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Close up pictures - what lens

Ken Wang , Jan 09, 2009; 04:48 p.m.

I just had a Nikon D40.
I'm going to a flower show soon. And of course I want to take close up pictures of the flowers.
and I cannot afford too much.
Will a close up extension lens cost less than a Macro Lens?
What brand is good for this kind of extension lens that is not Nikon but will fit the Nikon D40.
Is it easy to attach to the current lens?
Please answer these questions as I am new to SLR in general.
tks
I

Responses


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Alex Lofquist , Jan 09, 2009; 05:09 p.m.

Are you talking about an extention tube or an auxilliary close-up lens (diopter)? Nikon made several high quality but inexpensive attachment achromat lenses to fit on the front of the camera lens which should serve you well if you can find one. Depending o the lens diameter and magnification desired they are listed as 3T, 4T, 5T, and 6T. They are no longer manufactured but often found in camera stores or on ebay. What is the front diameter of the lens that you expect to use? What is the focal length?

Bob Tilden , Jan 09, 2009; 05:14 p.m.

There's something called a 'diopter' lens/filter that screws into the filter ring of your lens. See
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/shop/158/Standard_Filters_Close_Up_Lenses.html
for an assortment. Don't confuse this with an eyepiece correction lens.

Stephen Lewis , Jan 09, 2009; 05:22 p.m.

Hi Ken - do a quick search on "Macro" and you'll find lots of useful info. I'm not sure what you mean by extension lens...there are items used in macro photography called extension tubes, and there are auxiliary close-up lenses ---which I think is what you are talking about. On that assumption, I'll speak to them rather than extension tubes. The close-up lenses, sometimes called diopter lenses, screw into the filter thread on the front of your lens, and typically come in a set of +1, +2 and +3 diopters. You can stack them and get a +5 diopter, but your depth of field will be exceedingly shallow and only the center portion of your frame will be in focus. You can get sets of them for somewhere between $16-25 typically, or a used set for less. In addition to the close-up lenses, you will want to use a tripod if you have one, again because of the narrow depth of field. Most people shoot flower and bug close-ups around f11-f32 to give a slightly deeper depth of field, but in order to do so, the light reaching your sensor is significantly diminished...which means slow shutter speeds or flash....the choice is yours. Personally, I would experiment with both before the flower show in your home...perhaps photographing something like a dime to see the various effects you can create. This way you can plan a strategy which has a reasonable possibility of success, and actually enjoy the flower show. As you begin to master elementary macro techniques, you may wish to move up to a lens specifically designed for macros...they aren't cheap, but they are designed with a specific task in mind, and the results can be rather fantastic. Good luck, and make sure you practice before going to the show.

William Pahnelas , Jan 09, 2009; 05:42 p.m.

ken, i suggest that you just zoom in as far as you can with the kit lens that came with your D40. i'd been shooting flowers and stuff for years using various point-and-shoot cameras, and when i got the D40, it was a revelation! i've seen those diopter lenses in the store, and i really don't think you'll want to walk around the flower show with a tripod to get your shots in focus. i could be wrong about that...
if i were you, i'd take my time and seriously consider saving up for the nikkor 60/2.8 AF-S lens -- if you decide you really like macro photography. if you're relatively new to DSLRs, that might be the easiest path for you.

Nicholas Andre , Jan 09, 2009; 06:40 p.m.

The kit lens is fairly good with macro. Most of the consumer zooms focus very close. A macro lens will be expensive.

Jacob Buller , Jan 09, 2009; 08:23 p.m.

I'm saving up for the 105mm 2.8 VR, which is about $800, and is apparently very good for macro. If that is too steep of a price, I know there is a 60mm lens, and a 200mm macro, which is probably pricey. I think if you use your kit lens and get as close as you can, it should work pretty good.

Bill Clark - Minnetonka Minnesota , Jan 09, 2009; 08:53 p.m.

I'll bet you had a bear of a time capturing a couple of these photos!
Welcome to photo.net.
We are here to help each other.
I would think a close up extension would be less expensive than a lens.
Thanks for posting and keep up the good work.

Hansen Tsang , Jan 09, 2009; 08:55 p.m.

Jacob is right. The 18 to 55 mm kit lens can focus pretty close and is generally adequate for flower shots. Just remember the D40 doesn't have a focus motor in the camera body so you will have to look for a lens with a focus motor is you want autofocus to work with the D40.

Akira Sakamoto , Jan 09, 2009; 09:08 p.m.

I would second Jacopb Buller. The kit lens (AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor ED 18-55mm F3.5/5.6G II) is very handy despite its lengthy name.

It goes up to about 1/3 of a life size without any attachments and should work well for shooting close-ups of flowers at the show unless you want extreme close-ups of something like stigmas or anthers.

"1/3 of a life size" means that you can fill-up the narrower side of the picture with a flower whose diameter is about 45mm.


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