Cheap Macro Comparisons

I’ve done a couple of blog entries already about Macrophotography. In those I mentioned that a special lens is usually required but there are a couple of work arounds. One is the 10X Magnification Filter.  Another is the Reverse Lens Technique. After reading my blog some friends of mine in a local photography group mentioned another cheap way to do Macrophotography, the Macro Tube Extension Method.

Each of these methods magnifies a little bit differently than the others. I thought I’d make four photos of a penny, one with my 50mm f/1.8 by itself and one with each of the three methods listed above just to get a comparison. None of these images have been cropped. Each was taken as close as possible while being in focus. The object here is to see which method magnifies the most.

First up is the 50mm f/1.8 lens by itself.

50mm f/1.8 Bare at Minimum Focus Distance

50mm f/1.8 Bare at Minimum Focus Distance

Next is the 50mm f/1.8 with the 10x Macro Filter Attached

50mm f/1.8 with the 10x Macro Filter Attached

50mm f/1.8 with the 10x Macro Filter Attached

It’s getting bigger. Next is the 50mm f/1.8 using the Reverse Lens Technique.

50mm f/1.8 Reverse Lens Technique

50mm f/1.8 Reverse Lens Technique

Still Growing! Next up is the 50mm f/1.8 attached to the Macro Extension Tube.

50mm f/1.8 with Macro Extension Tube

50mm f/1.8 with Macro Extension Tube

It seems we have a winner. The Macro Extension Tube has proven that it can focus at the most magnification. Nice. One trouble with it though is that it is so long the it blocks my flash and casts a shadow on the subject. I had to bring in a shop light from the garage to get enough light on the penny for a decent picture. Still though, for the price it’s pretty nice. I paid $7.95 for the extension tube.

I posted the above blog and immediately John Aldrich commented, “I still wanna know what happens when you put a filter on WITH the extension.” That’s something I hadn’t thought about before so next thing you know I’m assembling the frankenstein contraption. Camera Body, then Macro Lens Extension, then 50mm f/1.8 lens, then 10x Magnification Filter. I really didn’t think it would work but I had to try it. So now, here is the new winner!

50mm f/1.8 with Macro Extension Tube AND 10X Magnification Filter

50mm f/1.8 with Macro Extension Tube AND 10X Magnification Filter

Now it’s three days later and I have thought of a new combination! What about using the Macro Extension Tube and the Reverse Lens together. That should be something!

Macro Extension Tube with Reverse Lens Technique

Macro Extension Tube with Reverse Lens Technique

I was right. It did turn out pretty good but I think the Extension Tube and 10X Filter combination still has the most magnification of the bunch.

I’m looking forward to making some more pictures with the extension tube in the future. I’m sure I’ll be posting them here.

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-Phil

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7 Responses to Cheap Macro Comparisons

  1. John Aldrich says:

    Phil, that’s what off-camera flashes are for, or circular lights/flashes. 😀

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