Confusion regarding reversed lens macro

Started 3 weeks ago | Questions thread
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ybb Junior Member • Posts: 35
Confusion regarding reversed lens macro

Hi, I read numerous articles and I seem to be missing something.

From what I read macro lenses are good up to 1:1 magnification while reversed lenses and reversed enlarger lenses are good for 1:1-5:1 magnification. For more than 5:1, need to go to microscope objectives.

I tried reversed Pentax smc 50mm f1.7 with extension tubes vs micro nikkor 55mm f3.5 and at 1:1 the Nikon is way better, especially corners. When I added more extension tubes to the Nikon, I was able to get to about 2:1 without any visible loss of quality (shot at f5.6 to avoid diffraction). When I added Raynox MSN-202 on top of the Nikon with 68mm extension tubes, I was able to get to about 4:1 with very good quality. Are my standards too low or reverse lens macro is just poor man’s macro lens? (Although micro nikkor 55mm f3.5 with extension tubes for 1:1 macro can be had for about the same price as el nikkor 50mm f2.8n + adapters)

thanks for reading this far

example of my extreme macro with the Raynox (I know there are some artifacts from stacking. I am still learning to do focus stacking properly)

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