More on stacking lenses: distances and magnifications

Started May 18, 2007 | Discussions
luisflorit
luisflorit Veteran Member • Posts: 8,381
More on stacking lenses: distances and magnifications

This thread is mainly for Raynox 150, Raynox 250 and TCON17 users, and could be seen as a complement to this:
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1033&message=23257846

I made a few experiments to check how the different stackings perform in terms of focusing distance and magnification. Look:

As an immediate conclusion, I got that if you stack any combination of these lenses, certainly you will stack the Raynox 150. So, a step-up ring could be left fixed on the Raynox 150. And perhaps there is not too much difference between both raynox stacked and the 250 alone.

You double the focusing distance when adding the TCON to the R150, nice when shooting tigers and lions. The magnification is almost half, though.

HTH,
L.

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Seemolf Senior Member • Posts: 1,243
Re: More on stacking lenses: distances and magnifications

You forgot one line:
R1+T --> better use MCON40, Nikon 4T, ....

..and forget all this nonsense about stacking.

There is a perfect lens for each purpose!

Stackin is just a workaround, when don't have the right lenses.

But if you need more lenses, try this:

Sven

http://freenet-homepage.de/seemolf/achromats.html

Trevor Carpenter
Trevor Carpenter Forum Pro • Posts: 18,130
Re: More on stacking lenses: distances and magnifications

Interestng stuff Sven if someonewhat complicated to an idiot like me.

Can you answer this for me?

I have an FZ50 and my primary macro/closeup requrement is butterflies. I like the extreme closeup stuff that everybody posts including me but that isn't my primary requirement. I want to take pictures of butterflies that filll a significant area of the frame and show the entire butterfly.

British butterflies generally range from 1/2 inch (12mm across) to 2 inches (50mm). The further away I can be from the butterfly the less chance I have of disturbing it.

The FZ50 in macro format is useles I either have to get extremely close with the zoom wide open or I stand back at a distance. In both cases I can not maximise the frame filling.

The Raynoxs are OK but I need to be close and the DOF difficulty and the extreme sensetivity mean that it's OK when I got it right but I get a lot of failures.

Would you (or anybody else like to recommend the perfect lens for my requiremnt.

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FZ50, Oly TCON17, Raynox DCR150 and DCR 250 (learning all the time)
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Seemolf Senior Member • Posts: 1,243
Re: More on stacking lenses: distances and magnifications

Trevor Carpenter wrote:

Interestng stuff Sven if someonewhat complicated to an idiot like me.

Can you answer this for me?

I have an FZ50 and my primary macro/closeup requrement is
butterflies. I like the extreme closeup stuff that everybody posts
including me but that isn't my primary requirement. I want to take
pictures of butterflies that filll a significant area of the frame
and show the entire butterfly.

British butterflies generally range from 1/2 inch (12mm across) to
2 inches (50mm). The further away I can be from the butterfly the
less chance I have of disturbing it.

The FZ50 in macro format is useles I either have to get extremely
close with the zoom wide open or I stand back at a distance. In
both cases I can not maximise the frame filling.

The Raynoxs are OK but I need to be close and the DOF difficulty
and the extreme sensetivity mean that it's OK when I got it right
but I get a lot of failures.

Would you (or anybody else like to recommend the perfect lens for
my requiremnt.

Thanks for your intelligent question, Trevor.

I just wanted to stop the raynoy-mania a bit.
Many macros have to be taken at a distance of 40cm or more.
This is simply out of reach for the cheaper raynox lenses.
...and using more glass in front of these lenses is no option.

Trevor, when you go up from the sign: "butterfly"in my graph, you will see your options.

  • my FZ5 focusses on objects of 8cm size at a distance of 70cm!

  • the FZ50 -like the FZ30- should focus on such objects at a distance of 20cm (3*zoom) - there is a limited "macro" with lower zoom ranges!

The minolta #2 or canon 250d is a better choice than the raxnox 150d - there is no vignetting through the whole zoom range.

Before the raynox- and stacking-mania most people used the nikon 4T, 6T, olympus 40 (b-macro) ... for butterflies and were happy with the weight and distances (around 40cm).

