Macro, the cheap way

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by L0n3Gr3yW0lf, May 22, 2016.

  1. Close-Up Filters

  2. Wide Angle & Macro Adapter

  3. Enlarging Lens

  4. Legacy Macro Zoom

  1. L0n3Gr3yW0lf

    L0n3Gr3yW0lf Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 31, 2013
    Hi, this summer I want to try some macro, on the cheaper side, for fun experimentation. First, I thought I could adapt some close-up filters like this set:
    ... on my Sigma 60mm f 2.8 then I have found wide angle & macro adaptors:
    ... so maybe I could use the macro set for that instead, it would be a bit cheaper. Though not sure if the quality would be the same or better.

    I also been thinking about old enlarging lenses:
    ... that I could use with either my macro bellow (not very portable) or my macro extension tubes.

    The other option is to get an old, M42, macro zooms, typically go from 70 to 200mm, that has 1:4 native, giving me 1:2 after taking into account 2x Crop factor.

    I wish to get at least 1:2 macro with decent IQ quality, like web sharing. Most of this options go from 15 Euros to 25 Euros, wouldn't want to go more. Any recommendation which option would give me a better result.
  2. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Extension tubes with the Sigma 60.

    A legacy macro (prime, avoid old cheap zooms) for $25...You would spend $10 just for the adapter...maybe there is something, are you willing to wait a few months for a good offer or flea markets?
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  3. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Reverse ring to use with a wide-angle lens. The wider the better. Manual aperture and focus better. This works amazingly well.
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  4. L0n3Gr3yW0lf

    L0n3Gr3yW0lf Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 31, 2013
    I have been looking for months for legacy prime macro lenses but in my country (Romania) they are not cheap. The cheapest 1:2 macro lenses available right now float around 100 Euros, like Minolta 100mm f 3.5 Macro and Olympus Zuiko 35mm f 3.5 Macro and Konica Hexanon AR 55mm f 3.5 Macro. They are outside of my current budget. Legacy zoom lenses with close focus capabilities, like 1:4, go for about 20 to 25 Euros.

    The widest lens I have is Sigma 19mm f 2.8 so I don't know how effective that would be reversed, and being stuck at f 2.8 reversing it.
  5. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    I just picked up a four thirds 35mm Macro and adapter for less than £60... a bargain.
  6. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    You don't want to shoot wider than f2.8 for macro. The depth of field is super thin.
  7. L0n3Gr3yW0lf

    L0n3Gr3yW0lf Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 31, 2013
    Sigma 19mm f 2.8 can't go wider than f 2.8 so it's preferable to shot at f 16 for wider DoF though that does impact the sharpness of the lens. But you can't leave it at f 16 and dismount the lens keeping the aperture because the lens doesn't close down the aperture until you half press the shutter and even if you try to dismount with half shutter press, losing the power to the lens the aperture resets to open at f 2.8.
  8. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Reza Travilla
    i am using close up filter +2 on my sigma 60 art :biggrin:
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  9. L0n3Gr3yW0lf

    L0n3Gr3yW0lf Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 31, 2013
    I always wondered if this:
    ... could be used for more practical macro outside of replicating film scans. It has an M42 mount and it does seem to have some kind of rings on it so maybe for manual focus. Any opinions ?
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  10. L0n3Gr3yW0lf

    L0n3Gr3yW0lf Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 31, 2013
    And how much magnification do you get ? Or some pictures samples would be nice :)
  11. CyVan

    CyVan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 9, 2016
    Have you checked out the Raynox DCR-150 and 250? I have the Olympus 60mm f2.8 already but when I throw the 250 on my 14-140mm at Max zoom it gets very close.
  12. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Reza Travilla
    Hmmm i'm just shoot with it hahaha:laugh1:. But close enough to get the food's details. Here is the sample pic

    View attachment 470697
  13. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    I use all your options & more.
    One of the easiest cheap ways I've found of getting high magnifications is to stack lenses (reverse a wide angle in front of a longer lens). With some combinations vignetting can be a problem, but it usually turns out to be workable.
    I guess it's a variation on the close up filters using a highly corrected lens that you've probably already got as the filter.

