Sony 30mm 3.5 vs Sony 50mm (or 55-210) + extension tubes for MACRO

Started Jun 16, 2015 | Discussions
SonyRocks Regular Member • Posts: 420
Sony 30mm 3.5 vs Sony 50mm (or 55-210) + extension tubes for MACRO

I was wondering if anyone had experience comparing these two setups. I'm interested in doing macro. I understand that there are many other lenses that can be adapted but I intend to stay within the e-mount system. Could you please compare these two? Which will be sharper?

Also I have the Sigma 30mm...I read the reviews of the two but I was wondering from a personal perspective..how does the Sony compare to the Sigma for street photography assuming good light?

thank you!

Panasonic Lumix G Macro 30mm F2.8
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captura Forum Pro • Posts: 27,478
Re: Sony 30mm 3.5 vs Sony 50mm (or 55-210) + extension tubes for MACRO
1

SonyRocks wrote:

I was wondering if anyone had experience comparing these two setups. I'm interested in doing macro. I understand that there are many other lenses that can be adapted but I intend to stay within the e-mount system. Could you please compare these two? Which will be sharper?

Also I have the Sigma 30mm...I read the reviews of the two but I was wondering from a personal perspective..how does the Sony compare to the Sigma for street photography assuming good light?

thank you!

The 30 macro is an inexpensive and very under-rated lens, with an unusually short FL for a macro. However I've found it works quite well, but you end up getting REAL close! So that will scare off insects if that's your thing.

DxO gives it a decent score.

I also have the Sigma 30 and the two lenses are very different in character for normal shooting.

The Sigma is much sharper but has nervous and weak bokeh.

The 3.5 macro by virtue of being a macro, naturally offers up much more subject isolation, and therefore bokeh. And quite pleasing, at that.

For me, the big bonus with the 30 macro is the ability to bayonet-mount the Sony UWA or fisheye converter lenses. Just as on the 16, this combo is really marvelous.

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joe6pack Senior Member • Posts: 1,599
Re: Sony 30mm 3.5 vs Sony 50mm (or 55-210) + extension tubes for MACRO

Extension Tube is a cheap way of taking macro. I tried it with 16-50mm kit lens and a few legacy lens. But you will soon realize that you have to get very close to subject for macros. And you will be losing light due to the extension tube.

IMO, the real gem is the 55-210 with the $20 CL49-200. Here are a couple of examples with the combination.

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Docrum Contributing Member • Posts: 736
Re: Sony 30mm 3.5 vs Sony 50mm (or 55-210) + extension tubes for MACRO

A third option is a diopter combined with the SEL55210.

The SEL30M35 has amazing sharpness/ clarity for any close up work. If you want to do proper 1:1 macro then you do need to be very close to the subject. Like around 2cm distance from the lens.... So that choice might depend on what you intend to be photographing?

I've got an album here with shots taken with the SEL30M35 https://www.flickr.com/photos/132399567@N06/sets/72157651346918839(I'm not a photography guru, so they're shots anyone should be able to obtain )

I've also got a couple of shots taken with the SEL55210 and Minolta CL49-200 diopter here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/132399567@N06/sets/72157651770684695 . Working distance with that is around 15cm.

Have a read of this too: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3856876

OP SonyRocks Regular Member • Posts: 420
Re: Sony 30mm 3.5 vs Sony 50mm (or 55-210) + extension tubes for MACRO

Thank you all.  I really appreciate all this info.  As for what I'll be doing macro on, I haven't really decided.  I just wanted a general easy to use small macro lens.  I understand I need longer lens for things such as insects but I'm more interested in static things.

To summarize should I keep both the Sigma 30mm and the Sony 30mm? It would be nice to have 1 lens for both street photography and macro but as I understand the Sony is not nearly as sharp as the Sigma.

Does the Sony 50mm + two extension tubes 10mm and 16mm provide greater than 1 to 1 magnification?  What happens if I were to use the extension tubes on the macro lens?

OP SonyRocks Regular Member • Posts: 420
Re: Sony 30mm 3.5 vs Sony 50mm (or 55-210) + extension tubes for MACRO

Also does the Sony 30mm with the uwa and fisheye provide sharp results? I've been told the adapters increase the sharpness of the Sony 16mm..does that hold true for the Sony 30mm as well?

Nikolausz
Nikolausz Senior Member • Posts: 1,125
Re: Sony 30mm 3.5 vs Sony 50mm (or 55-210) + extension tubes for MACRO

Does the Sony 50mm + two extension tubes 10mm and 16mm provide greater than 1 to 1 magnification?

