I've recently re-discovered my passion for photography and dusted off my trusty FG. I stumbled upon this web site a month ago and have spent WAY to much time here . I want to commend everyone on their great contribution to this community.
Could someone please help me, though, and explain the differences between the following:
extension tubes bellowes close-up lenses
also ... macro feature on some teleconverters
When do you use one over the other? What's the pluses/minuses, and why's/why not's? Which is better/worse?
There is not a "best". Each has advantages/disadvantages. Extension tube. Fits between lens and body. Moves the focusing range forward, so you can focus closer, but cannot focus to infinity. Maintains linkage between body and lens. Lose 2-4 stops of light. Bellows. Like extension tube but continuously variable. No linkage between lens and body, so you need a double cable release, or use special lenses. Ultimate in macro, but not for casual use. Close-up lens. Screws onto front of lens like a filter. Inexpensive, and fits any lens. No loss of light. By far the easiest intro to close-up. Lenses with "macro" setting. Just an extended focus range. Common in "do everything" zooms. Macro lens. Designed for edge to edge sharpness in a single plane at close distances. Can also be used for normal distances. Teleconverter. Doubles the image size at any focal length. Lose 2 stops of light. (Or one stop with a 1.4x power.) May or may not maintain linkage between body and lens. Does not affect focusing range of primary lens. If you want to stick your toe in the water, so to speak, get a cheap closeup lens. ---scott
"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it." Pablo Picasso
One item many people aren't aware of is a reversing ring. It's an adapter that has threads to screw in to the filter mount on a lens and a bayonet flange that allows you to mount the lens backwards on the camera body. Aperture control is manual with this setup, which makes it problematic to use on bodies like my N80 that won't meter at all with this setup. However, the results can be excellent with this simple device.
I'm under the impression that reversing rings are best with certain lenses. You've got actual experience with them as opposed to me (I'm just repeating something I've read about). I wonder if anyone here has used a Nikkor with a reversing ring with much success?
I took a few test shots with a fifty 1.8 reversed. Great corner sharpness, but soft edges. I heard that a 24 or a 20 reversed is sharp throughout but I haven't tried it. Since the camera wasn't perpendicular to the subject, it could have been a "really" shallow depth of field.
Unfortunately, I don't have a macro focusing rail so I was doing rough focus adjustments through the tripod (Manfrotto 3410) center column mounted horizontally. My next purchase will be macro rail!