Macro Rings - article from Radozhiva

What macro rings - These are ordinary hollow tubes that change the working length of your lens. That is, it is just a tube that is placed between the lens and the camera.

Macro rings

Macro rings

How do they work - Imagine that you are focusing on a fixed lens, one of the old ones, where the entire lens block (all lenses) travels during focusing, you turn the focuser, all the lenses slowly exit (the trunk of the lens lengthens), exit and exit as much as the lens design allows you to. But the focuser spins to a certain value and to extend (push back) we add rings even more. Of course, in modern lenses, focusing sometimes happens in a different way, because the explanations are given just for example.

Rings on macro rings

Rings on macro rings

For whom it will be useful to use macro rings?

Firstly, I meet a lot of people who want to do macro photography, but from my own experience I know that this is not an easy thing that requires a lot of patience, the ability to handle photographic equipment and a lot, a lot of effort. Therefore, in order not to spend your money on the purchase of an expensive macro lens without full confidence in the need and desire to shoot macro, there is cheap macro ring alternative. Macro rings will give you a taste of all the delights and complexities of macro photography and allow you to make the right decisions about whether you need to engage in macro photography or just a fleeting desire.

Rings in the middle of the macro ring

Rings in the middle of the macro ring

When using macro rings, it is important for practice to know that

  1. The length of the macro ring affects the focusing distance; the longer the macro ring (or a group of them), the greater the increase in such a bunch. Macro rings usually consist of 3-6 pieces, depending on the desired approximation they are added to each other, thus making the increase we need.
  2. You can focus just like a regular lensbut it’s much easier and faster to move the unit back and forth.
  3. Actual aperture value decreases. By the way, even when focusing from infinity to the minimum distance that the lens can focus, the aperture value also changes, but not significantly. Although before there were lenses, when focusing on which the slider showed the real aperture value.
  4. As with regular macro, to increase the depth of field should close the diaphragm, and thoroughly until F16-F36 to get the whole macro object sharp. Wherein excerpt will increase greatly, or it will be necessary to increase ISO, therefore, when shooting macro - flash the chief assistant to the photographer. Ideally, for a macro, it would be nice for the photographer to have portable miniature nuclear explosions to illuminate the object, but these are already jokes from a number of fiction.

 

Photo using macro rings. Flower

Photo using macro rings. Flower

Modern macro rings may be with microprocessor contacts, that is, transferring control from the camera to the lens, and the usual ones - without any contacts, therefore, when using macro rings, you will often have to do everything manually. If you are using rings without contacts, a lens that has aperture control is the best choice. New lenses with internal iris control will not allow convenient operation with macro tubes without contacts.

Photo using macro rings. Flower and insect

Photo using macro rings. Flower and insect

For the examples in this article, I used old metal macro rings that do not support automatic focusing and data transfer from the lens to the camera and vice versa. My rings are made up of 8 elements and have an impressive weight. Photos in the article made with their help, as well as with the lens Industar-61 LZ MS 50mm F2.8.

View of the camera with macro rings

View of the camera with macro rings

Advantages of using macro rings:

  1. Relative cheapness of ringsYou can find very cheap options.
  2. No need to buy a special macro lenswhich is very expensive. For example, the cheapest macro lens for Nikon is the Nikon 60mm f / 2.8D AF Micro-Nikkor, which now stands at around $ 500. The brand new Nikon 40mm f / 2.8 AF-S Micro-Nikkor will most likely not be cheap either.
  3. Easy to install, just add the rings between the camera and the lens and start shooting.
  4. You can squeeze a good Macro from almost any lens.
  5. Normal picture quality, which can compete with the picture from modern specialized lenses.
  6. The ability to shoot super macro in a ratio greater than 1 to 1. If you apply the rings to a macro lens, you can get something like a microscope.
Photo using macro rings. Plants

Photo using macro rings. Plants

Disadvantages (depending on the types of macro rings):

  1. For some cameras aftofocus may be missing when using rings.
  2. Cheap rings do not have contacts for transferring data from the camera to the lens and vice versa. In this case, the possibility of econometrics may be lost.
  3. Conventional macro rings do not have automatic iris control. The aperture must be set manually on the lens.
  4. Lens resolution decreases. That is, the number of lines per millimeter that the matrix can still distinguish is decreasing.
  5. The final picture is getting worse due to amplifications of various kinds of distortions, various parasitic flare-ups, noises and other shortcomings may appear.
  6. The actual aperture value decreases.
Photo using macro rings. Leaf

Photo using macro rings. Leaf

Alternatives to macro rings bellows are used, a reverse adapter, macro lenses, sometimes even a huge number of megapixels for cutting (cropping, crop) pictures. And of course, these are macro lenses, or lenses with good magnification. Another tricky and cheap way to make a good macro is to find in this article.

Small berry through a macro ring

Small berry through a macro ring

Interesting momentthat ordinary soap dishes can shoot macro - this is probably one of not many advantages of conventional digital cameras over SLR cameras with interchangeable lenses. An ordinary soap dish can often focus just a couple of millimeters to the subject and get a sharp picture with a normal depth of field. Due to the small physical size of the matrix, the depth of field will increase. Read more in the article about crop factor.

Photo using macro rings. Chestnut

Photo using macro rings. Chestnut

If you shoot with a macro-ring on a zoom lens, then its zoom (zoom) will serve as a kind of focusing function. I used this trick when creating a video for macro through a lens changer for Granite-11.

Depth of field in macro photography plays a huge role, you must always remember that it is very small, even closing the aperture to 8.0 there is no certainty that the whole object will fall into the zone of sharpness. In the example below, the insect's antennae fell out of the sharply depicted space and turned out to be blurry. Also pay attention to chromatic aberrationthat are amplified by macro.

