/////Raynox DCR 250 vs Extention tubes?
Raynox DCR 250 vs Extention tubes?2011-08-16T10:13:55+02:00

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Raynox DCR 250 vs Extention tubes?

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  • Drake
    Participant
    Post count: 23

    I’ve learned about the Raynox DCR 250 macro lens here at ODP. It seemed tike the best gadget on the market to help getting that close-up’s that are eluding me because I just don’t get enough magnification. But now when I started to phone around for suppliers and pricing, the bubble seemed to have popped.

    I’ve been advised NOT to to put “Cheap Plastic” in front of my already iffy glass, but rather to invest in extension tubes because they don’t have any glass and will therefore have less of impact on image quality. Is this just a question of the “supplier” that can’t supply, badmouthing a product to sell something else, or is the advice that I got sound, and will I be better of in investing in the tubes rather than the DCR 250?

    The only place that I can get the DCR 250 is at wantitall R1260. I can get Photix extension tubes (3 set 36mm, 20mm & 12mm) for R200.

    The tubes will be manual focus (no problem), but will the metering still work?

    Thanks.

  • HiltonP
    Participant
    Post count: 1696

    I think the first questions you need to ask yourself is how serious you want to be about macro photography, and how much money you wish to throw at it?

    I believe I would be correct in saying that add-on lenses are viewed as lower quality options, with the corresponding low price (then full-blown macro lenses).

    I purchased a Raynox 250 directly from…..
    http://www.lensmateonline.com/store/g10.html#03macro

    At the time it came to R400 and I had it in my hands one week after ordering online. It cannot compare to a dedicated macro lens, but it does provide me with some very satisfying macro photos.

  • dFe
    Participant
    Post count: 415

    You can order the DCR-250 from Katz Digital in PE for about R800.00.

  • Drake
    Participant
    Post count: 23

    Thanks for the answer and the link kind Sir.

    $69.95 amounts to R560 give or take. I’ve never bought online from outside of the RSA. Don’t you have to pay import duties and taxes? Sorry if this seems like a silly question but I’ve heard stories of people getting a BIG surprise when they get their package and found they have to still pay duties before they can get the package.

    The question of how serious I want to be with macro is also not that straight forward. I think the best answer I can come up with now, is that I’m very intrigued by other peoples work in this category, and I would like to see if it is for me. I would thus not like to spend R10000 on a macro lens that will just sit in my hold-all if it turn out not to be “my thing”. Nor can I afford such a serious investment right now. So my idea is to try the cheaper alternative to get a feel for macro and if all work out, I can later buy the dedicated macro lens.

    Of all the “alternatives” the more serious options seems to be reversing rings and extension tubes. I don’t have a prime to use on the reversing rings (I’ve been told that zooms should not be used with reversing rings) and I also don’t like the idea of being limited to shooting full open all the time. So reversing rings got scratched from my list. Then when I searched the forum on macro I stumbled upon the DCR and it seems like a cheaper way of getting your toes wet without breaking the bank.

    If I could be so bold as to ask; in your opinion, what would be the better option? DCR or tubes? I have read a book or two on close-up and have seen that sometimes even macro lenses get tubes behind them, would tubes then not be a long term investment even if I do decide to become a serious macro photographer? (Now that sound like a dream. Me? A serious photographer? But just in case.)

    Or maybe I should ask this in another way. I’ve read about tubes and sort of understand the pro’s and cons, but I’ve just heard about the DCR on ODP, not once in a photography book. Done a search on Google and read some reviews (I’m not sure how biased they were since they were always on a site that would like to sell you one) and had a look at some photo’s that were said to be taken with the DCR, but I still cant get my mind around to make a choice between the two since I’m unfamiliar with both.

    So pro’s for the tube’s. No extra glass. Could be used later with descent macro lens. Price and availability.
    Con’s for the tube’s. Some serious light loss, especially if more than one are used at a time. Manual focus. The auto focus tubes are also priced right out of my budget.

    Pro’s for the DCR. Auto focus. (although I do prefer to shoot close-up in manual focus any way). Ease of use, just snap on and later snap off.
    Con’s for DCR. Inferior(?) lens quality. Local availability and price.

    I don’t see a clear winner, but truth be told, I do feel that the tubes might be the better option, even if it is just because it is a tried and tested solution. But, I don’t want to just kill the idea of the DCR and end up loosing out on a opportunity because I might be under estimating the capabilities of it, or over estimating the performance of extension tubes.

  • Drake
    Participant
    Post count: 23

    @ Hilton. I’m very intrigued by other peoples work with close-up photography. I would love to try my hand at it. Unfortunately I do not have the budget to buy a macro lens, just to satisfy my curiosity. That is why I’m looking at cheaper alternatives to get my feet wet. If I do find that close-up is “my thing” I would then save up for a macro lens.
    @ dFe Thanks, that’s the best price that I’ve seen in SA for the DCR 250.
    I’m still wondering about how the DCR would compare to the extension tubes. The Photix extension tubes will give me 58mm of extension (using all three), how much magnification would that give? The DCR is quoting a magnification of 2.5X. I also understand that extension tubes could be used with macro lenses to increase the magnification even more. That is, if I later do buy a macro lens, I can still use the tubes. (more of a long term investment)
    How many stops would I expect to lose with the tubes? And with the DCR? Will vignetting be a problem with either option?
    Would I be correct in assuming that the tubes will be the best optical solution, given the fact that there are no glass involved?
    Are there any other caveats that I should consider that I don’t know of?
    Yea, a lot of questions, but I will appreciate it if I could find answers, so that I can make a more informed decision as to what option would better suit me.

    Thanks again.

  • HiltonP
    Participant
    Post count: 1696

    @drake 242643 wrote:

    Are there any other caveats that I should consider that I don’t know of?

    Working distance from front of lens.
    With the DCR-250 it’s 100mm.

  • Larry
    Participant
    Post count: 123

    Extension tubes are by far the cheapest way to get a macro option. The basic tubes with NO electronic connections are very cheap and there is no image quality difference between these and the ones that still allow the lens to “talk” to the camera.

    The working autofocus is a nice gimmick, but not really a big thing. Most of the time the focus is achieved by moving the lens.

    The best add on I have for the extension tubes is a “ring flash” adapter for my SB-800. Light is always a problem and this keeps the shadows out of the equation. This is also not an expensive piece of equipment.

  • Drake
    Participant
    Post count: 23

    Thanks Larry. I think that I will give the tubes a try. The manual focus should not be a problem, the bit that I’ve read on macro mostley sugest manual focus anyway. I saw the “ring flash” thingy that fits most hot shoe flashes and I’m still thinking about buying it. The true ring flashes are truly not within reach of my budget. Thanks again to all that posted advice.

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