What equipment is recommended to Nikon if you want to achieve at least 5x magnification with macro / close-up?
I want there to be any Nikon equipment that can compete with Canon MP-E 65mm. (I do not want to switch to Canon just to take extremely good close-ups of plants and insects because I like Nikon.)
*** My equipment for macro:
Sigma 180mm - macro.
What I have today is the Nikon PB-6 bellows.
Between Rings from Kenko.
An adjustable mellanrung.
Which Nikon lenses are recommended if you want to use it / them to the Raynox and the PB-6 bellows? (The lens shall be compatible with Nikon D800E)
Sincerely Alexander from Sweden!
There are many thread discussions on doing higher mag macro. From my reading, it seems like this can often involve using a microscope objective on a bellows such as yours. Are you planning to do field shooting, studio work, or both? Post a query in one of the threads - there are a lot of talented folks there who will willingly share with you their expertise.
The folks on the photomacrography site have some very nice work...
and photo microscopes
In the days of film, Carl Zeiss make the best Photo Microscopes
this is similar to one I used for Pathology
a beautifully made piece of kit
You can go beyond 1:1 using extension rings - Kenko makes ones that get good marks - and a bellows like the PB6 from Nikon. I have one and use it with the 105mm Micro Nikkor and 60mm Nikkor. The bellows isn't automatic, the rings are, and the that can really matter if your trying to do action work.
With the 105mm the site at Nikon claims 11x magnification, if I recall correctly, and I rarely do, and I don't recall under what circumstances - blue moons, right trade winds, etc., but it should do 5x with the right equipment.
I see that you have the PB-6 and with you 180mm you should be able to do very near to or at 11x, albeit uncomfortably in the field. It will generally be dark through the viewfinder. IOW, I think you have the optical capability, it just clumsy and difficult use. (Assuming the Sigma has a good micro focusing capability ;-) ).
That's some crazy magnification!
20mm f/2.8 reversed with Nikon adapter
And 85mm f/1.8G with 68 mm of extension rings.
Lighting was a bounced Elinchrom strobe 400 WS w/ the 20 mm and 200 WS w/ the 85 mm.
These are full frame, no cropping
I have tested the combination with F 105mm (macro) and Raynox DCR-250 + built-camera flash which I think works well. Should I shoot handheld needed the support arms for otherwise it is difficult to be completely still with the camera.
I also Raynox MSN-505 but it is an extreme focus distance and so will also need a strong light source. The built-in camera flash is not suitable ofr MSN-505, I have noticed.
Extreme focus distance, it is also about using Macro + adjustable between ring from Meike and a Raynox product.
I also received my Componon S 50mm and M39 -> M42 adapter + M42 -> Nikon adaptper I on occasion to test on my PB-6 bellows. Hope it's not too tricky to install only .
Sincerely Alexander from Sweden!
Which bright Nikon lenses with manual aperture for good and high magnification with Nikon PB-6 + PB-6E?
Now I have the Nikon manual 105mm/f2, 8 and Componon S-50/f2, 8. Componon/f2, 8 gives a higher magnification than 105mm/f2, 8.
I figured if there was something good lens with an F-value for 2 (0 - 1.9) which is also manually and that can be used in reverse at the end of the bellows. As the closest focusing distance is less the shorter the focal length, so requires you it is considerably bright too.
(Is it easy to connect to a ring flash at the tip of the counterintuitive lens? If yes, what ring flash is recommended?)
Thanks in advance!
Blimey....oh, yes, the 85mm f/1.8G Nikkor is a fantastic lens. the only issue is that once the rings are on, one is limited to as fixed focus distance.
And, it only took me a month to read your post... )
As to ring flash...I will be constructing a "half ring" setup for use with the 105mm. I find the flat lighting of a full ring not to my pleasure....Also, I think I can construct this using a bracket so I can shoot on location and have the lens down to about f/22 or smaller.
Once things get to a larger magnification than 1:1, it becomes far more difficult to manage almost all aspects of the image capture.
D3 • D750 • 14-24mm f2.8 • 35mm f1.4A • PC-E 45mm f2.8 • 50mm f1.8G • AF-D 85mm f1.4 • ZF.2 100mm f2 • 200mm f2 VR2
(not to be confused with the SB-800 speed light); I will also suggest that the very best way to learn all about the capabilities of the complete R1C1 kit, is to get a copy of Mike Hagen's great book, "The Nikon Creative Lighting System", Using the SB-600, SB-700, SB-800, SB-900, SB-910, and R1C1 Flashes. (be SURE to get the 2nd edition) ISBN 978-1-933952-99-4 This book lists for $39.95 U.S.D. but can be found several places for about half that price.
