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I am going to take a deep dive into macro photography and I had a couple questions about diopters. If I am shooting something as small as a nudibranch with a 85mm macro lens (Nikkor). Is a diopter still needed?

 

Does someone have a shot with a diopter and without one for comparison?

 

Also can I use AF with a diopter?

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Assuming you are shooting full frame, 85mm is the same field of view as my Olympus m4/3 lens on its macro setting of 43mm. But your closest focus distance might not be the same (mine is 100mm from the focal plane) so results may not be strictly comparable. Anyway, if you'll pardon the uncorrected exposure and color balance, here is an example of how close I am able to shoot with that lens without a diopter:

 

8247410192_a681468bfd_z.jpg

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Hi!

 

I'm using a Nikkor 105mm micro on an FX body. Just by way of comparison, the 105mm can focus as close as 1' = .314m and I can get this without a diopter.....

 

If you are using the 85mm on a DX you should be good to go without a diopter. Even on an FX body you shouldn't really need one especially as with FX you can usually crop a bit to tighten the image.

 

Should be no problem using AF with a diopter DX or FX.

 

 

 

 

post-2756-0-99212700-1435568370_thumb.jpg

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If you're interested in shooting subjects that are smaller that what you can fill the frame with at 1:1 and you don't want to crop, then you need a diopter or other tool to give you more magnification. I have no hands on experience with the Nikkor 85mm but it looks like the mfd is similar to the 105mm so it should work with any diopter that works well with that lens. This article has some comparisons with some of the popular wet diopters out there. https://samysunderwater.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/super-macro-beyond-small/

Edited by twinner

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You need to know that diopters reduce the working distance, this may be good or bad.

I have used the Nikon achromatic diopters (long discontinued) with the old 70-180 Micro-Nikkor with good results - for salmon egg pix. More recently I have done some experimenting with a vintage 200mm Medical Nikkor lens that came with a set of dedicated diopters.

 

Using them is a matter of trial and error. They cannot be removed during a dive as they are mounted on the lens inside the housing. Doing direct comparisons is an impossibility without two identical setups other than no diopter on one.

 

More recently a number of (presumably, since they are multi-element) achromatic wet diopters have been introduced for extreme magnification but I have not used them for my purposes since it would be quite awkward using them in a stream. See threads on them on this site.

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