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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Macro Lenses...Hi, im new to photography and really interested in macro photography, i want to buy a good macro lens but ...
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Old 16-07-2011, 03:29   #1 (permalink)
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Question Macro Lenses

Hi, im new to photography and really interested in macro photography, i want to buy a good macro lens but also keeping an eye on my budget, so can anyone put me in the direction of a good 1:1 macro lens which is quite cheap to please?



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Old 16-07-2011, 11:06   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

This lens always rates very highly in any tests I have read in mags etc and often beats the Canon equivalent which is way more expensive. A good second user model can be picked up for less than £200

Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 SP Di macro - Review / Test Report
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Old 16-07-2011, 11:23   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

Yep - the Tamron SP90 is a great macro lens and will also be good for portraits. Others worth consideration are the Sigma 105mm f2.8 and the Sigma 150 f2.8. If you go under 90mm focal length you will have to get very close to your subjects.

As with all things, you can get these lenses used from places like e-bay or from a dealer where you will usually get a warranty with the lens.

MPB, Mifsuds and London Camera Exchange are three dealers that you might want to check out.

Cheaper still would be a Raynox lens that fits in front of your existing lens.
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Old 16-07-2011, 14:54   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

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Originally Posted by Gazamonk View Post
This lens always rates very highly in any tests I have read in mags etc and often beats the Canon equivalent which is way more expensive. A good second user model can be picked up for less than £200

Tamron AF 90mm f/2.8 SP Di macro - Review / Test Report
Thanks everybody , i went to that site gaz it looks like a good macro lens, one thing i wasnt so sure on is how good it was because the test shots werent very good, is there anywhere i could find some more sample shots.


Thanks, Liam
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Old 16-07-2011, 15:19   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

See my macro postings, that's the lens I use. Just one point don't expect the focusing to be fast, the lens has a long way to travel between infinity and 1:1 but it does have the option of two focusing ranges to help cut down the travel distance. I think the lens is a cracker, partly because it's a prime lens not a zoom
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Old 16-07-2011, 15:21   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

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s there anywhere i could find some more sample shots.


Thanks, Liam
Here at Pixalo, of course!!

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Old 16-07-2011, 16:36   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses



Thanks for those, the first link i looked at the pictures of the lizard and the ladybird thats the kind of macro photography i enjoy real close up seening mother natures exotic designs...

Thanks, Liam
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Old 18-07-2011, 22:41   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

Hey Sparrow I have the same interests and am hoping to get either the canon 105 macro or the canon 60mm macro. The thing that sold me on the Canons is that the front of the lens does not extend in the same way that the Sigma or Tamron ones do.

Quality wise I think any of those would work but when you are going to focus that close it can make a real difference if you actually end up hitting your subject with the extending lens. There is a really good review site DPreview.com which actually shows the lenses side by side so you can see what I mean.
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Old 19-07-2011, 00:23   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

Tokina ATX100
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Old 19-07-2011, 00:25   #10 (permalink)
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Wink Re: Macro Lenses

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Originally Posted by Helgrrr View Post
Hey Sparrow I have the same interests and am hoping to get either the canon 105 macro or the canon 60mm macro. The thing that sold me on the Canons is that the front of the lens does not extend in the same way that the Sigma or Tamron ones do.

Quality wise I think any of those would work but when you are going to focus that close it can make a real difference if you actually end up hitting your subject with the extending lens. There is a really good review site DPreview.com which actually shows the lenses side by side so you can see what I mean.
Hi i dont mean this is any horrible way, but can you not call my sparrow as its my second name and i dont prefer it as its what a teacher i hate does, its the reason i put my first name at the bottom of all posts, please dont take this as harsh in anyway just a little bit of information, also what did you mean the front ring doesnt extend when focussing, what does it do i couldnt find any reviews


Thanks, Liam
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Old 19-07-2011, 10:22   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

My apologies Liam,

didn't mean to offend and I also sent you the wrong link to make matters worse.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Lens Review

In this link you wil see the Canon EF 100mm side by side with the Sigam 105 and the Tamron 90. Int the second set of images you will see that the lenses extend considerably when focusing. On the Canon the focusing is all internal so the end of the lens stays exactly where it is which is really important when you are 3 mm away from some exotic insect.

This lens has been superceded now by Canons Image stabilisation version so hopefully the price will drop quite considerably and also a lot of good second hand ones will start appearing.

