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VOL

Has anybody used diopters with the Sony 90mm macro lens ?

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Just spent a week with this lens in the water but want to get even closer. Anyone tried diopters on this lens ? I am thinking about the Inon UCL-165. Opinions ? Other options ?

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1 hour ago, VOL said:

 

Just spent a week with this lens in the water but want to get even closer. Anyone tried diopters on this lens ? I am thinking about the Inon UCL-165. Opinions ? Other options ?

 

The UCL-165 would be a good starting point, the magnification is not too high and working distances should be reasonable.  Hopefully others using the 90mm with diopters will chime in to relay how the AF performs - though this will depend a bit on which body you are using.

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Thanks for the input - using the A7RIII with back button focus.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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4 hours ago, VOL said:

Thanks for the input - using the A7RIII with back button focus.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

In general terms if your camera/lens combo focuses well now when close to 1:1 it has a chance of  having reasonable AF at higher magnifications with the diopter.  In general AF is worse if you increase magnification.  The UCL165 is a fairly low power diopter so should have less impact on AF.

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In general terms if your camera/lens combo focuses well now when close to 1:1 it has a chance of  having reasonable AF at higher magnifications with the diopter.  In general AF is worse if you increase magnification.  The UCL165 is a fairly low power diopter so should have less impact on AF.

Thanks Chris - you’re helpful as always.

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Hi VOL, 

Closeup lenses are a mixed bag and the Inon UCL-165 and 330 lenses are made for sub full frame cameras, they are not designed for a full frame macro lens on a full frame camera. You need to go to the Inon.jp global sire and read the fine print. I reviewed the UDCL-165 in uwpmag.com using an Olympus M43 camera and it works very well with the smaller sensor or consumer compact cameras even a few APS-C cameras. For Full Frame cameras Inon has the UCL-67 M67 and UCL- 90 M67 lenses for FF lenses in the 60-100mm range. The UCL-67 cost about twice what the UCL-165 costs. 

They are called closeup lenses and diopters are a mature of power or magnification strength. There seems to be an ever increasing number of C/U lenses that clam higher and higher numbers of diopters. +10 was common at one time and now you can find lenses in the +25 and greater range most of which will not preform well on FF cameras.

This is a get what you pay for item and for full frame quality lenses are priced high. My go to C/U lens is Nauticam SMC-1 which I got before the price increases. I would watch the Wetpixel classifieds and try to score a lightly used C/U lens designed for FF cameras if you are not willing to buy new in the $600.00 or higher range.

 

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I use both the CMC-2 and SMC-1 on the Sony 90 mounted to an a6500. since its new (to me) I have yet to really dig into the SMC for 1-5mm subjects, but I have had great success with 4-20 mm subjects using the CMC-2 and 90mm. Autofocus is (in my opinion) relatively quick using the CMC-2. I have found neither to be particularly unwieldly. The Skeleton shrimp below is about as small as I would target with the 90/cmc-2 combo. 

DSC09031-Edit.jpg

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Again in regard to VOL's full frame camera the CMC-1 & 2 are great C/U lenses for sub-FF cameras like the Sony A6000 line but not for full frame cameras. While the Sony 90mm macro lens is an FE lens for FF cameras it also works on APS-C A6000 cameras but with an AOV of 18 degrees not the 27 degrees of the lens on full frame. The narrower 18 degree AOV allows it to work better in the corners of the frame using CMC-1.

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You may like to have a look at the wetpixel live video on close up lenses:

You'll note Alex encourages the use of lower power close up lenses.  The INON UCL 90 will give you about 2.0x on the 90mm macro, which is not too far off the 2.0x of the SMC-1 - the SMC-1 will focus between 45 and 95mm from the subject, so the UCL-90 will probably have a slightly greater distance due to slightly lower magnification.  I know the you want more power, but do you want this much more power?

Regarding compatibility, I'm assuming Phil is basing his advice re: the UCL165 on his vast experience.  I do note that that INON list the UCL165 as compatible with the Canon 6D (full frame), but this is the only full frame DSLR on the list.   I would say that even if it is compatible the image quality may or may not not be what you were hoping for.   

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 I have had considerable experience  with the UCL 165 including on full frame and I can assure all that the far better choice for FF would be the Inon UCL-90 which I have also used. I would say that Inon recommending the C/U lens for the Canon 6D has more to do with the fact that they build an X-2 housing for this their only FF DSLR  housing. 

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I have the SMC-1/90mm on a A7R4 and I find is quite difficult to use, at least compared with my old RX100... Maybe I am doing something wrong, but these are my settings:

- Set the lens to the minimum focus distance (0.28-0.5m).

