macro dilemma

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by venusian, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. venusian macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2008
    I'm new to this DSLR game, and I was after some thoughts on how best to achieve macro shots.

    I've got an olympus e520 and the wonders of google have shown i've got three options, Extension tubes, 35mm Macro lens and Macro Filters.

    Of the three, Macro Filters is obviously the cheapest, and no doubt gives the lowest quality result. but what i cant seem to find info on is how bad is it? Like compared to zooming/cropping if it were to be printed A3 size or so.

    So guru's should i experiment with filters or save my pennies for a new lens
  2. S-Man macrumors regular


    Feb 1, 2009
    I'd say save the pennies. I'm not sure about Oly gear, but a good Canon Macro lens can be had for around $350 (which is cheap in the world of camera gear).
  3. FX120 macrumors 65816


    May 18, 2007
    One thing I wouldn't do is buy a 35mm macro unless you've got the equipment to light your subject correctly when it is less than an inch from the lens. Personally I wouldn't go for anything shorter than 65mm for a macro.

    From what I have read macro filters aren't exactly macro, usually the magnifcation improvement over the host lens is marginal.

    Extension tubes are probably your best bet, paired with a longer prime if you can't find a longer dedicated macro.
  4. venusian thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2008
    with the four-third system, the 35mm is suppose to be equivalent to a 70mm would it be ok?
  5. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    I think I read somewhere that 1:1 is at 146mm from the subject. So, is about 15 centimetres too close?
  6. Kronie macrumors 6502a


    Dec 4, 2008
    Reverse macro ring

    What lens or lenses do you have now? If you have a short prime, like a 50 or 35 you can simply mount it on the camera with one of these Basically mounting the lens in reverse.
    That's your cheapest and easiest solution to go 1:1. You can also use zooms but your shortest primes work better. otherwise extension tubes work fine but you lose a ton of light so you may need some type of flash setup or lots of sunlight. Ive never used the magnifying filters so I cant comment on those but I have heard they will work the best with say a zoom lens like a 70-200.
  7. CarlsonCustoms macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2007
    One thing you have to remember is that with reversing rings and extension tubes that doesnt have the electrical contacts built in is that the camera won't autofocus or do TTL flashing. I found this out the hard way when I realized my new macro ring light flash wouldnt fire becuase my extension tubes are the cheap kind.

    If you just want to give it a go the extension tubes are only a few dollars on ebay and the reversing ring was only around $6 too.


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