No

What happens if I were to use the extension tubes on the macro lens?

I wouldn't use it on the sel30m35, your front lens will touch the subject.

Read this for more details:

http://fiberstrobe.blogspot.de/2015/04/macro-and-close-up-photography-options.html

Cheers

Marcell (fiberstrobe)

Nikolausz
Nikolausz Senior Member • Posts: 1,125
Re: Sony 30mm 3.5 vs Sony 50mm (or 55-210) + extension tubes for MACRO
1

SonyRocks wrote:

Also does the Sony 30mm with the uwa and fisheye provide sharp results? I've been told the adapters increase the sharpness of the Sony 16mm..does that hold true for the Sony 30mm as well?

It is an interesting combination and I think I can claim for myself the introduction of this approach. There are some restrictions and the sharpness won't improve but you will have some interesting macro perspectives.

Further readings on this topic:

http://fiberstrobe.blogspot.de/2014/08/sel30f35-vcl-ecf1-lens-combo.html

http://fiberstrobe.blogspot.de/2014/08/praying-mantis.html

http://fiberstrobe.blogspot.de/2014/09/put-sel30m35-lens-into-perspective.html

http://fiberstrobe.blogspot.de/2015/03/sony-vcl-ecu1-ultra-wide-converter.html

I hope they answer your question.

Cheers

Marcell

OP SonyRocks Regular Member • Posts: 420
Re: Sony 30mm 3.5 vs Sony 50mm (or 55-210) + extension tubes for MACRO

Wow thank you so much for all the links.  This is exactly the source I was looking for.  Your photos are great!  Luckily I have the Sony 16mm with the two adapter so I should be trying them out with the Sony 30mm as well.

Here's my next question..I am trying to reduce a bit of my gear.  I find I got a bit of lens fever because of the cheap prices of the lens.  Here's what I own and my logic

Sony 16-50 (general zoom, convenient and good for video)

Sony 55-210 When I need more zoom

Sony 50mm 1.8 (portraits and low light)

Sigma 30mm 2.8 (main street photography lens)

Sony 16mm + wide adapters + fisheye adapter (Landscapes/ fun shots)

Sony 30mm 3.5 (macro)

Commlite af adapter (guess don't need need this now that I have the Sony macro)

I feel this is quite a bit, do you think any lens could be swapped out?  I really wished the Sony could compare with the Sigma because the wide adapter, it gives me 24mm which I find preferable to 30mm for general street photography.  Thoughts please?

captura Forum Pro • Posts: 27,478
Re: Sony 30mm 3.5 vs Sony 50mm (or 55-210) + extension tubes for MACRO

SonyRocks wrote:

Thank you all. I really appreciate all this info. As for what I'll be doing macro on, I haven't really decided. I just wanted a general easy to use small macro lens. I understand I need longer lens for things such as insects but I'm more interested in static things.

To summarize should I keep both the Sigma 30mm and the Sony 30mm? It would be nice to have 1 lens for both street photography and macro but as I understand the Sony is not nearly as sharp as the Sigma.

Not as sharp, but saying "not nearly as sharp" might be an exaggeration.

Does the Sony 50mm + two extension tubes 10mm and 16mm provide greater than 1 to 1 magnification? What happens if I were to use the extension tubes on the macro lens?

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captura Forum Pro • Posts: 27,478
Re: Sony 30mm 3.5 vs Sony 50mm (or 55-210) + extension tubes for MACRO
1

SonyRocks wrote:

Also does the Sony 30mm with the uwa and fisheye provide sharp results? I've been told the adapters increase the sharpness of the Sony 16mm..does that hold true for the Sony 30mm as well?

Yes, but perhaps more so with the UWA.

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Nikolausz
Nikolausz Senior Member • Posts: 1,125
Re: Sony 30mm 3.5 vs Sony 50mm (or 55-210) + extension tubes for MACRO

SonyRocks wrote:

Wow thank you so much for all the links. This is exactly the source I was looking for. Your photos are great! Luckily I have the Sony 16mm with the two adapter so I should be trying them out with the Sony 30mm as well.

