Posts Tagged ‘raynox’
Macro lenses are expensive. This probably explains the popularity of low-cost alternatives like extension tubes and macro filters. I’ve been using Kenko extension tubes for quite a while. And while it’s a cheap way to get into the world of macro photography, it’s not the most practical one. Constantly adding and removing tubes quickly becomes a nuisance, especially if you are shooting on location. The Raynox DCR-250 macro conversion lens is not only a cheaper alternative to extension tubes, it’s also a much more practical one. It comes with a snap-on adapter which you can use to fit the Raynox DCR-250 on virtually any lens. Before I splashed out on a proper macro lens, I’ve been using DCR-250 for several years, and I can’t praise it enough.
In fact, even though I’m now the proud owner of a Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 Di SP macro lens, I still find the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 D AF Nikkor Lens and Raynox DCR-250 combo quite handy. It’s significantly smaller and lighter than the Tamron lens, and it produces excellent results. Don’t take my word for it, and take a look at the sample photo below. This is a macro shot of my Tamron lens taken with the Nikkor 50mm/Raynox DCR-250 combo.
So whether you are getting starting with macro photography and you can’t justify buying a proper macro lens, or if you are looking for a lighter and more portable alternative, the described setup is a good solution, indeed. You might wonder why use Raynox DCR-250 with precisely the 50mm lens. For starters, this is one of the most versatile lenses out there, and it’s also one of the cheapest. Its lightweight and compact design makes the lens a perfect travel companion. In addition to that, the lens features an aperture ring, so you can adjust f-stops manually. This means that the lens is suited for use with a reverse ring macro adapter.
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I love my Kenko extension tubes, and I keep them in my photo bag at all times. They are great, but somewhat cumbersome in everyday use: you have to detach the lens, add a tube, and put the lens back. This may not sound like a complicated procedure, but it takes time and there is always the risk of getting dust on the sensor.
In my search for a more convenient solution, I stumbled upon the Raynox DCR-250 Super Macro conversion lens. At first sight, it looks a bit like those cheap and useless close-up filters you can find on eBay, but it’s most definitely not. Raynox DCR-250 consists of three high-quality coated elements in two groups that provide +8 diopters magnification.
The quality of the glass seems to be top-notch (I don’t have a dedicated macro lens for comparison) and the lens produces pleasing results. DCR-250 comes with a clever snap-on adapter for lens sizes from 52mm to 67mm. Attaching Raynox DCR-250 to the lens is as easy and fast as putting a lens cap on. The price is right, too, so Raynox DCR-250 is an excellent solution for macro shooting on the cheap.
There is one thing you should keep in mind, though: the lens has a razor thin depth of field, so you must use a steady tripod to get sharp photos. While you can get away with shooting handheld with Kenko tubes, it’s virtually impossible to do that with Raynox DCR-250.
Of course, Raynox DCR-250 won’t replace a dedicated macro lens, but it’s the next-best thing you can get. It’s not expensive, it produces excellent results, and it’s extremely convenient — what’s not to like?