Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 16 of 34

Thread: Macro shooting ~ Budget Macro lens or alternative (advice)

  1. #1
    Dianeal/Extraneal/Physioneal hoodmeister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Cymru
    Posts
    794
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts

    Macro shooting ~ Budget Macro lens or alternative (advice)

    Precursor bumph begins here :

    A fortnight ago, I bought a half decent digital compact (Nikon Coolpix 7900)...

    I've had so much fun with it that i've decided (or, at least, it's very likely) that i'm going to take the plunge, and get a Nikon D70 (not s)

    As a standard starting lens, i'm (very likely) going to be getting a 28~80mm lens. My preference would be an 18~80mm... But I can get a good bundle deal on the D70 & a 28~80, so i'm hoping, for most shots, it should suffice.

    However, one of the aspects of my compact that i've been loving is getting nice close up macro shots. I'm not sure of the minimal focal distance of my compact, but it's pretty darn small... Not so with the 28~80mm... It has a minimum focal length of 40cm, not much use for macro shooting >.<

    So I started to look into proper Macro lenses. Ouch. Getting the D70 is already going to blow a massive hole in my bank account... One I can barely afford as it is. So there's no way that I can get an even vaguely "proper" macro lens... Not for a while yet.

    Soooooooooo, now i'm looking at go-betweens. Alternatives. I'll likely still use the compact a lot, but i'd like to be able to use the DSLR for close ups, too... I've come across, essentially, two options...
    A lens reversing ring.
    Extension tubes.

    I've been told by others that neither are great, but that extension tubes are by far and away the better of the two... Still, I don't know a huge amount about either.

    Precursor bumph ends here.

    So basically, this thread is asking for budget options to delve into the world of DSLR macro shooting. Recommendations on reversing rings / extension tubes would be lovely. Or, there may just have been something i've missed completely. Perhaps there's a very basic low budget macro lens just waiting for me to scoop up... Regardless, any advice is much appreciated

  2. #2
    Studmuffin Flibb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    4,904
    Thanks
    31
    Thanked
    324 times in 277 posts
    • Flibb's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3
      • CPU:
      • AMD FX-6300
      • Memory:
      • 16GB Crucial Ballistix DDR3 PC3-12800
      • Storage:
      • Samsung SSD 840 EVO 250G
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 3GB MSI Radeon HD 7950 Twin Frozr
      • PSU:
      • FSP
      • Operating System:
      • Win7 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Deffl TFT thing
    Yo biatch

    Have a D70, love it to bits. If you can get a deal on the d70s get that instead of the older one, it has a cable release socket which is normally a necessity for macro. There is a fudge to do cable release on the older model, it uses the IR wireless remote sensor (have one on my ebay shopping list), or you can do it using the timer.

    Lens wise get the standard kit lens 18-70 if at all possible, its a great lens, quiet fast focusing and a joy to use. Although I haven't ventured much in to macro yet my sigma 70-300 does do macro, and it only cost &#163;50 as new on ebay. Also worth getting a Nikon 50mm f1.8, they are around &#163;50 2nd hand and are one of the best Nikon lenses around. If you put reversing rings on a D70 you lose all metering, you will have to make a judgment call as to whether you can meter by eye using the histogram, if you go extension rings you must get auto extension rings to retain metering, they cost around &#163;100. Best website for info is
    http://nikonians.org/

    its down at the moment, but should be up tomorrow. Loads of lens reviews, Q&A, links etc. Photographers from all levels, some of the gallery pics will blow you away. ALso lots of info on software, as you need to post process with the D70 as images are taken very flat to retain info, although you can alter the camera settings to give punchier shots direct from the camera.

  3. #3
    Dianeal/Extraneal/Physioneal hoodmeister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Cymru
    Posts
    794
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts
    Thanks a bunch

    Liking the idea of the Nikon 50mm 1.8 ~ going to check out what sort of prices I can pick one up

    As for using a remote shutter, the cam would need to be on a tripod for that...Thus far i've found freehand macro shooting to be far more versatile than using a tripod. For me, it's all about angles.

    To combat image shake i've just tended to use a higher ISO ~ would this not work on the D70?

