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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> Magnification compare: 50mm rev, 70-300, +3 filter
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10/22/2007 10:21:22 PM · #1
Having recently completed the Macro challenge, I really enjoyed using my 50mm reversed on the front of my Sigma 70-300mm. You can find details about this experience in the photo description:

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I just got my reversing ring from eBay ($7+s/h), and here's what it looks like:

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However, to show you just how much the 50 reversed on the 70-300 can magnify, I thought I'd do some full-frame comparison shots on a common household object. I chose a penny.

For those of you not in the US, the penny is roughly 19mm in diameter, with the Latin phrase "E PLURIBUS UNUM" printed on it. The word UNUM itself is about 3mm across.

I compare the 50mm alone, the 50mm with a +3 closeup filter, the 70-300 alone, the 70-300 with a +3 closeup filter, and the 50mm reversed on the 70-300 at both 70mm (min magnification) and 300mm (max magnification).

For most of these shots do not consider quality. This is a quick magnification comparison only. Again, these are full frame shots (on a Rebel XT with the 1.6x crop factor), not crops.

Here's the penny. This is as close as the 50mm can focus on it's own (distance ~1.5 ft):
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This is as close as the 50mm can focus with a +3 closeup filter attached:
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This is as close as the 70-300mm can focus, at 300mm in macro mode. (distance ~3 ft):
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This is as close as the 70-300mm can focus with a +3 closeup filter, at 300mm in macro mode. Note the terrible image quality here - looks like I just got out of a swimming pool. This is a result of poor optic quality of the closeup filter, made worse at 300mm:
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This is the 50mm reversed on the 70-300mm, at 70mm - minimum magnification for this setup. Focusing is entirely manual by actually moving the subject. Focusing distance is around 1-2 inches. Magnification looks to be roughly 2x.
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This is the 50mm reversed on the 70-300mm, at 300mm - maximum magnification for this setup. Focusing distance is still somewhere around 1-2 inches. Magnification looks to be almost 10x.
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Of course, you'll notice that depth of field is a real pain at this distance. The penny was only slightly slanted on its prop.

Hope you enjoyed this little comparison.

Cheers!
-Jeff
10/22/2007 10:25:46 PM · #2
Nice comparison, man. Interesting indeed. Thanks.
10/22/2007 10:29:59 PM · #3
I would love to see the same type demonstration with extenion tubes. Anybody have them? I was planning on getting a the set of Kenko Extenion Tubes. I know nothing about them.
10/22/2007 10:35:28 PM · #4
Originally posted by TonyT:

I would love to see the same type demonstration with extenion tubes. Anybody have them? I was planning on getting a the set of Kenko Extenion Tubes. I know nothing about them.

Ah yes - sadly I have no tubes. And since they're $100+ for a decent set and I'm a cheapskate and already own the 50mm... well, you get it. =D
10/22/2007 10:36:11 PM · #5
Nice description of the setup. I remember the reversed lens technique from the old days of film but that was just reversing one lens. Coupling two lenses, one reversed is new to me. I just ordered a reversing ring and I excited to try it out.
10/22/2007 10:58:07 PM · #6
Originally posted by TonyT:

I would love to see the same type demonstration with extenion tubes. Anybody have them? I was planning on getting a the set of Kenko Extenion Tubes. I know nothing about them.


That's what I have. With all three tubes (68mm: 36, 20, and 12) on a 50mm prime lens, I get about 1.4:1 magnification. That is, I can fill my 23.6mm sensor with about 17mm. When I put my 1.4 teleconverter between the body and the first tube, I fill the frame with about 12.25 mm, or 1.9:1. Same setup, but now reversing the 50mm, fills the frame at about 9mm.

Message edited by author 2007-10-22 23:11:51.
10/22/2007 11:04:59 PM · #7
Is there any advantage of the tubes over other methods? I only really care to get 1:1, so if I use them on my 70-200, can I get 1:1 with a much wider DOF. (The focus would be farther away.) Currently, when I look at the winner of the recent Macro, I think, I wish I could get that much DOF. I made it to 5th place, but my DOF is razor thin.
10/22/2007 11:11:19 PM · #8
Originally posted by TonyT:

Is there any advantage of the tubes over other methods? I only really care to get 1:1, so if I use them on my 70-200, can I get 1:1 with a much wider DOF. (The focus would be farther away.) Currently, when I look at the winner of the recent Macro, I think, I wish I could get that much DOF. I made it to 5th place, but my DOF is razor thin.


