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Thread: Not so expensive macro

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Ariege, France
    Real Name

    Not so expensive macro

    One thing I was missing from my system (one of many things actually ...) is a macro lens. A prime macro is just so expensive though and I just couldn't justify the outlay. What I do have though is a Mamiya 645 medium format camera plus an adaptor which enables me to mount the medium format lenses on my Nikon DSLR. Mamiya make really good lenses and I already use one or two on the Nikon, prices for used Mamiya glass are pretty good (not as good as they were a year or two ago as it seems the idea of putting medium format glass on DSLRs is catching on) and so looking around I found a Mamiya 80mm f4 macro (equates to 120mm when mounted on a DSLR that hasn't got a full frame sensor) for around the 200$ mark. A magnification factor of 0.5 (3/4 roughly on a DSLR) and highly rated in its day. Anyway it arrived a couple of days ago and today I thought I'd give it a test. A few macro shots of mundane stuff (including a ruler to check the magnification - you really don't want to see that!) and it is pretty impressive, pin sharp across the field as you would/should expect for a lens that's designed to cover the size of a medium format film (theoretically you are only using the centre portion of its coverage on a smaller DSLR sensor) the tonality and contrast is really nice and I'm pretty happy with it. The colours tend a little toward the natural and a slight saturation boost is needed to give it just a little more 'punch' which was a little surprising as the other Mamiya lenses I've used have pretty amazing colour rendition (compared to my Sigma and Nikon lenses). Eventually got to 'playing' with it at about portrait distance. A bowl of fruit, a sacrificial lemon and a couple of hours not spent looking out of the window wishing the light would change.
    Pros :- a top quality prime for about 200$ (plus the cost of an adaptor for the Nikon). It is a really good lens, don't judge it by the photo

    Cons :- There have to be cons right ? Manual focus so (for me) landscape/still life and macro - sports photograpy is out - snail racing aside. Manual exposure depending on your camera. Luckily I can tell mine that it's a non standard lens, give it the focal length and aperture and it still works pretty well on auto. Dedicated flash works no problem on auto as well.

    This shot at f22 to try to kill the ambient light (not the optimum aperture unfortunately) so I could just light it up with a couple of strobes.

    Not so expensive macro

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Winkleigh, Devon, UK.
    Real Name

    Re: Not so expensive macro

    Thank you for the information.

    I rather like the photograph.


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