Short MFD 135mm primes?

zioroby6

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Hello guys, I'm here to ask some help while searching for a cheap (<25-30€) 135mm (or similar) prime with a quite short MFD to use for some flower/insects and random shots on my E-PL5. At the moment I haven't found many, I've seen the Vivitar 135mm f2.8 Close focusing which is not much common and/or not so cheap, but has a quite good MFD (less than 1m, can't remember precisely) and magnification when fully extended. I've also seen for sale an Hanimex 135mm f3.5 which has 1.2m MFD. Most primes do have 1.4-1.5m MFD and some also go over 2m which is a bit too much I think.
Do you have any other suggestion? For real close-ups I use an inverted 28mm, so maybe 1.4m is already good enough? I'm a bit confused, since I'm quite new to photography and still have to learn a lot, so any advice is welcome!
Thanks in advance!
 

Turbofrog

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Have you considered a clip-on diopter like the Raynox DCR-150?

They are high quality and about $60 new, but should be quite affordable if you can find one new.

That might be a lot more magnification than you need (at 135mm it would likely put you near 1:1 magnification), but it also let's you use it on your existing lenses, including affordable AF telephoto zooms, like the $100 Oly 40-150mm, for instance.
 

zioroby6

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Have you considered a clip-on diopter like the Raynox DCR-150?

They are high quality and about $60 new, but should be quite affordable if you can find one new.

That might be a lot more magnification than you need (at 135mm it would likely put you near 1:1 magnification), but it also let's you use it on your existing lenses, including affordable AF telephoto zooms, like the $100 Oly 40-150mm, for instance.
Thanks for the reply! To be fair I hadn't thought about something like that because I still don't have any prime lens in that range (just a Tokina SD 70-210 zoom). I'm also a student so I don't have much money to invest, I've just got the kit 14-42 and then a few cheap vintage lenses that I got here and there (I like my MF lenses way more than the AF, by the way). The DCR-150 goes for at least 61€ here in Italy and I can't find any used one for less money... I'll keep that in mind though!

However, I'd say that I don't need exceptional macro capabilities (my inverted 28mm goes at about 1:1.2 if my measurements are right), but I think I'll need to check what a 135mm looks like at 1.2m distance on M4/3. :)
 
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archaeopteryx

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The DCR-150 goes for at least 61€ here in Italy and I can't find any used one for less money...
At least where I am they do turn up used, occasionally at good prices, but it's rare. There's a broad range of close up lenses available and you'll find plenty of magnification calculators and guidance about selecting at least achromat diopters on a search. Your flower interests, though, may be best served by adapting an older macro lens. Most close up lenses are lower power than the 208 mm, +4.8 diopter DCR-150 as their most common use cases are with ~300mm telephotos for working distance with skittish insects or relatively casual use where the desire is simply to get a bit more magnification than a non-macro lens is capable of on its own. Use of close up lenses on zooms is routine, so the main reason not to put one on your 70-210 would be because you don't feel like it. If you do, looks like it takes 52mm filters, so could be worth dropping a Nikon 4T into a calculator to see if you'd like the results.

If you're getting 0.83x from reversing the 28 that implies it's on 20mm extension. You can use an extension calculator to see how changing extension changes magnification. Similarly, any magnification-focus distance calculator will tell you about a 135mm at 1.2 m (it'll probably be disappointing).
They are high quality and about $60 new, but should be quite affordable if you can find one new.
I think that was meant to read "find one used".

The DCR-150 is three elements in two groups, so has two more correction surfaces than an achromat diopter. While direct comparisons between the DCR-150 and Marumi DHG 200 achromat are uncommon, it's my memory some of them have found in favor of the DHG 200.
 

zioroby6

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At least where I am they do turn up used, occasionally at good prices, but it's rare. There's a broad range of close up lenses available and you'll find plenty of magnification calculators and guidance about selecting at least achromat diopters on a search. Your flower interests, though, may be best served by adapting an older macro lens. Most close up lenses are lower power than the 208 mm, +4.8 diopter DCR-150 as their most common use cases are with ~300mm telephotos for working distance with skittish insects or relatively casual use where the desire is simply to get a bit more magnification than a non-macro lens is capable of on its own. Use of close up lenses on zooms is routine, so the main reason not to put one on your 70-210 would be because you don't feel like it. If you do, looks like it takes 52mm filters, so could be worth dropping a Nikon 4T into a calculator to see if you'd like the results.

If you're getting 0.83x from reversing the 28 that implies it's on 20mm extension. You can use an extension calculator to see how changing extension changes magnification. Similarly, any magnification-focus distance calculator will tell you about a 135mm at 1.2 m (it'll probably be disappointing).
I think that was meant to read "find one used".

The DCR-150 is three elements in two groups, so has two more correction surfaces than an achromat diopter. While direct comparisons between the DCR-150 and Marumi DHG 200 achromat are uncommon, it's my memory some of them have found in favor of the DHG 200.
Thank you for the really informative post, I will have to improve my knowledge about magnification stuff (including diopters), since I've taken photography as a free time hobby and my general knowledge is still quite poor. I've got this Clubman 28mm on ebay from a charity shop and after I got it I realized I could use it reversed for macros, so I got a cheap 52mm-m43 adapter on Aliexpress. When shooting a ruler it takes about 2.1 cm of it to fill the display horizontally, that's why I calculated 1:1.2, is it right?

