Best long macro for X? Cost *is* an object!

Started Nov 26, 2019 | Questions thread
Rod McD Veteran Member • Posts: 8,256
Re: Best long macro for X? Cost *is* an object!

Hi Chris,

I've come to this thread late and you appear to have lots of advice..... but here goes. FWIW, I can't afford the Fuji 80mm, and it has rather poor working distances anyway (because it's a short-ish IF lens).

The cheapest way to get 1:1 with a Fuji camera is to adapt a legacy macro lens. There are some that go to 1:1 (such as the Tamron 90/2.8 Models 172E and 272E, some Sigma and Tokina ATX 100/2.8 models or a Nikon 105/2.8D (to get one with the essential aperture ring).

Or, buy an older legacy lens that goes to 1:2 and to 1:1 with its dedicated extension tube (such as the Nikon AIS 105/2.8 or 105/4, Minolta MD 100/4, Canon FD 100/4, Pentax 100/4, 90/2.8, etc). The 1:2 models are a little older and cost a lot less. Just make sure you get one that's being sold with the matched 1:1 tube. You can buy them for the price of two Fuji extension tubes. I wouldn't worry too much about IQ - macro lenses were always amongst the sharpest lenses you could buy. And in macro, technique and lighting matter a lot more than the glass.

I'm very happy with my MD 100/4 and life size matched tube. If I'd had a bit more cash at the time I'd have probably opted for the Nikon 100/2.8D because it goes to 1:1 by itself. I didn't, and the Minolta has worked out fine. A nice thing about it is that it has very low CAs...

If you decide on longer than 100/105mm, the options are few. You must have an aperture ring, so discounting early Canikon 200mm lenses, there's the Tamron 180/3.5 or the same spec'd lens from Sigma, but neither are cheap. And there's the much earlier and smaller Sigma 180/5.6 Apo Macro. They aren't dear, but they're hard to find. I have one and it works very well, with zero CAs, but it's optimised for macro and isn't brilliant for distance focusing.

If you want even longer, there's the Sigma "Apo Tele Macro" 300/4 and 400/5.6. Very good lenses, that focus to about 1:3 at long range.  You'd need one in Pentax or Nikon mount to get the AR. Note the name. These are different from Sigma's early Apo Tele's with 'macro'. Chalk and cheese. The wording has to be exact and the filter size is 77mm, where the others are 72mm.

Happy hunting.

Cheers, Rod

 Rod McD's gear list:Rod McD's gear list
Olympus Tough TG-4 Fujifilm X-T4 Voigtlander 90mm F3.5 APO-Lanthar SL II Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro +12 more
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