One of the guys at my camera club has this and loned it to me for a week and it is the most incredible lens. I will be honest I really can't see the point of paying extra for image stabilisation on a macro lens as it is designed for handheld use and as soon as you put your camera on a tripod (which is vital for good macro shots) you have to switch the stabilisation off.

Hope this helps

Helga
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Old 19-07-2011, 17:17   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

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My apologies Liam,

didn't mean to offend and I also sent you the wrong link to make matters worse.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Lens Review

In this link you wil see the Canon EF 100mm side by side with the Sigam 105 and the Tamron 90. Int the second set of images you will see that the lenses extend considerably when focusing. On the Canon the focusing is all internal so the end of the lens stays exactly where it is which is really important when you are 3 mm away from some exotic insect.

This lens has been superceded now by Canons Image stabilisation version so hopefully the price will drop quite considerably and also a lot of good second hand ones will start appearing.

One of the guys at my camera club has this and loned it to me for a week and it is the most incredible lens. I will be honest I really can't see the point of paying extra for image stabilisation on a macro lens as it is designed for handheld use and as soon as you put your camera on a tripod (which is vital for good macro shots) you have to switch the stabilisation off.

Hope this helps

Helga
Hi Helga,

Dont worry about it, it didnt offend me in away just a little annoying as a teacher once did it to me just to annoy me, but anyway to the matter in hand, i looked at the website and read your post, i see what you mean that does make this difference but with the tamron fully extended its only 3mm longer by the looks of it, and as for quality im not certain but i expect there both exeptional products, i spoke to an owner of the tamron who takes ALOT of macro photography and wouldnt dream of another macro lens due to its cheapness at the moment, so i think to start with i might save up and buy one and later in life when i have a job ill buy a proper nice one


Thanks, Liam
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Old 19-07-2011, 19:31   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

Have you considered using extension tubes for now, you can get fully automatic ones for the canon for about £75 and use them with any lens, including your macro one when you get it.

This

silver studded blue | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

was taken using a 13mm extension tube and my standard Canon 18-55 lens.
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Old 20-07-2011, 01:09   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

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Originally Posted by Helgrrr View Post
Have you considered using extension tubes for now, you can get fully automatic ones for the canon for about £75 and use them with any lens, including your macro one when you get it.

This

silver studded blue | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

was taken using a 13mm extension tube and my standard Canon 18-55 lens.
Hi, i didnt really know much about extension tubes, but with that 13mm which by the way was a stunning picture, im guessing your a fully fledged professional tog?

but anyway doesnt extension tubes like that one just add 13mm onto either end of the lens so 18-55 become 31-68?

cause if thats the case i have a 55-200mm lens till august and the tamron lens ive seen going at a bit over 100 GBP pounds so for 25 pounds more than an extension tube isnt it just worth the wait?


Thanks, Liam
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Old 20-07-2011, 08:34   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

As someone who's used the Sigma 105, 150 (my current two lenses) and Canon 100 I'd have to say there's little to separate them in quality terms and I'd also say that there's no real issue over an extending barrel from an operational POV - I find the bugs no less happy with the extending 105 over the internal focus and greater distance provided by the 150 (in fact I prefer the 105 for the quicker MF)

Extension tubes are a great way to get into macro photography, being relatively inexpensive (but make sure you get auto ones to keep exposure control - AF is not so important as manual focus is utilised much more). And, of course you can stick tubes on any lens. No, they don't extend the lens, they actually shorten the near focus point as they move the lens further from the focal plane (and the nearer you focus, the greater the magnification)

Having said all that, if you can get the Tamron for around the £100 mark, I'd go for it like a shot! It's a great lens (comparable with the Sigmas and Canon) and that price is bucket loads cheaper!

Personally, I'm looking to upgrade my Sigmas to either the stabilised Sigma 150 or the Canon 100. Both similar prices - I'd prefer the Sigma (I think it's the better lens in their unstabilised forms) but unclear how good the stabiliser is (the Canon will only give 2 stops)
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Old 20-07-2011, 09:43   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

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im guessing your a fully fledged professional tog?




Thanks, Liam
No I'm just a budding amateur who takes 400 bad pics for every good one but thats all part of the fun. At least Digital makes the success rate affordable unlike film :P

I have learnt a lot in the last 8 months by joining my local camera club, they are a really friendly bunch who are all happy to share info and make mistakes along with me. That shot was taken on a trip we organised with a local wildlife photographer to show us the way.

