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Is the MP E worth over the raynox?
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anvancy



Joined: 05 Dec 2009
Posts: 289
Location: India

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 12:59 am    Post subject: Is the MP E worth over the raynox? Reply with quote

hi guys,

I had a question. I currently have the raynox CM 2000 which consists the 150 and the 250 and also the MSN 202.

Lately I had been thinking of buying the MP E65mm. But today I just went for a casual stroll with the raynox. no presentable shots could be taken due to wind and mostly rains. DOF problem was apparent even on the crop.

So my question now arises is, will the MP E be a suitable investment over the raynox?according to me the DOF problem will be higher and in general a more difficult lens to use.

Anybody can help me to clear out?I have been doing macro photography so I know the basic difficulties. but I am mainly confused whether the MP E investment be worth it.

Rik any help?

Thanks

Anvancy
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enricosavazzi



Joined: 21 Nov 2009
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Location: Stockholm, Sweden

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use neither the MP-E nor add-on lenses like the Raynox ones, so I can make only generic comments. Others may have more specific answers.

From you post, it would seem that you are mainly interested in field photomacrography (as opposed to studio/laboratory photomacrography). In the field, it is generally more convenient to have a single lens (or a single lens + focusing helicoid or bellows) that provides a wide range of magnifications, rather than a number of lenses/add-on accessories, each providing a restricted range of magnifications. In the studio/lab, instead, swapping lenses and accessories is less of a hassle and the better results generally obtained with equipment optimized for a small range of magnifications are a more important factor.

While macrophotography around 1x is often possible hand-held, photomacrography at 2-3x and above is very difficult or impossible hand-held, and requires solid (and heavy) tripod, head and focusing rack. In addition, a minor breeze is often a big problem in photomacrography. Tying the subject or plant substrate may be possible, but not always sufficient. It may be necessary to erect a wind shelter (like a tent or hide) around the subject, equipment and photographer.

With few exceptions, field photomacrography also requires artificial lightning (usually by electronic flash), while in macrophotography you can sometimes get away with ambient illumination alone.

DOF is a consequence of magnification and lens aperture, and there isn't much to do about it. The MP-E is certainly better than add-on lenses in terms of control of optical aberrations, but not a magical bullet against low DOF. The only practical solution so far is stacking, which is limited to static subjects and notoriously difficult to do in the field. Any sudden breeze or spontaneous movement of the subject or substrate half-way through shooting a stack will unavoidably spoil it.

Your choice will depend on these and many other factors. Personally, I almost never shoot photomacrography in the field, and do so only when I do not have a choice of working in a lab, so my own equipment is also optimized for use in the lab and I do not have anything directly comparable with an MP-E.
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Harold Gough



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
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Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anvancy,

I don't have the MPE 65 because I don't have a Canon and that is probably the only reason. I have to use other strategies and glassware. I do use Marumi supplementaries, which are an alternative to some Raynox (the lower magnifications).

The MPE gives a selection of (fixed) magnifications, something a supplementary cannot do, although you can use a selection with different powers of the latter.

Essentially, high magification means tiny DOF and there is not way around that except where stacking is a practical option. Otherwise, using lenses which are optimised at around f8 (like my film lenses) will help a little with DOF, as does the MPE.

Harold
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anvancy



Joined: 05 Dec 2009
Posts: 289
Location: India

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@enrico:Thanks for the reply. Yes I do field macro photography.Right now I use the 550D with the 55-250mm and the raynox kit along with the flash and a lumiquest diffuser.Well with the raynox, macro till 3x is possible.but beyond that I think field photography becomes truly difficult.

@Harold:Thanks. I think in the supplementary category given the bang for buck, the raynox truly shines. and agree on the DOF part.

I think I will re frame my question. What edge will I get if I buy the MPE? the raynox is also giving me 2.5x at 200mm(according to the table) and beyond as I zoom. I get the magnification with the raynox. What i want to know is, how will my existing macro photography impact with the purchase of the MP-E? the MP-E will be used on the 550D.

Anvancy
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Harold Gough



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
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Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

enricosavazzi wrote:
It may be necessary to erect a wind shelter (like a tent or hide) around the subject, equipment and photographer.

I don't want to discourage anyone but, even a pace or two inside a greenhouse, with the door (essentially on a hot day) open, on a day with a slight breeze, air movement can still be a problem. Indoors or outdoors I do a lot of waiting for movement to stop or shooting as the subject is momentarily stationery when changing direction (natural light).

enricosavazzi wrote:
With few exceptions, field photomacrography also requires artificial lightning (usually by electronic flash), while in macrophotography you can sometimes get away with ambient illumination alone.

