Howdy, Stranger!

If you're just starting out in the world of photography and want to learn how to get the most out of your camera, then this forum is your new secret hangout spot!

Take better photos today with my Nikon D5100 Cheat SheetsCheck 'em out!

Macro photography: macro lens or close up lens

edited August 2015 Posted in » Nikon D5100 Forum
Hi Friends,

1st of all Happy friendship day. :)

I am a newbie in the DSLR photography world.
Two months back, I bought a D5100 with 18-55mm kit lens.

I cannot shoot, birds or far away objects as I don't have zoom lens.

I cannot capture insects clearly as I don't have a macro lens.

So I am totally confused, what kind of photography I can do with this lens?
Simple photography I can do with my smartphone camera. I want to do something special and impressive.

I have tried some closeup fruits photography, and flower photography and they seems good, but insect closeups are not possible with the 18-55mm lens.

I was crawling the web and found that we need to buy a macro lens, which I can't buy now, but I found some cheap close up lenses. So, my second question is what lens to buy for macro photography?

Here are some closeup lenses below; will they work? LENS&qid=1438515388&ref_=sr_1_4&sr=8-4 LENS&qid=1438515388&ref_=sr_1_5&sr=8-5

New BEE :)


  • edited August 2015
    Close-up diopters of the sort linked to here do indeed work, and are one of the cheapest ways to get into macro range without dedicated lenses and other accessories.

    However, these lenses do come in varying degrees of quality. The cheapest are a simple magnifier, and the better ones are compound with more color and aberration correction.

    The cheapest ones will magnify alright, but may produce more distortion, especially at the edges, and possibly chromatic aberration (color fringes, etc.) too. However, even those will work, and may not be so bad for objects such as insects. Linear distortion is most conspicuous where straight lines are present in your subject. A bug on a leaf might look fine, where a bug on a window screen might show distracting distortion in the screen.

    For one of the better ones, check out the Raynox DCR-250. There's a review here on the site, which as I recall includes some samples of pictures done with it. It looks as if it might answer your needs.

    Diopters will usually work best at the longest focal length of the lens, so you should expect to put it to 55mm. Also remember that, depending on the final size and destination of the image, there's often a good deal of room for cropping.

    For convenience, here is the link for Moose's review: (see here)

    Other reviews can also be found. A few note that there is a little vignetting at 55mm, which darkens corners. That usually is not an issue with nature macros.
  • edited August 2015
    Thanks Bruto.
    I checked out the Raynox DCR 250, costing around
    Rs. 8000 on amazon.

    Whereas I have mentioned two links above, which are also for macro photography costing only Rs. 500 to 1000.

    I am confused, am I checking the relevant instrument? Please suggest.

    Confused Bee

  • edited August 2015
    Yes, you are checking the relevant instrument. The Raynox is a compound lens with color correction, and although I have not tried it myself, most reviews I've seen report that it is optically quite good. The ones you linked to are likely much simpler in optical construction. All will magnify your view and give you macro range photography, but as with any lens, you pay for added quality.

    If all you can afford is the simpler ones, then you should probably go ahead. The full set of four will give you a pretty good range of possibilities. The 10x macro alone might be too close and too highly magnified for comfortable use with the 18-55mm zoom.

    There is a good chance that these will work all right and give a good image in the center, but that they will be soft at the edges, and you might do better taking a less magnified image and cropping it.

    As you get very close to a subject, the camera can shade it, and you will also have very shallow depth of field. You may find that within the allowable range of cropping you're better off backing up a little, and getting the close view by cropping, sacrificing some pixels for greater focal depth and better light.

    It should be noted, in general, that macro can be achieved in many different ways, and every way has its advantages. A diopter in the front of the lens is one of the cheapest ways, and has an advantage in not needing any exotic equipment. It allows the use of many lenses, with the metering, auto focusing, and such unaffected. It also, of course, is extremely portable, easy to put in your camera bag and have on hand.

    It is also possible to put the lens on an extension tube or a bellows, to get it focusing closer. This adds no glass to the rig, and thus no new distortion, but in the case of the G lens you're using, cannot be done without a very expensive electronically compatible extension tube. Likewise, mounting the lens backwards on the camera with a reversing ring works well, but cannot be done with the G lens either without an expensive accessory. There are also dedicated macro lenses, which do the job well, usually with expensive optics designed for the purpose so that they are linear and sharp at close distances. That's difficult to achieve, so the lenses cost more.

  • edited September 2015
    Hi everyone, this is my first post. I have the Nikon 40mm micro that is great, and excellent at macro shots with a small monopod I made. It's excellent for portraits of flowers or people. It softens shots of flowers on the outer edges while providing a microscopic shot of the middle, fallen pollen specks etc. Also has excellent bokah as that softening of a flower turns background lights into light spheres with a 3D effect. It is my prime lens. The kit lens is actually pretty good for closeups, as it is a zoom.
    Pay $50 for a low end tripod or monopad before you dump $500 on a new lens.
  • edited March 2017
    Macro range has such shallow depth of field that it's very difficult to maintain focus without a tripod. Any movement or jiggle of the camera will change focus, and auto focus can often go wrong because one's actual target may be a little different from what the camera chooses. It is possible to do freehand, and necessary if you're chasing bugs, as they tend not to stand still, but when possible, I would agree that a tripod is a must.

    The 40mm is nice, but a little close for bugs. I prefer an 85mm, because you can get a little further away. This is cropped a bit, but still reasonably sharp, from an 85mm f/2.8 Micro:
  • edited March 2017
    What happens if you attach the Raynox DCR 250 to a Nikon Macro F-60mm, f/2.8 lens?
Sign In or Register to comment.