I asked just this question last week, and was told by more than one person that it comes down to magnification, assuming the same aperture. Double the magnification, halve the DOF. Tubes vs. true macro lens vs. reversed lens doesn't matter. What does matter, as you said, is how far away you can be and still get the magnification. And, of course, how small you can make the aperture to increase DOF.

Your shot is much more magnified than the winner, for instance, so your DOF is smaller, even taking into account the smaller aperture.

One thing I noticed, though, is that using my tubes, my zooms don't magnify nearly as much as my prime.

Message edited by author 2007-10-22 23:14:28.
10/22/2007 11:13:03 PM · #9
Originally posted by smurfguy:

Hope you enjoyed this little comparison.

Cheers!
-Jeff


VERY much. Thanks! In fact, you should tell Langdon to grab it as a tutorial and get $5 off your next membership, print, etc.
10/23/2007 04:39:17 AM · #10
Hey I have been using this technique for a while now.
The DOF IS extermely shallow.

The next piece of kit I'm looking at is a Macro Rail.

This will allow you to take several shots of the same subject at different distances so you can create a perfect composite shot.

Of course this requires your subject to be still, extremely still.

Light is also an important factor with this setup.
The more light the smaller your aperture can be, the bigger your DOF.

take it easy,

Paddy.

10/23/2007 05:07:29 AM · #11
I only am worry about one thing. Would 50 mm 1.8 lens actually hold on to that kind of stress. I just got my 50 mm and I read the comments on it everywhere, it is an awesome lens, but very fragile... plastic body vs heavier Sigma, which I also have the same sigma.

I donno, I think I would be very very careful carrying that thin attached to each other :P
10/23/2007 05:21:22 AM · #12
I use the same lens and I have been for the last six months now.

I don't really think there is extra stress on the lens. Granted, it's not your usual setup. The fact is though, you should (and probably are) always be careful with your lenses. Having the 50 mm reversed on another lens is no different.

It's a fragile lens but then again they all are.

The worst case scenario: you break it. Damn! pick another one on ebay for 50 euro :)

Take it easy,

P.
10/23/2007 06:05:24 AM · #13
Howdy,

Thanks for the little instructional on how to reverse mount a lens. I looked at the tutorial on DPC with interest but it seems a bit long winded and includes seemingly needless equipment.

I just ordered one of those rings you got (we have the exact same lenses) from eBay for a grand total of £4.50 so that should open up some fun possibilities in the future. If it's just a matter of sticking this thing in between 2 lenses then this should be a lot of fun.
10/23/2007 06:57:27 AM · #14
that's a cool illustration of how that works!
i did the same thing also with sigma 70-300 und reversed 50mm for that entry:
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i don't use a adapter ring to mount the 50mm though, i just hold the 50mm with my left hand infront of the tele zoom lense. i feel that gives me more space to play with the focus and magnification.
10/23/2007 09:58:39 AM · #15
As for the stability of things, the 50mm is pretty light, and the setup feels quite solid. If you buy a reversing ring, make sure it has the right diameters (these are the filter sizes). Mine is a 58mm (for the Sigma) coupled with a 52mm (for the Canon).

Originally posted by Mephisto:

i don't use a adapter ring to mount the 50mm though, i just hold the 50mm with my left hand infront of the tele zoom lense. i feel that gives me more space to play with the focus and magnification.

Awesome shot!

I started off by holding it, too, which gives you one more degree of control. If you have enough light, that is a possibility. In dim situations, the shutter is too slow to hold it still. In a pinch you can also use tape (of course, don't use tape that will leave sticky residue. I used clear packing tape, and it worked fine.)

I really didn't mess with the focus controls on the lenses. I wonder how that would affect things...
10/23/2007 10:31:50 AM · #16
Originally posted by smurfguy:


Originally posted by Mephisto:

i don't use a adapter ring to mount the 50mm though, i just hold the 50mm with my left hand infront of the tele zoom lense. i feel that gives me more space to play with the focus and magnification.

Awesome shot!

I started off by holding it, too, which gives you one more degree of control. If you have enough light, that is a possibility. In dim situations, the shutter is too slow to hold it still. In a pinch you can also use tape (of course, don't use tape that will leave sticky residue. I used clear packing tape, and it worked fine.)

