok, I found the Vivitar PK mount macro teleconverter (right where I left it amazingly- that never happens) an mounted up the SMC Tak 55/1.8. Wasn't really paying attention to the settings as I shot these, so I can't tell you what the magnification ratios are. First shot is @ f/4 the rest @ f/8.. First two are crops obviously.

    dandelion130422_01.

    dandelion130422_02.

    dandelion130422_03.

    dandelion130422_04.

    dandelion130422_05.
     
  5. claude

    claude TalkEmount Top Veteran

    585
    Jan 13, 2013
    Ottawa Canada
    These are also very sharp. Thanks for the sharpening explanation.
     
  6. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    No problem claude, I'm always willing to share my meager knowledge if someone asks. :)
     
  7. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Beautiful work there Jim!!! Thanks for sharing ;)
     
  8. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    Thanks Nick. :)