Photo using macro rings. Insect

Photo using macro rings. Insect

Here are examples of using macro rings with auto focus support. Pictures taken with an inexpensive lens Canon Lens EF 40mm 1: 2.8 STM and a simple camera Canon 350D using the very cheap Meike Macro Extension Tube for Canon. At the same time, the lens was automatically focused when shooting macro, and the camera worked in any mode available to it:

Conclusion:

Macro rings - an indispensable alternative for peoplewho want to test themselves in macro photography. They give excellent picture quality, excellent approximation, and are not at all expensive, compared to specialized macro lenses.

Do not forget to press +1, tweet, like. Thank you for your attention, Arkady Shapoval.

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Comments: 226, on the topic: Macro rings - an article from Radozhiva

  • Natalia

    I have Nikon 5100. Is it possible to squeeze something better out of a tamron 70-300 (macro mode) + macro rings? What is this going to happen?

    • Charles

      Why not? Especially if you are not too lazy to set up a tripod ...

    • anonym

      You can experiment with a whale in them, the increase in macro is usually higher than that of televisions

      • Novel

        By the way, yes. But there is a slightly different principle. Lenses with focal lengths up to 100mm work better on macro rings, the magnification factor is higher. And on focal lenses after 100 - macrolens, rings give little effect. I even read the explanation for this from the point of view of optics, but already forgot.

  • Elena

    Thank you!

  • Andrei

    I have a Nikon D5600. I use a tamron 90 mm macro lens (f017). Recently installed rings. The increase of course has become much larger, but absolutely nothing is visible when focusing. To just see the object, you have to highlight it with a flashlight and twist the ISO to the maximum. Then you can already take pictures normally. Of course, this method is suitable only for subject shooting. I can’t imagine how people take pictures in nature

    • Vitaly N

      Rings are usually used with standard lenses. Yours is already with small DF and aperture. Yes, Arkady wrote that for macro sometimes you need to have a couple of miniature nuclear explosions to illuminate. There are flash systems for macro.

  • Dmitriy

    Canon 700d + Industar-61L / Z + 3 macro rings

  • Dmitriy

    Real size

    • Paul

      And how did you connect industrial with macro rings? Macro rings directly to the carcass, this is clear. And how to connect the lens with the rings? Which adapter is needed?

      • Michael

        M42-eos

        • Paul

          those. sequence: carcass-rings-adapter M42-lens.

  • Eugene

    Very interested in the topic of macro. I am completely new to photography. There is a Sony a7m2 lens and there is a Konica hexanon ar 1.4 / 50 lens (early version with f16). He stands through the adapter. Is it possible to use macro rings with this lens. I'd like to try to shoot a macro.

    • Michael

      Yes, macro rings are placed on any lens.

    • Dmitriy

      Is there a macro ring in nature under Konica AR?

      • Michael

        Is that at flea markets. But they are not needed here - the adapter is already sony e

    • Denis

      I have the same, also up to 16 diaphragm, the one that is nuclear)) Pradva background has not yet checked)

  • June

    Thanks for the article.
    Please recommend macro rings for the Canon eos 60D, 18-135 mm lens.

  • Paul

    Good day! Give some advice. I can’t get the exact information anywhere.
    I ordered macro rings without autofocus on the 18-55 G whale lens on the Nikon 5300. They write that they will not work at all with it, and specifically, the aperture value cannot be set. That will work only with a similar whale 18-55, but with the marking D with the removal of the aperture adjustment on the lens itself. Is not it?

    • Michael

      Maybe. You look carefully at these rings. Is there a diaphragm leash there, then the control will be

      • Paul

        http://ali.pub/4145wi
        Here they are. The seller claims that in mode M they will work. But something I doubt.

        • Michael

          Not very visible, but will not work along the way

        • Vitaly N

          It was necessary to take with contacts and a screwdriver - there is a leash.

        • Vitaly N

          I took these, only under a different brand http://ali.pub/4145pi... With them, both aperture control and autofocus. And with lenses and AF-S and AF. AF-P did not check - there are none. The only stabilizers on some are starting to fail.

          • Paul

            Looked like that. But without understanding, I decided to save money, I thought at least they would work manually.

    • B. R. P.

      Whales 18-55 with marking D and a ring of exercise. aperture does not exist.

      • Paul

        Novice amateur, has not yet learned a lot of information. I mean, a lens on which it is possible to set the aperture manually with a ringlet. Whale or not, he has no idea.

  • Asashay

    There is a sony nex 5r with a whale 18-55 and the need for shooting moles. Is it possible to somehow solve this problem with the help of macro rings, or still need to look for a macro with an adapter? (I would especially appreciate examples)

    • Michael

      If the resolution of 18-55 suits, then you can do with macro rings.

  • Natalie

    Good day. Please tell me, I have a canon 550d and an ef-s 17-55 lens, there are no others. The lens is cool, but I want to try macro, because I want to understand whether the macro rings are suitable for this? given that the lens itself is completely not intended for macro

    • US6IBD

      The macro rings convert ANY lens into a macro lens. The macro rings themselves can be simple - without transferring information from the lens to the camera (non-contact) - in this case there is no autofocus, with a contact group - autofocus works and the most expensive ones - with a “screwdriver” - control of non-motorized autofocus lenses is preserved (if the camera has a focusing motor ).
      There is no need for autofocus for macro, so you can do with any rings.
      PS. When shooting macro, DOF is very small, so the aperture is closed to 8 or more. The shutter speed can be long enough to make hand-held photography impossible.

    • Michael

      they are suitable, they are for this purpose. You need macro rings with pins to control the aperture when shooting

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