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Which studio macro combination for 0.5x to 2x

 
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
Posts: 1682
Location: Texas USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:30 am    Post subject: Which studio macro combination for 0.5x to 2x Reply with quote

My goal

Is to get the best studio macro, from 0.5x to 2x on micro four thirds sensor, out of what I already have, using automatic focus bracketing of my Olympus E-M10 II.

What I already have

Long auto m4/3 lenses that provides extension and auto focus bracketing:
Sigma 30mm F/2.8, Olympus kit zoom 40-150 F4.0-5.6, Panasonic 100-300mm F/4.0-5.6

Short lenses that can work as front lens:
Sigma 30mm, Schneider Componon S 50mm f2.8 F/2.8 (enlarger lens), Raynox 150 and 250

What does not matter to me here is working distance.

What matters to me is resolution, automatic focus bracketing and budget $300 (if I have to spend any additional money).

According to ChrisR’s general guide chart:
https://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=24891

I am guessing (please correct me if I am wrong) predicted image quality ranking would be (assuming there is no significant vignetting; some minor vignetting is not a deal breaker for my black backdrop and easy to test):

For 2x,
Reversed Schneider 50/2.8 adapted on zoom 40-150 at 100mm > = Reversed Sigma 30/2.8 adapted on zoom 40-150 at 60mm >>> (much better than) Raynox lens(es) on tele zoom lenses

For around 1x-1.3x,
Reversed Sigma 30/2.8 adapted on zoom 40-150 at 40mm >= Reversed Schneider 50/2.8 adapted on zoom 40-150 at 50mm >> (better than) Raynox lens on tele zoom lenses

For around 0.4x-0.75x,
Reversed Schneider 50/2.8 adapted on Sigma 30/2.8 > reversed zoom 40-150 adapted on Sigma 30/2.8 > (maybe slightly better than) Raynox lens on zoom 40-150 or on Sigma 30/2.8.

Would I gain any resolution or anything by purchasing the Olympus macro 60mm F/2.8? Used with or without Raynox, it goes from 1x (w/o), 1.6x (+R150) or 2x (+R250). I am guessing the Oly macro lens provides very long focus bracketing range, but that is about it. Is it worth the cost?

For 3x, I am ordering a Nikon BE Plan 4x and would use my Olympus kit zoom 40-150 F4.0-5.6 at 150mm with it. That way I still get auto focus bracketing and good resolution. Higher magnification will be done manually with finite objectives on microscope.

In the field, I use Raynox 150 / 250 + flash + tele lens and am happy with that, but I would like better resolution in studio setting.

Thank you very much.


Last edited by zzffnn on Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ChrisR
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Joined: 14 Mar 2009
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Location: Near London, UK

PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Member Fan(zzffnn) asked me to comment.
My first thought is that that chart was made several years ago now. Some would have argued with it, even then.

Since then we have moved even more towards smaller pixels, whether through higher pixel counts on the same size sensors, same count on smaller sensors, or a combination including sensor shifting.
Lou and others have shown that some sensors with thick glass filter packs covering them, benefit from lenses made specifically for them.

I don't know the Sigma 30mm, but it appears to be a very good "standard" (ie not retrofocus) lens. Therefore it might be expected to work well when reversed, when focused at infinity at the camera end. But on a long lens focused close, the shortie is not at infinity. It's focused, necessarily, at further than infinity, outside where anyone expected it to work - so who could guess how well it might do? Furthermore, it's (presumably) designed for a thick sensor cover. The subject doesn't have one.
An enlarging lens might be good, but I'd expect a camera lens to be better.

Robert OToole has shown, in his recent survey of lenses around 4x, some surprises. Which ones you would value most, would depend to some extent on whether you place central resolution above chromatic aberrations, or fall-off at the corners, of whatever sensor size you happen to choose.

We know that for good resolution you need a large aperture, so for smaller pixels, those would be the lenses more likely to prove to be sharpest. We also know though of lenses which give us very desirable quality without having the widest apertures. The Macro Varon f/4.5, Macro Nikkor 35mm f/4.5, JML 21mm f/3.5, Canon 20mm f/3.5, are examples. There are many others.

That's a rather long-winded way of saying - "I wouldn't like to say" Wink
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
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Location: Texas USA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, ChrisR.

I think Lou showed that thick m4/3 cover glass matters most with large aperture lenses. None of my lenses mentioned herein has aperture higher than F/2.8. So likely not too much of an issue there?

Yes, I value central resolution above chromatic aberrations and fall-off at the corners. Supposedly, m4/3 sensor, being smaller should mean less corner issues, I am guessing.

I can test the above mentioned combinations, but I prefer not to, since it would be a long laborious process of pixel peeping and staring.......

I do understand the Sigma reversed vs Schneider reversed would be hard to say, but they should all work much better than Raynox lenses on tele, at m>1, correct?

What about reversed Sigma or Schneider vs Oly 60mm F/2.8 macro + Raynox? Also difficult to say?

Thank you again!
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zzffnn



Joined: 22 May 2014
Posts: 1682
Location: Texas USA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 03, 2018 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for my brain cramp.

I should have tested the combinations before asking. Both reversed Sigma 30mm and Schneider enlarger lens vignette badly on the Olympus 40-150 kit zoom, at low m.

I also tested a full frame F/1.4 50mm lens (Canon FD), reversed on Oly 40-150 kit zoom. That combos works reasonably with much less vignetting.
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