Close-Up comparisons Part 4: 5700

Started Apr 27, 2003 | Discussions thread
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Ching-Kuang Shene
Ching-Kuang Shene Veteran Member • Posts: 6,241
Close-Up comparisons Part 4: 5700

Hi Folks,

This is the fourth installment of my close-up comparisons. The main thrust is to determine the magnification of various commonly used close-up lenses. This fourth one is about the 5700. The first is for the 4500 http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1007&message=4936523 the second is for the 4500 with teleconverters http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1007&message=4940566 and the third ons is for the 5000 http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1007&message=4952742

Again, I will use the published size of the CCD sensor, although the actual size is smaller and the size for image recording is even smaller. However, this will not affect the computed magnification too much. The CCD of the 5700 has a diagonal of 2/3" = 16.93mm. Thus, the width is about 13.55mm. Since the actual width used for image recording is slightly smaller, the computed magnification should be slightly higher but not by much. Since this actual width is not published, I will use the 13.55mm for the image width.

The following image was taken with 5700's macro mode at its minimum distance. Courting the number of ruler ticks yields 32mm. Therefore, the magnification of 5700's macro mode is 13.55/32 = 0.42X.

The next one is Raynox's MSN-500. This close-up lens comes with a 28-37mm step-ring and has a rear thread size of 37mm. To use it on a 5700, I choose Bernie's Coolfix adapter. Since this adapter has a thread size of 62mm, 62-52mm and 52-37mm step-down rings are needed for the MSN-500. The Coolfix adapter must be fully extended before power on the camera. Then, one should zoom the lens all the way in to reach the maximum focal length. Finally, pull the adapter back until it cannot be moved further. In this way, the spacing between the 5700 lens and the MSN-500 would be the minimum. All subsequent tests all follow the same procedure. Without doing so, the camera may not focus properly and/or image quality may be lower. The image shown below was taken with the Raynox MSN-500. The recorded length is about 5.5mm and its magnification is 13.55/5.5 = 2.46X. A very high magnification; but, the image quality is considerably worse than all other results.

The next three tests use Nikon's #5T (+1.5) and #6T (+2.9) close-up lenses. Both close-up lenses have 62mm thread size and can be readily used on the Coolfix adapter. In the following, the first image was taken with #5T only (+1.5), the second with #6T (+2.9), and the third with BOTH #5T and #6T (+4.4). Courting the number of ticks gives the recorded width values 44mm, 33.5mm and 26.5mm for #5T, #6T and #5T plus #6T, respectively. Therefore, the magnifications are 44/13.55 = 0.31X (#5T), 13.55/33.5 = 0.4X (#6T), and 13.55/26.5 = 0.51X (#5T and #6T). All images have good quality comparable with that of the macro mode. Surprisingly enough, using #6T alone yields a magnification as high (or low) as that of the macro mode. Moreover, the #5T plus #6T has a higher magnification than the macro mode. Well, is this really a surprise? No, it is not because longer focal length plus close-up lenses always produce higher magnification. We shall explain this in another installment. The longer focal length of the 5700 offers another advantage: the subject-camera distance is much longer. The macro mode requires the camera to be placed very close to the subject (i.e., 3cm), while the use of #6T can pull the camera away to a distance more than 15cm and yet maintain the same magnification. Hence, one can easily arrange background and lighting.

Then, we shall look at lens reversing. For 5700, only reversing a 50mm was successful. Since reversing a 24mm lens causes too much vignetting, I will not report the result here. A 50mm or a 24mm lens can also be reversely mounted on the TC-E15ED 1.5X teleconvert to yield very high magnification; however, vignetting is too serious to be considered useful. The following was taken with a reversely mounted 50mm lens. The recorded width is about 9mm, and, hence, the magnification is 13.55/9 = 1.51X. This is not as high as that of the Raynox MSN-500; but, its image quality is much better. Notice a slight vignetting at the corners. My 5700's CCD may not be centered properly, and, as a result, only two top darker corner are shown.

The following table summarizes this and all previous tests.

From this table, we learn the following:

First, the 5700's macro mode is the worst of the three test cameras (i.e., 4500, 5000 and 5700).

Second, when a close-up lens is mounted and the camera lens must be zoomed all the way in, we immediately see that the 5000 (21.4mm) is worst, followed by the 4500 (32mm). The 5700 (71.2mm) is the best and has much higher magnification.

Third, the lens-reverse technique only works well with the 4500 and 5700. However, the 5700 has a slight vignetting. This will getting worse when using smaller aperture. Since a good 50mm lens is not expansive, one may consider this technique as it yields a 1.5X magnification (larger than life-size). For example, Nikon's AF 50mm F1.8D has a price tag of about $100.00 (imported version). Thanks to 5700's long focal length, we can easily go high magnification close-up.

CK
http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam
950/990/995/2500/4500 user guide

 Ching-Kuang Shene's gear list:Ching-Kuang Shene's gear list
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