advice on picking a cheap lens for a macro project (note: 50x+ magnification reached)

julienrl

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haha wow! cool! that is one funky looking setup!

What kind of depth of field do you guys get with those? And what do you do for lighting?

Up until now the prices I found for a single objective is still more than I have spent for my entire project :p
 

photoSmart42

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What kind of depth of field do you guys get with those? And what do you do for lighting?
It's shallow, but relative to the image it's not a problem. You can see from the photos how the DOF works out. I took those photos hand-held with just my desk lamp, but normally I use either my on-camera flash with the diffuser around the lens, or an industrial fiberoptic light supply.

Up until now the prices I found for a single objective is still more than I have spent for my entire project :p
Not sure where you've looked, but you can grab microscope objectives off eBay for really cheap ($20 or less). That's where I got mine. Certainly you can spend $900 on a single Leitz, Nikon, or Olympus objective, but you don't have to.
 

julienrl

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Not sure where you've looked, but you can grab microscope objectives off eBay for really cheap ($20 or less). That's where I got mine. Certainly you can spend $900 on a single Leitz, Nikon, or Olympus objective, but you don't have to.
Hehe, no certainly was not looking at those. The 20x+ did start at around 50$ thought (but there were 10x's for about the price you listed). I will be receiving my 8$ 2.1mm compares!

Do you think you could take a picture of the mm's on a ruler? (I know its kind of silly, but this has become a sort of game for me now... :p.)

It's shallow, but relative to the image it's not a problem. You can see from the photos how the DOF works out. I took those photos hand-held with just my desk lamp, but normally I use either my on-camera flash with the diffuser around the lens, or an industrial fiberoptic light supply.
You say you use a desk lamp... I am quite interested by this. How much space can you leave between the front element and the object your are photographing to be able to get the light in? Also, what is this lens diffuser you speak of?

Why don't you just reverse your 20mm or 14 - 42mm? :rolleyes:

Cheap, with very good results :smile:
I just got my reverser rings for those two! gonna give it a shot soon and review them as reversed lenses :)
 

photoSmart42

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Do you think you could take a picture of the mm's on a ruler? (I know its kind of silly, but this has become a sort of game for me now... :p.)
No need for it. The magnification is exactly what the lens specifies when placed at the specified lens focal length (160mm in the case of my objectives). Imagine seeing 4x magnification and 10x magnification ruler =).

You say you use a desk lamp... I am quite interested by this. How much space can you leave between the front element and the object your are photographing to be able to get the light in?
The distance I leave between the microscope objective and the object is whatever it needs to be to bring the image in focus. It's not very large. The nice thing about the microscope objectives is that they're small and tapered, so it's quite easy to get light around them. I had my desk lamp shine the light from above the object I was photographing.

Also, what is this lens diffuser you speak of?
A simple white foam plate you get from the grocery store with a hole cut out in the center to match the thread of my lens mount. I screw the lens against the paper plate when mounting it, and the paper plate diffuses the on-camera flash nicely right around the lens. I've been using that successfully with my enlarging lens macro shots outdoors.

You can just tell what it looks like in the reflection off my wife's eye (no, she didn't appreciate the flash lighting up her wide open pupil in the dark...):

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 

julienrl

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No need for it. The magnification is exactly what the lens specifies when placed at the specified lens focal length (160mm in the case of my objectives). Imagine seeing 4x magnification and 10x magnification ruler =).
... fair enough :wink:

A simple white foam plate you get from the grocery store with a hole cut out in the center to match the thread of my lens mount. I screw the lens against the paper plate when mounting it, and the paper plate diffuses the on-camera flash nicely right around the lens. I've been using that successfully with my enlarging lens macro shots outdoors.

You can just tell what it looks like in the reflection off my wife's eye (no, she didn't appreciate the flash lighting up her wide open pupil in the dark...):
haha, I like the story! quite ingenious I must say! I will look into that... crazy week up ahead so I doubt I will even have time to try out anything though!
 

julienrl

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Here are my latest test pictures!

I managed to get over 50x magnification with the 3.6mm lens reversed. This is a little fuzzy, but it is being hand held, on fully extended bellows.
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/julienlemay/5128464759/" title="test with 3.6mm reversed lens with bellows fully extended by julienrl, on Flickr">
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"500" height="375" alt="test with 3.6mm reversed lens with bellows fully extended" /></a>

And this is without anything
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/julienlemay/5128462239/" title="test with 3.6mm reversed lens by julienrl, on Flickr">
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
"500" height="375" alt="test with 3.6mm reversed lens" /></a>

Finally, I also tried the panasonic 20mm f1.7 reversed... pretty amazing!
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/julienlemay/5129072334/" title="test with panasonic 20mm lens reversed by julienrl, on Flickr">
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
"500" height="375" alt="test with panasonic 20mm lens reversed" /></a>

Very sharp! (hand held again).

Thanks allot to everyone who gave me pointers along the way :) now I need to start figuring out how to stabilize everything and get back to work on my lighting. The 20mm is definitely amazing for regular macro (eye, bugs) and my tiny lenses are going to be fun for even smaller things! lol

Conclusion from all this testing? if you want to do ridiculously small stuff (1\4mm and less) go with a 3$ cctv lens, a cap and bellows. If you want to do small things (eyes\ bugs) just get a reverser lens for your kit lens!
 
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