Super macrophotography

edited August 2016 Posted in » Canon T5 / 1200D Forum
I have pretty decent equipment and have been taking some pretty decent shots. Recently I got into macrophotography and like others, I presume, I am addicted.
I have a Canon EOS Rebel T5 and just got a TAMRON 90mm f/2.8 macro 1:1 272E. I can handle the macro lens quite well and love the stuff I have been producing, however I would like to get even more closer and detailed shots.

I just got a Raynox DCR-250 which I thought I could attach to the Tamron to increase the magnification, but that doesn't seem to work. I cannot get it to focus, and if I do, I have to use a very minimal focal distance, almost touching the subject. Of course that won't do since the subject will have disappeared a very long time ago.

I have seen some shots here which are extremely detailed and just magnificent. What do I need to do to get that kind of close up and detailed?

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.




  • edited August 2016
    Hi Ed,
    The Raynox tends to be the people's choice, but as you pointed out it does have some disadvantages. In the old days when I was a lad we used to use extension tubes, macro lenses and macro bellows. All of these are still commercially available. Each have their own pros and cons and it would be worth reading up on them.
    I photographed on film (remember that stuff) my wife's entire collection of shell people ranging in size from 1.5 inches to 2.5 inches at 1:1 magnification from 2 feet using extension tubes.
    Good luck.
  • edited August 2016
    I guess that answers my question. I will return the Raynox and just stick with my Tamron 90mm. I just thought there was another way to get even more details than I currently do without having to go really hi-expensive on macro lens.
  • edited September 2016
    Unfortunately, most macro lenses will require a very close distance at maximum magnification, and will have a very narrow range as well, and adding the Raynox to yours will make that very close and narrow indeed.

    Everything I've read about that Tamron suggests that it's very good, but like many such macros, I think it suffers from "lens breathing," which is a gradual change of focal length as you focus closer. Thus, at 1:1, the focal length will be shorter than that original 90mm, and the distance will be correspondingly closer. I don't know what the actual amount is, but it can become bothersome when you add further magnification.

    For example, the Nikon 105mm /2.8 Macro, a nice lens in many ways, is 105mm down to 1:2, but between 1:2 and 1:1 it breathes down to 60mm. For high magnification, you must move the camera closer as you focus down, and cannot focus stack without a lot of maneuvering, because the size of the target changes.

    About the only way you can improve this situation, I think, will be to get a longer focal length lens, that does not "breathe". Depending on what is available in the way of extension tubes, a longer focal length normal lens might work well with either an extension tube or a diopter.

    I don't know what is available in Canon gear for this. We Nikon hackers can get away with more, because one can use even the oldest Nikon lenses on uncoupled extension tubes, and operate manually. If you can get a compatible extension tube, a normal telephoto can work well. If you can put the Tamron on a tube or bellows and not use the macro focusing, you might find distances less difficult.

    e.t.a. adding to the above, I seem to recall that there are manual adapters available for Canon that allow all sorts of non-Canon stuff to be used manually. My son has some of this stuff, and can use Nikon lenses on his. If this is the case, and if you want to get adventurous, consider finding a manual adapter for some system such as Nikon or Minolta or older Canon, and find a bellows or extension tubes and manual lenses. Many possibilities open up if you are willing to go totally manual.
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