Macro ?'s - 1:1 or 1:2? Tamron 90 or older Vivitar 90/Kiron 105? Raynox 250?

Started Jul 29, 2014 | Discussions thread
nzmacro Forum Pro • Posts: 15,135
Try your zoom first

Big Swifty wrote:

I’m having an infrequent ‘photography care package’ sent down to me in South America from the US w/ the XF-14, 8mm fisheye, a bag, and a few small accessories. Not looking forward to paying Customs 25% of value and shipping so I'm budget conscious on this last purchase.

I’m interested in trying out macro photography and scored a gently used Raynox-250 on ebay for less than $50 but members here advised I look into an actual macro lens. Not interested/can’t afford the XF-60 at the moment due to $ already spent on other lenses so I'm looking at legacy glass. I was originally looking at Nikkor 50/55’s but research and advice has led me to primes in the 90-105mm range.

I’ve narrowed it down to the well regarded Tamron 90, either f/2.5 or 2.8. The older 2.5’s are only 1:2, while the 2.8’s are 1:1. Buying an extension tube to go to 1:1 makes as much sense as buying a newer, 1:1 version without tubes. My instinct is to go all the way and get a true macro 1:1 lens instead of a ‘close-up’ 1:2, but considering the 1.5x crop factor of the X-E1 sensor, is 1:2 going to be as noticeable as it would be on a full frame sensor? I found a good deal on a 2.5 (1:2) Tamron that includes a Fuji X adapter but I wonder if I should just spend the little one time extra $ and get the 2.8 (1:1).

Research also has me looking at some late 1970’s macros such as the Vivitar 90mm f/2.8 and a Kiron 105mm f/2.8, all of which are 1:1, have excellent reviews, and fit my budget. There's also an Elicar V-HQ 90mm 'super' macro that (some say) is 1.25:1. Since AF is not a possibility using an adapter getting a newer Tamron with AF seems a waste of $, but perhaps is the better option because it's newer?

Given the option of getting a Tamron 90 2.8 or one of the older Vivitars/Kirons/Elicars at roughly the same price what would you go with? Is the difference between 1:2 and 1:1 going to matter much on my X-E1 allowing me to consider the older 1:2 Tamrons? Any thoughts on the Vivitar/Kiron/Elicar regarding preference, flare or anything else? Are any of these options going to render the Raynox-250 pointless/redundant (and something I should consider selling in the states instead of shipping) or is it worth keeping for use on the XF 55-200 or even on the macro?

Tell you what I would do looking at your gear list.

Add the Raynox DCR-250 to your 50-200 lens. It gives you a variable ratio for one thing and you will have a large ratio at the 200mm end. The Raynox is a 3 element 2 group design and its extremely well corrected. There is no CA anywhere near it.

I use a Sony NEX-7 with a DCR-250 added to a Canon FD 100-300 F/5.6L and at the 300mm end of the zoom I can get a 4:1 ratio at a lens to subject distance of around 180mm. No macro lens will get those ratios at that lens to subject distance. Is it a sharp combination ??, yep it sure is. All my macro lenses are gone and so is the bellows.

So I would simply add the DCR-250 to the 55-200 of yours.

So a few from the DCR-250 and the Canon zoom on the NEX-7..... A few in there from the Panasonic G2 as well with the DCR-250 added to the Panasonic 45-200. No crops.

All the best and that would be my preference on your zoom.


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