Well, not as ancient as my usual purchases at the car boot sale. I bought something for one of my digital cameras at yesterday’s sale! What are the chances of bumping into something with a modern Sony DSLR mount at a local car boot sale? Pretty slim I’d say. I don’t see much modern gear for Canon or Nikon at the local sale, never mind for Sony / Minolta. My usual purchases are classic film cameras. But yesterday, I did just that. A Jessops macro-kit, consisting of a Jessop MC 2x Mx/AF tele-converter, and three Jessop M-Xi extension tubes – 31mm, 21mm, and 13mm. All with a Sony / Minolta Alpha-mount!
The seller explained that he had bought them for his Canon, not understanding the difference in mount. He said that he had seen similar sold on Ebay for £60. Well, I’ve checked them out, and I’d guess Ebay price for the kit might go £40 – £80. The Tele-converter is still listed new on the Jessop website at £80. How much did I pay? I knocked him down to £23 (well, £25 with two movie DVDs in the price) for the whole kit. A wee bit more than I’d spend on vintage camera equipment, but a nice buy still I feel.
Using them behind the Sony DT 50mm f/1.8 SAM lens? Focus has to be manual – even with just the tele-converter (although it gives me the option now to use the 50mm prime as a 100mm MF prime when I need it.). The auto focus just doesn’t find it’s target with the tele-converter behind the nifty fifty, despite claims to be AF.
With the extension tubes added, it turns the 50mm into a macro lens. I’ve not had time yet, to experiment with different extensions or the tele-converter, nor using them with my 35mm prime lens. D0F is incredibly shallow at macro with all tubes and tele-converter, making hard to focus anything but a flat surface (see the 20p coin below). I’ll try for better results when I have better light and more interesting subjects, but for now I achieved the below results.
I’ll play more when I get time. As I stated above, the tele-converter alone can double the focal lengths of my prime lenses should I need that. I want to try the kit with my 35mm prime, and to experiment with and without the tele converter and various tubes to see if I can improve that DoF with less magnification. I also need good light!
I don’t think that macro photography is going to be me, it’s done far better by others with better gear, but it’s worth £23 to play with that option.