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Author Topic: X-T1 for Macros  (Read 6312 times)

Mike D. B.

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X-T1 for Macros
« on: January 07, 2015, 07:23:26 AM »

A few months ago, I bought an X-Pro1 with four prime lenses and, when the silver graphite X-T1 was released, one of those bodies as well.  My intention is, to test, if the X-system can replace my Canon gear (FF bodies and seven lenses).

While Iíve made friends with the X-Pro1 and have decided to keep it and the 35/1.4 plus 18/2 lenses, Iím trying hard to find a way of using the X-T1 for macro photography.  Itís about the same size as my old X-700 and a delight to use hand-held.  But some details are frustrating: I canít find an angle finder which fits the camera and the macro lenses available donít meet my expectations.

Iíd love to have a tripod mount on the macro lens.  While the new extension tubes from Fujifilm are handy, theyíll not replace a true macro lens.  Iíve tried using some Minolta MD gear I have with a Novoflex adapter.  While this does work, itís a far cry from the ease and enjoyment using my 5D Mk III with 180/3.5 and tripod mount.  Iíve found an adapter from Enjoy Your Camera which allows EOS lenses to be mounted to the X-T1 and separate aperture blades seem to function in lieu of the Canon lens aperture.  Does anyone have experience with such an adapter?

I guess thereís the possibility of buying a 100 or 105mm macro lens with tripod mount for (e.g.) Nikon, then using a Nikon to Fuji adapter.  The Leica 100/2.8 macro with tripod mount would be my favorite.  But Iím still not yet convinced.  Maybe Iím a bit scared of using adapters.  Does anyone using the X-system have experience in this respect?

And since I often shoot macros close to the ground, I absolutely need an angle finder.  Iím not keen on external monitors (iPhone or iPad) mainly due to wanting to limit gear in the field and the number of electric gadgets.  (A digression: I recall noontime or late evenings with fellow photographers where weíd have finished photographing in the best light and then ate breakfast or enjoyed drinks.  Today everyone is busy, downloading images and charging batteries.  One of the things I miss from analog days.)  Having to keep the X-T1ís OLED viewfinder (or the monitor) turned on for a long time while I compose the shot is quite battery-consuming.

Iíve taken some recent advice and am warming towards a Really Right Stuff L-Plate.  Not the same as a tripod mount but Iíve used one before with my 5D and could get used to it.

Does anyone use X-System cameras frequently for landscapes and macros?  How have you experienced a possible switch from D-SLR to this system?  While I like the camera very much (very intuitive functions), I fear Iíll be too limited especially when shooting macros.  The IQ is good enough for me (compared to 5D Mk III), so that is of no major concern.  Iíve also found my workflow using LR5.

rdonson

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Re: X-T1 for Macros
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2015, 09:54:44 AM »

I don't do macro photography.  I do have Canons and a good collection of L glass.  I purchased my X-T1 for walkabout purposes because I was simply getting tired of the weight and size of a DSLR.  Strangely I found myself using the X-T1 on my tripod as well.  I use RRS L plates on my Canons and purchased one for my X-T1.  In the end I also bought the Sunwayfoto L plate as it also featured a grip enhancement.  It offers the same CNC precision and anodizing but at far lower price.  I'm quite happy with the Sunwayfoto L plate.

http://smile.amazon.com/Sunwayfoto-PFL-XT1R-Dedicated-Fujifilm-Compatible/dp/B00KHDDHNM/ref=sr_1_22?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1420642356&sr=1-22&keywords=sunwayfoto
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Ron

Mike D. B.

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Re: X-T1 for Macros
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2015, 10:24:21 AM »

Ron, thanks for your comments concerning the L-Pate(s).  The Sunwayfoto version looks fine at a very attractive price.  Good to know, that you're pleased with yours.

Once I turned 60, my rucksack seems to gain weight by the month.  My dream was to have found a system which would allow me to decrease size and weight.  But shooting macros as ground level and not having to lie in the dirt & mud is an even greater priority.  I'm pleased with my Canon images and may stick with what I have.  Maybe I'll simply reduce the gear I pack on hikes.

I do want to keep the X-Pro1 with two lenses.  It will be somewhat like the old days when I shot with a Leica M3, then M7, later M7.  I loved the Leica Ms (and manual focusing).  The X-Pro1 is no rangefinder and it took some getting used to.  I'll be able to adjust to its features.  But I won't again maintain two complete camera system.  Did so in the past -- Leica M, Leica R, Pentax 6x7.  I still use my Leicaflex with 50/2 and color negative film.  I'm hopelessly nostalgic.

