Close-Up Comparisons Part 5: 4500/MSN-500/2X/3X

Started May 4, 2003 | Discussions thread
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Ching-Kuang Shene
Ching-Kuang Shene Veteran Member • Posts: 6,225
Close-Up Comparisons Part 5: 4500/MSN-500/2X/3X

Hello Folks,

This is the fifth installment of my close-up comparison. SInce I am working on a project that requires to use the 4500 and its equipment for higher magnification work, I choose Raynox MSN-500 and TC-E2/TC-E3ED rather than reverse-mount technique (not everyone has a good standard 35mm lens). The following is some of my testing results. Related information can be found in the first post for the 4500 and the second post for the 4500 plus TC-E2 and TC-E2ED

One of my goal is to increase magnification using the existing 4500 equipment. As you might know, adding a close-up lens to a longer focal length lens yields a larger magnification. This was shown in my 5700 post although no theoretical results were discussed. (We will do it in a later post anyway). So, I tried to use Raynox MSN-500 with TC-E2, TC-E3ED, Kenko 6X and CrystalVue 8X, and I found the TC-E2 and TC-E3ED produced quite good result.

First, the following shows the result of the 4500 in macro mode:

Second, the following shows the result of using only Raynox MSN-500:

Since the Raynox MSN-500 has a thread size of 37mm, it can be mounted on the TC-E2 with a 62-52mm step-down ring and a 52-37mm step-down ring as shown below:

Here is the result. Obviously, the use of TC-E2 increases the magnification by about 30%. Vignetting is un-noticeable and image quality is very good.

The TC-E3ED has a front thread size of 72mm, and, a 72-62mm step-down ring is added to mount the Raynox MSN-500 as shown below:

The result is not very promising as shown below. Only the center portion is sharp and the surrounding area is full of chromatic aberration. The usable area is too small!

One can certainly try the Kenko 6X and CrystalVue 8X as shown in the following two images. Since these two lenses do not have quality as good as the TC-E2 and they suffer low contrast even without the Raynox MSN-500. I did not get any results that are good enough for my project. However, the magnification is very very high. Therefore, if you don't mind low contrast and soft images, you might try either one. Note that the front thread of the Kenko 6X is 27mm, and, a 27-28mm step-ring is needed to use the Raynox MSN-500.

CONCLUSION: With this test, I found Raynox MSN-500 and TC-E2 produce reasonably good results, although the four corners are a little soft. Since you know the size of Washington's left eye on a one-dollar bill, you will know the magnification of the Raynox MSN-500 and TC-E2 combo. It will be able to blow up the head of a fly to a size that is much larger than that can be obtained with the 4500's macro mode. Keep in mind that DOF is very shallow and do not have important portion of your main subject near the corners! Finally, the minimum focus distance is slightly larger than 2cm, which is more convenience. This is due to the use of TC-E2.

950/990/995/2500/4500 user guide

 Ching-Kuang Shene's gear list:Ching-Kuang Shene's gear list
Olympus D-600L Nikon D7100 Nikon Z7 Nikon AF-P 70-300mm F4.5-6.3G +2 more
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