(There may be a definition issue here). Up to about x3 ambient light can be used but ISO and noise can be an issue, less so with the Canon I presume.

(Incidentally, I was typing my previous post as Enrico was posting his).

Harold
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 10:57 am    Post subject: Re: Is the MP E worth over the raynox? Reply with quote

Anvancy,

I'm taking as background the following:
anvancy wrote:
Lately I had been thinking of buying the MP E65mm. But today I just went for a casual stroll with the raynox. no presentable shots could be taken due to wind and mostly rains. DOF problem was apparent even on the crop.

So my question now arises is, will the MP E be a suitable investment over the raynox?according to me the DOF problem will be higher and in general a more difficult lens to use.

Quote:
I think I will re frame my question. What edge will I get if I buy the MPE? the raynox is also giving me 2.5x at 200mm(according to the table) and beyond as I zoom. I get the magnification with the raynox. What i want to know is, how will my existing macro photography impact with the purchase of the MP-E?.

Quote:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/anvancy

I have an MP-E 65 and an assortment of other lenses including Raynox 250 but not the 150 or MSN 202.

For myself, the main advantages of the MP-E 65 compared to closeup lenses on zoom telephoto are that:
1) The MP-E is tack sharp over the whole frame and over the whole range from 1X to 5X.
2) The whole 1X-5X range can be reached by just turning the big ring on the lens -- no need to add, remove, or swap parts.
3) The MP-E can be stopped down farther (larger effective f-number) than any of the long lenses I have. This ability to have a larger effective f-number is useful on occasion for single shots where DOF is more important than sharpness.

The MP-E has some disadvantages too:
1) The working distance is short: 100 mm at 1X down to 45 mm at 5X.
2) The lens barrel is wide clear to the front.

My closeup lenses don't get much use. Generally for high mag field work I'll use the MP-E 65, while in studio I'll use some physically smaller lens that gives more flexibility for lighting.

Looking at the images in your flickr stream, I see possibility for some improvement with the MP-E 65, but also a good chance for buyer's remorse. I can't tell which way it would go overall. If you can arrange to play with an MP-E 65 before buying one, I'd strongly advise to do that.

--Rik
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anvancy



Joined: 05 Dec 2009
Posts: 289
Location: India

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Rik.

In my case shops and online shops dont keep this lens since the market is highly niche. Since the cost is huge nobody invests in the MPE and rather buy the 100mm.After buying the 100mm they use it for portraits.

Since you have both the raynox and the MP E, let me ask you this. Raynox is also allowing me to shoot macros. So the MPE will give me a higher edge?will putting the 1000 dollars be worth?Cause its a highly specialized lens with a low resale value in a sense since many will not like the difficulty level the MPE offers.

Anvancy
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anvancy wrote:
Since you have both the raynox and the MP E, let me ask you this. Raynox is also allowing me to shoot macros. So the MPE will give me a higher edge?will putting the 1000 dollars be worth?

I can provide some images, but I can't decide for you whether it's worth the $$$.

Here is a comparison of MP-E 65 versus Raynox 250 with Canon EF 55-200 mm telephoto. I set the zoom at 200 mm and closest focus setting to give maximum magnification at around 2X, then I adjusted the MP-E to match that. Aperture settings were f/5.6 on the MP-E and f/16 on the zoom, roughly the same in terms of effective aperture.

At center, the differences are pretty minor:



At corner, the combo loses sharpness and picks up color fringes.



Of course there's a gradation of image quality from center to corner. Here are full frames for download:

http://janrik.net/MiscSubj/2012/MPE65_vs_Raynox20120729/DMap%207293-7307%20RaynoxPlus200mmCanonEF.jpg

http://janrik.net/MiscSubj/2012/MPE65_vs_Raynox20120729/DMap%207311-7322%20MPE65.jpg

These images are stacked so I didn't have to fuss too much with target flatness. Individual frames show the same differences in image quality. No sharpening or levels adjustment.

Note that corner sharpness and color fringes depend quite a bit on how the Raynox happens to work with your particular long lenses. You'll have to test that yourself.

I hope this helps!

--Rik
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anvancy



Joined: 05 Dec 2009
Posts: 289
Location: India

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That throws more light Rik.

I have also experienced color fringes on the raynox.Nice to see the edge to edge sharpness of the MP-E.

the question has been bothering me since for the same price, I can buy the elinchroms since I do auto photography too. I will get back to you if I need further help.

