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crowecg

FUJI MCEX-16 Extension tube

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Since moving to Fuji, I've been uncertain what lens to buy to take over the role of my Tamron SP90 that I've been using for over 20 years on various Nikon cameras.  Whilst the Fuji 60mm is quite small and suits the objective of my Fuji system to be light and compact, it isn't a perfect solution as it only goes to 0.5x magnification.  On the other hand, the 80mm, which does go to 1x magnification just looks too big and heavy to go with an X-E3 based system.  There are some third party options -  a Zeiss 50mm, which left me a little nervous about the short focal length and working distance;  the final option I've looked at is Laowa 65mm - it goes all the way to 2x magnification, but is manual focus only and no electronic connections.  So my decision....

 

Extension tube.  I realise that it is a compromise in a lot of ways but it also offers a lot of flexibility.  It offers full autofocus and electronic connection with Fuji lenses.

 

The two main things I wanted some macro capability for are bug hunting and scanning negatives ( I know I said I'd finished, but I found some I'd missed).  Magnification on my 18-55 ranges from just under 0.5x at 55mm to nearly 1x at 18mm.  The 0.5x magnification at 55mm gives a little bit more resolution with my setup after cropping on the 24 Mpixel X-E3 than I was getting from the 16 MPixel D7000/Tamron SP90 set up (I was being a little bit conservative with framing to allow for straightening).  However, there is noticeable barrel distortion from this Fuji setup - I might get away with it where there is not obvious straight lines in the frame.  As for bug hunting - see here for some examples.  At 18mm, the working distance from the front of the lens is only 4mm!  However, going wide and getting up close does give an interesting perspective and appears to give more depth of field.  I guess that is why Laowa are making things like the 24mm 2x macro probe and the 25mm 2-5x ultra macro. 

 

The other lens I have to play with is the 55-200.  The 16mm of extension gives a magnification in the range of 0.28x - 0.35x, which isn't a big jump at the longer end, but does bring the minimum focus distance down to what I feel is a more useful range when wanting to shoot bugs and flowers.  I haven't played as much with this lens yet, but do think it will be useful when I want a bit more magnification, but want to keep some distance too.  I'll update once I've shot some more with this.

 

Overall, I think I will get some use from it - it is small and light enough to stick in a bag or pocket when out and about, although it doesn't come with any end caps, so I'll have to give a bit more thought about how to pack it to keep the mount and electrical contacts clean. I found mine a little stiff on the lens side.

 

Oh, and there is a 27mm that I haven't tried yet either, but I'm not expecting that to be a set up I will use.

 

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You can also get a Nikon F - Fuji XF adapter for the Tamron lens. They are cheap enough and readily available, only downside is that you'll have to stop the lens down manually when using it. I used the excellent 105/2.8 (with PN 1:1 extender) & 200/4 AI-s Micro-Nikkor lenses for a couple of years in this way with my Fuji cameras.

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10 hours ago, Alan7140 said:

You can also get a Nikon F - Fuji XF adapter for the Tamron lens. They are cheap enough and readily available, only downside is that you'll have to stop the lens down manually when using it. I used the excellent 105/2.8 (with PN 1:1 extender) & 200/4 AI-s Micro-Nikkor lenses for a couple of years in this way with my Fuji cameras.

 

I did try getting hold of one - the story is in the lock down gear thread.  But after looking more closely at stock levels for the second attempt, I went for the extension tube.  Whilst not as good as a dedicated macro lens for the scanning of film, I think it will be quite fun in the garden safari giving the flexibility of getting right up close at wide angles for creatures that will tolerate that to shooting from further back for those that won't or that I don't want to get too close to.

 

One challenge I have found with the extension tube is getting used to working out if I am too close or too far away, particularly at the wide end of both lenses.  At the long end, if I can't get focus, I'm usually too close, but I just can't get the feel for the short end yet.

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I should still have a Nikon-Fuji adapter kicking around here, Chris. If I find it I'll let you know. It'll never get used here again as I have no F-mount lenses left, so if it turns up I can send it to you and you can gt that Tamron back into service (that Tamron Macro has an excellent reputation, by the way). I'll PM you for postal address details if I find it.

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