If you want to learn fast I cannot recommend joining a club enough, the main thing you get out of it is having like minded people to hang out with and seeing the photos others take really makes you think about the way you look at things.
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Old 20-07-2011, 10:58   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

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but anyway doesnt extension tubes like that one just add 13mm onto either end of the lens so 18-55 become 31-68?
Okay this is where a lot of people get confused. An extension tube does not alter the focal length of a lens. It works by changing the distance between the lens and the focal plane (i.e. the sensor that captures the image in the camera) therefor effectively changing the size of the image (projected by the lens) onto the sensor. (You have seen the effect before if you focus on something with a magnifying glass then move the magnifying glass backwards and forwards.The magnifying glass is your lens and your eye is the cameras sensor if you like) The physics are so simple in fact that any tube between the camera and lens would work even a toilet roll holder taped between the body and lens but I wouldn't advise that

You are thinking of a teleconverter which looks like a tube but has optical lenses in it to change the focal length of the attached lens and will be designated 1.5x or 2.0x etc which relates to the magnification factor applied to the lens you use it on. e.g. a 1.5x on a 50mm lens would make the lens a 75mm equivalent.

I can see how it seems that a 13mm would add 13mm to the lens but it just isn't the case. I hope this makes sense.
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Old 20-07-2011, 11:09   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

I should also mention that the extension tubes will also cut down on the light hitting the sensor and will make focusing critical due to a very reduced depth of field. The results with zoom lens can be mixed and may not work effectively at all focal lengths. They work best with fast primes and an easy way into macro is to use the 50mm 1.8 with automatic extension tubes like those by Kenko (not the coffee ) manual tubes are very cheap but are basically metal toilet roll holders (see my last post) and with a canon lens you will have no way to alter the aperture (auto tubes allow the electrical connection between camera and lens so it functions with the cameras metering/AF etc (manual focusing is probably better though))
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Old 20-07-2011, 17:52   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

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e.g. a 1.5x on a 50mm lens would make the lens a 75mm equivalent.
Hi, yes i understand where i got mixed up now, so basically a 2x magnifier would make 50mm to 100mm and so on, and i understand what the extension does but id really like to see some exampls if u know where i can find some and i didnt understand what you meant in your second post about metal toilet roll holders or something.

Thanks, Liam
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Old 20-07-2011, 18:12   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

Basically an extension tube is just that, a tube, so it looks like a metal toilet roll holder. The manual ones simply move the lens away from the camera a bit so you can focus closer. The automatic ones allow you to keep all you aut focusing and lightmetering functions so you can use your camera completely as normal. The manual ones are not really any good unless you have a lens with a manual aperture ring as otherwise you have absolutely no way to control the amount of light entering the camera.

These are the ones I bought

EXTENSION TUBE SET MACRO AF FOR CANON 13 21 31mm NEW UK | eBay

As you can see you get 3 different sizes allowing you to go closer and closer, you can also use 2 at once but obviously you lose more light the more distance there is between the camera and the front of the lens.

I have seen cheaper ones but they didn't have the metal mount rings and I was concerned that they would not fit so well. These are great and the supplier is a reputable one.

Helga
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Old 20-07-2011, 23:50   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

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Originally Posted by Helgrrr View Post
Basically an extension tube is just that, a tube, so it looks like a metal toilet roll holder. The manual ones simply move the lens away from the camera a bit so you can focus closer. The automatic ones allow you to keep all you aut focusing and lightmetering functions so you can use your camera completely as normal. The manual ones are not really any good unless you have a lens with a manual aperture ring as otherwise you have absolutely no way to control the amount of light entering the camera.

These are the ones I bought

EXTENSION TUBE SET MACRO AF FOR CANON 13 21 31mm NEW UK | eBay

As you can see you get 3 different sizes allowing you to go closer and closer, you can also use 2 at once but obviously you lose more light the more distance there is between the camera and the front of the lens.

I have seen cheaper ones but they didn't have the metal mount rings and I was concerned that they would not fit so well. These are great and the supplier is a reputable one.

Helga
oh ok i understand no, is there a way to tackle the loss of light problem?
and there 70 quid wouldnt it be better to buy a macro lens for twice the price?


thanks, liam
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Old 21-07-2011, 01:13   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

The light prob isn't too bad if you use a tripod and yes a dedicated Macro lens is always going to be the best option. I got these to try out macro photography with the lenses I already had on the basis that when I decide which macro lens I want to get I can still use these with it for even closer focussing.