Anvancy
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anvancy



Joined: 05 Dec 2009
Posts: 289
Location: India

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rik,

can you suggest any good macro rails? We discussed that the velbon one isnt that good. I am not into lab photography, so the manfrotto and novoflex ones will prove too costly for me. any budget ones you can recommend?also any tutorial links that we have here on the forum on how to use the macro rail?

Lately I have been thinking that the MPE will indeed provide a deeper edge to the photos. will the difficulty level increase with the MPE given the magnifications are roughly the same.(at 2x).Does the weight act as a huge burden?

Thanks

Anvancy
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johan



Joined: 06 Sep 2011
Posts: 952

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One thing to bear in mind regarding financials would be that the cost of the complete package should probably also include the dedicated flash, Mt- 24ex. I have made my own MPE 65 substitute and the difficulty turned out to be as much making a flash that works over the whole mag range and varying working distance as the substitute itself.
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Harold Gough



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

anvancy wrote:

can you suggest any good macro rails? We discussed that the velbon one isnt that good. I am not into lab photography, so the manfrotto and novoflex ones will prove too costly for me. any budget ones you can recommend?

I am aware that the question was addressed to Rik. However, perhaps you could clarify what your intetions are. Are you intending to do field stacks? What magnfication range to do hope to cover?

You say that the Manfrotto is too expensive but that is generally considered here to be not good enough. I have obtained reasonably good results with it at up to about x3 and have yet to try it much beyond that.

Harold
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not aware of any good but inexpensive macro rails. But I'll be very interested to hear if anybody else knows.

--Rik
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seta666



Joined: 19 Mar 2010
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Location: Castellon, Spain

PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my opinion a good 100mm macro lens and a raynox kit can be a very nice alternative to the MP-E in APS-C cameras. I used the DCR-250 and MSN-202 with the canon 100/2.8 USM macro and the magnification range was up to 4X

Cromatic abrerration will depend both on the raynox and the host lens; I do not really think is fair to match a 50-200mm cheap zoom against the MP-E

I remember Morfa testing the Summar 120mm + raynox on bellows against the MP-E and the winner was the Summar+ raynox combo in resolution and CAs
http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnhallmen/4320502042/

I asked his opinion about the canon 100/2.8 and he said CAs were on the high side; I also remember he using and old nikkor 105/4 with the raynox and results were very good

As Rik says you have to take into account that effective aperture remains the same when adding the raynox even when magnification is higher; this is because when you add a new lens to an existing one the original focal length and aperture changes

For example:
Canon 100/2.8 + MSN-202 = 29mm f0.8 aprox
Canon 100/2.8 + DCR-250 = 56mm f1.6 aprox

So when using raynox lenses do not be afraid of using apertures like f11 at 4X

I find myself these raynox lenses very useful in APS-C or 4/3 cameras but they do not work well in FF cameras



Regarding the macro rails I was pretty surpriced with the quality of the velbon macro rail; I expected it to be much worse and the focus knob was precise enough for doing some low magnification stacking work

Still I do not think I would use it with the MP-E plus 5D combo as it is prety heavy but it shoud work OK with an APS-C cameras plus macro lens

The macro rail I am using now is a Olympus OM macro rail but it is difficult to find and can be expensive; I can not really think of other alternatives as most old macro rails will not allow camera rotation

Regards
Javier
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

seta666 wrote:
I do not really think is fair to match a 50-200mm cheap zoom against the MP-E

To be clear, I chose that particular combination because it was the closest I have for answering the question that anvancy asked:
anvancy wrote:
I do field macro photography.Right now I use the 550D with the 55-250mm and the raynox kit
...
What edge will I get if I buy the MPE? the raynox is also giving me 2.5x at 200mm(according to the table) and beyond as I zoom. I get the magnification with the raynox. What i want to know is, how will my existing macro photography impact with the purchase of the MP-E?
...
Since you have both the raynox and the MP E, let me ask you this. Raynox is also allowing me to shoot macros. So the MPE will give me a higher edge?

-------------------
seta666 wrote:
In my opinion a good 100mm macro lens and a raynox kit can be a very nice alternative to the MP-E in APS-C cameras. I used the DCR-250 and MSN-202 with the canon 100/2.8 USM macro and the magnification range was up to 4X

This is good to know. So perhaps anvancy should consider going with that sort of combination, and then he would also have the 100/2.8 USM to use for lower magnifications.

Thanks also for the link to Morfa's test.

--Rik
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