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2x Converter for Macro Shots

afong

Member
Does anyone have any advice on 100mm or 60mm Macro lenses (Contax vs. Yashica)?

I want to take some closeups of my newborns cute feet and hands.

I like the distance that you gain with 100mm and definitely want 1:1 (leaves out the 60mm compact).

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,
alan
 

tbarry

Member
There's really no need to go in for the expense of a macro lens, unless you have money to burn. Close-up, screw-on lenses will work fine, and they don't cost you any light, like extension tubes. Nikon makes some good ones in the most common threadings. Or an extension tube will work quite well. But I can highly recommend the Tamron 90mm macro in Adaptall mount. It is one of the best macros in existence and will get to 1:1 with the optional adapter.
 

bobbl46

Well-Known Member
Hi Alan

My favourite combo for macro at near 1:1 is the Zeiss 50mm f1.4 with a 2x Macro converter (not the common 2x converter). Teleplus and Vivitar make identical 7 element ones, which allow you to go from infinity to 1:1. The effect is the same as using a 100mm f2.8 Macro, so is similar to the Tamron, Yashica etc.

I have owned the Zeiss 60mm 1:1 macro, Yashica 100mm Macro and two of the Tamron 90mm Macro models and sold them all. In terms of cost/quality/ease of use, I kept going back to the Zeiss 50mm f1.4 + 2x Macro converter, even after (because of) careful bench tests.

Unless you are very particular about the setting up of the shot, on tripod, ideal lighting and critical about the settings needed to cover depth of field (hardly likely with a baby as the subject!), you are not going to see the slight benefit of a prime Zeiss Macro lens. You won’t be disappointed in the combo I mentioned.

I have recommended this to quite a few entomologists and those that took it up have given me excellent feedback. In one magazine test of 7 element ordinary 2x converters, the Teleplus (Vivitar is identical) was include and came out top, even when used as an ordinary converter, not as a macro converter! But the Mutar was not included in the test! I have shots available...but of course they loose impact when compressed for emailing!

Full frame 35mm image scanned at 2700dpi, resized to 500 pixels wide



Extract from above at full screen image size



Even at new prices, the 2x macro converter will save you good money over a second-hand Tamron, and if you find a converter second-hand it will be unbeatable in terms of value vs. quality. Note that it can only be used in AE mode even if your 50mm is MM. I don’t advise the matchstick, plastic insert work around for fooling cameras into MM modes!

If you do not need to go to near 1:1 then the other solutions mentioned will be fine.

Cheers, Bob.
 

bobbl46

Well-Known Member
Oops... had to resize it again to 300 wide. Dirk's put a max of 300 x 300 on for upload.

Cheers, Bob.
 

afong

Member
Excellent information! Thanks for your comments. I'm glad I asked; I'll probably save a load of cash by going that way. It also sounds like the setup will be lighter and more compact to carry.
 
O

ou1954

>Posted by Bob Letsche on Saturday, August 16, 2003 - 2:07 pm: > >Hi Alan > >My favourite combo for macro at near 1:1 is the Zeiss 50mm f1.4 with a >2x Macro converter (not the common 2x converter). Teleplus and Vivitar >make identical 7 element ones, which allow you to go from infinity to >1:1. The effect is the same as using a 100mm f2.8 Macro, so is similar >to the Tamron, Yashica etc.

====== balance deleted to save space =====

Have a look in PHOTO Techniques USA Jan/Feb 2003, starting on page 21. There are some super close-ups made with simple combinations of standard lenses and threaded adapters, some of which demonstrate clean magnifications to 6X at the film.
 

bobbl46

Well-Known Member
Hi Don...Thanks for your tip....it will make very interesting reading! I've had a quick search for PT in the UK and came up blank.... I’ll try again.

In the meanwhile.... any chance of a quick description of what equipment they used to get 6:1 on film. Was it, by chance, lens coupling rather than using supplementary lenses screwed to the filter thread?

I think Alan’s question was centered around shooting between normal minimum focus distance for standard lenses and 1:1. Which is why I offered the often forgotten alternative of a 2x Macro converter.

I agree that supplementary “close-up filters(!)” are a simple cheap method of extending the minimum focusing distance, as are extension tubes, but after my experiments photographing small(ish) objects on the bench from around 1:4 up to 2:1, I concluded that the 2x Macro converter offered the best combination of cost/quality/convenience. Fieldwork has not yet made me regret this choice.