In ok light if you are just using the 13mm one the light loss is minimal. That photo I posted was handheld and it was a fairly overcast day.
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Old 21-07-2011, 09:04   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

Mark.
Just taken a look at your images at photobucket. Hope you don't mind, some amazing images. Regards
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Old 21-07-2011, 11:26   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

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oh ok i understand no, is there a way to tackle the loss of light problem?
and there 70 quid wouldnt it be better to buy a macro lens for twice the price?


thanks, liam
Your starting to get bogged down with choices and doubts now Liam. Lets simplify.

Q. Are extension tubes a good option for macro work ?
A. They are an option and with patience and care can produce great results as can be seen with Helgrrr' shots.

Q. Are extension tubes the best option for you?
A. I'm thinking not, simply because you are unsure (understanably) about the mechanics of lenses and the correlation of image size/light/exposure etc.

So if you just want to dip your toe into the macro pond and shoot the occassional macro shot get the tubes and experiment.
If you want to take lots and lots of macro shots with the intention of improving the work to a higher standard and you are intent on making this the focus (no pun intended) of your hobby then the only route is the dedicated lens.
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Old 21-07-2011, 11:48   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

There is a third option. Raynox make lenses that fit on your existing lens(s) and enable you to take macro shots with almost any lens.

Raynox Macro conversion lenses for Digital SLR camera, our Thirds Mount camera, Micro Four Thirds Mount camera

I've seen the DCR-150 for under £50. The DCR-250 is more powerful, but is recommended for the more experienced photographer.

Marcin (one of our macro specialists) started with a bridge camera and a Raynox lens and got some staggeringly good results. He has also written great macro tutorials

http://www.pixalo.com/community/tuto...ial-24240.html

http://www.pixalo.com/community/tuto...-ii-31623.html

Check out some of his pictures. I guess that these will be the more recent ones and it was his early work that was done with the Raynox.

marcinklysewicz Gallery - Pixalo Photo Gallery
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Old 21-07-2011, 12:49   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

Doh ! forgot about the supplementry lens option Dabhand I only ever used one years ago and it sucked (which is why I didn't consider it) but you are right, I have heard good things about the Raynox ones.
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Old 21-07-2011, 13:09   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

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Doh ! forgot about the supplementry lens option Dabhand I only ever used one years ago and it sucked (which is why I didn't consider it) but you are right, I have heard good things about the Raynox ones.
When Marcin first joined Pixalo we wre all knocked out at the quality of the shots he was getting with the Raynox. Sadly, I don't think there are many, if any of his earlier pictures that would have been taken with it left in his gallery. Certainly the shots that illustrated his second macro tutorial have gone

For under £50 i think that the Raynox might be a good option for Liam as it will be able to be used with his kit lens and most others he might get in the future.
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Old 21-07-2011, 22:17   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

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Check out some of his pictures. I guess that these will be the more recent ones and it was his early work that was done with the Raynox.

marcinklysewicz Gallery - Pixalo Photo Gallery

Hi, your not wrong some of his shots are exceptional, one thing that i think would be great would be if there was a place to test extension tubes and raynox lens, i really like the close up butterflys pictures, i think the raynox would be a good ideas especially if its only £50 cause at the moment being 15 years old with not much money income other than £40 a month exspensive lens' arent the right direction, me thinks?

but i am quite interested in macro and if raynox was a good soloution i wouldnt mind seeing some dc-150 pictures, then looking in to finding a cheap one to buy, then later in life with a bit of money maybe get a macro lens.

that sound good?, but please if you got anymore ideas please let me know i dont wanna jump into spending any money just yet.

thanks, Liam
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Old 21-07-2011, 22:59   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

If you go to a decent camera shop you should be able to try extension tubes and a Raynox on your camera. then you will be able to see for yourself. All you have to do is to try to find a place that stocks them. Raynox might well be able to help here. They might have a list of UK dealers on their website

Don't forget you may be able to buy them used from a dealer or from the internet.
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Old 22-07-2011, 00:11   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Macro Lenses

Liam I have a set of manual extension tubes you can have, just PM me with your name and address and I will stick them in the post for you. It will give you a chance to try out some macro at least.
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