    Coupling rings make it easier but you can try a lens combination by just holding the reversed lens. IIRC I've used this approach between ~1:1 & 4:1
    A ~2:1 example can be found here : Fob watch detail & a more extreme example here : my 2 pennies worth (Flickr is messing around again)

    BTW hardly any 'Legacy macro zoom' gets close to macro. (Generally defined as life size to 10X life size on the sensor). Legacy macro primes can be
    I assume your 'macro adapter' is referring to extension tubes (generally needed for enlarger lenses too) but I have some macro focusing teleconverters which fit the description too.
  14. dbateman

    dbateman New to Mu-43

    Feb 17, 2010
    For Macro on the cheap it depends what you have already.
    1. Buy cheap micro 43rds electronic tubes off ebay. Pay about $20 and use with a panasonic 12-32mm to get better than 1:1.
    2. Buy raynox 250 if you have a long zoom lens cost about $60 and with the 40-200mm gives good results.
    3. Buy reverse ring and tamron adaptall 24mm f2.5 lens for about $120 total.
    4. Buy olympus four thirds 35mm f3.5 macro. A very good lens. Need 43rds to m43rds adapter, but cheap $20 china ones are on ebay.
    5. Get a second job and buy the canon Mp-e 65mm 1x-5x, the last macro lens you will ever need cost about $700 used or $1000 new. Plus a metabones canon ef adapter to control aperture.
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  15. PhilippePASCAL

    PhilippePASCAL Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 21, 2015
    I'm with dbateman, mostly.
    -If you want a "walking" outdoor solution, without changing lens, a cheap zoom (like 40-150 for me) and a closeup filter is perfect.
    On my side, i have the "Magic" Olympus A Life Size +7.7 on 40-150 :D
    -If you don't mind dismounting lens, an electric tube with Wide Angle (12-32 for me) can give you impressive ratio. They are cheap if you don't buy expansive Kenko.
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  16. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    I think the extension tube is the best, cheapest way to go for you right now.
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  17. SVQuant

    SVQuant Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 20, 2015
    SF Bay Area, California, USA
    This webpage is a very good resource for comparing extension tubes vs closeup lenses. Take a look at the calculators at different focal lengths. The S60/2.8 has a native magnification of 0.14x. With 25mm extension tubes, you will get to 0.65x. With a +4 closeup lens, you will get to 0.41x and with a +10, you get to 0.82x.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
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  18. mannukiddo

    mannukiddo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 28, 2013
    My 55 3.5 Nikkor AI-S used is cheaper than the Raynox adapter.


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  19. Runefh

    Runefh Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 26, 2015
    So, which option did you go for?:)

    I can share that i personally went through the following, i assume you already did find a solution, with the summer being over. But still wanted to share my "journey".

    1. Bought a legacy Olympus OM 50mm 3.5 Macro. A wonderful lens by the way:hail:. But i ended up never bringing the lens when i was out and about. I got mine from eBay from a seller i Germany, Romania being in EU you should be able to do similar without getting hit by import taxes.
    2. So i bought a pair of cheap electronic extension tubes from China, on eBay. This worked very good with my Oly 45mm 1.8 and i could auto focus within a short range but best of all i was able to control aperture:thumbup: I got the FOTGA once, like these but seems to remember i found a better deal FOTGA Macro AF Auto Focus Extension Tube DG for Four Thirds M43 Micro 4/3 Camera
    3. Extension tubes didn't bring me as close as i wanted to in some cases :coco:. So i bought the Olympus MCON-P02. But this doesn't come cheap, i think i paid around 70 EUR here in Denmark.

    The extension tubes and MCON-P02 are always in my camera bag, as is my Oly 45mm, so that worked out for me. And i really don't do a lot of macro so I settled for this solution.
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  20. Balinov

    Balinov Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 8, 2015
    Hi, could you please post some examples taken with this setup? Cheers

    Sent from my ONE A2003 using Tapatalk
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