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90mm f2 + Raynox 250 = True 1:1 macro


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Simple as that!


Received my 90mm f2 today, and quickly clipped my Raynox 250 to the front and took a couple of test shots and was very impressed. Fantastic quality, and true 1:1 magnification.  I had previously tried extension tubes and screw in close up filters (high quality ones though) on my 56mm 1.2, and was never satisfied with the final quality when approaching 1:1... there would be lots of distortion, aberrations etc. 


After reading some macro forums, someone suggested I try a Raynox 150 or 250 instead. I thought they looked cheap & nasty, and were suspiciously inexpensive, so I thought what the hell, and ordered one. 


I am very impressed. So much easier than extension tubes, as just quickly clips on to the front of the lens, and can be removed in a second to allow for regular shooting. Optically I cannot fault it. I just wish i'd found out about these ages ago! 


Anyway, here is a quick test shot of some moss in the garden with this combo... using the standard small XT-2 flash and a piece of paper help over the lens as a makeshift diffuser. 


29690764164_ee1efc1142_b.jpgMacro Moss by Gareth Edwards, on Flickr



And here is the patch of moss next to the 35mm 1.4 lens cap for scale. 


29690515103_095fa171a7_b.jpgMoss 35mm by Gareth Edwards, on Flickr


Not bad huh! If you already own the 90mm, do yourself a favour and pick up a Raynox 250 for quick proper macro gratification! 

Edited by Gareth_E
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Raynox 150, 250 and they have a so called macroscopic lens Are all very good. (Though i tried them on very old compact camera, so I don't know it it degrades a high quality lens. On my lens it was not an issue canon a650is) As a trick i bought some cart'edor ice cream, and took its cover, cleaned it, drilled a hole into the middle of it ans attached the clip to it. So when i put it onto the camera the raynox is clipped to it with this white transparent plastic stuff. From now you can use flash, as light will be diffuse enough, and as the plastic will illuminated it won't be that big difference on the picture the top where the flash emits the light) and the bottom.


On the other hand it is very strange what U say about extension tubes. You must not experience any king of degradation distortion with that, as it doesn't contain optical elements. (maybe lens are not identified well and camera can not correct the known distortions?)

Edited by OlegGontar
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It's hard to explain, I wish I'd have kept some of the shots I was testing them on. Obviously not regular lens distortion, as like you say - there are no elements int he tubes. It was almost like a general smearing / blurring around the edges of the frame (almost like a subtle zoom blur effect), with some very bad CA to boot.  To be fair, this was probably due to having several tubes stacked in order to push the shorter lens I was using  to 1:1 magnification.  I am now using a 90mm so It would have been interesting to try the tubes again... but alas i've sold them now.


But to be honest the thing that won me over with the Raynox products, is how quick they are to attach and remove at a moments notice. I could not be doing with the hassle of removing extension tubes out in the field everytime I wished to use my 90mm out of macro range.  And as far as my (admittedly non scientific!) tests have shown so far, the Raynox 250 does not seem to incur any noticeable loss of sharpness or image degradation, which is beyond my expectation for something so inexpensive. 

Edited by Gareth_E
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... extension tubes. You must not experience any king of degradation distortion with that, as it doesn't contain optical elements. ...


Sorry, but this is a terribly wrong myth. Each lens is designed for optimal convergence of light at a specific flange distance (register distance). At this distance maximum resolution (and minimum aberrations) is achieved. Some lenses are more prone to aberrations/degradation when this optimal distance is going to be altered, some are more tolerant. The more tolerant ones are those that are most suitable for being used with bellows or extension tubes.


One of the best macro lenses ever made, the Leica Apo-Macro-Elmarit-R 100mm f2.8, is relatively prone to flange distance changes, and Leica does not recommend using it with any extension! Same goes with the Fujifilm XF 60mm f2.4 Macro. I had/have both and can confirm that from experience. The Leica performs much better with Leica’s Apo 2x teleconverter than with any extension (the converter doubles the reproduction ratio as it retains minimum focus distance). The Fujifilm XF 60 I tried with the Fujifilm extension tubes – and gave up.


As for the main topic here, the XF 90 with Raynox 250 is a surprisingly nice performing combo indeed.

Edited by lightpainter
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  • 4 months later...

I have a fairly good experience of the XF 60mm macro and the 1,4 teleconverter with the11mm extension ring. You need the extension to "cover" for the protruding part on the teleconverter before you can mount the lens. I shoot a lot of aquarium shrimp about 1" long and use  a f stop between 8-11 before diffraction sets in.

With this combination I get a 84mm macro that works for me.




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  • 3 years later...


This is something it was suggested I do to achieve a 1:1 macro set-up with my 90mm. But I was advised that attaching the Raynox required some kind of mount. I haven’t seen the Raynox, Is it really a simple matter of clipping on.  
many thanks

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  • 3 months later...

Lenses with floating elements, rear or front focusing groups or internal focusing (or many zoom designs for that matter, as zooms and IF lenses are essentially the same with regards to how they work) are notorious for not playing well with extension tubes, as the optical system is optimized for an assumed rear element to sensor geometry and extension tubes break that assumption. Teleconverters or front filters are the best solution there for improving magnification and/or reducing MFD.

Fixed focusing unit lenses generally (but not always) play well with extension tubes, as they focus solely by adjusting the distance between the optical unit and the sensor and adding an extension tube is little more than extra focus helical extension for these lenses. They may or may not perform well, as the optical design is still optimized for a magnification or range of magnifications and the extension tube may take the optical design outside its designed magnification range with adverse results.

Edited by mawz
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I have been interested in macro since the Fuji X-line came out.  I bought the (in)famous XF60, and although it's crazy sharp for portraits, I've never been satisfied with the close-up it produces.   About 1 year ago I sold it.

Over the years I also bought the MCEX-11 , the MCEX-16, and the Raynox 150 and 250.   Now I get satisfactory results using my X-H1 and the XF50 and XF90 lenses.

I can confirm : prime lenses are much more suited to be used both with extension tubes and Raynox lenses.

With the XF90 I can reach the following magnifications (with good results) :

Lens only   Mcex-11   Mcex-16   raynox150    raynox250

    0.2             0.3            0.4               0.7                 1.0          

the best combinations are with Mcex-16 and with raynox150, for the ease of focus and the Dof .


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  • 1 year later...

Hi Sandro,

 have the XF90 and I am very happy with this lens; I would like to use it even for macro shot of flowers and insects.

From your experience using all that accessories, which solution would you advise for optimal results?

The Mcex-16 together with raynox 150? Do you think it is worth buy both? Or only one?

Thank you.

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