Best camera for Macro Photography 'out of the box'

basin79

ArachnoGod
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Raynox DCR-250 hype. It really is the most flexible cheap option.

I just wish there was an alternative to the cheap plastic clip-on adapter. I've broken two tabs over time. It's a tight fit on my current lens. Feels like I'm gonna snap a tab again.
I have a great macro lens but wanted the Raynox to get some really clear ultra close ups of my carnivorous plants. Plenty of room on mine so don't have that issue.
 

Oswoc

Arachnosquire
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Feb 28, 2021
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Looking at the bee shot, it seems to lack sharpness. This is probably due to hand holding your 300mm lens. If you want sharp photos with your 300 lens you will have to use a Very sturdy Tripod, not a flimsy table top model. You will not find any macro lens longer than 200 mm, and that has to be used very carefully on a sturdy tripod. This is the reason the popular macro lens are in the 90/100 mm range, as that lenght enables you to hand hold, although some will still use a tripod for maximum sharpness. You should be able to pick up a decent second hand tripod on " fleabay " Preloved or gumtree. This will enable you to continue using your 300 lens plus any attachments. In the days of film the rule of thumb was - use the next highest shutter speed from the length of the lens - for your lens 300, the next shutter speed would be 450. That was a rough guide to hand holding any lens. Then the ISO and " f " stop would be adjusted to suit that shutter speed. Nothing is simple with photography. This is the main reason I still use film, can't be doing with taking 100 photos then spending a day pratting around with various software to achieve decent photos. All my editing is done in camera before I press the shutter. My phone has 45 megapixels that does me for " Micky mouse " up loads.
Can you recommend a tripod? Seems to be such a huge selection out there. I really don't wanna spend more than £100!
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
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I've recently ordered a '20x magnification macro' filter off ebay to go on the end of my sigma 'macro' lens - will this keep up with this raynox lens? Or have I just wasted £15? :(
Not a scoooby. Just have to wait and see. The Raynox is weird to use on a macro has you get a really really narrow focal plane. That's why I got it for plants mainly as I can move the plants to suit.
 

Dry Desert

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Can you recommend a tripod? Seems to be such a huge selection out there. I really don't wanna spend more than £100!
Manfrotto are a good all-rounder. See if you can get a good second hand one. Tripods don't wear out, so a decent Manfrotto will serve you well. You don't want one that extends to 8 foot and is all wobbly, have one that extends to about 4/5 foot without extending the centre section. Make sure you purchase a complete tripod with a head, some tripods come without heads then have to be purchased separately. Again eBay is good for second hand, Preloved,or Gumtree.With eBay you have the money back g'tt.
 

basin79

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I have this Manfrotto. Handy because the legs are really manoeuvrable and the middle extends to lie down. Was £170 brand new so would imagine if you can find one second hand it'll be around £100 or less.
2A490EF5-251C-4216-9351-E62121DB07B5.jpeg D2CB91A5-D06C-404B-934E-7CE7DD32BF07.jpeg

I used to use a Manfrotto grip ball head but last year got myself a geared head. Absolutely love it. Let's me make big adjustments and then micro adjustments. Worth it for me because my camera is extremely front heavy and it keeps things steady.

C8A655CD-E97A-4634-B3F6-74A94537489A.jpeg
 

Anubis77

Arachnoknight
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I have a great macro lens but wanted the Raynox to get some really clear ultra close ups of my carnivorous plants. Plenty of room on mine so don't have that issue.
It's good to have on hand in general I've found. And yes, fantastic for plant shots or very, very still animal subjects.

The little tabs on the adapter are pretty resilient given that mine broke after basically a decade, but it takes a beating in the field and with constant swapping. I guess for $7 per replacement it's hard to complain! Also, I have no idea why I don't just use metal step down/up rings with it lol.
 

Oswoc

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Not a scoooby. Just have to wait and see. The Raynox is weird to use on a macro has you get a really really narrow focal plane. That's why I got it for plants mainly as I can move the plants to suit.
Will update with pictures this week when it arrives!
 

Oswoc

Arachnosquire
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Not a scoooby. Just have to wait and see. The Raynox is weird to use on a macro has you get a really really narrow focal plane. That's why I got it for plants mainly as I can move the plants to suit.
Similar story here. I added this to my 'macro' lens and its unbearable. So blurry on the outsides, even with f/22.

Back to the drawing board in my hunt for 'cheap' highly detailed macro shots 20210806_172320.jpg
 

basin79

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Similar story here. I added this to my 'macro' lens and its unbearable. So blurry on the outsides, even with f/22.

Back to the drawing board in my hunt for 'cheap' highly detailed macro shots View attachment 394433
The Raynox does work really well when you get yourself lined up right though.
 

Anubis77

Arachnoknight
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Similar story here. I added this to my 'macro' lens and its unbearable. So blurry on the outsides, even with f/22.