- Set the lens to auto-focus.

- Use DMF focus mode, with focus peaking enabled

Should I be using auto-focus instead? Any comments will be appreciated.

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6 hours ago, j0rd1l0p3z said:

I have the SMC-1/90mm on a A7R4 and I find is quite difficult to use, at least compared with my old RX100... Maybe I am doing something wrong, but these are my settings:

- Set the lens to the minimum focus distance (0.28-0.5m).

- Set the lens to auto-focus.

- Use DMF focus mode, with focus peaking enabled

Should I be using auto-focus instead? Any comments will be appreciated.

This assumes you want to start at 2.2 x magnification which if nothing else makes your subject hard to find and it will only focus so you can recognise objects  when you get close to the 45mm working distance.  I would think flip it up, set focus on your hand  or fin - so mid range - infinity range then pop it down - because the magnification is less the subject should be easier to find and getting the plane of focus near where you want will be easier.  If you are not close to focal plane you just see a blur in the viewfinder.   Once you have it slowly get closer , pumping the rear button AF as you go till it's framed how you want.

Depth of field is razor thin so you need to be absolutely steady to keep plane of focus where you want it.  This is where peaking will come in handy you can see at a glance which parts of the critter are in focus.

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13 hours ago, Phil Rudin said:

 I have had considerable experience  with the UCL 165 including on full frame and I can assure all that the far better choice for FF would be the Inon UCL-90 which I have also used. I would say that Inon recommending the C/U lens for the Canon 6D has more to do with the fact that they build an X-2 housing for this their only FF DSLR  housing. 

I was sure it was something like that as I said just because it's on the list doesn't mean you'll like the results - quite a few options on port charts will take photos but have soft corners for example.

Do you have a recommendation for a lower power diopter for when you only want a bit more magnification?

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Regarding closeup lenses for super macro, AOI has four lenses that are +6, +12.5, +15 and +23.5. According to Backscatter the US distributor, these lenses work equally well with both full frame and sub-FF cameras. I used the +12.5 with the Olympus EPL10, AOI housing and Olympus 60mm macro lens for a review in uwpmag.com issue #122 and the results looked very good with the 16MP camera. I have not used the AOI C/U lenses with full frame and I would point out that high MP cameras in the 40-60MP range tend to expose flaws in lenses that would not have otherwise been noticed in cameras in the 16-26MP range.

I reviewed the Sony FE 90mm macro and the Sony A7R IV in uwpmag.com issue #111. These articles describe my settings for the camera and lens along with some insight into using the crop to APS-C to extend the range of the 90mm macro.  

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I am currently using the Sony A7C + Sony 28-60 + CMC-1.

Working distance is very short, somewhere in the neighborhood of 37mm, but haven't seen specs published. 

It is a challenge to light a subject when your lens is nearly pressed up against it.  Also, I find that there are many subjects I can't get in close enough to photograph due to structure around the animal. 

Because of the very short working distance, I'm considering a dedicated 90mm macro lens + diopter.  I wish I had purchased the SMC-1 instead of the CMC-1, but at the time, I wasn't aware of the limitations.

Given the price difference between the UCL-90 ($320 USD) and SMC-1 ($628), and the additional working distance that the UCL-90 (69mm) provides compared to the SMC-1 (50mm), and purchasing new, does the SMC-1 deliver twice the optical performance?  I'm wondering if I could even differentiate the picture clarity between the two?  Also, would auto-focus be significantly different between the two diopters?

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Thanks all for the input, I will order to UCL-90 and see how it goes. 

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On 12/1/2021 at 6:57 PM, ChrisRoss said:

This assumes you want to start at 2.2 x magnification which if nothing else makes your subject hard to find and it will only focus so you can recognise objects  when you get close to the 45mm working distance.  I would think flip it up, set focus on your hand  or fin - so mid range - infinity range then pop it down - because the magnification is less the subject should be easier to find and getting the plane of focus near where you want will be easier.  If you are not close to focal plane you just see a blur in the viewfinder.   Once you have it slowly get closer , pumping the rear button AF as you go till it's framed how you want.

Depth of field is razor thin so you need to be absolutely steady to keep plane of focus where you want it.  This is where peaking will come in handy you can see at a glance which parts of the critter are in focus.

Thanks Chris,

I realized that my mistake was to use DMF (old habit from my RX100). Continuous AF locking the subject seems to work pretty well. I tested yesterday and even with the SMC-1 on, I was able to find the subjects and get pretty sharp shots.

 

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