  4. #4
    Photographer; for hire!! shiato storm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    next door
    Posts
    6,977
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked
    6 times in 5 posts
    un fortunately the sigma 70-300 lens is not a true macro lens, but i believe sigma do a decent 105mm macro lens, it might cost a bit more but its much less that any nikon macro lens.
    Tamron do one too. if you're serious about macro work its work spending a bit of money to be sure. extension rings are an ok option but, as mentioned, you may lose af ability and metering etc...
    Powered by Marmite and Wet Dog
    Light Over Water Photography

  5. #5
    Studmuffin Flibb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    4,904
    Thanks
    31
    Thanked
    324 times in 277 posts
    • Flibb's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3
      • CPU:
      • AMD FX-6300
      • Memory:
      • 16GB Crucial Ballistix DDR3 PC3-12800
      • Storage:
      • Samsung SSD 840 EVO 250G
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 3GB MSI Radeon HD 7950 Twin Frozr
      • PSU:
      • FSP
      • Operating System:
      • Win7 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Deffl TFT thing
    I will probably get a set of extension tubes at some point, am wondering hat the 50mm f1.8 will be like on them. Could be useful as its pretty fast, if you look at nikoniains theres a dedicated macro forum there, along with dedicated nikon and 3rd party lens areas.

    Although the sigma only does 1:2, its longer focus can be useful if the subject is likely to get spooked by you getting to close, just wondered what subjects you photograph at macro? I had a brief bash at wild flowers and fungi while on holiday. Quickly learnt trying to do flowers in slight wind is a waste of time, buy fungi works out due to its sturdiness.

    Oooo dont mention iso and the D70, big debate about that one. You can increase the iso on the D70 but noise does start to come through, the point at which its a problem is up to your eyes and the subjeect. Its probably one of the biggest debating points on nikonians, also there seems to be many other factors that affect the amount of noise so its a suck it and see type thing. Have a look on nikonians as heres many examples of noise and iso, theres also lots of info on software that removes noise, noise ninja is the best known of them.

  6. #6
    Photographer; for hire!! shiato storm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    next door
    Posts
    6,977
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked
    6 times in 5 posts
    one thing I'm not that happy about on the nikons is the lowest iso is 200... would imagine it should be 100 and an option to go to 50 perhaps. means less noise etc. still, I've seen many excellent shots from d70's so I guess its not a massive problem is it....
    Powered by Marmite and Wet Dog
    Light Over Water Photography

  7. #7
    Studmuffin Flibb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    4,904
    Thanks
    31
    Thanked
    324 times in 277 posts
    • Flibb's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3
      • CPU:
      • AMD FX-6300
      • Memory:
      • 16GB Crucial Ballistix DDR3 PC3-12800
      • Storage:
      • Samsung SSD 840 EVO 250G
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 3GB MSI Radeon HD 7950 Twin Frozr
      • PSU:
      • FSP
      • Operating System:
      • Win7 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Deffl TFT thing
    I was wondering about that before buying the camera, then looked at what photos people were getting and decided it wasnt a problem.

  8. #8
    Dianeal/Extraneal/Physioneal hoodmeister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Cymru
    Posts
    794
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Flibb
    I was wondering about that before buying the camera, then looked at what photos people were getting and decided it wasnt a problem.
    Ditto this... I looked at some shots, and decided it was quite acceptable. On top of which, sources i've read suggest that the noise is pretty monochromatic (as opposed to, say, the canon 350D's) ~ Which makes it easier to remove. I've seen some pretty damn sweet shots taken at ISO 1600, which have been post-processed. I use the max ISO setting on my current compact a fair bit (ISO 400), and although the shots are mega noisy, Noiseware community edition does an excellent job of filtering it out. this was a damn noisy shot. A quick blast through Noiseware, and i'm very pleased with the results

    I'm currently looking at trying to get a quick second hand bargain on a macro lens from Ebay. Not found anything much yet, but at least I know what i'm looking for

    Cheers guys

  9. #9
    Photographer; for hire!! shiato storm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    next door
    Posts
    6,977
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked
    6 times in 5 posts
    funny enough the 50d has a differnt sensor and algorithms, noise is very much lower...but I think the over all quality isn't quite d70...

    I haven't got noiseware...might have to give it a try. been using noise ninja with mixed results.
    Powered by Marmite and Wet Dog
    Light Over Water Photography

  10. #10
    Dianeal/Extraneal/Physioneal hoodmeister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Cymru
    Posts
    794
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts
    I nearly got the D50 &#172;_&#172;
    Noiseware community edition (download at bottom of page)...

