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Which (inexpensive) legacy macro?

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by pdh, May 17, 2010.

  1. pdh

    pdh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 6, 2010
    I'd like to have a decent macro on the shelf to go with my E-P2 (for flower buds, lichens, the occasional sedentary insect - that kind of stuff).

    It would be a nice-to-have for me rather than a must-have, so I'd be happy with a legacy MF lens + adapter for playing with.

    What could/should I be looking out for on eBay, say?

    (Bearing in mind I don't want to pay more than £40-£50 (US$60-80) -- and preferably less!)
  2. Stephen Geis

    Stephen Geis Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 13, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    I've had good experience with my Nikon 55mm 2.8 Micro that I picked up for $80 (adapter was separate). Shot some pretty cool photos of a butterfly wing with it that I will post later today.

  3. Bokeh Diem

    Bokeh Diem Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 14, 2010
    Check this out... several on the forum have one, including myself. The optics are very good from what I can tell.

    DCR-250 Super Macro conversion lens for D-SLR camera

    The lens fits over the front of your kit lens.

    Bokeh D

    Photo of those little pushbutton entry numbers on the side of the car door, using a DCR-250 on a 14-45mm Pany kit lens
  4. Stephen Geis

    Stephen Geis Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 13, 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    With the Nikon 55mm 2.8 Micro

    P1010879.JPG +
  5. klythawk

    klythawk Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2010
    Nottingham U.K.
    Hi pdh.

    I bought an Olympus OM 50mm f1.8 and a set of Vivitar OM fit extension tubes from the evilbay for £33 + approx £20 for the adapter Here's a few shots taken using the Oly OM 50mm/12mm ext tube/adapter with the E-P2.





    The full size originals can be viewed on my flickrstream

  6. pdh

    pdh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 6, 2010
  7. AlanT

    AlanT Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 8, 2010
    Perth, Scotland
    I went down the route of a 50mm M42 screw mount lens and extension tubes. Lenses cost from about £5 upwards (I went for an Auto Revuenon 50mm f/1.8), extension tubes about the same, and no more than £20 for an adapter.



    This last one is taken with a Fujinon 55mm f/2.2 (and 11mm extension tube) which I acquired for about £6 including postage.


  8. pdh

    pdh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 6, 2010
    It looks like for a relatively small amount one can have a lot of fun ... I've also seen this thread where the results with a Canon less are also pretty spectacular.

    I could see the problem being ending up with a dozen adapters ...
  9. richie15

    richie15 Guest

  10. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    I've yet to get an adapter for my G1 but I use an Elicar 90mm macro on my E-3. Here's one I took earlier today. These lenses do come up ocassionaly, there's one on ebay at the moment in the USA for $49 with just over an hour remaining - postage is a bit silly though. Alternatively you could look at an OM 50mm f3.5 - there's one on ebay currently at £26 with 1 day 21 hours to go.

    • Like Like x 1
  11. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    You can pick up pristine Minolta macro lenses, often with Minolta extension tube, for that sort of money. I have one myself and have seen quite a few for sale, as they don't seem to have the interest that other lenses generate.


  12. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Good point. Don't know why but Minolta lenses always seem to have been underated outside those who know them and most of them are real top performers. Manual focus cameras were excellent too (I'm not saying AF weren't!) and just today I picked up an SRT 303 on ebay for £4.20!
  13. Brian S

    Brian S Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 11, 2009
    The older Nikkor 55/3.5 is also worth going after. For an adapted lens, the Non-AI version is inexpensive. Mine was $25 a few years ago.

