I love macro photography and the whole new world that opens up when viewing through the eye of a macro lens. Whilst I want to share my enthusiasm through my macro workshops, I appreciate that not everyone has an expensive DSLR camera or if they do they do not share the same camera make as myself or simply don’t have a dedicated macro lens. So I have been looking at alternatives that don’t cost the earth and have discovered the Raynox range of conversion lenses; and in particular, the Raynox DCR-250 Macro Conversion Lens and the Raynox MSN-202 Super Macro Lens.
Raynox DCR-250 Macro Conversion Lens
I thought long and hard about buying the Raynox DCR-250 Macro Conversion Lens and suggesting it as a suitable alternative, after all I don’t want my clients to waste their time or money on a gimmicky item that doesn’t do what I say it does. At the same time I didn’t want to fork out several hundred of pounds on a dedicated macro lens for other camera makes. After a bit more humm-ing and aaaah-ing I went ahead and purchased this little gem.
The Raynox DCR-250 acts just like a macro lens with the sweet spot in the middle. As with all macro work the DOF is in fractions of a millimetre; plenty of patience and practise is required to gain a good Macro technique. However, once you have grasped the principles then you will be able to experience the wonderful world of “Macro-photography” without paying out £300-£1,000 for a dedicated macro lens.
The quality from the Raynox DCR-250 is better than I had anticipated, and for the price of this lens, I don’t think you go wrong.
Raynox MSN-202 Super Macro Lens
After trialling the Raynox DCR-250 I decided to purchase the Raynox MSN-202 Super Macro Lens to see if it would offer any comparison to the Canon MP-E 65mm Macro lens and provide a suitable alternative for clients who did not have the Canon equipment but wanted to take their photography beyond the standard macro range.
Like all the Raynox adaptors, the MSN-202 seems to work best on cameras with zoom lenses. There is good centre sharpness with little fall off towards the corners creating a vignette which can appear quite severe. Focusing can be an issue as the DOF is very shallow, I found a sturdy tripod was an absolute must, and shutter release to obtain a sharp image. Also a ring flash or a diffuser because some times there’s not enough light..
As with the Canon MP-E 65 the working distance is extremely small, coupled with a small lens, it can be so tight that it is difficult to get sufficient natural light to see the object properly. Unless working in really sunny conditions it will be necessary to have an alternative/supplementary source of light either from a diffuser, ring-flash or studio system or a combination of lights.
The quality of the Raynox adapters are first rate making the Raynox MSN-202 a nice little addition to those desiring a variety in their macro work without paying the high price of a macro specific lens.
Please check the lens adaptor will fit the lens you will be using with your Raynox lens before purchasing.