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Best macro option for NEX 7

Tony Leinster , Aug 08, 2012; 06:42 a.m.

Looking at macro on the NEX 7 I am not inspired by the reviews of the 30mm macro lens nor by its focal length which seems a bit too short. Has anyone had experience of using the 50mm together with extension tubes as an alternative or might I be better looking for, say a 100mm FD or K mount macro, plus adaptor.


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Peter Gilbert , Aug 08, 2012; 09:03 a.m.

IMO the best macro lenses are the old manual focus lenses made of real metal and with proper focus scales and focusing helicoids. None of this modern fly by wire Wheel of Fortune focusing for me.
I'm using a Tamron 90mm f2.8 Adaptall 2. I have this with a Nikon Adaptall adapter (plus Nikon to NEX E adapter), plus the Nikon PK13 and PM5 extension rings; and I also use a Fotodiox Adaptall 2 to NEX E adapter directly. I'm sure any older MF Canon, Pentax or Nikon macro lens would be just fine for you.
With the excellent touch screen focus (on my 5N; I understand your 7 does not have that, too bad) and MF assist with magnification I'm a real happy camper.
If you decide to stay with a native E mount lens, I see that Kenko now makes auto extension tubes for the NEX. You need to stick with a prime, and the longest focal length you can get so you currently have a choice of one..the 50mm you mentioned. Rumor is that a "mid tele" lens is coming, maybe around 70 to 90mm.
I bolded the word macro since I assume you really do mean macro (1:1 or larger) and not "close up" (1:3 or so)
Just for giggles, here is a shot made with the 5N and Tamron

Christoph Sensen , Aug 08, 2012; 09:54 a.m.

The "best" macro is hard to define, that would be based on the subjects you would like to take pictures of.
Around 100 mm, the Nikon 105 mm f/4 (Ai or Ai-S) is a very good lens, hard to beat for image quality in my opinion.
In the "normal" class, I'd rank the Canon FD 50 mm f/3.5 highest, followed by the Nikon 55 mm f/2.8, in case you can find a (mechanically) good copy.

L G , Aug 08, 2012; 10:04 a.m.

I also like old MF lenses for macro. I find the 120mm Mamiya 645 lens to be fantastic on my D800E and D7000. Razor sharp and a very pleasing look. Plus it goes to 1:1 without any tubes needed. It should be equally as good on the NEX7. But I would worry about the total weight, so I would get an adapter with a tripod mount.

Harold Gough , Aug 08, 2012; 10:55 a.m.

Louis Meluso , Aug 08, 2012; 11:04 a.m.

I also like old MF lenses for macro.

Same here. The Micro-Nikon 55mm f/2.8 works very well for both close up AND general photography. A treasure. For strictly close applications, the old pre-AI Micro-Nikkor-P 55mm f/3.5 is TOP NOTCH, though not as versatile as the newer 55mm f/2.8 lens for general shooting.
I got an old Vivitar 55mm f/2.8 M42 macro that also does a credible job as well. See my post here:

Pre-AI Micro-Nikkor-P 55mm f/3.5

Howard Stanbury , Aug 08, 2012; 01:49 p.m.

I'm a bit of a dabbler in these things too, but not as accomplished as those before me.

I have an old Minolta III bellows unit and I attached that to my NEX-3:
NEX-3 and Minolta Bellows III macro set up

The result was:
Looking into Jackson's eyes

(That's a Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm f/1.4 on the front of the bellows unit, by the way.)

I now have a NEX-7 and plan to use it with the bellows unit some time soon.

David Smith , Aug 08, 2012; 06:26 p.m.

I agree, old manual focus lenses make some of the best macro lenses available. Here is a shot from my NEX 7 with an Minolta MD Rokkor Macro X 50/3.5 with original 1:1 extensions tube.

This little jumping spider has turned his head away from the camera and is regarding me with only his back left eye. I love this shot because you can see the line where the head unit of the spider sits down into the body section. Maybe somebody else here knows all the scientific Latin names for those. :)

JC Uknz , Aug 08, 2012; 09:34 p.m.

Depending on how close you want to go my preference is for a long lens with a Close-up lens to correct its inability to focus close. by long I'm thinking of at least 90 upwards. for a given image there is no difference in depth of field whatever focal length you use so you might as well use the long one to keep back from the subject. Usually I am using 280<430 depending on camera.
I am away from home computer so cannot provide examples :-(

Harold Gough , Aug 09, 2012; 01:58 a.m.

I do use supplementary lenses where they give useful flexibility. My 90mm, non-maro Elmarit covers dragonfly size with a Marumi:
More generally, you can stack high quality ones:

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