Would anyone else want an RX100 w/better macro?

Started Dec 10, 2013 | Discussions
WT21
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Would anyone else want an RX100 w/better macro?
Dec 10, 2013

I love my RX100 (I have the mk1), but I also really like macro and close shooting.

Would anyone else want closer focusing, especially at the tele end?

Are there any add-ons/adapters that might do the trick with the current body?

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Jogger
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Re: Would anyone else want an RX100 w/better macro?
In reply to WT21, Dec 10, 2013

The RX10 is basically an RX100 with better macro.. its quite close focusing, even at 200mm.

WT21 wrote:

I love my RX100 (I have the mk1), but I also really like macro and close shooting.

Would anyone else want closer focusing, especially at the tele end?

Are there any add-ons/adapters that might do the trick with the current body?

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WT21
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Re: Would anyone else want an RX100 w/better macro?
In reply to Jogger, Dec 10, 2013

Jogger wrote:

The RX10 is basically an RX100 with better macro.. its quite close focusing, even at 200mm.

WT21 wrote:

I love my RX100 (I have the mk1), but I also really like macro and close shooting.

Would anyone else want closer focusing, especially at the tele end?

Are there any add-ons/adapters that might do the trick with the current body?

Slightly different form factor, however. And a slightly different price.

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Sean Nelson
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Re: Would anyone else want an RX100 w/better macro?
In reply to WT21, Dec 10, 2013

WT21 wrote:

Would anyone else want closer focusing, especially at the tele end?

I would.   One of my pet peeves is cameras that allow close focus only at the wide end.   With a wide field of view it's often impossible to eliminate unwanted stuff from the background of your shot.

Are there any add-ons/adapters that might do the trick with the current body?

I use a Canon 250D close-up lens attached to the Sony filter adapter via a 49mm --> 58mm step-up ring (there is also a 52mm version of this lens available, but I happen to have the larger version so that's what I use).   This is a thick, fairly heavy lens with two elements that is very sharp and free from chromatic aberrations.  The Sony filter adapter handles it just fine despite it's weight, although have to be careful when clipping it onto the lens to make sure it's secure.

The 250D is so named because it allows you to shoot from 250mm (a little less than a foot) no matter what the focal length is.   You don't have a very great range of distance to work with, but the ability to adjust your field of view by zooming largely makes up for that.

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bpjod
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Re: Would anyone else want an RX100 w/better macro?
In reply to Sean Nelson, Dec 10, 2013

Sean Nelson wrote:

WT21 wrote:

Would anyone else want closer focusing, especially at the tele end?

I would. One of my pet peeves is cameras that allow close focus only at the wide end. With a wide field of view it's often impossible to eliminate unwanted stuff from the background of your shot.

Are there any add-ons/adapters that might do the trick with the current body?

I use a Canon 250D close-up lens attached to the Sony filter adapter via a 49mm --> 58mm step-up ring (there is also a 52mm version of this lens available, but I happen to have the larger version so that's what I use). This is a thick, fairly heavy lens with two elements that is very sharp and free from chromatic aberrations. The Sony filter adapter handles it just fine despite it's weight, although have to be careful when clipping it onto the lens to make sure it's secure.

The 250D is so named because it allows you to shoot from 250mm (a little less than a foot) no matter what the focal length is. You don't have a very great range of distance to work with, but the ability to adjust your field of view by zooming largely makes up for that.

I'll confirm what Sean has said. It's what I've done to get macros on my RX100, although it is a bit of a bother and the 250D is a fairly heavy lens and very easy to knock/shake off the front of the RX100 as it is only held on by a magnet.

Technically, it would be difficult to achieve macro ability in such a small camera as the RX100. Take a look at the Pentax DA 40/2.8 and compare it to the DA 35/2.8 macro. Both are f/2.8 and there's not a lot of difference in the focal length (35 vs 40mm). The DA40 is 15mm long, weighs 90g and has a closest focussing distance of 40cm (.13x mag). The DA35 is 46.5mm long, weighs 215g and has a closest focussing distance of 14cm (1.0x mag). To go from 40cm to 14cm close focus distance requires a lens that's 3x as long and more than double the weight. At close focus the DA35 doubles it's length. To achieve close focus, a lens must extend a fair bit, and the longer the focal length, the more it must extend. The design goal of fitting the RX100 in a pocket does limit how close it can focus.