If you can't read the graphs, there are all parameters for these lenses in my tables:

http://freenet-homepage.de/seemolf/achromats.html

Even those that are often missing in data sheets, such as the leading thread.
...that can be used for stacking...

If you realy want to "stack" something, please use a sun shade. Most achromats don't have a coated surface.

Cheers

Sven

Seemolf Senior Member • Posts: 1,243
examples

...I forgot to show some examples, Trevor

http://freenet-homepage.de/seemolf/BF.html

All (but 1) of these pictures were taken with the Olympus Mcon-40 (=B-macro) lens.

Most of them could not have been taken with the raynox 150d.

Cheers

Sven

Trevor Carpenter
Trevor Carpenter Forum Pro • Posts: 18,130
Re: examples

Thanks very much, Sven lots of very useful information, I'm already looking out for an MCon40. I hope you don't mind but the questions haven't stopped yet.

I assume that the MCOn 40 goes straight on the front of an FZ50 with no step-up.

What is the key points that differentiate between achromatic, macro and close-up lenses.

When I'm taking butterflies I'm not sure it's the magnification that I need just the ability to focus closer than the FZ50 will allow. Even better would be the ability to focus much much closer than my TCON 17 allows. Doesn't this mean that I need a close up lens?

Finally will a TCon screw onto an MCon 40, is there any reason why I might want to do that?

Sorry to ask so many questions but it's all in the cause of education.

PS Your Butterflies are really good!

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FZ50, Oly TCON17, Raynox DCR150 and DCR 250 (learning all the time)
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Steve82 Senior Member • Posts: 2,912
Re: More on stacking lenses: distances and magnifications

Seemolf wrote:

If you can't read the graphs, there are all parameters for these
lenses in my tables:

http://freenet-homepage.de/seemolf/achromats.html

Very good explanations on the graph on your homepage. I always appreciate practical explanations (with data) to support conclusions. I'm not currently interested in macros, but I have bookmarked your page for future reference. Thanks alot for providing this very useful information.

Seemolf Senior Member • Posts: 1,243
Re: examples

Trevor Carpenter wrote:

Thanks very much, Sven lots of very useful information, I'm already
looking out for an MCon40. I hope you don't mind but the questions
haven't stopped yet.

Just ask!
This shows that my webpages have to be improved.
I am planning a wiki for "beginners".

I assume that the MCOn 40 goes straight on the front of an FZ50
with no step-up.

The Mcon40 has a thread of 55mm.
..I don't know the adapter of the FZ50, but you will know!

What is the key points that differentiate between achromatic, macro
and close-up lenses.

Closeup Lenses (sometimes called macro lenses)

are lenses with positive diopters. They transfer the normal focussing range our lenses eg. 1m to infinity to 30cm to 40cm.
This glasses are designed for lenses focussed at infinity.

There are two flavors:

  • single glass

soft in the corners, only sharp for a single colour (tag sharp if you use them for a single channel in b&w) and with a curved field (soft in the corners).

They are cheap and tolerable only up to +3 - +4 diopters with apertures between 8 and 11.
There are examples on my webpage

  • multiple glass = achromats

doubletts up to 4 diopters
tripletts starting around 4 diopters

These lenses have the same function, but they correct the chromatic aberration. At least two colours are in the same focus now. (an apochromatic lens would correct all three main colours).

Additional lenses can correct the curved field too, but again a smaller aperture around 5.6 to 11 helps. Just look at the nikon example on my pages. These lenses are optimized for different focal lengths. This is the reason why nikon lenses are perfect for the long zooms of the FZs and the Leitz ELPROs perform better with shorter zoom factors.

The term macro lens is used for dSLR lenses that can focus at close ranges too (eg. Sigma 150mm APO DG). These lenses don't need achromats, in most cases additional lenses will spoil the results.

When I'm taking butterflies I'm not sure it's the magnification
that I need just the ability to focus closer than the FZ50 will
allow. Even better would be the ability to focus much much closer
than my TCON 17 allows. Doesn't this mean that I need a close up
lens?

The close up lens give you !!! a fixed distance !!! through the whole zoom range.

The MCON40 focusses at 40cm from 1* to 12*. The zoom is your "magification meter" from now on. The fixed distance is one of the greatest advantages of these lenses.
I will show a comparison soon to demostrate this effect.