Using speed lights can be very tricky, even for experienced "workers", and can be "mind-boggling" for the un-experienced; of all the books I have ever read on the subject, this book is head and shoulders above all the rest. It explains the RU-800 Commander unit and it's operation in great detail, as well as the two SB-R200 speed lights that come with the R1C1 Kit. Basically, the advantageous thing about this system is, the kit contains an adapter ring, which makes it possible to attach up to four SB-R200 speed lights directly to the front end of the lens, or, ( quite UNLIKE ring lights ), they can be used free standing, or attached to light stands; and it's not only designed just for macro work; it's very useful for such things as portraits, etc.
What you're most interested in though, (extreme magnification work), the kit contains special diffusers which attach to the SB-R200 speed lights, allowing for the lighting of subjects which are only millimeters away from the lens.
If it sounds like I'm somewhat knowledgeable about all of this, it's only because I have I have been studying the subject intensively for the past 3 months now, and plan to order the R1C1 Kit this coming week, (as soon as B&H Photo in N.Y.C. comes back to work from observance of The Passover) If you have any questions about any of this, you may feel free to message me.
@ Msmoto........You never cease to amaze me! That coin.....no "flat" lighting there! You know, just looking at such a perfectly lighted subject as that coin, makes me wonder how anyone was ever able to sell a ring light, which by it's very design, can't possibly deliver anything but "flat lighting". If my memory serves me correctly, I think it all started way back when Nikon first introduced it's famous "medical nikkor" lens with it's built-in ring light; it was "just the thing" for it's intended purpose, but shortly after it's introduction, everyone and their brothers were selling ring lights.
@ Mike Gunter.......And another big "WOW!" That is SOME penny! BTW....I just want you to know, I feel very "presumtious" expounding on a subject which you (and others) obviously know a whole lot more about than I do. Even though I have been "piddling around" with cameras for a long time now, it has taken me until just recently to finally find someone who could write a book about using Nikon speed lights that I could understand and find useful.
in my opinion, having enough light is the critical part of macro since the extension tubes drastically reduce the amount of light. my current setup places a speedlight out near the end of the frankenstein lens setup, but i find the shadows a bit harsh so i'm going to be adding a very small 6x7" softbox for future shots. i've seen some ring flash setups but i'm not sold on that light style for macro photography (love it for other uses, just not macro)
i played around with focus stacking and i'm a big fan, especially since it's not that hard in photoshop. to do it right, i would want a dedicated macro focusing rail. we'll see how much i enjoy this before i jump into that next phase
i've taken some shots handheld with this rig, so it is possible, however, the rig is heavy and given that your focus point is measured in less than 1mm, it's better to mount on a tripod or brace against the ground/leg/pole/etc. expect to take a lot of shots just to get the one you're happy with
enjoy your macro adventures!
"in my opinion, having enough light is the critical part of macro since the extension tubes drastically reduce the amount of light. my current setup places a speedlight out near the end of the frankenstein lens setup, but i find the shadows a bit harsh".
As long as you have a lighting setup where all of the light is coming from one place, you're always going to have harsh shadows. That's the advantage of using 2, 3, or even 4 smaller speed lights, rather than one big one; you can vary the power to each light, bounce it off of a reflector, shoot through a diffuser, use small colored gels over individual lights, in other words, you can control the light, make the shadows go where you want them for best effect. I'm wondering, how do you ever calculate your exposures with all of those lenses and tubes together ? I have a very nice Canon bellows unit and a set of extension rings I used "back in the day" (before auto focusing, before cameras had internal light meters or even auto-apertures.............the BIG problem back then of course was, you spent half the day putting all that stuff together, then shoot a roll or two of film, then wait 3 weeks to see if you managed to "take any pictures" ! ( IMHO, digital photography is much better! )
You mentioned a focusing rail; that's actually about the very first thing one should "acquire" before you start doing any macro beyond "life size". ( I often thought about using the very nice rack and pinion of the old Canon bellows to make a dedicated focusing rail. )
besides, i'm thinking that a small 6x7" softbox for macro shots will be like one of those car shots where they have a ceiling sized softbox!
for this first round of macro shots, i started by shooting in manual, using the built-in camera metering as a starting point (which is pretty accurate). adjusted the exposure down a little and then built the shot back up using the flash until i was happy with the results
i can't imagine trying macro photography with film. i started there but learning was slow going... moving to digital changed my rate of learning exponentially. i still have plenty to learn, but am enjoying the adventure