I really didn't mess with the focus controls on the lenses. I wonder how that would affect things...


i never used anything else than my studio strobes for that kind of macro lens setup, i think it's almost impossible not to blur the exposure when shooting without a flash...

that focus control question is a good one, me wonders, too.
10/23/2007 10:55:16 AM · #17
i just found another illustration in my portfolio.
i shot these a while ago just for fun and to experiment a little with that technic:

@ 70mm
[thumb]580767[/thumb]

@ 200mm
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@ 300mm(that's a moth, who's eyes are not nearly as big as the eyes of a fly)
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10/24/2007 08:20:35 PM · #18
I tried this out today. The DOF is so shallow. Trying this has proven two things to me...

1. We need another macro challenge because I'm ready!
2. I need to save up for a real macro lens, what fun I could have!

Thanks for sharing the technique.
10/26/2007 09:19:05 AM · #19
Originally posted by FocusPoint:

I only am worry about one thing. Would 50 mm 1.8 lens actually hold on to that kind of stress. I just got my 50 mm and I read the comments on it everywhere, it is an awesome lens, but very fragile... plastic body vs heavier Sigma, which I also have the same sigma.

I donno, I think I would be very very careful carrying that thin attached to each other :P


Umm, I'm confused. Do you attach the longer lens to the camera and the 50mm in front?

I'm in the process of getting 50mm 1.8 and already have the 70-300mm and am interested in what effects I could acheive.

Cheers.

Claire
10/26/2007 09:24:22 AM · #20
I donno.. but apparently you have to use one of the "bottom" of the lens to take the picture since they are reversed. I am "dust-phobia" and I don't think I will do this method, rather buying a macro lens. Hate to get dust or anything on a lens that actually goes inside the machine... even I clean and dust after use.
10/26/2007 09:44:58 AM · #21
The 50 never has to be mounted on your camera, so you could get a cheap one on e-bay for less than $40.00. The brand name means nothing if it's only for reversing ... and no dust issues

Originally posted by FocusPoint:

I donno.. but apparently you have to use one of the "bottom" of the lens to take the picture since they are reversed. I am "dust-phobia" and I don't think I will do this method, rather buying a macro lens. Hate to get dust or anything on a lens that actually goes inside the machine... even I clean and dust after use.


edit to add: here you go, 10 bucks

Message edited by author 2007-10-26 09:47:40.
10/26/2007 10:08:12 AM · #22
Originally posted by hopper:

The 50 never has to be mounted on your camera, so you could get a cheap one on e-bay for less than $40.00. The brand name means nothing if it's only for reversing ... and no dust issues

Originally posted by FocusPoint:

I donno.. but apparently you have to use one of the "bottom" of the lens to take the picture since they are reversed. I am "dust-phobia" and I don't think I will do this method, rather buying a macro lens. Hate to get dust or anything on a lens that actually goes inside the machine... even I clean and dust after use.


edit to add: here you go, 10 bucks


i use a 35 years old pentacon 50mm f1.8 and it works perfect, you can get it on ebay for even less then 10 bucks...
10/26/2007 10:24:49 AM · #23
The two lenses go front to front, so you have to "back ends" on either side. You hook the 70-300 backend to the camera, so the front of the setup is the back of the 50mm.

Originally posted by FocusPoint:

I don't think I will do this method, rather buying a macro lens.


To each his own. Of course, most macros are only 1:1 (1x magnification) and are $200-400. Canon sells a 65mm 1x-5x for $800.

This setup cost me:
70-300mm: $139
50mm: $80 (or $10 as shown above)
Ring: $8

The beauty of this setup is:
- it's three lens options in one
- it costs less than a dedicated macro
- it magnifies more than most dedicated macros

Dust aside, I don't really see how you can go wrong.

Message edited by author 2007-10-26 10:25:53.
10/27/2007 12:20:37 PM · #24
ok... I got myself the "ring"... actually ordered it... JUUUUUUUUUST in case if I need it for another macro challenge :P

I probably will be SUPER careful not to land A dust on the lens while taking the picture though. :P
11/07/2007 11:22:11 PM · #25
[thumb]610248[/thumb]

I took a few samples tonight... juuuuuuuust in case if I need any macro later on... and it's really good. I never had that kind of macro before. Very satified. I too am ready for a "macro" challenge :)

Sample: Tip of a ballpen. which is very small but you can see my room, my photos on the wall... WOW!

[thumb]610251[/thumb]
Cursor from the flat screen.

[thumb]610252[/thumb]
...and flower.

Focal lengths are 300 mm for all photos.

Message edited by author 2007-11-07 23:28:22.
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