Taking your macro Work Seriously

paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
edited April 2015 in Other Manufacturers
We all love our Nikon lenses, However if you want to look at alternatives when specialising in Macro Work, what would you consider.
Here is my list.

Voigtlander APO Lanthar 125mm F2.5 SL
Carl Zeiss Planar T 100mm F2
Schneider PC TS 90mm F4.5
Sigma APO EX DG OS HSM 180mm
Nikon Nikkor-P 105mm F4 Bellows Lens

What would you use?
Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
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Comments

  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited April 2015
    Golly, I would like anyone to look at this using the 85mm f/1.8G Nikkor with some extension tubes.....

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/fantinesfotos/17003854490/sizes/o/

    I like the reflection of the eyelash in the eyeball....An SB-800 into a softbox was used for lighting, but this was a stranger in a park, single exposure.
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    Depends on what you are doing. You can be serious about certain types of macro shots without any of the stuff you mentioned. Are you doing products? Flowers? Insects? Do you need 1:1 or even more magnification? Just depends on what you want to achieve.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • ThomasHortonThomasHorton Posts: 323Member
    In the field, I like the stand-off of the Sigma 180.

    For "studio" work, extension tubes and bellows work well.
    Gear: Camera obscura with an optical device which transmits and refracts light.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,290Moderator
    Interesting list @paulr. Do you have a good reason for selecting those lenses - like are they particularly highly rated?

    I use the 60mm f2.8D on my D7100 for macro with fair success but I would also like to own the 200mm micro for my D750 and available light work. I am jealous of canon's 5:1 macro lens, wish Nikon did one. My business partner is trying a reversed 50 prime a la Thomas Shahan. If it works well, I'll have a go at that method.
    Always learning.
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
    edited April 2015
    Spraynpray, The Voigtlander is reputed as been the best macro lens ever made, You see them on Ebay sometimes but very rare . Read Michael Erlewine's report on this lens, he rates it highly.
    https://www.astrologysoftware.com/download/cmp_lenses.pdf
    Carl Zeiss 100 macro also gets glowing results although only 1-2 magnification
    Schneider 90 TS/PC I recommend this lens from personal use due to the lack of fall out on the edges of the image
    Sigma 180 AP0 Lens If you look at the construction of 19 Elements in 14 groups, thats a lot of Glass plus it has other goodies which suit the macro photographer also.

    Nikon 105 bellows lens is for bellows users only, where the standard 1-1 is normal, macro with bellows and bellows extensions , really starts to get interesting and nearly close to micro photography, but thats a totally different ball game.
    Post edited by paulr on
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited April 2015
    Used with extension tubes, this might be super:
    Zeiss Apo Sonnar T* 2/135
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    I am just curious what makes any one of those setups "serious" while just using any one of the Nikon macro lenses that can produce 1:1 is not. Are you want ing to achieve greater than 1:1? I admit I handhold almost all my macro shots and rarely use external lighting, but curious what the serious distinction is entailing.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,318Member
    You can just attach an extension tube if you are motivated for greater than 1:1.

    To me "serious" will involve lighting, as that is often the biggest challenge if you are stopping down to improve DOF.
  • paulrpaulr Posts: 1,176Member
    If you consider that macro photography starts at 1-1 then anything with greater magnification starts to involve other aspects of macro photography, Example, Lighting, Tripods, Stacking software and of course lenses. Bellows equipment can magnify to 1-23 so depending how serious you want take your macro work, equipment does have a bearing. Subject matter also has great relevance on what type of equipment is necessary to achieve the required image, But regardless of equipment it is the skill of the photographer who finally produces the perfect image.
    Camera, Lens and Tripod and a few other Bits
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    Maybe we have an issue of semantics....and that your question, Paul, can be limited to greater than 1:1 mag or less than 1:1, the setup which works best for each situation.

    My experience is that as I approach 1:1, and greater magnification, the problems technically increase exponentially, lighting, physical distance, DOF, and that focus stacking may be the way to go at higher mags. I do so little of this, I really know nothing about it, however.
    Msmoto, mod
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,290Moderator
    You can just attach an extension tube if you are motivated for greater than 1:1.

    To me "serious" will involve lighting, as that is often the biggest challenge if you are stopping down to improve DOF.
    Indeed. A badly lit super sharp macro is less appealing than a well lit slightly less sharp shot IMHO. If you look at Thomas Shahan's shots, they are beautifully lit.

    Always learning.
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    To me it just depends on how close you are wanting. Lots of times I don't want just the pollen grains on the flowers. To me that doesn't do much good. I want the whole flower or a decent portion of it. Lots of times I want a good portion of the bug and not just its eyes or whatever. Just because it isn't ultra magnified doesn't mean it isn't macro...just a different type of macro. One of the museums we went to had a Nikon small world or something like that display. They were all shots with super high magnification microscopes or even other types of magnification devices (I don't remember off the top of my head).

    Most of my macro isn't super close up magnification, but to show something and detail of it.
    DSC_0079

    DSC_0393

    DSC_0198_20140917_1239-1

    DSC_0029_20140706_900-1

    DSC_0140

    DSC_0078-1

    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,290Moderator
    Less than 1:1 is called close-up photography which is what yours is @tcole1983. I think macro is 1:1 - 5:1 and after that you start to get towards photomicrography. Your images above are also available light which is fine, but it limits ones opportunities when fast moving objects are the subject.
    Always learning.
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    edited April 2015
    I couldn't tell you which ones are 1:1 (if any) I just take pictures :-)

    And yes all with available light. I don't have patience for fast moving skittish things. If I ever find the money I would like to invest in more lightning stuff.
    Post edited by tcole1983 on
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
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