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bpjod
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Re: Would anyone else want an RX100 w/better macro?
In reply to bpjod, Dec 10, 2013

bpjod wrote:

Technically, it would be difficult to achieve macro ability in such a small camera as the RX100. Take a look at the Pentax DA 40/2.8 and compare it to the DA 35/2.8 macro. Both are f/2.8 and there's not a lot of difference in the focal length (35 vs 40mm). The DA40 is 15mm long, weighs 90g and has a closest focussing distance of 40cm (.13x mag). The DA35 is 46.5mm long, weighs 215g and has a closest focussing distance of 14cm (1.0x mag). To go from 40cm to 14cm close focus distance requires a lens that's 3x as long and more than double the weight. At close focus the DA35 doubles it's length. To achieve close focus, a lens must extend a fair bit, and the longer the focal length, the more it must extend. The design goal of fitting the RX100 in a pocket does limit how close it can focus.

Furthermore, credit where it's due: Sony built a bigger camera around the RX100 sensor. Because the lens no longer had to fit in a pocket, they could play with it's capabilities a bit and decided to give it wonderful closeup abilities. They did so across the focal length range. Kudos to them. That camera is of course the RX10, and I really appreciate it's close-up abilities.

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WT21
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Re: Would anyone else want an RX100 w/better macro?
In reply to bpjod, Dec 11, 2013

bpjod wrote:

bpjod wrote:

Technically, it would be difficult to achieve macro ability in such a small camera as the RX100. Take a look at the Pentax DA 40/2.8 and compare it to the DA 35/2.8 macro. Both are f/2.8 and there's not a lot of difference in the focal length (35 vs 40mm). The DA40 is 15mm long, weighs 90g and has a closest focussing distance of 40cm (.13x mag). The DA35 is 46.5mm long, weighs 215g and has a closest focussing distance of 14cm (1.0x mag). To go from 40cm to 14cm close focus distance requires a lens that's 3x as long and more than double the weight. At close focus the DA35 doubles it's length. To achieve close focus, a lens must extend a fair bit, and the longer the focal length, the more it must extend. The design goal of fitting the RX100 in a pocket does limit how close it can focus.

Furthermore, credit where it's due: Sony built a bigger camera around the RX100 sensor. Because the lens no longer had to fit in a pocket, they could play with it's capabilities a bit and decided to give it wonderful closeup abilities. They did so across the focal length range. Kudos to them. That camera is of course the RX10, and I really appreciate it's close-up abilities.

Smaller cameras than the RX100 have closer focusing. I am not willing to play engineer and defend Sony, and blindly assume it's not possible, nor am I willing to assume the only way it's possible is near-DSLR size. That's giving up too easily, IMO.

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johnny 99
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Re: Would anyone else want an RX100 w/better macro?
In reply to WT21, Dec 11, 2013

Smaller cameras than the RX100 have closer focusing (and wider angle and longer zoom etc), but not with the same size image sensor. The larger image sensor in the RX100 really limits what Sony can do with the lens without making the camera much bigger.

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WT21
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Re: Would anyone else want an RX100 w/better macro?
In reply to johnny 99, Dec 11, 2013

johnny 99 wrote:

Smaller cameras than the RX100 have closer focusing (and wider angle and longer zoom etc), but not with the same size image sensor. The larger image sensor in the RX100 really limits what Sony can do with the lens without making the camera much bigger.

any links to support that statement?

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bpjod
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Re: Would anyone else want an RX100 w/better macro?
In reply to WT21, Dec 12, 2013

johnny 99 wrote:

Smaller cameras than the RX100 have closer focusing (and wider angle and longer zoom etc), but not with the same size image sensor. The larger image sensor in the RX100 really limits what Sony can do with the lens without making the camera much bigger.

any links to support that statement?

Basic optics.
The longer the focal length of the lens, the more the lens has to extend to achieve close focus. Look at a 50mm macro lens vs. a 100mm macro lens. Or else compare the effect of an extension tube on a telephoto lens vs. a wide angle or normal lens.
Now at the wide end the RX100 is a 10mm lens. For an equivalent focal length, a 2/3" sensor requires a 5mm focal length. Now don't be fooled into thinking that it's only 5mm difference so it can't be much different. In reality the RX100 lens is twice the focal length of the 2/3" sensor camera, much like the 100mm lens is twice the focal length of the 50mm lens. This is why so much more extension is required to achieve macro capabilities on the RX100 than any other camera of a comparable size--because it's sensor is so much bigger and consequently it's lens' focal length is so much longer; and longer focal lengths require more extension to achieve the same magnification.
Once again, if they had made it capable of a lot more extension to achieve better macro then the lens would have had to also been much larger and the camera would have lost its pocketability.

