• details
  • details
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  • A high magnification shot of the wing can be found here.
  • I tried to focus on the eyes, but they are not as interesting as the flakes for comparison...

Comparison Of DIY Macro Solutions

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A quick comparison of the lenses I can use for macro with around 2X magnification. Thought I could share it... I don't own a dedicated macro lens, but I'm still happy with the results.

The subject was a dead butterfly I found a while ago, it looks a bit strange with the broken antennas. It is also always a challenge to get the light right for macros, even in the "studio". Here I used a yoghurt-cup mounted in a Pringles-tube as diffusor and placed a piece of aluminum foil beneath the insect to get the lower part brighter.

The comparison pieces are 100% crops from the untouched raw-images, shown in (how I think) chronological order. A relarively new 35/1.8, a Nikkor 35-70 from analog times, a Canon 50/1.8 and a Fujinon 50/1.4. (Click the links in the image notes to see the details) I tried to keep the viewing angle, magnification and focal plane identical, but I did not completely succeed.
An external flash with a diffusor was used set to minimum power, so all the shots were taken at the same amount of light.

My winner is the Fujinon lens, followed by the Nikkor 35-70. Contrast and grain is pretty good. This is more or less the result I expected, I'm happy my 35-70 performes still good, since I bought and modified it especially for macro. The Canon lens was very bright, and the results here could be caused by diffraction, since I had to close the aperture quite a lot. I'm a bit disappointed by the Nikkor 35/1.8, but anyway the lens is not my favorite since it sometimes produces some ugly CA even in "normal" use.
The large image is a bigger crop of the Fujinon test shot.

Comments and favs are highly appreciated! I'll be sure to look at your stream.
Featured at DIYPhotography, many thanks!

View 5 more comments

  1. alfred.hausberger 28 months ago | reply

    Ein gigantisches Bild und ein Bild wie aus einem Lehrbuch. Deine Experimente sind immer wieder begeisternd.

  2. Terapixel² 28 months ago | reply

    Thanks a lot for comments and favs!

  3. planet_us 28 months ago | reply

    Wow - very weird looking and great lens comparison.

    -name change: 'fish eyes and sharks teeth' is now 'planet us'

  4. rick stephens 28 months ago | reply

    thanks for the comparison charly. very interesting to see the difference in the lenses. on the nikkor 35-70, which end are you shooting at? if you're at the 35mm end, i can only imagine the 70mm side.

  5. Phototropy 28 months ago | reply

    Interesting stuff and great macro.

  6. Copacati 28 months ago | reply

    UN-GLAUB-LICH!!! Wow, was ein Killer-Makro, Hut ab!

  7. Daniel Borg 28 months ago | reply

    Yeah the fuji looks good, but I also like the result of the Nikon prime.......... and it's a great macro!!

  8. Terapixel² 28 months ago | reply

    in fact this was at approx. 35mm to get something around 2x magnification. But reversely mounted the magnification decreases with a longer focal length, at 70mm I get something around 1:3. For super macros around 6x I use my 10mm ultrawide reversely mounted.

    Thank you all for comments and favs!

  9. Objektkontrast 28 months ago | reply

    wieder ein oberscharfes Makro von dir! Gut dass der Monsterrüssel eingerollt ist!;-)

  10. Dazza1040 28 months ago | reply

    Nice detail.

  11. Vie Lipowski 28 months ago | reply

    Great comparison! And very informative too!

  12. Alessandro_Strano 28 months ago | reply

    Very nice. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  13. Alessandro_Strano 28 months ago | reply

    Merry Xmas to you too.

  14. Juan José Arasa 28 months ago | reply

    Impresionante ampliación.

  15. Mike A Lambert 28 months ago | reply

    Cool stuff. Thank you.

  16. phil.shen.2020 28 months ago | reply

    I really appreciate these lens comparisons, especially for DIY macros!

  17. neimon2 (too busy, sorry for my temporary silence) 28 months ago | reply

    Very interesting work, thanks for sharing these info! The results are really impressinve

  18. qwertypadish 27 months ago | reply

    My custom rig a flash diffuser made from a milk carton and some board. The lens is a 18- 105mm nikon VR and a 50mm prime in reverse and sandwiched between them is a wide angle lens adapter (I didnt have a step down ring so this works). I'll need to get a focus rail as it was extremely difficult to focus by hand, took a lot of patience.

  19. A@die 17 months ago | reply

    This photo is a good sample in the flickr. It is awarded the flickr Clickx Award!
    award 12
    flickr Clickx (post1 – award 5)
    Please consider posting this photo into this group.

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