Wide angle macro solution for DX body?

Started 7 months ago | Questions
szhorvat
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Wide angle macro solution for DX body?
7 months ago

I was thinking about the feasibility of doing wide angle macro photography (say, around 1:2 reproduction ratio) with a DX body. Has anyone here done anything like this? If yes, what kind of setup did you use, or what setup (lens) would you suggest?

I am thinking of photos which don't only include the subject but also a distant background. I have the 60 mm f/2.8 (non-D) lens, which is very nice for closeups of tiny things, but the 22 degree field of view makes it impossible to include a background.

I'm not aware of a macro lens wider than 40 mm for Nikon, so the solutions I can imagine are

1. A screw in "closeup filter" -- I'm really not sure about this and how well it would work on a wide lens. Which

2. Extension tubes

3. Get an old non-Nikon wide lens and an adapter, and hope that since the lens is necessarily further from the sensor on a Nikon body it'll allow me to focus close enough and will still give a good enough quality. Which lens would be suitable?

I was thinking of (3.) because I'm looking for a budget solution (i.e. not more than what the 60 mm lens cost me). Solution (2.) likely wouldn't be cheap because it requires extension tubes that work with G lenses: the only wide ones I have are the 18-55 mm and the 35 mm f/1.8 (probably not wide enough).

So, do any of you have first hand experience with something like this and can you offer advice on how to do it best or post some photos you made?

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Stacey_K
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Re: Wide angle macro solution for DX body?
In reply to szhorvat, 7 months ago

szhorvat wrote:

I was thinking about the feasibility of doing wide angle macro photography (say, around 1:2 reproduction ratio) with a DX body. Has anyone here done anything like this? If yes, what kind of setup did you use, or what setup (lens) would you suggest?

I am thinking of photos which don't only include the subject but also a distant background. I have the 60 mm f/2.8 (non-D) lens, which is very nice for closeups of tiny things, but the 22 degree field of view makes it impossible to include a background.

Going to a wide angle lens isn't going to include the background, it still going to be out of focus at 1:2. It's not going to increase the DOF near the focus plane either, just shorten the camera to subject distance.

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Stacey

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Jobber56
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Re: Wide angle macro solution for DX body?
In reply to Stacey_K, 7 months ago

Stacey_K wrote:

szhorvat wrote:

I was thinking about the feasibility of doing wide angle macro photography (say, around 1:2 reproduction ratio) with a DX body. Has anyone here done anything like this? If yes, what kind of setup did you use, or what setup (lens) would you suggest?

I am thinking of photos which don't only include the subject but also a distant background. I have the 60 mm f/2.8 (non-D) lens, which is very nice for closeups of tiny things, but the 22 degree field of view makes it impossible to include a background.

Going to a wide angle lens isn't going to include the background, it still going to be out of focus at 1:2. It's not going to increase the DOF near the focus plane either, just shorten the camera to subject distance.

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Stacey

In other words, there's no such thing as a wide angle macro.

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szhorvat
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Re: Wide angle macro solution for DX body?
In reply to Jobber56, 7 months ago

Jobber56 wrote:

Stacey_K wrote:

szhorvat wrote:

I was thinking about the feasibility of doing wide angle macro photography (say, around 1:2 reproduction ratio) with a DX body. Has anyone here done anything like this? If yes, what kind of setup did you use, or what setup (lens) would you suggest?

I am thinking of photos which don't only include the subject but also a distant background. I have the 60 mm f/2.8 (non-D) lens, which is very nice for closeups of tiny things, but the 22 degree field of view makes it impossible to include a background.

Going to a wide angle lens isn't going to include the background, it still going to be out of focus at 1:2. It's not going to increase the DOF near the focus plane either, just shorten the camera to subject distance.

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Stacey

In other words, there's no such thing as a wide angle macro.

This is clearly not correct.

If you google for it , you'll find plenty of examples. Also, have you seen BBC's Life in the Undergrowth? They have lots of shots with Attenborough being visible behind a bug. The background is going to be a bit blurry, yes, but still visible and adding a lot to the image. With a longer lens you typically get a solid blur only, and no visible detail: you can't make out a field or a mountain or a tree in the background. With wide angle it's possible.

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Sonyshine
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Re: Wide angle macro solution for DX body?
In reply to szhorvat, 7 months ago

I have used the Sony 30mm macro lenses on NEX and SLT cameras. They do give a wide view but even at quite small apertures the background is still fairly blurred out when the focus is up close.

Here is a set on Flickr which may help your decision process.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/thekrankis/sets/72157634730827839/

I also recently begun to use the 40mm Nikon micro lens on my D3200 and V1 cameras:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/thekrankis/sets/72157639691716003/

Its a great lens but not really wide angle as you say.

