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Need Help - Cheap Macro Lenses

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    15 Jan 2011 - 7:58 PM


    I am interested in buying a cheap, decent macro lens. I already own a Tamron 70-300mm Tele-Macro lens but am looking to move to dedicated macro.


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    15 Jan 2011 - 7:58 PM

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    15 Jan 2011 - 8:26 PM

    There really is no such thing as a cheap, decent macro lens. Probably the best value for money is the Sigma 105mm which gets good write-ups but they are still quite pricey.

    The least expensive route to true macro without any compromising of quality is a set of extension tubes. Ideally use them with a prime lens such as a 50mm f/1.8 but they can be used satisfactorily with a mid-range kit zoom.

    15 Jan 2011 - 8:44 PM

    The Tamron 90mm macro is a reasonable price and I'm very happy with the results I get on a Canon 5D MKII Smile

    coliwolii  569 forum posts United Kingdom
    15 Jan 2011 - 8:46 PM

    I agree with the above.

    About the cheapest decent "true" macro, I'm aware of is the Sigma 50mm f2.8 DG, which you can get for about 200 - 250 (e-Bay, amongst others) , some find the relativley short focal length a bit restrictive. However I have owned one of these lenses and found image quality to be up close to the big money macro's. But obviously not as cheap as a set of tubes?

    tomcat e2 Member 95916 forum poststomcat vcard United Kingdom15 Constructive Critique Points
    15 Jan 2011 - 9:28 PM

    Quote: Need Help - Cheap Macro Lenses

    Seriously Connor, there isn't one.Sad
    Some of the advice above is well worth heeding Smile

    MikeH  9217 forum posts England4 Constructive Critique Points
    16 Jan 2011 - 6:18 PM

    Quality lenses are not ' Cheap'. Once you accept that you can start comparing. I use a Tamron 90mm f2.8 Di , sharp as a knife and a true 1:1 , decent quality build. Also great as portrait lens,

    Overread  63763 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
    16 Jan 2011 - 6:37 PM

    The cheapest recommended macro lens is the Tamron 90mm macro if you intend to work with insects. You can work with shorter focal lengths and many do, however its a harder skill to learn to master.

    If you want to go cheaper still however you can consider a set of Kenko AF Extension tubes. These are about the best price for what you get because you get a good build quality and the electrical contacts which you need to retain control over your lens (without them you've no aperture control at all). From there you can use them on your kit lens that came with your camera to get to true macro (1:1 magnification). You'll have a small distance from the front of the lens to the subject (working distance) but it can be done.
    Avoid the ultra cheap extension tubes because they lack the metal contacts which allow AF control (as mentioned above).

    The only other thing you could consider is a Raynox DCR 250 (cheaper than the tubes) and use that on your 70-300mm lens to increase its maximum magnification. I've no idea of the figures of what magnification this combo will give you and you might also need to get a stepping ring to allow the raynox to fit your lens.

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