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Cheap way into macro photography?
Old 12-23-2013   #1
FredtheLlama
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Cheap way into macro photography?

Afternoon chaps,

Because of the really bad weather we've been getting in the UK, I got to thinking that I should try my hand at indoor macro photography, from the warmth of my kitchen

What are my options with an Olympus OM setup? I've heard of people using reversal rings on older zoom lens' with decent results, has anyone done this?

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Old 12-23-2013   #2
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I used to have the 50/3.5 macro and two one-inch rings, and that covered for everything I did, which was mainly flowers. That's an amazing lens. The problem with reversing rings is focusing, since you lose the helical.
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Old 12-23-2013   #3
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Another vote for the 50mm f3.5

Very cheap to buy and as sharp as anything I've ever used.
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Old 12-23-2013   #4
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A bellows rig on a reversed normal lens works also
I have a bellows in orig box - used it once or twice - it's very functional
Can't imagine it costs much
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Old 12-23-2013   #5
FredtheLlama
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Thanks guys, I'll have a research about what you've said.

Would extension tubes increase the effect with the 50mm f3.5?
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Old 12-23-2013   #6
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A reversal ring works well. It can be used by itself, with extension tubes, and with a bellows. The tough part is since the lens is reversed, there is no longer an automatic diaphragm, so it must be closed down manually on the lens.

The best reference I have found is an old book, "The Manual of Close-Up Photography" by Lester Lefkowitz. He has a web site which might provide inspiration: http://lesterlefkowitz.com/
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Old 12-23-2013   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredtheLlama View Post
Thanks guys, I'll have a research about what you've said.

Would extension tubes increase the effect with the 50mm f3.5?
Olympus designed the 50/3.5 to give its best results at 1:2, but says in "The OM System Lens Handbook" that it can be combined with a 25mm extension tube to go to 1:1. The handbook states that the 80/4 Macro lens is better for 1:1. The problem is aberrations that sneak in as magnification increases.
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Old 12-23-2013   #8
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Thanks again.

After a little read about, I think I'll buy a cheap reversal ring and a set of extension tubes to give me a cheap jump into things. If I enjoy it I suppose I could dig deeper into my pockets!
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Old 12-23-2013   #9
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You can do a lot with just those few items.

There are two types of extension tubes: manual and automatic. I have never found out, but if the manual extension tubes close down the aperture when attached to the lens, then putting a manual extension tube on a reversed lens would give you something of a hood, and solve the problem of how to keep the diaphragm closed down. (Automatic extension tubes will not close down the aperture on a reversed lens, obviously, because they depend on a camera doing that.)
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Old 12-23-2013   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredtheLlama View Post
Thanks again.

After a little read about, I think I'll buy a cheap reversal ring and a set of extension tubes to give me a cheap jump into things. If I enjoy it I suppose I could dig deeper into my pockets!
I'd say the best investment is extension tube, two will give you very high magnification if not 1:1 with the benefit of the helical. You really need a tripod shooting in the kitchen! so the reversing ring would be annoying as it can't focus on a tripod, and without tripod it will shake a lot.
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Old 12-23-2013   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hans voralberg View Post
I'd say the best investment is extension tube, two will give you very high magnification if not 1:1 with the benefit of the helical. You really need a tripod shooting in the kitchen! so the reversing ring would be annoying as it can't focus on a tripod, and without tripod it will shake a lot.
Ah, I hadn't thought of that. I've got a few tripods lying around that I could use.

With the extension tubes, I'm struggling to find manual sets. Every one I find is an auto extension set. Whats the difference between the two? (excuse the ignorance!)
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Old 12-23-2013   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredtheLlama View Post
Ah, I hadn't thought of that. I've got a few tripods lying around that I could use.

With the extension tubes, I'm struggling to find manual sets. Every one I find is an auto extension set. Whats the difference between the two? (excuse the ignorance!)
It refers to the iris. Auto tubes stop it down during exposure so you view with the lens wide open. Manual tubes require that you view at aperture (or stop up and down, well manually.)

A 25mm tube gives 1:1 with the 50mm f/3.5.
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Old 12-23-2013   #13
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In close up photography the first things to consider is 'field size' and 'working distance'.

Field size; What are you going to photograph? How small is it?
OK, lets say it is a postage stamp, a flat, 1 inch square piece of artwork. This means that you will be working at an image to object ratio of 1:1 or close to that. With extention tubes used on a 50mm f1.8 Zuiko lens the total extention would have to be about 41mm with the lens helical making up the final 7~9mm of extention you would need to fill the frame.