You can focus a little closer with the foccussing range used by the camera. Most of this advantage is lost if you use a tcon on top.

Finally will a TCon screw onto an MCon 40, is there any reason why
I might want to do that?

There is only one reason: YOU DON'T HAVE THE RIGHT LENS AT HAND.

Sorry to ask so many questions but it's all in the cause of education.

Just ask, this helps us all (at least I hope so!)

PS Your Butterflies are really good!

thanks - it's your turn to improve these results!
The FZ50 has a better resolution....

Cheers

Sven

luisflorit
OP luisflorit Veteran Member • Posts: 8,381
Re: More on stacking lenses: distances and magnifications

Seemolf wrote:

You forgot one line:
R1+T --> better use MCON40, Nikon 4T, ....

..and forget all this nonsense about stacking.

wow...

There is a perfect lens for each purpose!

Among the main reasons why I bought the FZ50 were: price and don't have to take a lot of lenses with me. Your suggestion is right against both of these, so it's not an option for me (the simple 2 element mcon40 alone costs $100!). At least, by now.

Moreover, there is nothing in your graph (the one already posted in this forum a hundred times) even close to the R150+R250 stacked. And the Hoya +10 has been reported to be an expensive simple 2 element lens of poor IQ.

Stackin is just a workaround, when don't have the right lenses.

Not quite if you DON'T WANT to spend the money and carry more macro lenses.

I am happy with the 40-45cm of working distance of the Raynox 150 + TCON17 that I always have with me anyway. Perhaps that means some loose in IQ, but I am unable to see it. And not even that is true with all the lenses on your graph. The vignetting is the issue, though.

So: may I continue stacking? Pleeeeeaaseee??

L.

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My gallery: http://w3.impa.br/~luis/fotos

FZee50 + Oly EfEl50 + TeeCon17 + Raynx 150 & 250
Nikn CeePee4500; Cann SDee500

 luisflorit's gear list:luisflorit's gear list
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Seemolf Senior Member • Posts: 1,243
Re: More on stacking lenses: distances and magnifications

Steve82 wrote:

Seemolf wrote:

If you can't read the graphs, there are all parameters for these
lenses in my tables:

http://freenet-homepage.de/seemolf/achromats.html

Very good explanations on the graph on your homepage. I always
appreciate practical explanations (with data) to support
conclusions. I'm not currently interested in macros, but I have
bookmarked your page for future reference. Thanks alot for
providing this very useful information.

Thanks Steve,

this graph needed some time to be developed....

Even the problem with the tcons is included, you can see the little dots with the tcon17.
But not all of us are scientists, I will have to explain it a litte better.

If I had data on more types of cameras, I could publish a more generalized graph.

Sven

kernow Forum Pro • Posts: 12,441
Re: More on stacking lenses: distances and magnifications

As a cheaper alternative to the MCON4 the IS/L B-macro is the same lens AFAIK and can be had for about a third of the cost on eBay. I can tell you this now that I have mine, I didn't want any bidding competition.

See my thread for a few shots and what the lens looks like on the FZ30.
--
Oll an gwella,
Jim

http://www.flickr.com/photos/50073525@N00/

FX07
FZ30 * IS/L B-300 * IS/L B-Macro * Sunpak 383

kernow Forum Pro • Posts: 12,441
Re: More on stacking lenses: distances and magnifications

Forgot the URL to the thread.
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1033&thread=23258597
--
Oll an gwella,
Jim

http://www.flickr.com/photos/50073525@N00/

FX07
FZ30 * IS/L B-300 * IS/L B-Macro * Sunpak 383

Seemolf Senior Member • Posts: 1,243
Re: More on stacking lenses: distances and magnifications

Sorry luisflorit,

I did not intend to offend you!

You can do whatever you want, but some beginners tend to follow some strange ways. This costs money and leads to disappointing results.
Just look at the "stacking wave" with tcons, that we had some time ago.

It is the same phenomenon. Only few combinations of tcons give a better resolution then the leica lens alone or a nikon ED lens.

luisflorit wrote:

Seemolf wrote:

You forgot one line:
R1+T --> better use MCON40, Nikon 4T, ....