I’d have to qualify this with….. I shoot a lot of insects in the field with minimum equipment, some close-ups, some “insect within habitat”. The range of insect size mainly falls between 4” to ½” wingspan. The Macro converter allows me to cover the range and get “in habitat” shots without altering the set-up of the lens. I don’t want to be flapping around changing lenses or adding extra optics when I’m a foot or so from my flighty subject. Neither can I afford to place a tripod down in front of my subject to get that “extra” out of the Zeiss or Tamron etc. These might not be others’ requirements. A dedicated 100mm macro lens (1:1) would let me do the same, but at a much higher cost...OK I’m penny(£) pinching. I have used Zeiss, Yashica and Tamron macro lenses. All excellent, but tie up more £’s, and weight in the bag.

Also, I’d not give up my favorite Zeiss Planar 50mm f1...it’s always there in my camera bag. I get even more use out of it, with the macro converter. I’m not saying that someone should go out and buy a 50mm just to then buy a 2x Macro converter! But, if they already own a 50mm….. it’s a good way of getting excellent quality up to (and a bit beyond) 1:1 at a relatively low price.

It also works well as a standard 2x converter to extend, say, a longer lens. I offer it as an alternative and fully understand if photographers choose other methods for their own convenience.

Cheers, Bob.
 
J

jeter

Bob, I am interested in obtaining a 2x macro converter to use with my 50/1.4, but a search at B&H's website and of the list at
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
yielded only the Mutars -- and so those different from the macro converter you are specifying?

Thank you
 

bobbl46

Well-Known Member
They are quite different!

Mutars are high-class Zeiss glass versions of the common 2x converter. They can be used on many focal length lens from, say 50mm upward.

A 2x macro converter is computed to give excellent close-up performance from 50mm lenses. They have an adjustable ring on them that goes from infinity to 1:1.5 if the 50mm lens is set to infinity, or, from about 1:4 to 1:1 if the 50mm lens is set to its minimum focussing distance. In practice, it's less complicated than words can describe. I leave my 50mm on infinity and adjust the ring on the converter for the magnification I want. Only if I need that bit extra do I alter the 50mm from the infinity setting to minimum to get that 1:1 setting.

They can be used with longer lenses, but its advisable to leave the macro converter set at infinity.....it acts like any other(!) 2x converter then!

See:
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
for an ex&le.

Remember that the Teleplus and Vivitar versions are identical ....so either one second-hand will do. Just check that it's the CY mount version.

Now! If only Zeiss made one! Yummy!

Cheers, Bob.
 
O

ou1954

>Posted by Bob Letsche on Sunday, August 17, 2003 - 12:10 pm: > >Hi Don...Thanks for your tip....it will make very interesting reading! >I've had a quick search for PT in the UK and came up blank.... I=92ll >try again. > >In the meanwhile.... any chance of a quick description of what >equipment they used to get 6:1 on film. Was it, by chance, lens >coupling rather than using supplementary lenses screwed to the filter >thread?

You can order Vol 24 #1 here:

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


The article discusses coupling either 2 regular lenses with a double male=20 thread adapter or a regular lens with an enlarger lens being coupled to a=20 telephoto lens.

One ex&le is a 35mm lens coupled to a 200 mm primary lens which yields a= =20 5.7 magnification. He lists some of the well-known photo supply sources=20 for male to male threaded adapters.

I am not a subscriber to the magazine but get issues passed on to me by=20 someone who does subscribe.

The author lists his email address as simon_gardner@cbc.ca and he=20 apparently does insect photos, among other things. He is a professional=20 photographer and videojournalist in Ottawa, Canada.

DAW
 

bobbl46

Well-Known Member
Hi Don

Ah! Ha! As I suspected! I've tried this ... excellent for really high mags, > 2:1. Working distances can get a tad short!

