Wide angle macro solution for DX body?

Started Jan 17, 2014 | Questions thread
_sem_ Veteran Member • Posts: 4,954
Re: Wide angle macro solution for DX body?

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:



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