Back to the drawing board in my hunt for 'cheap' highly detailed macro shots
Can you post some of the shots?

Narrow focal planes can be cool depending on what you're trying to do, but yeah, without focus stacking, you might not get the detail you're looking for. Also depends on the size of the subject you're shooting. The DCR-250 + a macro lens can be overkill unless you're going for detail shots of eyes or something on a larger spider.

I've been having fun messing with macro extension tubes. They increase magnification substantially without an additional lens. The biggest drawback is the amount of light you'll need to compensate, but that can be addressed with an external flash or ring light. Depending on your lens, you may also have to get way too close to the subject to focus, but a 50mm has been usable. My 135mm telephoto lens also leads to good results. I think I paid about $11 for a Canon compatible set of tubes on ebay for my prime lenses and $17 for a set that preserves the electrical connection to your lens.
 

Dry Desert

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890
Similar story here. I added this to my 'macro' lens and its unbearable. So blurry on the outsides, even with f/22.

Back to the drawing board in my hunt for 'cheap' highly detailed macro shots View attachment 394433
If you want what's considered to be the ultimate in macro lens at what I consider a very reasonable price, is the Kiron Macro lens that is on eBay at the moment for £176. This lens was rated to be the very best lens of its time, used to sell for thousands when first released. On the test bench results were even better than the best of best - the Nikon 105mm 2.8 micro.macro lens. Kiron was the Japanese company that used to make lenses for Vivitar and other lens manufacturers, they made the famous Vivitar 105mm macro under licence for Vivitar. The lens on eBay is in Canon FD mount, you would have to purchase a Canon fd to Pentax k adapter. They are only around 15/20 pound mark. You would have to select the aperture manually, and focus manually, but the results would be stunning. I still have a couple of Kiron lens, and if I still had my lovely Canon T90, the lens wouldn't be for sale any longer. Manual focus for macro work is preferred anyway for critical work. If you are interested just type in Kiron lens in Canon FD and it should take you straight there. I shouldn't think it will be around for long.
 

Smotzer

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On the test bench results were even better than the best of best - the Nikon 105mm 2.8 micro.macro lens.
The Nikkor 105mm 2.8 Micro is just my favorite lens to use. It is just a pleasure to shoot with in manual and af, not only limited to macro or insects. I use it occasionally for portraits but both the 105mm DC and 135mm DC take that cake. But overall you can go wrong with this Nikon Lens.

This was taken on the Nikon D750, 105mm f/2.8, a single shot manual focus, no speedlight/flash/diffuser, natural sunlight, in daylight under the trees. ISO 200 f/11 1/200sec. Argia alberta Male Damselfly_-2 2.jpg
 

Smotzer

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But also quality of image is less dependent on camera body and MP, but on the lens and quality of light you have and your ability to actually compose and control images and light manually, the megapixel hype is so stupid because you simply just dont need that resolution unless you plan on having a crop contest (which nowadays a lot of the macro out there with high MP cameras is also cropped, (eh not a fan really), and are gallery printing and expensive professional printers, you wont really notice it. and most monitors cant appreciate it anyway and websites downsize all the time. I have shot on a 10 and 12mp Nikon for quite a long time, sensor pixel size and quality of light are far more important than how many megapixels you have. I had work published with those MP.

I have a Nikon D750 that I use for a lot not only macro, I didnt get it for that, but also have a crop Canon T3i with 100mm f/2.8 and the images are great as long as you know how to take a photo and dont blow it out cropping it. #ComposeNotCrop

For example a shot taken today: Canon Rebel T3i 100mm f/2.8 USM macro. ISO 200 f/11 1/125sec. Manual Focus. Flash: Nikon SB-600. Manual fire- 1/4 at 24mm. w/ $10 amazon diffuser. Neoholothele Incei Diffuse_.jpg
 

basin79

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But also quality of image is less dependent on camera body and MP, but on the lens and quality of light you have and your ability to actually compose and control images and light manually, the megapixel hype is so stupid because you simply just dont need that resolution unless you plan on having a crop contest (which nowadays a lot of the macro out there with high MP cameras is also cropped, (eh not a fan really), and are gallery printing and expensive professional printers, you wont really notice it. and most monitors cant appreciate it anyway and websites downsize all the time. I have shot on a 10 and 12mp Nikon for quite a long time, sensor pixel size and quality of light are far more important than how many megapixels you have. I had work published with those MP.

I have a Nikon D750 that I use for a lot not only macro, I didnt get it for that, but also have a crop Canon T3i with 100mm f/2.8 and the images are great as long as you know how to take a photo and dont blow it out cropping it. #ComposeNotCrop

For example a shot taken today: Canon Rebel T3i 100mm f/2.8 USM macro. ISO 200 f/11 1/125sec. Manual Focus. Flash: Nikon SB-600. Manual fire- 1/4 at 24mm. w/ $10 amazon diffuser. View attachment 394465
For me cropping is just necessary. There's literally nothing I could do to get this without cropping. I can't physically get the shot otherwise. And although it's all part and parcel I still feel a crop is more "honest" than a stack.

