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A macro lens that nobody will lust after . . .

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by evilgreg, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. Yesterday evening I was shooting my usual subjects (my 2 year old and my ten month old) in the yard and I noticed a dragonfly sitting in the shade on one of my plants. It was a good, patient model, really easy to work with, not like the high-maintenance divas I have to work with normally (my wife and kids) so I just shot it with what I had on my camera, a Vivitar 100/3.5 AF that I bought on a lark a month or two ago.

    I'm not a big macro guy, but I've piled up more macro lenses than I'd need even if I was, I think (I have: VS1 90mm, Kiron 105mm, Nikkor 105mm, Nikkor 55/3.5, Nikkor 55/2.8, etc.) A friend of mine has long claimed that this lens (the Vivitar 100/3.5) rivaled the 50/1.8 in the bang for buck provided. He liked to say that it was better "than a piece-of-crap plastic lens had any right to be".

    I decided that the next time I saw one used for $50 on ebay, I'd give it a try just for grins.

    Anyway, to cut this long story short, I've ended up carrying it in my bag pretty frequently, based on weight more than anything.

    The best way to describe the weight of this lens I can give you requires a 28-70 AFS. If you have the 28-70, pick it up and remove the lens cap. Now set down the lens, you should still be holding the lens cap, that's about what the Vivitar weighs.

    I didn't have time to do bug shooting right, I was talking with my neighbors and playing with my kids (and my wife wouldn't have approved my going in the house for more gear). The dragonfly remained in the same place the whole time though, so occasionally I stopped to shoot a couple of frames of it here and there.

    I haven't had time to review the images yet in full, or to pp any of them, but I picked out a couple quick ones and tossed them on my flickr account:

    These are not art, I know. Here's my model (shot in jpeg, no post-processing, D200, pop-up flash used for lighting, resized by flickr)
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    100% crop:
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    A little closer (again, this is an unmolested camera jpeg, D200, pop-up flash used for lighting, resized by flickr):
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    100% crop:
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    Not too bad for a craptacular $50 macro lens, IMO. Nobody will be lusting after it, but still, it's not too bad at all.

  2. ultimind


    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    I had one of these for a little while... For how cheap it is it produces wonderful macro shots. Wasn't the fastest lens, so it's use as a non-macro lens is somewhat limited.
  3. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Those shots are just fantastic.
    Well now you can sell the rest and have some spare change:>))))))
  4. Taylor


    May 21, 2007
    Toronto, ON
    That's pretty awesome! Just goes to show that expensive equipment ≠ great photos.
  5. LOL, for a fifty buck lens, those are very good pics!!!! I think these might just shoot the market value up a few dollars. :biggrin:
  6. GeeJay


    Jan 26, 2005
    What do you mean 'no lust' :) 
  7. DBrim


    May 30, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Trust me, I'm considering it. I want a macro lens, but can't afford to get one of the more expensive alternatives yet.
  8. Great picture! Not bad for a cheapo lens and a pop-up flash.
  9. Way cool. But with 55/f3.5 AI Micro-Nikkors going for under $70, it's hard to not buy a Nikkor... (My near-mint 55/f2.8 AIS Micro was slightly over $100. Talk about great bang-for-the-buck...)
  10. Don't get me wrong--I'm not getting rid of either of my 55/3.5s or my 55/2.8 for that matter. I just can't believe how good this flimsy plastic lens really is. When I compared its weight to the 28-70's lens cap, I was only half kidding. I think this may be the lightest damn lens I own.

  11. Here's a quick one from tonight, shot wide open:

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  12. GeeJay


    Jan 26, 2005
  13. KrysiaG

    KrysiaG Guest

    I am so surprised. Amazing captures you have there!
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