Unfortunately photography second-hand market isn't so big here in Italy, so I can't find much used stuff online...
 

junkyardsparkle

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If you only want to get a little bit closer, but not "macro" close, you can use a helicoid adapter for a little extra extension. Trying to get too much magnification this way will probably not give very good image quality, though... the diopters are better for that.
 

ralf-11

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I think you have found one of the holes in the m43 lens array.

Nikon used to make 2 outstanding AF-D ("screw drive") lenses: a 200mm that went 1:1 and a tele-zoom that went to 0.77x. If this is important to you then you may need to adopt a mixed system approach to really get good IQ. But I would not call them cheap.

Cheap usually means either low IQ, or (for large camera systems which have been around for a long time)... manual focus.

I wonder if a tele-convertor would work w/o bad loss of IQ on a m43 macro lens??
 
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Hello guys, I'm here to ask some help while searching for a cheap (<25-30€) 135mm (or similar) prime…
I would give you a Vivitar 135mm ƒ/3.5 T-mount for the cost of shipping, but Canada-to-Italy shipping is probably more than it's worth. :)

You might consider using extension tubes to reduce the focus distance and get you into macro territory.

It's a bit out of your price range at ~175€, but you might consider the Olympus OM 135mm ƒ/4.5 macro lens together with the Olympus Telescoping Extension Tube, which will take you from infinity to 1/2 life size with outstanding, world-class results! The pair can be had for as little as US$200 on eBay from time to time, and has the added advantage that you can add more of the five other OM macro lenses that are optimized for other focusing distances.
 
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archaeopteryx

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I will have to improve my knowledge about magnification stuff
Yep, 17 mm/21 mm = 0.81x = 1:1/0.81 = 1:1.24.

In general, close up and macro photography are favorable to considering one's magnification requirements and doing the math to compare various options. This is particularly true if one's trying to minimize expenses. It's also often worth some effort towards understanding the optical properties of extension, coupled lens systems (close up lenses, reversed lenses, and infinity corrected microscope objectives plus tube lenses are all embodiments of the same basic thing), and diffraction.
 

zioroby6

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If you only want to get a little bit closer, but not "macro" close, you can use a helicoid adapter for a little extra extension. Trying to get too much magnification this way will probably not give very good image quality, though... the diopters are better for that.
Yeah, I didn't mean to geat a 1:1 lens, but just a prime with a relatively short mfd to be more versatile... I'm still experimenting with photography, so something which is more versatile might help me understand what I like the most!

I think you have found one of the holes in the m43 lens array.

Nikon used to make 2 outstanding AF-D ("screw drive") lenses: a 200mm that went 1:1 and a tele-zoom that went to 0.77x. If this is important to you then you may need to adopt a mixed system approach to really get good IQ. But I would not call them cheap.

Cheap usually means either low IQ, or (for large camera systems which have been around for a long time)... manual focus.

I wonder if a tele-convertor would work w/o bad loss of IQ on a m43 macro lens??
I do really enjoy using manual focus lenses, they also allow me to experiment while not spending much (as a student this is just a freetime hobby). As far as teleconvertors go, I've got a Kiron MC7 2x tele-convertor for OM mount, and my 28mm is OM too, can I use that with my lens while inverted? I hadn't thought about this before, since I always use the teleconverter with my Tokina zoom. I think I will give it a try as soon as I can! (Edit: I tried, and that's not working :doh: )

For Sale or Trade: Minolta 200mm f3.5 & f4 lenses (Rokkor, Celtic) | Location: USA | Ships: WORLD

This is a slightly old list of lenses someone here is selling. I would trust him without hesitation.
Thanks, I will keep that in mind. Unfortunately overseas shipping is really often too much expensive. Sometimes even shipping fees within the EU, otherwise ebay market would be quite good... :/

I would give you a Visitor 135mm ƒ/3.5 T-mount for the cost of shipping, but Canada-to-Italy shipping is probably more than it's worth. :)

You might consider using extension tubes to reduce the focus distance and get you into macro territory.

It's a bit out of your price range at ~175€, but you might consider the Olympus OM 135mm ƒ/4.5 macro lens together with the Olympus Telescoping Extension Tube, which will take you from infinity to 1/2 life size with outstanding, world-class results! The pair can be had for as little as US$200 on eBay from time to time, and has the added advantage that you can add more of the five other OM macro lenses that are optimized for other focusing distances.
Yeah, shipping rates would be stellar I guess, but thanks anyway! However, extension tubes might be a good and cheap way for having more versatility with the same lens. I think I will get some for M43 mount, since I only have a few of them for C-mount which I got with my Fujian 35mm f1.6.
By the way, that lens is way too expensive for me, as a real beginner who's still trying to find his own way, that's why I wanted to stay on the cheaper side... :)

Yep, 17 mm/21 mm = 0.81x = 1:1/0.81 = 1:1.24.