    I tend to just use either the automatic settings, or one of the presets... I don't understand it enough to use it manually. I find it works very well on images with clear, defined areas of colour (such as the one of pine needles above), but tends to lose detail too much on other things like landscapes (tis v. good for skies, though...)

  11. #11
    Studmuffin Flibb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    4,904
    Thanks
    31
    Thanked
    324 times in 277 posts
    • Flibb's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3
      • CPU:
      • AMD FX-6300
      • Memory:
      • 16GB Crucial Ballistix DDR3 PC3-12800
      • Storage:
      • Samsung SSD 840 EVO 250G
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 3GB MSI Radeon HD 7950 Twin Frozr
      • PSU:
      • FSP
      • Operating System:
      • Win7 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Deffl TFT thing
    I looked at the D50 as well, got the D70 due to a good price and having a better kit lens. But have since found im shooting mostly in full manual, so having seperate command dials for aperature and shutter speed is a god send.

    On macro side of things might get a set of dumb extension tubes and experiment with doing exposure using the histogram, should allow me to decide if I want to fork out for a set of auto extension tubes. Then again the sigma 50mm macro looks like a nice lens, just seen them for around &#163;150, although that would have to wait untill birthday time.

  12. #12
    21st century digital boy noah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    cardiff
    Posts
    1,491
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts
    one thing to say about the noise on the d70 is that it is closer to the noise of film grain with fast 3200 films so even tho its there it's not always unpleasant. esp in b+w shots

  13. #13
    Dianeal/Extraneal/Physioneal hoodmeister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Cymru
    Posts
    794
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts
    Aye, i've had a few shots where I like the noise...

  14. #14
    Studmuffin Flibb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Kent
    Posts
    4,904
    Thanks
    31
    Thanked
    324 times in 277 posts
    • Flibb's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte GA-970A-UD3
      • CPU:
      • AMD FX-6300
      • Memory:
      • 16GB Crucial Ballistix DDR3 PC3-12800
      • Storage:
      • Samsung SSD 840 EVO 250G
      • Graphics card(s):
      • 3GB MSI Radeon HD 7950 Twin Frozr
      • PSU:
      • FSP
      • Operating System:
      • Win7 64bit
      • Monitor(s):
      • Deffl TFT thing
    By the way, thanks for the link to noiseware, will have a look at it. Am going to do some iso / noise test shots at some point. We ahve a 3-4 month shutdown comming up and things will be quiet at work, I also have access to a daylight lit room thats nrmally used for asessing colour.

  15. #15
    Dianeal/Extraneal/Physioneal hoodmeister's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Cymru
    Posts
    794
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked
    0 times in 0 posts
    Still eyeing up a few Ebay auctions on Macro lenses (mostly the Sigma 60mm...), but just browsing through 7dayshop, I spotted this...

    What's the deal with that then? Anyone think it'll be much cop?...

  16. #16
    Senior Member chrestomanci's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Reading
    Posts
    1,607
    Thanks
    91
    Thanked
    95 times in 79 posts
    • chrestomanci's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus AMD AM4 Ryzen PRIME B350M
      • CPU:
      • AMD Ryzen 1600 @ stock clocks
      • Memory:
      • 16Gb DDR4 2666MHz
      • Storage:
      • 250Gb Samsung 960 Evo M.2 + 3Tb Western Digital Red
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Basic AMD GPU (OSS linux drivers)
      • PSU:
      • Novatech 500W
      • Case:
      • Silverstone Sugo SG02
      • Operating System:
      • Linux - Latest Xubuntu
      • Monitor(s):
      • BenQ 24" LCD (Thanks: DDY)
      • Internet:
      • Zen FTTC
    Quote Originally Posted by hoodmeister
    Still eyeing up a few Ebay auctions on Macro lenses (mostly the Sigma 60mm...), but just browsing through 7dayshop, I spotted this...

    What's the deal with that then? Anyone think it'll be much cop?...
    It's a zoom with macro support. Many Sigma zooms have a macro mode at the long end of the zoom. It only has a 1:2 magnification ratio, so you won't be able to photogaph anything much smaller than about 6 inches and still have it fill the frame.

    It is probaly a fairly common lens, if I where you, I would pop into a camera shop and ask to try one out.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. £1000 budget, advice please
    By Rhodan in forum PC Hardware and Components
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 17-08-2004, 11:29 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •