Macro Ring Test

Tested with a Fuji S2pro with a Nikon 105mm macro lens

Macro rings are a cheap way to get better macro abilities. This page explores the wonders of this handy little piece of hardware.
First here's a close-up of a ball pen not using the macro ring:

Using a macro ring:

Conclusion: The maximum possible magnification is incread by 1.19x when used on a Nikon 105mm macro capable lens. That said, there are a few draw-backs when using such a ring:
  • Electronic are bypassed. The camera no longer controls anything in the lens. Also it does not know anything about the lens, so your EXIF header will say "unknown" on stuff like focal length and shutter.
  • It is usually not possible to focus on something that is very far away. You will be limited to close-range shooting.
  • Putting the ring in requires you to take off the lens. And you'll have to take off the lens again, when you're tired of being in macro mode. This adds to the risk of getting dust on your CCD.
Test lens and macro ring courtesy of Sonny Windstrup.

Other lenses

The macro ring is much more efficient than 1.19x with lenses that do not already have macro capability. Here's a few tests.

Sigma 135-400mm F4.5 @ 400mm

Working distance is huge bceause the best magnification is obtained at 400mm. Otherwhise everything works pretty well. Magnification is mediocre and there is no distortion. Perspective is funny as you would expect from a 400mm lens.


Nikon 24-85mm F3.5 @ 85mm

Big problem: The shutter is only adjustable via the camera menu, but this is deactivated by the macro ring. Thus the shutter is always left at F22, so you'll get really long exposures. Therefore this lens is not recommended for this purpose.

Good things: You get a good depth of field and good magnification, but still ...


Chinon 50mm F1.9

This lens is actually has a Pentax mount, so it did not fit on the test camera. This is why the image is somewhat blurred. It takes in a lot of light, and i'd expect that on a Pentax camera, it should work pretty well.

Sigma 14mm F2.8

This went totally wrong. No matter where i focused, the focusing point was somewhere inside this thick and bulky lens. So even if i pressed the motive up against the lens, everything was a blur.

This picture shows my best attempt at focusing on a pencil.


Nikon 105mm micro

Not using the macro ring, because this lens does macro already. This is just for comparison. As you see the magnification is awesome.