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 Post subject: Closeup / macro lenses
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:06 pm 
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Having got my first DSLR and some lenses, I knew they were not intended for macro applications. So I have a gap in my capabilities having sold my old bridge camera. A dedicated macro lens is more than I want to spend at the moment, and I came across the closeup/macro lenses. These screw into the existing lens like a filter and provide magnification and reduce minimum focus distance.

The specific set I got are Camray branded. They were found on ebay for £10 ($20) + £3 postage.

Image

The set includes closeup +1, +2, +4, and macro (sometimes called +10). I got them in 62mm size to fit the SAL1680Z I have.

I did the following to see how they work. I didn't concentrate on great shots, but functional ones to show the effect. The lens was left at 80mm for all shots. I set the focus and exposure metering to spot, and centered the image on the coin.

The subject is a new South Korean 10 won coin which is about 18mm in diameter.

My first test was to experimentally find the minimum distance point I could focus on the coin. Keeping the coin and camera in the same position, I took pictures with +1, +2 and +4 closeup lenses attached in turn. I also tried the macro, but the camera wouldn't focus with it on.

Keeping the macro lens on, I had to move the camera closer in order to get it to focus. Again I found minimum focus distance and took a picture. This was repeated with the three closeup lenses, finding the minimum focus distance for each one.

Finally, just to see what happened, I did the same with ALL of them on the camera at once, with highest magnification closest to the camera.

Image

The picture shows the relative sizes at the minimum focus distance for each configuration.

Top left: 80mm lens only
Top right: with closeup +1
Mid left: with closeup +2
Mid right: with closeup +4
Lower left: with macro
Lower right: with macro, +4, +2, +1

After downloading the pictures, I used imaging software to find the maximum width of the front for the coin in pixels for each configuration. This was then expressed as a percentage increase of the original size.

Keeping the distance between camera and coin the same:
closeup +1: +9.6%
closeup +2: +19.6%
closeup +4: +41.5%

So it looks like each "+" unit gives about 10% linear magnification.

Now if we do the same for the minimum focus distance as this gives the maximum practical magnification:
closeup +1: +17%
closeup +2: +33%
closeup +4: +60% (1.6x)
macro: +110% (2.1x)
all 4: +227% (3.3x)

Although it is not obvious in the small image above, when using all 4 lenses, the chromatic aberrations are very bad! Using a single lens appears to be ok.

Finally, I can do a quick calculation. The sensor in the A350 I used is apparently 23.5mm wide (from wikipedia). The pixel width of the coin with the macro lens fitted was approximately 40% of that width, giving an equivalent size at the sensor of 9.4mm. This puts the macro ability at about 1:2 or half size.

So in conclusion, they do what they claim, which is to let you get closer than you normally would without such a lens fitted. The macro ability is not up to the 1:1 of a true macro lens, but if you want something close at low cost, this is worth a look.

So now that I have an understanding of how they work, my next thing to do is use them for some interesting shots :)

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 6:15 am 
does it take away from the IQ of the pic can you tell? i may consider this as a quick fix to my macro needs :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 7:44 am 
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For that I need to do more testing. I haven't used them much at all yet beyond just trying it out. But initial impressions are with a single lens there doesn't seem to be any significant difference.

Looking back on what I wrote, I should clear up one point. When I was talking about the magnification of the system, of course this depends on what your lens does normally. Mine is approximately 0.25x by itself, so with the macro lens it brings it up to 0.5x. So I wonder if these would bring a cheap 0.5x macro lens up to that of a 1x macro? I'm assuming it'll scale without problems, which I don't know will be the case.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2008 10:38 pm 
cool! well get back to me when you do some testing!...please? lol :D


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 3:59 pm 
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Time for an update. I just got round to having a little play with it. And this time I remembered to use a smaller aperture so the DoF isn't wafer thin :D

Following pics are taken with the 16-80 at 80mm, both as close as they will go and still auto focus. First is just the main lens itself, second is with the +10 lens fitted.

Image
1/2s, f/13, ISO 100

Image
10s, f/29, ISO 100 (argh - I see dust again!)

I used the minimum aperture on the 2nd pic to maximise the DoF. With the +10 lens fitted the image is both magnified and I can get closer and maintain focus. So the image is significantly closer. Quality in the middle is quite good, although at 100% you can see some chromatic aberration.

Image
100% crop of above

At the edges, the CA gets worse. In this case I don't know if it is due to being off centre, or due to the different distance relative to the focal plane.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:07 pm 
Hi, i've been thinking about getting a macro lens and also was curious about close up filters. So they seem pretty good but have you noticed any loss of IQ?? have you had any time to do more testing? Thanks

Shane


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:12 pm 
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Not really used them much more. As above, it does seem to increase chromatic aberrations, but I haven't looked into it in more detail.

Oh, unlike a "real" macro lens, using a regular lens with the macro lens fitted not only reduces the minimum focal distance, but it also introduces a maximum distance too. So you will lose some flexibility there.

So I'd stick with the original summary. If you get a cheap one, it is a useful stepping stone to get you closer at low cost. But it is unlikely to replace the full functionality of a true macro lens.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:24 am 
If you want to use close up filters. I would highly recommend you spending a little bit more and getting either a canon 250d or canon 500d. The 250d works on smaller focal length lenses (50-100mm i think) and the 500d works on higher focal lengths (100-200mm). I have the canon 500d and am very impressed with it i suggest you read my small review here for more information. If you have any specific questions im happy to answer them.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:46 am 
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I guess there's a value point each person has to decide for themselves. I went with the £10 set with low expectations. In the limited use I've put it through, it is quite reasonable. I can't complain for the price. Compared to most photography related equipment, this cost was insignificant.