At that extention 'working distance' in front of the lens would be about 3 inches. That would be about as much as one would want to push the standard 50 1.8 lens and working aperture for that ratio would probably be set to no more than f8 (with full 50mm extension actual stop is f16 with lens at f8)

With larger field sizes or larger 3D objects the constraints would be less. Extention tubes often come in sets such as 7mm-14mm-36mm and these can be combined, along with the lens own focusing travel to produce a large range of close up photography from 1:10 right on down to 1:1

The advatage of a dedicated macro lens such as the aformentioned 50mm f3.5 Zuiko is that it, in many circumstances, can be used as your standard lens and can focus right down to 1:2, and, with a 25mm extension tube, from 1:2 down to 1:1

Dedicated macro lenses are also designed for working very close and are sharper than the standard 50 f1.8 when working in the close focusing range.
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Old 12-23-2013   #14
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The f/3.5 macro also has an additional f-stop (f/22) for increased depth.
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Old 12-23-2013   #15
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I really like the 50/3.5 but let me allow for a few points about the lens.

the lens has a floating element and is better than the non-macro 50s away from infinity but it is actually optimized for infinity and better there than the non-macro 50s (source: Modern Photography tests) in terms of resolution.

it is a 5 element design similar to the later 55/3.5 micro-nikkors. having tested a few copies of these lenses, I concluded the Nikkor to be a bit better in terms of low frequency contrast but the Olympus to be stronger across the field. There was not enough difference to prefer one over the other for light macro work though the Nikon costs about half as much. for general shooting and for build, I much prefer the Olympus.

you really want to avoid specular highlights when stopped down. other than that, this lens has my favorite OoF rendering of ANY lens I've ever used although the 50/2 macro and Zeiss' 50MP are pretty good too in their own, very different ways.

what you really want is a tokina or vivitar series 1 90/2.5 in OM mount for the increased working distance IMO. I think both are worth having, and I like the 50/3.5 a LOT more, but reality is reality and for "I only want to shoot macro with this lens" work 90-100mm is more useful I have found. and this is coming from a guy who owns 6 50-60mm macro lenses and counts them as his 6 favorite lenses.
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Old 12-23-2013   #16
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Speaking of cheap, what do you say about 7-element converters, going to 1:1 magnification? I have Panagor make and it has helped me to spend some time in a world I normally don't spend much attention to.
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Old 12-23-2013   #17
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Since you want to go cheap, I'd say extension tubes. I have an old set of Vivitar tubes in 12, 20, and 36mm. Each can be used alone or any combo of two or all three. I also have the 50/3.5 macro, but you won't need it if you want to go cheap. Extension tubes can work with any lens to get closer. Use them with short telephotos lenses to get close ups of insects that will fly away if you get within the shooting distances that we normally think of as close up and macro. I've even used them with moderate to long telephotos on lizards or other small creatures.
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Old 12-23-2013   #18
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The best is a nice macro lens if you can find one. But extension tubes are very inexpensive and work very well. For some cameras diopter lenses are inexpensive options as well.

The extension tubes were the very first accessory I picked up for my old K1000. I took a lot of beautiful close up pictures with those extension tubes and my old 50/2 lens.

The very next accessory was an old Vivitar 2400 flash which I used primarily with a PC cord for my close up pictures. It came with a bunch of colored filters to attach over the top of the flash.
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Old 12-23-2013   #19
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Bellows (BPM if you can find them) + enlarger lens.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 12-23-2013   #20
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Another vote for the OM 50mm f3.5 macro. KEH has them for less than $60 these days. The OM extension tube was maybe another $15. Can't beat it in the macro world!

I scan my B&W negatives with this lens and an Panasonic G3, and I can see no distortion or curvature of field (of course, this is cropped from full-frame FOV). I find this amazing.

My copy is noticeably soft at f3.5 when I shoot it on m4/3 digital and use 100% live view. Stopped down to f5.6 -11 it is scathingly sharp. I like f8 best for negative/slide scanning.

The photos I posted in this thread were taken with this lens:
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...d.php?t=138560
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Old 12-23-2013   #21
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If you're note set on Zuiko, look for an old Vivitar/Panagor 55mm f/2.8 Macro. They are great lenses and you should be able to find one in OM mount for not much money.
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Old 12-26-2013   #22
David Hughes
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Hi,

Bellows are dirt cheap and often sell on ebay for the opening bid, if at all.

A reversing ring can't be beaten and, again, often found on ebay with bellows and dirt cheap.

Surely a 50mm ext'n tube for a 50mm lens? Or does the lens move forward the extra 25mm when focused at the nearest point?

