Looking for cheap way to do Macro on my D200

Started May 23, 2007 | Discussions thread
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Marianne Oelund Veteran Member • Posts: 6,416
Many options

Michael Kaufman wrote:

I would like to be able to do some close up macro work. Mostly
plants and insects. I have two choices as far as I can see:

1) Wait, and ultimately get something like the 105 macro.
2) Get a Close-Up Filter.

I have never used a close-up filter. Are they any good? What
limitations do they have? Is using one on a D200 like ordering a
cheap beer with a fancy meal?

Do I have another option I haven't thought of?

Without buying a dedicated macro lens, you still have quite a few options. Your D200 supports all of these very well, as it will still meter with a reversed lens.

1. Close-up lenses:

For a moderate boost, a +1 diopter or +2 diopter close-up lens is affordable and provides good optical quality. Close-up lens sets often include a +4 diopter lens as well, but here you will definitely find noticeable spherical and chromatic aberrations.

For a little more money, you can go to the Canon 250D +4 diopter close-up lens, which is a 2-element achromat and retains very high optical quality.
Canon 250D (+4 diopter), 52mm to fit the 35 f/2, $72 or
Canon 500D (+4 diopter), 72mm to fit the 18-200, $120

2. Reversing ring Nikon BR-2A $30.

This reversing ring will mount your 35mm f/2 in reverse, achieving very high magnification for the smallest macro objects. You can then add extension tubes for even more magnification.

3. Macro coupler and step-down rings:

A very popular method is to stack a wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens face-to-face, forming a sort of a close-up telescope. You can obtain high magnification and very good optical quality this way. In order to stack your 35mm and 18-200, though, you will need quite a few rings:
Cokin 72-67mm stepdown $12
Cokin 67-62mm stepdown $12
Nikon BR-5 62-52mm stepdown $30
Macro coupler 52-52mm $8

4. Extension tubes

Kenko make a set of 3 tubes which are compatible with both standard AF and AF-S lenses. You can also buy an individual extension tube (25mm) which is compatible with "screw-drive" AF lenses only.
Kenko set $170 for AF or AF-S
Kenko 25mm $80, AF only

Now you just have to figure out how extreme you want to go with macro, and what your budget is!

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