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nikon micro lens question

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Initial post: May 1, 2012 7:31:30 PM PDT
A.DW. says:
Currently I have the nikon 60mm f2.8G. I'm not very familiar with the meaning of everything involved in lenses. I notice when taking pictures that I can't "zoom" as much onto the subject as I want to. For example, I want to get closer to a dragonfly's eyes but I'm already 2 in away from it and cannot "zoom" more or move closer to it. Any suggestions? Would the 105mm or 200mm lens be better to get even more macro? Any help greatly appreciated!!
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Posted on May 1, 2012 8:03:55 PM PDT
JCUKNZ says:
You need to appreciate that what you are after is a "tight framing" of the subject, how close you get is a by-product. You will find that the 105* or 200 lens will not focus as close as your 60 [ most likely, I don't know them], but with the addition of extension tubes or close-up lens that inability to focus close will be overcome to a degree and the narrow angle of view of the 105/200 will give you the tight framing. I use a 2 dioptre CU lens on a 432mm lens which normally cannot focus closer than two metres but with the 2D gives me a focus range of 20 inches down to 13 inches and at 13 results in a 1.5 inch across subject filling the sensor. If I used a 4 dioptre [ Raynox 250 perhaps if it is big enough to cover the front of a DSLR's long lens ] a 3/4 inch subject to fill the sensor. I am working with a x12 zoom bridge camera which for a given angle of view has a smaller diameter lens so the CU lens is more practicable, cheaper, than those made for a DSLR. The extension tube needs to have electrical connections to connect camera to extended lens so you will find they are expensive ... there are cheaper plain tubes but they require you to work in A or M mode with a lens which has adjustment rings for aperture, essential, and focus less so.

In general terms I prefer to use a long lens for this purpose becuase it keeps me back from the subject ... casting no shadows, less likely to scare the wee beastie, I'm further away from the 'nasties'.. In this situation there is no difference in depth of field whatever focal length you use ... you have very little, period! :-)

This website gives you a run down on the general subject of getting tight framing ...
I have had an accident, careless fingers, with much of the site but this part is AOK to view.

*unless it is of 'macro' design.

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2012 8:48:43 PM PDT
Les Schmader says:
I'm no expert with macro, but the lens you have is rated to be 1:1.

If you used a 105 or 200 that was also 1:1, you would get the same image size as with the 60mm, but could be farther away.

I don't think you can get any "macro/micro" lenses that zoom that can equal the 1:1 image size of the "prime" lenses.

If you are already 2" from the subject, I don't understand the subject well enough to know if you can still use diopters or an extension tube.

Lenses with single numbers like 60, 105, 200 are "prime" lenses, they don't "zoom". Zoom and macro are not the same thing, and all prime lenses aren't macro.

If anyone follows up here, the lens I looked up says the minimum focus is 8.66", but the OP says 2". ??

Posted on May 1, 2012 9:40:56 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 1, 2012 9:42:58 PM PDT
zanypoet says:
The three Nikon lenses you mentioned 60mm, 105mm, and 200mm all have different minimum focusing distances, about 7, 12 and 19 inches in that order. Being 2 inches away from your subject with 60mm Nikon Micro-Nikkor (Nikon-speak for their macro lens), you have exceeded the minimum focusing distance for that lens, which is about 7 inches. Being closer than 7 in. will not let you any get bigger image as its maximum magnification ratio of 1:1 is achieved at about 7 inches. Going with longer macro lens will not help as both 105mm and 200mm has max. magnification ratio of 1:1 also, eventhough the angle of view decreases with longer macro lens. Its just that the max. ratio is reached further away from the subject, 12 in. for 105mm and 19 in. for 200mm. Your perspective will change but not the image magnification.

For greater than 1:1 ratio, you may have to go with addition of CU lenses as grampa mentioned or some sort of bellows rig such as Nikon PB-6 or ones from Novoflex. They are somewhat expensive and may not have all electrical contacts for auto exposure controls and flash metering. You might be better off trying to get the sharpest image possible 1:1 ratio using a tripod, then cropping in post process.

Personally, I have used CU lenses on non-macro lenses but not with macro lenses. CU lenses do degrade the image but they are relatively inexpensive and may be worth trying for non-critical uses.

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2012 10:09:03 PM PDT
The three Nikon lenses you mentioned 60mm, 105mm, and 200mm all have different minimum focusing distances, about 7, 12 and 19 inches in that order.

Point: the "minimum focusing distance" of a lens is measured from the camera sensor (the -O- icon on the top of the body).. NOT the front element of the lens.

If the lens is four inches and the body is another inch, then two inches in front of the lens would be the minimum focus distance.

Close-focus adapters tend to be less useful on short lenses, as their diopter value tells you how far away the subject will be when the camera lens is set to infinity. Using a +4 means "infinity" is now 250mm -- about 10 inches in front of the lens. You CAN now crank the lens to closer positions but... a 60mm macro lens already focuses without assist in the 10-2 inch (in front of the element) range so why corrupt the quality.

Using a 300mm lens, OTOH, makes a +4 useful -- most telephotos have a minimum focus distance of around four FEET, so being able to focus on something only 10 inches away is a big improvement (+4 on 300mm gets you to just a hair over life-size).

Canon makes a special macro lens... It focuses between 1 and 5 times life-size; but that is it... Forget about shooting a flower -- the lens is designed to focus on the POLLEN from the flower <G>

Posted on May 2, 2012 2:24:56 PM PDT
JCUKNZ says:
When I wanted to copy the image on a 16mm motion picture frame back in film days I added one set of extension tubes to the 50mm lens another to the camera [ in the old days I picked up these things when they were on a sale :-) ] and held them more or les in line with a length of plastic pipe.
The image, less than 10mm across, filled the 36mm of the 35mm film gate. The 16mm film was back illuminated and with lights switched off in the basement there were no light leaks.
Just mentioned to show where there is the will there is a way :-)
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Discussion in:  Photography forum
Participants:  5
Total posts:  6
Initial post:  May 1, 2012
Latest post:  May 2, 2012

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