Thanks for your comments and advice!

rdonson

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Re: X-T1 for Macros
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2015, 11:01:04 AM »

You're welcome, Mike.  I'm wondering if something like the Hoodman 3" Loupe might be adapted for your macro use with the articulated screen on the X-T1.  It won't solve the battery issue you describe but carrying a few extra batteries seems normal to me.

http://hoodmanusa.com/cgi/commerce.cgi?preadd=action&key=HLPP3M

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Ron

Mike D. B.

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Re: X-T1 for Macros
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2015, 11:12:07 AM »

Ron, I use a Hoodman for my 5D Mk III and am quite pleased with it.  For macros at ground level with the camera in horizontal aspect, the tilting monitor is a fine aid.  But as soon as I rotate the camera 90į to a vertical aspect, the problem begins - the monitor won't flip and I'd either need an angle finder of lie prone on the ground with my eye to the finder or to focus & compose on the monitor.  A pain, to say the least.  :'(

rdonson

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Re: X-T1 for Macros
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2015, 11:30:41 AM »

Ahhhh.... good point, Mike.  The articulation of the LCD simply doesn't do well in portrait orientation in this circumstance.
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Ron

Ken Bennett

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Re: X-T1 for Macros
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2015, 01:48:32 PM »

I don't do serious macro work, but I have played with an old manual Tamron 90mm macro on my X bodies with a inexpensive adapter. Of course, I end up using two adapters, the Adaptall>Canon FD, then Canon FD>Fuji, so I'm sure there are some issues in there, but it does seem to work.

Not sure how to deal with the tripod mount on the lens - there is not one on the Tamron, of course. I too would love to have that stability. Perhaps there is some way to rig a macro rail attachment so it connects to both the camera and the lens?

As for the finder, Amazon lists several $50 right angle finders which allegedly fit the Fuji cameras. Optical quality is probably not ideal :) but the price is right.
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Alan Smallbone

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Re: X-T1 for Macros
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2015, 02:03:54 PM »


Iíd love to have a tripod mount on the macro lens.  While the new extension tubes from Fujifilm are handy, theyíll not replace a true macro lens.  Iíve tried using some Minolta MD gear I have with a Novoflex adapter.  While this does work, itís a far cry from the ease and enjoyment using my 5D Mk III with 180/3.5 and tripod mount.  Iíve found an adapter from Enjoy Your Camera which allows EOS lenses to be mounted to the X-T1 and separate aperture blades seem to function in lieu of the Canon lens aperture.  Does anyone have experience with such an adapter?
...
Iíve taken some recent advice and am warming towards a Really Right Stuff L-Plate.  Not the same as a tripod mount but Iíve used one before with my 5D and could get used to it.

Does anyone use X-System cameras frequently for landscapes and macros?  How have you experienced a possible switch from D-SLR to this system?  While I like the camera very much (very intuitive functions), I fear Iíll be too limited especially when shooting macros.  The IQ is good enough for me (compared to 5D Mk III), so that is of no major concern.  Iíve also found my workflow using LR5.

The Fuji to Eos adapter with the separate aperture blades are a waste of time in my opinion, all they really do is add a lot of vignetting. I tried one early in my Fuji career. I was hoping the speedbooster people would come out with an adapter for Fuji to EOS, they did announce it early but now is vapor.

I also use the RRS l-plate, well worth it. I have done some stacked macros using Zerenstacker and it works quite well. I don't do a lot of macros but quite a few and I like doing landscapes when I can get the time. I have been quite happy with the Fuji and have not really used my Canon anymore. I wish I could control my MP65mm with the Fuji but we will see if that ever happens.
Another option, which I have found quite good, not perfect but works well is the Raynox DCR5320 Pro
http://raynox.co.jp/english/dcr/dcr5320pro/index.htm
It is surprising good for what it is, a diopter lens. I have used this for bugs with the 55-200 and other lense, working distance is quite good and will still autofocus. If you put a empty 39mm filter ring on the Fuji 60mm you can use filters and diopters easily with it

The Zeiss 50mm for Fuji is also another option, get autofocus and 1:1.

I use Capture One but that is a personal preference.

Alan

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Alan Smallbone
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Mike D. B.

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Re: X-T1 for Macros
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2015, 02:16:47 PM »

Ken, your comments about the angle finder at Amazon are interesting.  I'll check again but earlier investigations didn't show one for the X-T1.  Those I did find were for the Nikon-style Fuji D-SLRs of a few years ago.  But I will double check.