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Evadremlu
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Re: Would anyone else want an RX100 w/better macro?
In reply to WT21, Dec 12, 2013

To be happy you need to get an HX-50v to compliment your RX-100.

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technic
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Re: Would anyone else want an RX100 w/better macro?
In reply to bpjod, Dec 12, 2013

bpjod wrote:

Once again, if they had made it capable of a lot more extension to achieve better macro then the lens would have had to also been much larger and the camera would have lost its pocketability.

Agree, you can't have it all and some compromise is required. I guess good macro is possible on a compact 1 inch sensor camera, but probably only when a prime lens is used instead of a 4x zoom. You can also see that the image quality of the RX100 lens is compromised at closeup (especially wide open).

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technic
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Re: Would anyone else want an RX100 w/better macro?
In reply to bpjod, Dec 12, 2013

bpjod wrote:

I'll confirm what Sean has said. It's what I've done to get macros on my RX100, although it is a bit of a bother and the 250D is a fairly heavy lens and very easy to knock/shake off the front of the RX100 as it is only held on by a magnet.

The 250D is a very nice lens (diopter), but maybe the smaller Raynox diopters like DCR-150 and DCR-250 are more suitable for such a small camera? They have a 'clip-on' adapter and are lighter than the Canon diopters. You can also mount the diopter lens directly with a 43mm thread. Don't worry about small thread sizes on diopters, you can often get away with a smaller diopter size than the filter thread of the lens (using a stepdown adapter). The Raynox diopters have stronger magnification than Canon 250D and slightly lower image quality (but still very good).

Canon also has a 500D which is designed for lenses with a focal length from about 100mm (35mm equivalent). De 500D is lighter than the 250D and has less magnification, but when used at 100mm maybe enough closeup capability for most users. My 500D 52mm weighs 38 grams. The 500D is a good choice for less extreme closeups with high image quality, e.g. for butterflies, small flowers etc.

I don't have an RX100 so haven't tested these combinations, but they work fine on many cameras (including many of the larger compacts and DSLRs with suitable lens).

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Rehabdoc
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Re: Would anyone else want an RX100 w/better macro?
In reply to WT21, Dec 12, 2013

bpjod wrote:

bpjod wrote:

Technically, it would be difficult to achieve macro ability in such a small camera as the RX100. Take a look at the Pentax DA 40/2.8 and compare it to the DA 35/2.8 macro. Both are f/2.8 and there's not a lot of difference in the focal length (35 vs 40mm). The DA40 is 15mm long, weighs 90g and has a closest focussing distance of 40cm (.13x mag). The DA35 is 46.5mm long, weighs 215g and has a closest focussing distance of 14cm (1.0x mag). To go from 40cm to 14cm close focus distance requires a lens that's 3x as long and more than double the weight. At close focus the DA35 doubles it's length. To achieve close focus, a lens must extend a fair bit, and the longer the focal length, the more it must extend. The design goal of fitting the RX100 in a pocket does limit how close it can focus.

Furthermore, credit where it's due: Sony built a bigger camera around the RX100 sensor. Because the lens no longer had to fit in a pocket, they could play with it's capabilities a bit and decided to give it wonderful closeup abilities. They did so across the focal length range. Kudos to them. That camera is of course the RX10, and I really appreciate it's close-up abilities.

Smaller cameras than the RX100 have closer focusing. I am not willing to play engineer and defend Sony, and blindly assume it's not possible, nor am I willing to assume the only way it's possible is near-DSLR size. That's giving up too easily, IMO.

Think what you like. The smaller cameras with macro you refer to likely have sensors that are 1/5 the area of the  RX100's. If you're satisfied with those capabilities, buy one of them. Aren't they 1/2.3" sensors? Even 1/1.7" sensor is nearly 1/3 the area of the RX100's sensor, and most of the 1/1.7" sensor compact bodies are actually bigger cameras than the RX100 already.

The RX100 is already pushing the envelope (compared to peers) on size/specification ratio using every trick in the book (including accepting lots of optical distortion with optical correction) to get 28-100mm equiv f1.8-4.9 covering a 1" sensor into an S90 sized package.

Across the board, looking at macro lenses in ILC and comparing them to non-macro peers, the macro is significantly larger.

Adding that one specification will add to the size by a lot.

Of course, giving the RX100 macro capability is something they could have done without gaining RX10
Level bulk, but it would no longer be pocketable. It might make it, say, Canon G1X size.