..and forget all this nonsense about stacking.

wow...

ok, sorry for that!
But people are sometimes to polite around here.
Only: "amazing, wow and great" does not help much.
.. and the best that expert authors write about stacking is:
OK this can be done, but please do not use more than two lenses!

There is a perfect lens for each purpose!

Among the main reasons why I bought the FZ50 were: price and don't
have to take a lot of lenses with me. Your suggestion is right
against both of these, so it's not an option for me (the simple 2
element mcon40 alone costs $100!). At least, by now.

Many of us have cheap used lenses and even the perfect Nikon lenses can be bought at some sources again (much cheaper than the mcon).

Moreover, there is nothing in your graph (the one already posted in
this forum a hundred times) even close to the R150+R250 stacked.
And the Hoya +10 has been reported to be an expensive simple 2
element lens of poor IQ.

Just think!
There is a good reason for this....
Raynox has terrible lenses with higher diopters.

Reversed SLR are very (!) cheap now and couplers - adapters are on stock at many places.
Only the Zoerk lens is perfect in this range, but the price is out of reach.

Stackin is just a workaround, when don't have the right lenses.

Not quite if you DON'T WANT to spend the money and carry more macro
lenses.

I don't see the difference in our statements.

I am happy with the 40-45cm of working distance of the Raynox 150 +
TCON17 that I always have with me anyway. Perhaps that means some
loose in IQ, but I am unable to see it. And not even that is true
with all the lenses on your graph. The vignetting is the issue,
though.

So: may I continue stacking? Pleeeeeaaseee??

Of course.

Please forgive me, I simply wanted to give a hint that this might not be the perfect way to go for others.

.....and I have made the same experiments that you and kalimi do at the moment.
....and many that you haven't done yet

But this is fun, so please go on!

I am still waiting for a comparison with stacked achromats.

  • normal stacking

  • reversed stacking of the leading lens

This should be done with a flat object.

I expect that the reversed construction has a better - less curvature of the field. This trick helped with my Elpros and CK stated that this is common knowledge (I never found a link for achromats though..).

Cheers

Sven

Seemolf Senior Member • Posts: 1,243
Re: More on stacking lenses: distances and magnifications

kernow wrote:

As a cheaper alternative to the MCON4 the IS/L B-macro is the same
lens AFAIK and can be had for about a third of the cost on eBay. I
can tell you this now that I have mine, I didn't want any bidding
competition.

FZ30 * IS/L B-300 * IS/L B-Macro * Sunpak 383

Both of your lenses - B-300 and B-Macro are a very good choice, Jim!

If you get the B-Macro with the diffusor (like you did!), it is ever better!

Cheers

Sven

kernow Forum Pro • Posts: 12,441
Re: More on stacking lenses: distances and magnifications

Seemolf wrote:

kernow wrote:

As a cheaper alternative to the MCON4 the IS/L B-macro is the same
lens AFAIK and can be had for about a third of the cost on eBay. I
can tell you this now that I have mine, I didn't want any bidding
competition.

FZ30 * IS/L B-300 * IS/L B-Macro * Sunpak 383

Both of your lenses - B-300 and B-Macro are a very good choice, Jim!

If you get the B-Macro with the diffusor (like you did!), it is
ever better!

Cheers

Sven

For really close up shots I am just waiting for the Super glue to dry on an old Yashica 50mm that I will try reversed and glued to an old broken filter ring to attach it to the FZ30. I hand held it and it is promising, but very very macro and no DOF to speak of.

Here is an early example of the inside of a Spiderwort flower taken by hand holding the reversed 50mm in front of the FZ30.

-- hide signature --

Oll an gwella,
Jim

http://www.flickr.com/photos/50073525@N00/

FX07
FZ30 * IS/L B-300 * IS/L B-Macro * Sunpak 383

luisflorit
OP luisflorit Veteran Member • Posts: 8,381
Re: More on stacking lenses: distances and magnifications

kernow wrote:

As a cheaper alternative to the MCON4 the IS/L B-macro is the same
lens AFAIK and can be had for about a third of the cost on eBay. I
can tell you this now that I have mine, I didn't want any bidding
competition.

See my thread for a few shots and what the lens looks like on the
FZ30.

Unfortunately, I live in Brazil and buying through ebay is not that easy.
Thanks,
L.