Many thanks, Bob
 
J

jeter

I visited the online store "KenkoMall" as suggested in a post above and discovered that the 2x macro converter was discontinued but still for sale there. I decided to buy one right away for use with a Zeiss 50/1.4. Uploaded is a test photo I took recently. The JPEG cannot show the quality because, unfortunately, all I can show you is a cheap flatbed scan of a 5 x 7 print. The original is quite nice, IMHO. The shot was handheld (f2.8 [= 5.6] at ~ 1/90), Kodak PNC 400 film, and composed with no pretense of any artistic notion! The scanner induced a narrower contrast range, among other flaws. Oh well. Best wishes.
 

jsmisc

Well-Known Member
Leon,
I think that is very good and also further vindication of the macro converter idea.
John
 

bobbl46

Well-Known Member
Hi Leon

Looks like it's just what you needed! How do you find using the converter? Are you glad I recommended it? If you are, pass on the word about this often forgotten piece of kit. Shame they are discontinued, it will mean people having to hunt around for used ones!

I've just got some slides back of Fallow Deer where I used the 2x Macro as a conventional 2x, attached to a 300mm f2.8 Tamron. I'll post the results shortly. I was pleased to see it did not appear to degrade the images, but I've only seen them in a hand viewer. I'll give them a more critical look tonight, projected to 6ft x 4ft.

Cheers, Bob.
 

paulcontax

Well-Known Member
Hi all you Contaxians, I use the mentioned converter myself and I'm quite satisifed with it's res= ults ! I tried several converter (Sigma 1,4x, Sigma 2x, Tamron 2x, Vivitar 2x, ..= .) but this ones seems the best. This is supported by a test result in an older german photo journal where = this was the best. Afterwards they never tested it again but the original = manufacturer converters. Comparing the test charts I couldn't find the OEM's converters better (exc= ept the Zeiss one but that seems to me much too expensive...). I use this converter with the 50mm Planar and the 135mm Sonnar and even wi= th a Tokina 2.8/80-200 it was really good. It's was not that good with the= cheaper zoom-lenses (3.5-5.6). That it also supported by a test from the = german fotomagazin where they stated that not every lens is good with a co= nverter. In general you could say that lenses with wide open appertures do it quite= well but those less opened (zoom as mentioned above and they took a Sigma= 5.6/400 which didn't do it well with the converter) are not good partners= with converters.

Happy shootings

Paul
 

bobbl46

Well-Known Member
I make no claim of excellent photography with these shots but here are 2 ex&les of use of the 2x Macro converter. Fallow deer and Small Red damselfly both at full frame reduced to 8% to fit in with the 300 x 300 limit. Also 300 x 300 extract of each one from the original image as scanned by my Nikon Coolscan LS20 at 2700dpi. No sharpening or colour alterations made.





Details: Fallow Deer, Agfa 100, AX body, Tamron 300mm f2.8 LD IF + Teleplus 2x Macro converter. Lens on monopod, deer walking, lens set to f2.8, shutter speed approx 1/350th. Subjects were approx 200 metres away.





Details: Small Red damselfly, Agfa 100, AX body, Zeiss Planar 50mm f1.4 MM + teleplus 2x Macro converter, Vivitar 3500 TTL flash. Camera on monopod, Zeiss set to f8, flash on TTL, slight wind movement of subject at approx 9" from front of lens.

Cheers, Bob.
 
O

ou1954

>Posted by Bob Letsche on Wednesday, September 03, 2003 - 9:25 pm: > >I make no claim of excellent photography with these shots but here are >2 ex&les of use of the 2x Macro converter. Fallow deer and Small Red >damselfly both at full frame reduced to 8% to fit in with the 300 x >300 limit. Also 300 x 300 extract of each one from the original image >as scanned by my Nikon Coolscan LS20 at 2700dpi. No sharpening or >colour alterations made. > >[Fallow_8pc.jpg] > >[Fallow_100pc_extract.jpg]

I think attachments don't come over on this mail system.

DAW
 

dirk

CI-Founder
"...I think attachments don't come over on this mail system..."

Don,

just click on the link at the buttom of the e-mail message and you get directly to the thread with the photos visible in the forum online.

Great results with the converter by the way...
 

bobbl46

Well-Known Member
Thanks Dirk .... for putting Don on course to view the images and for your compliment!

Cheers, Bob.
 
Alan,
Your same reason drove me buying
the yashica 55 macro I own...

Bob, I never thought about using 2x macro converter with the 50 Planar... My girlfriend (now my wife) bought me one as a Christmas present some time ago, when I only had zoom lenses, and results weren't so "exciting", so I will try again, thank you very much...

And about newborn hands, I would like to share this photo with you...

Thanks
Paolo
 
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