Canon G1X actually illustrates a lot of the problems with adding macro, here because:

(1) it had high specification, (optically impressive for a pancake zoom) lens covering a 1.5" sensor, and it had even WORSE macro capability than the RX100. In fact close focus distance was so bad they it made many people think the AF simply stopped working.

And

(2) G1X was a fantastic camera. Two biggest reasons it wasn't a huge hit in my mind is (a) the mediocre autofocus and (b) that it was just a bit too large to just "WOW" people the way the RX100 does. And I think they lost more sales by adding bulk of OVF than they gained from people who wanted a VF.

Let's say somehow you do miraculously manage to add macro capability to the RX100 while only increasing bulk up to a Canon G1X size, which is no longer pocketable but still smaller than RX10? What do you have? Canon G1X sized body with macro, better AF, and worse IQ. Would sell far worse than G1X did. That seems kind of niche market. Very few people would trade pocketability for macro.

and if you want macro in the smallest possible (but non-pocketable) package on a 1" sensor or bigger, you would need to buy an MFT camera and end up with Small but less than DSLR size.

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WT21
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Re: Would anyone else want an RX100 w/better macro?
In reply to bpjod, Dec 12, 2013

bpjod wrote:

johnny 99 wrote:

Smaller cameras than the RX100 have closer focusing (and wider angle and longer zoom etc), but not with the same size image sensor. The larger image sensor in the RX100 really limits what Sony can do with the lens without making the camera much bigger.

any links to support that statement?

Basic optics.
The longer the focal length of the lens, the more the lens has to extend to achieve close focus. Look at a 50mm macro lens vs. a 100mm macro lens. Or else compare the effect of an extension tube on a telephoto lens vs. a wide angle or normal lens.
Now at the wide end the RX100 is a 10mm lens. For an equivalent focal length, a 2/3" sensor requires a 5mm focal length. Now don't be fooled into thinking that it's only 5mm difference so it can't be much different. In reality the RX100 lens is twice the focal length of the 2/3" sensor camera, much like the 100mm lens is twice the focal length of the 50mm lens. This is why so much more extension is required to achieve macro capabilities on the RX100 than any other camera of a comparable size--because it's sensor is so much bigger and consequently it's lens' focal length is so much longer; and longer focal lengths require more extension to achieve the same magnification.
Once again, if they had made it capable of a lot more extension to achieve better macro then the lens would have had to also been much larger and the camera would have lost its pocketability.

Thanks for the explanation. Very helpful. Though you don't have to do TRUE 1:1 macro. You could just bump up the close focus at the long end a bit. What you are saying, tho, makes a lot of sense, but could there be other tricks? No one would have believed the RX100 itself was possible even 3 years ago, so hopefully they could improve it, without having to go all the way to 1:1. But if it meant a substantially larger camera, well, that would not be interesting then. The sweetness of the RX100 is the size.

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bpjod
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Re: Would anyone else want an RX100 w/better macro?
In reply to WT21, Dec 13, 2013

WT21 wrote:

bpjod wrote:

johnny 99 wrote:

Smaller cameras than the RX100 have closer focusing (and wider angle and longer zoom etc), but not with the same size image sensor. The larger image sensor in the RX100 really limits what Sony can do with the lens without making the camera much bigger.

any links to support that statement?

Basic optics.
The longer the focal length of the lens, the more the lens has to extend to achieve close focus. Look at a 50mm macro lens vs. a 100mm macro lens. Or else compare the effect of an extension tube on a telephoto lens vs. a wide angle or normal lens.
Now at the wide end the RX100 is a 10mm lens. For an equivalent focal length, a 2/3" sensor requires a 5mm focal length. Now don't be fooled into thinking that it's only 5mm difference so it can't be much different. In reality the RX100 lens is twice the focal length of the 2/3" sensor camera, much like the 100mm lens is twice the focal length of the 50mm lens. This is why so much more extension is required to achieve macro capabilities on the RX100 than any other camera of a comparable size--because it's sensor is so much bigger and consequently it's lens' focal length is so much longer; and longer focal lengths require more extension to achieve the same magnification.
Once again, if they had made it capable of a lot more extension to achieve better macro then the lens would have had to also been much larger and the camera would have lost its pocketability.

Thanks for the explanation. Very helpful. Though you don't have to do TRUE 1:1 macro. You could just bump up the close focus at the long end a bit. What you are saying, tho, makes a lot of sense, but could there be other tricks? No one would have believed the RX100 itself was possible even 3 years ago, so hopefully they could improve it, without having to go all the way to 1:1. But if it meant a substantially larger camera, well, that would not be interesting then. The sweetness of the RX100 is the size.