-- hide signature --

My gallery: http://w3.impa.br/~luis/fotos

FZee50 + Oly EfEl50 + TeeCon17 + Raynx 150 & 250
Nikn CeePee4500; Cann SDee500

 luisflorit's gear list:luisflorit's gear list
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kernow Forum Pro • Posts: 12,441
Re: More on stacking lenses: distances and magnifications

luisflorit wrote:

kernow wrote:

As a cheaper alternative to the MCON4 the IS/L B-macro is the same
lens AFAIK and can be had for about a third of the cost on eBay. I
can tell you this now that I have mine, I didn't want any bidding
competition.

See my thread for a few shots and what the lens looks like on the
FZ30.

Unfortunately, I live in Brazil and buying through ebay is not that
easy.
Thanks,
L.

I understand Luis. Perhaps if you have a friend in the USA they could help you out. What about Mercado Libre do they have something like that in Brazil? I suspect though the selection will be very limited. Possibly some camera stores in the major cities might have some old stock?
--
Oll an gwella,
Jim

http://www.flickr.com/photos/50073525@N00/

FX07
FZ30 * IS/L B-300 * IS/L B-Macro * Sunpak 383

luisflorit
OP luisflorit Veteran Member • Posts: 8,381
Re: More on stacking lenses: distances and magnifications

Seemolf wrote:

Sorry luisflorit,

I did not intend to offend you!

Oh, you didn't.

You can do whatever you want, but some beginners tend to follow
some strange ways. This costs money and leads to disappointing
results.
Just look at the "stacking wave" with tcons, that we had some time
ago.
It is the same phenomenon. Only few combinations of tcons give a
better resolution then the leica lens alone or a nikon ED lens.

You nailed perfectly the problem here.

I know the Oly TCON17 is not as good as the Nikon TCED17. And the difference is quite notorious. However, I DON'T WANT to pay for a TC the same price as a DSLR lens, AND for something that weights 3x the Oly TCON. It's just an option. Not the best IQ? Yes. But practical and cheap! That does not mean that I won't envy that fantastic Nikon TC...

Ok, I know this is more exaggerated than with the macro lenses. Perhaps I will get one of those +2 diopters at certain point. But in the meantime...

..and forget all this nonsense about stacking.

wow...

ok, sorry for that!

Forget it, Sven.

But people are sometimes to polite around here.
Only: "amazing, wow and great" does not help much.

Yes, I agree. I must say that I have been criticized many times for my shots here, though, and that is being a tremendous help in my learning process.

.. and the best that expert authors write about stacking is:
OK this can be done, but please do not use more than two lenses!

Well, this is what I said.

Among the main reasons why I bought the FZ50 were: price and don't
have to take a lot of lenses with me. Your suggestion is right
against both of these, so it's not an option for me (the simple 2
element mcon40 alone costs $100!). At least, by now.

Many of us have cheap used lenses and even the perfect Nikon lenses
can be bought at some sources again (much cheaper than the mcon).

I don't have easy access to options like Ebay. Credit card issues, international shipping not allowed, etc...

Moreover, there is nothing in your graph (the one already posted in
this forum a hundred times) even close to the R150+R250 stacked.
And the Hoya +10 has been reported to be an expensive simple 2
element lens of poor IQ.

Just think!
There is a good reason for this....
Raynox has terrible lenses with higher diopters.
Reversed SLR are very (!) cheap now and couplers - adapters are on
stock at many places.

What setup would you recommend?

Only the Zoerk lens is perfect in this range, but the price is out
of reach.

That's the point.

Stackin is just a workaround, when don't have the right lenses.

Not quite if you DON'T WANT to spend the money and carry more macro
lenses.

I don't see the difference in our statements.

I don't see it as a "workaround", but as "the setup I want (now)".

So: may I continue stacking? Pleeeeeaaseee??

Of course.
Please forgive me, I simply wanted to give a hint that this might
not be the perfect way to go for others.

Forget it Sven! It's all right.

And I know you're right... if the person wants to have several lenses for a camera like the FZ50. I would probably buy all those lenses, but would prefer to do so for a SLR: the FZ50 has too many flaws, specially on software, for me to spend so much money on lenses for it (Nikon TCON17 enters here again).