AE937610-757C-4C76-BD8F-3E2AD89BB15B.jpeg

Also this is a my best mates nose. A crop. Which again is only possible with a ridiculous amount of mega pixels.

0F6B0433-7F18-4167-859D-1A998105F2BC.jpeg A0A7DA46-432D-4BFB-B253-C5FC1CD5159A.jpeg

But it's not the point. The best camera you have is the one you have.
 

Smotzer

Arachnoking
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For me cropping is just necessary. There's literally nothing I could do to get this without cropping. I can't physically get the shit otherwise. And although it's all part and parcel I still feel a crop is more "honest" than a stack.

View attachment 394468

Also this is a my best mates nose. A crop. Which again is only possible with a ridiculous amount of mega pixels.

View attachment 394470 View attachment 394471

But it's not the point. The best camera you have is the one you have.
Ohhh not speaking about you, your work is actually some of the best super macro that I’ve come across recently!! But side by side for me I actually prefer your full nose with the detail over the cropped in image. The details are still there.
 

basin79

ArachnoGod
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Ohhh not speaking about you, your work is actually some of the best super macro that I’ve come across recently!! But side by side for me I actually prefer your full nose with the detail over the cropped in image. The details are still there.
That's the beauty of taking pics. You get to post what you like. For me I personally like to focus in on a small part knowing I'm going to be using it. I'm more about the details over the composition usually.
 

Smotzer

Arachnoking
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That's the beauty of taking pics. You get to post what you like. For me I personally like to focus in on a small part knowing I'm going to be using it. I'm more about the details over the composition usually.
That’s the great thing about it!! I’m composition focused. I learned on film and even shot in a 4x5 for awhile so composition is everything when you get one maybe 2 attempts to make a shot. I still shoot that way even though I shoot digital. I don’t take a lot of shots. But art is art, is subjective!!
 

Anubis77

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
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Messages
282
If you want what's considered to be the ultimate in macro lens at what I consider a very reasonable price, is the Kiron Macro lens that is on eBay at the moment for £176. This lens was rated to be the very best lens of its time, used to sell for thousands when first released. On the test bench results were even better than the best of best - the Nikon 105mm 2.8 micro.macro lens. Kiron was the Japanese company that used to make lenses for Vivitar and other lens manufacturers, they made the famous Vivitar 105mm macro under licence for Vivitar. The lens on eBay is in Canon FD mount, you would have to purchase a Canon fd to Pentax k adapter. They are only around 15/20 pound mark. You would have to select the aperture manually, and focus manually, but the results would be stunning. I still have a couple of Kiron lens, and if I still had my lovely Canon T90, the lens wouldn't be for sale any longer. Manual focus for macro work is preferred anyway for critical work. If you are interested just type in Kiron lens in Canon FD and it should take you straight there. I shouldn't think it will be around for long.
I think I found my next lens (not that listing specifically). I see some Lester A. Dine versions of that for some reasonable prices as well.

I still do want to try a Super Takumar macro as well though. And Tokina 90mm. And a bunch of others. Too many good options for experimenting with!
 

Oswoc

Arachnosquire
Joined
Feb 28, 2021
Messages
87
But also quality of image is less dependent on camera body and MP, but on the lens and quality of light you have and your ability to actually compose and control images and light manually, the megapixel hype is so stupid because you simply just dont need that resolution unless you plan on having a crop contest (which nowadays a lot of the macro out there with high MP cameras is also cropped, (eh not a fan really), and are gallery printing and expensive professional printers, you wont really notice it. and most monitors cant appreciate it anyway and websites downsize all the time. I have shot on a 10 and 12mp Nikon for quite a long time, sensor pixel size and quality of light are far more important than how many megapixels you have. I had work published with those MP.

I have a Nikon D750 that I use for a lot not only macro, I didnt get it for that, but also have a crop Canon T3i with 100mm f/2.8 and the images are great as long as you know how to take a photo and dont blow it out cropping it. #ComposeNotCrop

For example a shot taken today: Canon Rebel T3i 100mm f/2.8 USM macro. ISO 200 f/11 1/125sec. Manual Focus. Flash: Nikon SB-600. Manual fire- 1/4 at 24mm. w/ $10 amazon diffuser. View attachment 394465
I just don't understand HOW you get this level of detail? I can zoom in and see individual hairs around the eyes, its incredible detail.

I've got a 20mp DSLR, tripod, and
Picked one up for my macro lens a few weeks ago. £46 off Amazon.

View attachment 394072 View attachment 394073
this is amazing! What lens/body did you attach this to?
 
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