Regards, David
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Old 12-26-2013   #23
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A BGN grade 50mm f/3.5 is $49 at KEH right now. The UK may be different, but Ebay is usually cheaper than KEH.

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Old 12-26-2013   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
Hi,

Bellows are dirt cheap and often sell on ebay for the opening bid, if at all.

A reversing ring can't be beaten and, again, often found on ebay with bellows and dirt cheap.

Surely a 50mm ext'n tube for a 50mm lens? Or does the lens move forward the extra 25mm when focused at the nearest point?

Regards, David
http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography...acrozuikoC.htm

The Zuiko 50/3.5 Macro needs only a 25mm extension tube to achieve 1:1 magnification.
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Old 12-26-2013   #25
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Cheapest ways to get started:

- a set of close up lenses
- a set of extension tubes

Use them with a standard 50mm lens to start.
You're well advised to also get a tripod and a cable release.

Beyond that, the sky is the limit. ... There are tons of specialized tools for macro work at all price ranges.

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Old 12-27-2013   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sreed2006 View Post
http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography...acrozuikoC.htm

The Zuiko 50/3.5 Macro needs only a 25mm extension tube to achieve 1:1 magnification.
Hi,

So done by forward extension, interesting. Thanks.

Regards, David
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Old 12-27-2013   #27
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Bellows are expensive and take a lot of fiddling to get to work right. But they provide the highest magnification, the widest range of magnification, and can adapt almost any lens.

Reversed lenses are a pita. Proper exposure and focus are achieved by trial and error. They are most useful when used in conjunction with a macro lens, a bellows, and when you want more than 1:1.

Extension tubes work well, and are not very expensive for the OM system. Especially if you have the lauded 50mm f/3.5, they will provide the most bang-for-the-buck and provide almost as much versatility as does a bellows unit. They are slightly less stellar with non-macro lenses, but still work just fine. If you expose manually, pay attention to the extension corrections (this applies to bellows as well.)

Auxiliary close-up lenses are the easiest to use, and range from dirt cheap to quite costly. Expensive cu lenses provide better edge-to-edge sharpness; cheap works just fine in the center, especially in B&W so you don't get any color fringing issues. They're no bigger than a filter, so you can carry them anywhere. They will attach to any lens, as long as the thread size is right, or you have the appropriate stepper rings. There is no 'extension penalty' when using aux lenses.
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Old 12-27-2013   #28
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I found the Minolta MD 3.5/50 macro lens with 1-to-1 extender a good alternative, along with the dedicated 80PX TTL ring flash. It was inexpensive when I got it compared to what else was being sold at the moment, but I had to sort through a lot of sales to find the right price.

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Old 12-27-2013   #29
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This should help and give examples as well .

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/663112

there is also a link within the link you should check out it shows the mag differences between some of the 50mm they are not all the same.
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Old 01-02-2014   #30
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Here is an OM-1 with a reversal ring, a Zuiko 50/1.8 reversed, and a manual 7mm extension tube on the lens. I received the extension tube in the mail today, and can confirm that a manual extension tube does hold the diaphragm closed at the selected f/stop. The 7mm extension tube in LN- condition cost $13 from KEH.com.


OM-1 50/1.8 reversed by sreed2006, on Flickr
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Old 01-03-2014   #31
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Another alternative is the Vivitar 2x Macro Focusing Teleconverter. I use it as a TC, mostly, but it's supposed to be excellent for macro work too!

Here's a thread about it in another forum: http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/1...ve-thread.html
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Old 01-03-2014   #32
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Cheap and easy way to start with macro is the use of extension tubes. Those can be bought for very little money on the internet as well at shops and thrift stores. These extension tubes can be used in combination with a standard 50 lens, a wide angle lens like te 28 or 24 as you can get even closer to your subject, but also a zoom lens like the OM 75-150 in combination with one or more extension tubes works very well.
A tripod as well as a cable release, or the self timer, is to be used, and therefore you can use a really slow film and get some good results.

Best regards from the Lowlands.
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Old 02-01-2014   #33
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Field note:

The Olympus Zuiko 40mm F2 lens does not work at all well with a reversal ring because of the design of the aperture adjustment ring. The aperture adjustment ring is at the very front of the lens, and is the same part as the filter ring. When trying to change the aperture, the lens either unscrews from the reversal ring, or screws on so tight that the aperture ring binds and doesn't allow adjustment. The 40/2 is the only Zuiko lens with that design.
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Old 02-01-2014   #34
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I'd look for one of the Vivitar Series 1 macros in Olympus mount.

90/2.5 and 90-180/4.5 macros are cult classics often listed on eBay.

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