While skipping through the posts on fujirumors.com last weekend, i stumbled upon a thread about the raynox DCR-250, a very affordable maco conversion lens which is directly snapped onto the front of the standard lens you have mounted. The shown pictures were great, so i decided to give it a go and take my first steps into the world of maco-photography.
My first impression of the lens was rather mixed. While it has a remarkable weight to it, the adapter is made out of plastic and feels cheap compared to my fuji gear – however, what does not feel cheap compared to fuji.
The DCR-250 is easy to mount and fits suprisingly well to the XF90, the lens i used mostly to test its macro-abilities. I also did some shots with the XF35 F1.4 but could not achieve those stunning close-up moments due to its lenght.
I think the ability to mount and demount the adapter quickly is one of its major strenghts compared to a macro-converter which has to be places between the body and the lens; it literally takes a second to switch between macro and the lenses “standard” mode.
Shooting macro for the first time however did come with a lot of problems a experienced and which a hardened macro veteran sure would have known already. I was very suprised to find out that the widest stop i could use to produce usable images was around f4. Everything wider would result in a tiny line of focus which was almost impossible to place on the object correctly, at least free-handed. And yep, there’s my first mistake. I decided to leave my tripod at home. For macro-shots. In the nearby woods.
The result, as you might already expect, was a lot of unfocused and blurry images. When i was able to get a luckshot, however, the image quality was quite decent.
The next day i brought my tripod with me and i was instantly rewarded with a lot more usable images – and a lot less frustration.
I also used the DCR-250 in some open spots with enough sunlight to achieve great results even while shooting freehand.
However, i dont think i ever went wider than f11, just to get more sharpness into my scenery.
The XF90s autofocus did a great job even with the converted focal lenght and was a great help when it came to moving objects.
In conclusion, i think i would recommend the raynox DCR-250 to everyone who is interested in macro photography and has decent gear to apply it to. I had to notice that the XF90s superb image quality suffers a little bit when used together with the converter. However, considering the really cheap price, this is something i already expected when buying. Also, the image quality still is very good, at least for my needs, and the DCR-250s unmatched flexibility will make it a constant companion with a spot in my heart and my photobag.