    The Macro lens has the advantage of full-focus range. With extension tubes, you are limited to close-ups until taking the tubes off.
  14. MikeB10

    MikeB10 Mu-43 Regular

    Experimenting with:

    135mm Super Takumar f/3.5 with old Tiffen +1 and +3 Closeup filters. ~$20 for the M42 adapter. (I think I paid about $100 for the this lense plus a 35mm f/3.5 used some 30+ years ago....I guess if you depreciate....:smile:) 

    • Like Like x 1
  15. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    get a konica hexanon 50 1.7 which is superb ,one of of the best 50s of that speed ever manufactured they are incredibly inexpensive for the optical quality, build quality and commendable speed,cost 10 -20 dollars now buy a set of 3 extension tubes for the ar mount 15 dollars , and lastly a ar to m4\3 adapter about 30-40 dollars ,

    thats what i would do
  16. pdh

    pdh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 6, 2010
    all good stuff, thanks

    there seems an almost endless supply of apparently suitable lenses on eBay, but I'm guessing it would be best to avoid those where, because of limited lens/or adapter functionality, you are only able to shoot at maximum aperture ... Caon EF for instance ?
  17. akulya

    akulya Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 21, 2010
    I am also interested in macro experimentation - but simply cannot justify £500 for the native panaleica 45mm.

    How would one use a hexanon 50mm 1.7 as a macro lens? I know it would need an mount adapter, but what purpose does the extention tube serve (other than increase the apparent focal length still further) ?

    If it is of any consequence - I actually own two m42 Zeiss Jena's at 50:2.8 and 135:3.5; could I somehow use these instead?

    Thanks for everyones help, I'm finding this a useful thread!
  18. Jim

    Jim Mu-43 Rookie

    May 30, 2010
    I've been lent a 55mm Vivitar f/2.8 Macro 1:1

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimlinnell/4813457984/" title="Vivitar 55mm macro by theChimp, on Flickr"> 4813457984_2428d084d5. "500" height="333" alt="Vivitar 55mm macro" /></a>

    and a Vivitar 135mm Close focus f/2.8 1:2

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimlinnell/4813458116/" title="Vivitar 135mm Close focus by theChimp, on Flickr"> 4813458116_7922f4aa4a. "500" height="333" alt="Vivitar 135mm Close focus" /></a>

    They are both great. It's going to be hard to give them back. The 55mm seems to go for about £150 on eBay although there are always exceptions and I'm sure if you are patient they can go for a lot less.

    The 135mm is great for insects as you don't need to get too close. The 55mm has quite a shallow DOF which can be a bit too much at times, but it's still a great lens, here's a few samples.


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimlinnell/4806508820/" title="Butterfly by theChimp, on Flickr"> 4806508820_b41094822d. "500" height="375" alt="Butterfly" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimlinnell/4805885367/" title="Six Spot Burnet Moth by theChimp, on Flickr"> 4805885367_08b49b5e16. "500" height="375" alt="Six Spot Burnet Moth" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimlinnell/4806507630/" title="Bee by theChimp, on Flickr"> 4806507630_5a7be74678. "500" height="375" alt="Bee" /></a>


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimlinnell/4787268665/" title="Shield Bug by theChimp, on Flickr"> 4787268665_71a654bee6. "500" height="375" alt="Shield Bug" /></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimlinnell/4787268349/" title="Bee by theChimp, on Flickr"> 4787268349_ce799afd0c. "375" height="500" alt="Bee" /></a>

    Apparently the Sigma 105mm is also great, perfect focal length I think. But you'll have to pay a bit more.
  19. photoSmart42

    photoSmart42 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 12, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    The Canon EOS lenses are just about the only lenses out there which force you to a fixed aperture. Most everything else has the ability for adjustable aperture either on the lens or through the adapter.

    I've been using an adapted enlarger lens as my macro lens with great success. I have both a Fujinon-EP 50/3.5 and a EL-Nikkor 40/4, and they were both under $40 USD. With some cheap M42 adapters and an M39-to-M42 adapter you can fit them on your camera.
  20. PeterB666

    PeterB666 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 14, 2010
    Tura Beach, Australia
    I have the Olympus OM 50mm f/3.5 and matching 25mm extension ring so I can do 1:1 macros. The lens is great and is the sharpest of any of my lenses. It is a cheap way into macro photography.
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