.....and I have made the same experiments that you and kalimi do at
the moment.... and many that you haven't done yet

I believe you, I only made one.

But this is fun, so please go on!
I am still waiting for a comparison with stacked achromats.

  • normal stacking

  • reversed stacking of the leading lens

This should be done with a flat object.
I expect that the reversed construction has a better - less
curvature of the field. This trick helped with my Elpros and CK
stated that this is common knowledge (I never found a link for
achromats though..).

You mean, like stacking the raynoxes but the front one reversed?

Cheers,
L.

-- hide signature --

My gallery: http://w3.impa.br/~luis/fotos

FZee50 + Oly EfEl50 + TeeCon17 + Raynx 150 & 250
Nikn CeePee4500; Cann SDee500

 luisflorit's gear list:luisflorit's gear list
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gil Forum Pro • Posts: 16,772
Stacking works for me but only in certain....(m)

combinations, I have stacked since 2004 but mostly with 2 Nikons and it is doing its job. Now I added the Minolta #2 with the 1.4X Ricoh TC (tip from M. Plonsky) and seems to be working well. I tried the TCON-17 (plus the Raynox 2020, Oly C-180, Canon TL-55) and only the Ricoh gave usable results. Though I am an engineer and may have read some basics on the stuff I am pursuing, I am mostly hands on with respect to photographic adventures. Experimenting for the sake of fun and surprises must be pursued and of course could be better with background information.

Short of saying that experimentations must not be curtailed even if it may violate previous findings. I would rather test and confirm than be limited by references : ). One would later learn if a setup is not working with the cr@ppy images it produce as long as there is no issue with time and resources : ).

Lastly, while it is always tempting to get the highest possible magnification, macro shots to be is more than the closeness but more on how to present that closeness in a pleasing way - I think that is termed as composition :!).

cheers,
gil

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**************
The difference between a picture and an image is YOU : ).
Starting to harvest organic images.
No baits, calls, tricks but will use luck.
Still kicking 100% hand held and jpg.
new galleries coming...hopefully

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luisflorit
OP luisflorit Veteran Member • Posts: 8,381
Re: More on stacking lenses: distances and magnifications

Unfortunately, I live in Brazil and buying through ebay is not that
easy.

I understand Luis. Perhaps if you have a friend in the USA they
could help you out.

This is what I do most of the time. My Raynox 250 was brought to me by a colleague.

What about Mercado Libre do they have something like that in Brazil?

Yes.

I suspect though the selection will be very
limited.

Exactly!

Possibly some camera stores in the major cities might have some old stock?

Rio is Brazil second biggest city, and photographical choices here are VERY limited, and VERY expensive. Sao Paulo is a little better, but just a little.
For you to have an idea, this link is for you to buy a Kodak Z710 in Brazil:

http://www.submarino.com.br/cinephoto_productdetails.asp?Query=ProductPage&ProdTypeId=26&CatId=41569&ProdId=1947506&ST=BV41569&OperId=0&CellType=2

It costs here R$ 1770.00, that is, at today rates, more than 900 dollars. In B&H, it costs $190!!!!:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/462442-REG/Kodak_8197774_EasyShare_Z710_Digital_Camera.html
This is by no means a pathology: it's the rule.

You will ask "WHY????". The answer could only be one: corruption, that is fueled by Brazilian cancer, impunity. Lots of people make a lot of money with illegal imports because of the huge import taxes. The taxes are by no means the cause, but the consequence of the corruption, since the taxes are created for these people to make money and no to protect any national industry (there is not a single camera made in Brazil, not even indirectly).

I have 3 cameras and a lot of accessories. And NEVER bought ANYTHING in Brazil, except a cheap (and bad) tripod. When I bought my FZ50 and accessories, I bought it at B&H who sent all directly to Rio. Much cheapper than anything else!

Tough life...

L.

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My gallery: http://w3.impa.br/~luis/fotos

FZee50 + Oly EfEl50 + TeeCon17 + Raynx 150 & 250
Nikn CeePee4500; Cann SDee500

 luisflorit's gear list:luisflorit's gear list
Olympus E-M1 II Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm F4 IS Pro Venus Laowa 7.5mm F2 MFT Olympus E-M1 +3 more
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