Here's my next question..I am trying to reduce a bit of my gear. I find I got a bit of lens fever because of the cheap prices of the lens. Here's what I own and my logic

Sony 16-50 (general zoom, convenient and good for video)

Sony 55-210 When I need more zoom

Sony 50mm 1.8 (portraits and low light)

Sigma 30mm 2.8 (main street photography lens)

Sony 16mm + wide adapters + fisheye adapter (Landscapes/ fun shots)

Sony 30mm 3.5 (macro)

Commlite af adapter (guess don't need need this now that I have the Sony macro)

I feel this is quite a bit, do you think any lens could be swapped out? I really wished the Sony could compare with the Sigma because the wide adapter, it gives me 24mm which I find preferable to 30mm for general street photography. Thoughts please?

Keep your lenses. It's a good set. I have a very similar set but I didn't invest yet to any sigma, because I felt them redundant. But you have the sigma 30mm lens, which is just perfect for street photography. I don't see the point to sell it.

captura Forum Pro • Posts: 27,478
Re: Sony 30mm 3.5 vs Sony 50mm (or 55-210) + extension tubes for MACRO

Nikolausz wrote:

SonyRocks wrote:

Wow thank you so much for all the links. This is exactly the source I was looking for. Your photos are great! Luckily I have the Sony 16mm with the two adapter so I should be trying them out with the Sony 30mm as well.

Here's my next question..I am trying to reduce a bit of my gear. I find I got a bit of lens fever because of the cheap prices of the lens. Here's what I own and my logic

Sony 16-50 (general zoom, convenient and good for video)

Sony 55-210 When I need more zoom

Sony 50mm 1.8 (portraits and low light)

Sigma 30mm 2.8 (main street photography lens)

Sony 16mm + wide adapters + fisheye adapter (Landscapes/ fun shots)

Sony 30mm 3.5 (macro)

Commlite af adapter (guess don't need need this now that I have the Sony macro)

I feel this is quite a bit, do you think any lens could be swapped out? I really wished the Sony could compare with the Sigma because the wide adapter, it gives me 24mm which I find preferable to 30mm for general street photography. Thoughts please?

Keep your lenses. It's a good set. I have a very similar set but I didn't invest yet to any sigma, because I felt them redundant. But you have the sigma 30mm lens, which is just perfect for street photography. I don't see the point to sell it.

Keep your 30 macro, too. As I said before, it affords you narrower depth of field and also decent bokeh opportunities, which the Sigma 30 can't.

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joe6pack Senior Member • Posts: 1,599
Re: Sony 30mm 3.5 vs Sony 50mm (or 55-210) + extension tubes for MACRO

SonyRocks wrote:

Does the Sony 50mm + two extension tubes 10mm and 16mm provide greater than 1 to 1 magnification? What happens if I were to use the extension tubes on the macro lens?

No, 50mm + 26mm will not give you 1:1 magnification. Maybe someone can share a formula. Extension Tube's magnification is highest for shorter focal length lenses. But 50mm with extension tube is nonetheless a good choice because of its sharpness and offers you a good working distance with your subject.

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AdVeen
AdVeen Senior Member • Posts: 1,372
Re: Sony 30mm 3.5 vs Sony 50mm (or 55-210) + extension tubes for MACRO

Just bought the diopter you mentioned for the 55-210, plus 40.5-49 adapterring for the 16-50 lens. Actually quite cheap at amazon...

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Docrum Contributing Member • Posts: 736
Re: Sony 30mm 3.5 vs Sony 50mm (or 55-210) + extension tubes for MACRO

AdVeen wrote:

Just bought the diopter you mentioned for the 55-210, plus 40.5-49 adapterring for the 16-50 lens. Actually quite cheap at amazon...

Yes, ridiculously cheap.

captura Forum Pro • Posts: 27,478
Re: Sony 30mm 3.5 vs Sony 50mm (or 55-210) + extension tubes for MACRO

AdVeen wrote:

Just bought the diopter you mentioned for the 55-210, plus 40.5-49 adapterring for the 16-50 lens. Actually quite cheap at amazon...

Are you sure that  the 40.5-49 adapter ring will work with the 16-50 lens?

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captura Forum Pro • Posts: 27,478
Re: Sony 30mm 3.5 vs Sony 50mm (or 55-210) + extension tubes for MACRO

AdVeen wrote:

We'll see, but should fit. Already have a 40.5 CP filter for the 16-50 lens. I thought for 7 bucks I could give it a try.

Oh it should fit OK. But the spacing is critical. I tried many different combinations and considered several different tele. adapters before I hit on one that worked. TCON T-01 with two 40.5 mm filter rings (with the glass removed) as spacers.

Anyway good luck with that. I'd be curious about the results you get.

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