I used an old Novoflex bellows unit for Minolta MD mount with various Minolta lenses to try some macros.  While the results were okay, handling seemed to time-warp me back decades ago.  While I admit to a fair amount of nostalgia (film, many former SLRs, manual focusing, aperture rings, ...), I would not really enjoy using bellows in the field again; didn't like them then, don't like them any better today.  I don't even know why I still have that old Novoflex thing!  Having to fiddle with that would immediately persuade me to stick with my fine Canon macro gear (180 and 65mm macros).

I've been searching eBay (and my memory) for former macro lenses with tripod mounts.  There really weren't that many (unfortunately).  180 or 200mm would be too long, 50 or 60mm too short.  Best would be 100 or 105mm.  Nikon didn't offer a tripod mount for their 105 micro per se but did offer a (longer) extension tube with tripod mount.  Sadly, many fine lenses of analog days aren't all that great mounted to today's state of the art bodies.

I'll keep searching.  Maybe I'll find a viable solution to my problem - else it's bye-bye X-T1 (and hello butt-kicking rucksack).  I already feel my back aching.

Mike D. B.

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Re: X-T1 for Macros
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2015, 02:34:34 PM »

Alan, I didn't realise such a beast existed from Zeiss!!  :o  I just looked at their website and found the 50/2.8 for X-mount interesting.  A little longer focal length would have been nice.  And, as with all Zeiss macros lenses - no tripod mount (sad).  But the L-Plate may make that loss less painful.  I'll visit my local dealer soon for a chat.

So the EOS - Fuji adapter won't offer a true aperture alternative.  That's sad.  Possibly Novoflex will devise some unit in the future which transmits electric functions - they offer reversal rings like that.  But I won't hold my breath.

Diopters.  Haven't used them since ... wow, that was in the 40s!  Minolta and Canon both offered excellent two-piece diopters.  I'm not sure I could befriend them though.

I know that no gear (other than bellows) could offer what my Canon 65mm macro offers.  Maybe I'm asking too much.  Possibly I should stick to the path I decided to follow a few years ago: use what I have and quit shopping for other things.  After all, the other man's grass is always greener.

Thanks for your comments and advice, Alan.

Ken Bennett

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Re: X-T1 for Macros
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2015, 03:56:58 PM »

Ken, your comments about the angle finder at Amazon are interesting.  I'll check again but earlier investigations didn't show one for the X-T1.  Those I did find were for the Nikon-style Fuji D-SLRs of a few years ago.  But I will double check.

Oh, yeah, I forgot about those. Possibly a false alarm.... :(
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David Sutton

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Re: X-T1 for Macros
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2015, 07:51:11 PM »

Mike, I have a Fotodiox Contax/Yashica adapter for FujiX  and it's very good indeed and the attached lens is quite easy to use in full manual mode. For macro work I've used a canon 500D close-up filter on the front of the 55-200mm with a step-up ring. Wanting to get 1:1 I bought a Nikkor 105mm 1:2.8D and a Kiwi ( :o) adapter. And that works fine as long as you are not in a hurry for the first few weeks. A bit of practice at home with a tripod stood me in good stead.
I've no solution for the flip out back in portrait mode apart from lying on the ground looking at the rear screen. What's an extra battery or two to carry? The RRS l-plates are wonderful.
David
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Mike D. B.

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Re: X-T1 for Macros
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2015, 05:08:43 AM »

David, thanks for your comments.

I have four spare batteries for my X-Pro1 and X-T1.  Same battery!!  (I have three different battery styles for my three different Canon bodies, with different chargers.  Half of my rucksack is filled with batteries when I'm out shooting with the Canons!  Only a slight exaggerastion.)  I just wish Fujifilm would have put some more thought into designing (or having them designed) the batteries.  They can be installed incorrectly - I've done than once when in a hurry.

I feel diopters and extension tubes (and bellows) aren't a solution for my regular macro shooting.  I prefer a true macro lens were I'm not restricted by focusing distance and having to remove or add a certain component.  Focusing from 1:1 to infinity is something I've come to like.  I would consider anything else only an exception, when outdoors without my rucksack and regular gear.

I usually need time for setup and composition of a macro shot.  Anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes is normal, depending upon the amount of shading bright sunlight or brightening shadows or or busy the fore and background are.  That drains the X-T1's batteries far more than using the optical viewfinder of the 5D!  A change of workflow.  At least I don't need mirror lockup or a viewfinder shutter.

I shouldn't have gotten rid of my (very old) Nikon 105/4 micro.  I preferred it to the 2.8 version due to the built-in lens shade.  That with the longer extention tube with tripod mount would be ideal.  But I don't know about optical quality.  Those excellent lenses of yesteryear often don't shine on today's high end digital bodies.

barryfitzgerald

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Re: X-T1 for Macros
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2015, 08:07:46 AM »

There are a lot of good macro lenses out there and as most prefer to manual focus for macro I think the adapter route isn't a bad one. I see there is a Zeiss Touit 50mm f/2.8M for the X mount offering a genuine 1:1 not tried it fairly pricey though it should be good.