In general, close up and macro photography are favorable to considering one's magnification requirements and doing the math to compare various options. This is particularly true if one's trying to minimize expenses. It's also often worth some effort towards understanding the optical properties of extension, coupled lens systems (close up lenses, reversed lenses, and infinity corrected microscope objectives plus tube lenses are all embodiments of the same basic thing), and diffraction.
Thanks, so my calculations were right! I'm still trying to find out my way, so a few studies and cheap lenses might be the right way eheh!
 
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archaeopteryx

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a few studies and cheap lenses might be the right way
That worked well for me for years of casual close-up photography. Autofocus bracketing and focus stacking are, however, hugely powerful techniques and m43's support for them is industry leading. I know native mount autofocus lenses aren't in your current budget but brackets can be done manually, with patience, and stacked for free using Picolay or trials of a few other tools (Zerene has a student license, too).
 

phigmov

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An 85 or 100 (or 105) might be a better close-focus option - as per previous posters, this family of focal-lengths were short-teles for portraiture at the close end and providing that extra reach/tight-crop over the nifty-fifties at the long end (without the bulk or smaller apertures of the 200mm+ lenses). Getting close with this type of lens didn't really fit the typical use-case.

There is also a line of older and slower (non 2.8) macro lenses - I know Nikon has an f4 105 and 200 - these can often be picked up relatively cheaply compared to their pricier 2.8 counterparts. These would let you get in relatively close even if you didn't dive into the macro range itself.

Another option (if you have the megapixels to spare) is to just shoot and crop in post.
 

kinlau

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It’s been alluded to , but have you looked at extension tubes? They’re very cheap and you can improve the close focus of any old lens.
 

dirtdevil

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Have you considered a clip-on diopter like the Raynox DCR-150?

They are high quality and about $60 new, but should be quite affordable if you can find one new.

That might be a lot more magnification than you need (at 135mm it would likely put you near 1:1 magnification), but it also let's you use it on your existing lenses, including affordable AF telephoto zooms, like the $100 Oly 40-150mm, for instance.
Warning, I use the 250 version, and it's an ultra macro accessory, certainly not to shoot things further than 10 cm / 4 inches.

I use it with my 14-140 fully extended at 140mm. If it's macro that you want to do, perfect! But if it's for close distance that is not close enough to be considered for macro (let's say between what would be macro and 1 meter away), it won't work well.
 
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brackets can be done manually, with patience, and stacked for free
Don't forget Hugin, which also is really good at doing HDR and panoramas!

It calls itself a "panorama stitcher," but it does a lot more than that!

It's kinda nerdly, but it's not too hard to use with a little practice.
 

archaeopteryx

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I use the 250 version, and it's an ultra macro accessory, certainly not to shoot things further than 10 cm / 4 inches.
Have you measured this? With coupled lenses with the rear lens at infinity focus the distance from the forward principal plane of the front lens to the subject is the focal length of the front lens. The 250 is a 125 mm lens and, while the principal planes can be moved well away from the physical location of elements, for close up lenses they're usually somewhat close. I'm not finding it in my notes :hide: but I think I recall seeing the maximum working distance of the 250 being mentioned as 112 mm. (Also, the other main standard is the distance to the image plane, which is the working distance plus the length of both lenses and the mount's flange focal distance. This will be rather larger than 10 cm.)

Johan's Raynox calculator suggests 1.65x at infinity and 0.73x at close focus for the 14-140 at 140 mm (due to the fairly substantial focus breathing required to bring the focus to 300 mm). My experience is calculators usually overestimate the effects of focus breathing on magnification but that, with shorter focal lengths on the front lens, it's not uncommon for coupled lenses to exhibit higher magnification with the rear lens at infinity than at closer focus points. (The calculators neglect pupil changes and usually seem not to attempt to estimate a higher order term in the thick lens combination equation.)

Terminology is loose but some caution with referring to ~1.65x as ultra macro is probably appropriate. Macro is 1x and up so most macro lenses are macro only in the sense they just reach the lower end of the range. I'm not sure what I'd call ultra. Coupled lenses and trinocular microscopy run to 100x and that rises to 1000-2000x with an eyepiece projecting an aerial image. My current preferred arrangement goes a bit above 9x but I can approach 15x if I need to. This is on the low side as focus stacking at 20-40x is fairly common. I also often use my phone casually at 10-40x and 400x to grab images off dissecting scopes and compound microscopes.
Don't forget Hugin, which also is really good at doing HDR and panoramas!
I assume your Hugin focus stacking process is align_image_stack.exe and then enfuse.exe. My experience is it can work OK but Picolay's alignment scales much better as the number of images increases and Picolay's more successful in rendering details into the stacked output. align_image_stack does have the ability to correct changes in distortion, which Picolay lacks. For wide angle landscape stacks where only a few images are needed but focus breathing results in shifting higher order distortions I use align_image_stack as a bootstrap for Picolay.
 

jmichael81

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You could try the Konica 135mm f3.2, which has a mfd of 1m and is generally regarded as an excellent prime. You can look in the adapted lens showcase to see what it can do.
 
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