An alternative may just be a wide angle lens?

Many are capable of quite close focusing - not macro - but close.

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_sem_
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Re: Wide angle macro solution for DX body?
In reply to szhorvat, 7 months ago

szhorvat wrote:

Jobber56 wrote:

Stacey_K wrote:

szhorvat wrote:

I was thinking about the feasibility of doing wide angle macro photography (say, around 1:2 reproduction ratio) with a DX body. Has anyone here done anything like this? If yes, what kind of setup did you use, or what setup (lens) would you suggest?

I am thinking of photos which don't only include the subject but also a distant background. I have the 60 mm f/2.8 (non-D) lens, which is very nice for closeups of tiny things, but the 22 degree field of view makes it impossible to include a background.

Going to a wide angle lens isn't going to include the background, it still going to be out of focus at 1:2. It's not going to increase the DOF near the focus plane either, just shorten the camera to subject distance.

DOF will get quite narrow at higher magnifications. But the wide angle tends to produce an impression of more depth than what DOF says because the background is less blurred relatively. I mean, it is blurred in absolute terms (distances), but it doesn't look so blurred because a wide angle of the background is in the frame and the blur angles are small.

In other words, there's no such thing as a wide angle macro.

This is clearly not correct.

If you google for it , you'll find plenty of examples. Also, have you seen BBC's Life in the Undergrowth? They have lots of shots with Attenborough being visible behind a bug. The background is going to be a bit blurry, yes, but still visible and adding a lot to the image. With a longer lens you typically get a solid blur only, and no visible detail: you can't make out a field or a mountain or a tree in the background. With wide angle it's possible.

Well, there indeed doesn't seem to be a dedicated wideangle macro lens. But one surely can use ordinary wide-angle lenses, even kit zooms @WA, on relatively short extension (add-on diopters possible too, but need to be thick high diopters).

On extension, the magnification doesn't seem to reach 1:1 macro; around 1:2 or 1:3 seems to be achievable before the focus plane hits the glass (probably this is why no dedicated macros). Please correct me if you know a WA lens that goes to 1:1.

The relatively thin extension is another problem. The thinnest ring for Nikon is the old K1, totally manual, safe on the camera but very tight on the lens electric contact block. Too much extension, and the background may be blurred more than desired.

Mind the image quality on extension is another question. Manufacturers could provide a longer helical for closer focus, but usually restrict it to a point deemed acceptable by their standards. In certain lenses, the focus limiter may be shaved to allow a bit closer focus and higher magnification.

Some examples:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3041926

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3034839

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Westmill
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Re: Wide angle macro solution for DX body?
In reply to szhorvat, 7 months ago

There are just two solutions here. One is a thing called focus stacking ( google it )

The other would be using a lens like the samyang fisheye. Although not what I would call macro.

It will of course focus much closer with a huge amount of DOF. This is about the closest thing Ive got though lol.

You can of course use it with cheap extension tubes

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_sem_
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Re: Wide angle macro solution for DX body?
In reply to Westmill, 7 months ago

Westmill wrote:

The other would be using a lens like the samyang fisheye. Although not what I would call macro.

It will of course focus much closer with a huge amount of DOF. This is about the closest thing Ive got though lol.

You can of course use it with cheap extension tubes

The Nikkor 10.5/2.8 fisheye focuses to mere 3 cm in front of the lens (tough to get good light if one goes closer), magnification about 1:10 I recall.

The Samyang 8/3.5 doesn't focus as close but I hear it can be modded. A thin enough extension tube isn't feasible I guess.

There are also peculiar setups involving small-format WA or fisheye lenses on tubes containing relay optics, for instance here:

http://www.koheisha.net/microwidelenz/musinomekakakukousei/e-musinomelensomonasystem.html

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Gibbosa
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Re: Wide angle macro solution for DX body?
In reply to szhorvat, 7 months ago

szhorvat - I can't help you from a personal perspective, not having done this, but I can refer you to a young South African professional called Shem Compion who has. I've attended a workshop with him in Cape Town and he's excellent. One of his books which you need to check out is called 'A Landscape of Insects and other invertebrates' - it's exactly what you're looking for. I can't comment on DX or FX, etc., but Shem seems to be the kind of 'tog that you could email directly to get your answer. You can find out more at www.shemimages.com.

Hope that helps - and good luck!

Chris

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sapple
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Re: Wide angle macro solution for DX body?
In reply to Gibbosa, 7 months ago

Westmill beat me to it. You are looking for focus stacking.
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