Most macro lenses I've used are optically strong even older ones I've never been unhappy with the Tamron 90mm F2.8 I have. Not sure why Fuji didn't make a 1:1 macro lens yet.
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E.J. Peiker

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Re: X-T1 for Macros
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2015, 08:42:18 AM »

There are a lot of good macro lenses out there and as most prefer to manual focus for macro I think the adapter route isn't a bad one. I see there is a Zeiss Touit 50mm f/2.8M for the X mount offering a genuine 1:1 not tried it fairly pricey though it should be good.

Most macro lenses I've used are optically strong even older ones I've never been unhappy with the Tamron 90mm F2.8 I have. Not sure why Fuji didn't make a 1:1 macro lens yet.


I did have the opportunity to test the Touit 50mm Macro lens last year on  a Zeiss sponsored junket (the Sony E-mount version which is identical optically) in Austria and Hungary and came away quite impressed.  Compact and very sharp with very nice bokeh.
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Mike D. B.

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Re: X-T1 for Macros
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2015, 09:05:16 AM »

Yes, that Zeiss 50/2.9 Touit looks quite attractive.  I'll visit my local dealer shortly to get an offer.  The lens doesn't yet seem available in Germany - at least when checking with an online shop (ac-foto) for price indications, I see, that it will take some time to deliver (> six weeks).  I'd have hoped for a longer focal length - ideal for me would be the equivalent of my Canon 180 macro on FF.  Oh well, life consists of compromises.

Quite true Ė most macro lenses are well built and probably constitute a good buy.  Iím not overly concerned with price.  An expensive but good lens will only hurt once, when I pay.  But too great a (financial) compromise will hurt every time I use the thing.

Actually, the macro lens issue is the more simple part of my dilemma.  Finding an angle finder for the X-T1 seems close to impossible!  Iíd hate to use an iPad or iPhone for ground-level macros.  Might be a deal-breaker for my endeavor.  The only thing hurting will be my back.  After all, Iíve got a great Canon setup!  No doubt Fujifilm will expand their lens selection as well as Zeiss and others.  In five yearís time, there will probably be a far greater selection of lenses.  But maybe still no angle finder, sigh.

Thanks for your replies, suggestions and comments.  I've given myself till springtime to make up my mind what to keep or if to switch.

AFairley

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Re: X-T1 for Macros
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2015, 12:09:53 PM »

Here's an idea, the Olympus OM 80mm f4 macro plus focusing extension tube.  It has a tripod ring too.  http://www.alanwood.net/photography/olympus/telescopic-auto-tube.htm.  Manual stop-down.  On FF it gives magnification range from .5 to 1.2, you can do the math for crop sensor ratios.  OM to X-mount adaptors are readily available.  However, the lens and tube combo will be pricey - I'd expect to pay in the $300-400 range.

« Last Edit: January 08, 2015, 12:16:29 PM by AFairley »
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E.J. Peiker

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Re: X-T1 for Macros
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2015, 12:53:51 PM »

 Finding an angle finder for the X-T1 seems close to impossible!  Iíd hate to use an iPad or iPhone for ground-level macros.  Might be a deal-breaker for my endeavor.  The only thing hurting will be my back.  

It has a tiltable LCD so you can use that instead of looking through the viewfinder.
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Mike D. B.

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Re: X-T1 for Macros
« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2015, 03:25:36 PM »

It has a tiltable LCD so you can use that instead of looking through the viewfinder.

E.J., the tilting screen is fine at ground level as long as I'm shooting in a landscape (horizontal) orientation.  Once I rotate the camera 90į to a portrait (vertical) orientation, the screen doesn't help at all and I either need to lie flat on the ground or use the non-existent angle finder.  I've written to Fujifilm, asking if one is to be released in the near future or if they know of one which fits.  Maybe they'll help.

Mike D. B.

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Re: X-T1 for Macros
« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2015, 03:33:10 PM »

Here's an idea, the Olympus OM 80mm f4 macro plus focusing extension tube.

Alan, i really like that Olympus macro setup!!!  Olympus were once leaders in macro lenses and gear for the OM system.  I well remember their cameras and lenses.  Had the OM1 for a number of years.  I won't mind the cost and will immediately begin searching eBay and phone my local dealer.  Thanks for that suggestion, even the focal length is fine (more to my taste than the Zeiss 50mm).

Alan, I'll fly to L.A. and invite you to a cold beer if you can now suggest a fitting angle finder!  8)
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