If it was a priority, they could probably employ other tricks. The one I can think of is to have more retracting sections. Currently there are two. Perhaps if there were 3 or 4 they could make it extend more, yielding an improved close focussing ability. Think of a tripod leg with 4 or 5 sections compared to one with only 3 sections. There would probably be some design concerns, but if there was the will, they might be able to have their engineering team design such a collapsing lens.

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Rehabdoc
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Re: Would anyone else want an RX100 w/better macro?
In reply to bpjod, Dec 13, 2013

WT21 wrote:

bpjod wrote:

johnny 99 wrote:

Smaller cameras than the RX100 have closer focusing (and wider angle and longer zoom etc), but not with the same size image sensor. The larger image sensor in the RX100 really limits what Sony can do with the lens without making the camera much bigger.

any links to support that statement?

Basic optics.
The longer the focal length of the lens, the more the lens has to extend to achieve close focus. Look at a 50mm macro lens vs. a 100mm macro lens. Or else compare the effect of an extension tube on a telephoto lens vs. a wide angle or normal lens.
Now at the wide end the RX100 is a 10mm lens. For an equivalent focal length, a 2/3" sensor requires a 5mm focal length. Now don't be fooled into thinking that it's only 5mm difference so it can't be much different. In reality the RX100 lens is twice the focal length of the 2/3" sensor camera, much like the 100mm lens is twice the focal length of the 50mm lens. This is why so much more extension is required to achieve macro capabilities on the RX100 than any other camera of a comparable size--because it's sensor is so much bigger and consequently it's lens' focal length is so much longer; and longer focal lengths require more extension to achieve the same magnification.
Once again, if they had made it capable of a lot more extension to achieve better macro then the lens would have had to also been much larger and the camera would have lost its pocketability.

Thanks for the explanation. Very helpful. Though you don't have to do TRUE 1:1 macro. You could just bump up the close focus at the long end a bit. What you are saying, tho, makes a lot of sense, but could there be other tricks? No one would have believed the RX100 itself was possible even 3 years ago, so hopefully they could improve it, without having to go all the way to 1:1. But if it meant a substantially larger camera, well, that would not be interesting then. The sweetness of the RX100 is the size.

If it was a priority, they could probably employ other tricks. The one I can think of is to have more retracting sections. Currently there are two. Perhaps if there were 3 or 4 they could make it extend more, yielding an improved close focussing ability. Think of a tripod leg with 4 or 5 sections compared to one with only 3 sections. There would probably be some design concerns, but if there was the will, they might be able to have their engineering team design such a collapsing lens.

As you alter the design of the lens to give it macro capability, you don't just place elements farther from the sensor plane, you will also need to make lens elements of larger diameter if you want to maintain the RX100's current aperture limitations. If you move elements further out without making them larger, it won't be f/1.8-f/4.9 or won't cover the sensor any more.

It's not a simple matter of putting lens elements farther away and adding more tubes and telescoping longer (which in and of itself is not a trivial problem, especially when you want a reasonably durable product).

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EthanP99
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Re: Would anyone else want an RX100 w/better macro?
In reply to WT21, Dec 13, 2013

I bought a set of close up lenses for my rx100, pretty good when I need them.

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BertIverson
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Re: Would anyone else want an RX100 w/better macro?
In reply to technic, Dec 13, 2013

technic wrote:

bpjod wrote:

I'll confirm what Sean has said. It's what I've done to get macros on my RX100, although it is a bit of a bother and the 250D is a fairly heavy lens and very easy to knock/shake off the front of the RX100 as it is only held on by a magnet.

... You can also mount the diopter lens directly with a 43mm thread. Don't worry about small thread sizes on diopters, you can often get away with a smaller diopter size than the filter thread of the lens (using a stepdown adapter). The Raynox diopters have stronger magnification than Canon 250D and slightly lower image quality (but still very good).

...

Good post.

On my RX100, I use the DC-250 Raynox with Magfilter and a filter adapter to get good macros at 100mm (not 1:1 but, with 2/3x cropping, perfectly fine on a 2.4M monitor.)

Bert

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BertIverson
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Re: Would anyone else want an RX100 w/better macro?
In reply to Evadremlu, Dec 13, 2013

Evadremlu wrote:

To be happy you need to get an HX-50v to compliment your RX-100.

Exactly.
You also add 24mm and 720mm focal lengths

Bert

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