You say the 500d costs you £50 in the other thread. That puts it into the price range of extension tubes, although I don't know much about them either. To me, it is also getting significant compared to the cost of a 1:1 macro lens. Which is the route I've gone. I've ordered the Tamron 90mm macro lens. While the close up lenses do work, I do feel I could use something brighter and with less limitations on useful focus range.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:17 am 
I agree with you popo at the end of the day you get for what you pay for. A dedicated macro lens such as the tamron will always give you the sharpness and the focusing flexability. However there is one advantage you have over looked with the canon 500d and that is for travelling. With the 500d you can slip it into any camera bag and have sharp effective macro capabilities without carrying around another lens. As far as im concerened there are two draw backs with the 500d firstly you cannot autofocus with it on because of the limited focusing range. However for macro work this is not really a problem as most people manual focus anyway. The other draw back is when you manual focus it has to be spot on this is easily judged with a rangefinder and confirmation dot. The problem comes when your subject moves for example a flower swaying in the breeze would throw your focus out and you would have to re-adjust. I am not sure if this would also be a issue with a dedicated macro, i can see how it would, but because of the greater flexibility in focusing range should be able to re-adjust at a much quicker speed. Essential no, useful yes. I guess it all comes down to your budget at the end of the day and how much you shoot macro, the more you do the more justification for a dedicated macro lens.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:09 pm 
Thanks for your replies on this. I guess i'll just go for a dedicated macro lens. Now to decide which one.

Do either of you know how fixed focal macro lenses work against zooms?

Shane


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:38 pm 
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Coincidently enough, just got my 1:1 macro lens today, the Tamron 90mm f/2.8. Just played about with it a bit, still getting used to it.

This pic is to the same scale as the earlier ones posted, so gives you an idea of what 1:1 macro looks like compared to what I got before with the closeup macro lens.
Image

Of course, the idea springs to mind... what about fitting the macro lens to the macro lens? It works!
Image

To make it a bit easier to gauge the magnification, I photo'd a measuring stick. First pic is 1:1 lens only at minimum focus distance. Second pic is with closeup macro lens fitted, again at minimum focus distance.
Image Image

According to dyxum, the sensor in the A350 is 23.5mm wide. The 1st image shows it to be just over 23mm, so is about right. With the macro lens fitted, this goes to 14mm, or just over 1.6x magnification!

And finally, this is a 50% crop (half actual size) of something I found... oh, to increase DoF, I was using tiny apertures, resulting in long exposure times. Also showed up a load of dust spots...
Image

General observations comparing using the macro lens to a normal lens with macro lens fitted. The 1:1 macro has a much longer action focus ring, making manual focus much more easier than a general zoom. The lack of zoom does mean you have to move back and forwards a bit to set up a shot, which can be fiddly on a tripod. You also have much more light from a big aperture. It is also a weakness as the DoF is wafer thin if you use it, so you have to think more about the shots. I haven't done much else with it yet, but at longer focal distances it seems fine so doubles as a general prime too.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:46 pm 
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I just did some more measurements of the maximum magnification of my lenses, both normally and then with the closeup lens fitted. The method was using the ruler as used previously.

In the following table, the first column is my measured maximum magnification at which the camera would still auto-focus at. The second column is the same with closeup lens fitted.

Code:
mag      cl.mag   Lens
0.15x    0.53x    Sony 50mm f/1.4
0.25x    0.53x    Sony 16-80 Zeiss
1.00x    1.68x    Tamron 90mm macro
0.31x    1.57x    Tamron 55-200 macro
0.23x    1.21x    Tamron 28-300 macro


(note that for all lenses except the 16-80z, I had to use a step up or step down filter to use the same closeup lens.)

Not surprisingly, only the Tamron 90mm 1:1 macro gives 1:1 magnification. The two Tamron zoom lenses, which they also called macro, give around 1:4-1:3 magnification. Interestingly, the Zeiss zoom lens which does not call itself a macro also performs at 1:4. The 50mm prime doesn't want to know about big magnifications.

With the closeup fitted, the results are interesting... both Sony lenses increase by different amounts to give a final magnification of 1:2. The various Tamron lenses increase above 1:1, with the true macro giving the highest at 1.68:1.

The Tamron 55-200 might have been taken too far, as the images I got with closeup all had a 'glow' to them. I'm not sure if it is mis-focus.

The Tamron 28-300 also shows an interesting effect with closeup lens. The centre of the image looks fine, but outside that the image degrades depending on the aperture. Wide open, the image goes soft and glowy as you move away from the centre. It is interesting that the glow is only on the outside of bright areas. As the aperture is reduced, the glow decreases and is replaced by severe CA. It also looks like some pincushion distortion increasing as the aperture goes smaller.

All lenses suffer from increased CA when used with the closeup lens. It looks like the CA gets worst as you move away from centre, with red on the inside and blue on the outside. To me, the quality with the long zooms is too bad to be worth it. The quality of the other lenses is ok within the limits of the CA.

(getting late now, I'll edit in some pictures to demonstrate the effects described later)

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:53 am 
Thanks for the test and the entire review popo.I wanted a macro lens but now that I've read this I might buy one of these closeup kits for the moment.I just can't afford a 1:1 macro lens right now and I also want a basic telephoto lens too.So thanks again for the info. :D

PS- I should only consider the diameter size of the lens thread right. For example my kit lens DT-18-70mm is 55mm , so I would need a 55mm kit and it will fit?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:45 am 
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Correct - you need to get a close up lens size that fits the filter size of the camera lens.

_________________
Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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