Using the Nikon Coolpix P900 camera with Raynox DCR-250 macro lens

Nikon Coolpix P900 camera with the Raynox M-250 for macro photos 2
Raynox M-250 at 450mm
Raynox M-250 at 2000mm
A reader sent me a quick report on using the Nikon Coolpix P900 camera with the Raynox DCR-250 2.5x super macro lens:

The P900 is disappointing in macro mode because it is not "macro" at the tele end. I was wondering, would the Raynox DCR-250 closeup lens cure this? Yes it does! Not everyone needs a 2000mm f/8 macro with 4 3/4 inch working distance. Is it perfect? No. Is it fun? Oh yes.

Nikon Coolpix P900 camera with the Raynox M-250 for macro photos
Photo is reduced in size, no additional processing, from a standard USA dime. At 2000mm you get approx. 3 digits of the date on the dime.

Raynox M-250 at 150mm equivalent
Of course they are limitations, like the severe "looking through a gun barrel" effect at lower zoom, and the too thin depth of focus at highest zoom.

The Raynox DCR-250 macro lens costs around $57 and can be found at B&HAdorama and Amazon. For more information, visit the official Raynox website.

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  • Spy Black

    Fun with limitations…

    • Emphasis on fun. Considering what else the camera does, this is a pretty cool capability for <$60.

      • peter w

        Considering what low-cost excellent possibilities there are for macro. I think this is $60 wasted. However, it widens the possibilities for this camera. What does a Canon FD28mm F2,8 cost? Glue it back-wards on a cardboard milk pack (blackened inside). Glue the other side to a D70. Think off something to attach it to a tripod, or put it on a bean bag, and start shooting good quality pictures.

        • Most P900s will be the only camera their owners possess. They’ll buy it so they can get close to the action of their kids playing soccer, or for that once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe or maybe they’re into birds and they want to record their sightings. It’s a big enough stretch to think they will find this Raynox, let alone figure out that they can get a Canon FD28mm f/2.8 and glue it on to a milk carton that they’ve blackened inside and then glue that to an interchangeable lens camera that they probably couldn’t figure out how to select. Oh, then get a tripod, and then…

          Good luck with that, I hope a bunch of P900 users show up to your workshop.

          • peter w

            Good idea to milk money from P900 users. Inspiring thought. Lets start with 60$ for the Raynox.

        • AnthonyH

          How is that a low-cost alternative? Once you factor in a used D70 (that you’ve now glued cardboard to) and a used lens, you’re up to about $100 with the risk of the D70 crapping out due to age or prior abuse. And that’s only 6mp vs. 16mp.

        • James Donahue

          Is not photography at the consumer level supposed to be Fun?

          • peter w

            Off course.
            A bit of ambition in IQ might be fun too.

  • animalsbybarry

    Achromatic doublets such as Raynox deliver better performance than regular diopters
    Other very good choices are
    Sigma AML72-1
    And several others by Canon and Century.

  • T.I.M

    When you get to reproduction bigger than 1/2, the best way is to use a large sensor (D800) and crop.
    Cropping the image give you more depth of field than f/16 aperture.
    D800, AI-s 55mm micro, shutter 1/500s, aperture f/2.8, flash SB900

    • T.I.M

      (this is a 1/4w resistor, about the size of a regular fly)

    • Patrick O’Connor

      I don’t know what is “best” but most serious macro photographers use a combination of methods (high res sensor/telephoto macro/TC/extension tubes, et. al.) to achieve their best results.

  • jvossphoto

    Wonder if Nikon is ever gonna update the 200mm f/4 macro?

    • Morris

      they will

      • T.I.M

        yes, it will come with the D400 as a kit !
        :o)

        • Morris

          no, it’s just due after the 300 f4 pf 🙂

        • Ritvar Krum

          that is too cruel to joke about :'( >:D

    • FountainHead

      Current one suits my D800E just fine.

      • jvossphoto

        Do you also own the 105 VR? If so how do they compare and can decent macro shots be taken handheld with the 105.

        • peter w

          You can try a tc14 or even tc20 Eiii on the 105 F2,8G VR, for a 150 F4 or a 210 F5,6. Off course the image quality gets less due to the convertor. It is fine with the 1,4x and very acceptable with the 2x.
          Also, handheld macro with 200mm is stretching it a bit.
          I have no reference, but I am quite sure that for 200mm you’d better use the old lens, on a good tripod.

          Using VR on the 105 is fine, but it gets difficult as you get nearer to 1:1. It is personal what you may reach. It is always better to use a tripod, except for very low to the ground work. Then you could look for a bit of support on your bag, the ground, your hand, whatever and VR will be of great value. A bean bag will make the VR unnessesary.

        • T.I.M

          The trick with the tele-macro is that you don’t focus with the ring.
          First, you preset the ratio you want (max 1/1 for the 105mm) and then you focus by moving forward/backward to the subject.

          • peter w

            Well, for some of us, turning the ring is part of the game. For example, when taking pictures of plants and insects, I care more about composition and less about reproduction ratio on the sensor. But moving forward and backward is indeed allways a part of it. :). And upwards and downwards, left and right, etc. etc.

        • FountainHead

          Do not, sorry.

        • T.I.M

          I had the Nikon micro 105mm f/2.8 AF and later the AF-s version made in Japan (both excellent)
          I now have the AF-s version but made in China, unfortunately, the version made in China have a lot of CA wide open (much better at smaller apertures)
          The VR is first generation, you gain only 2 stops, not as good as the newest VR like on the 24-120mm for example.

  • RIT

    These Raynox adapters are fantastic with the right kit in the right conditions. But as Spy Black says, they have limitations; though it’s just a question of working to those limitations as with any photographic kit.
    Dcr-250 and MSN-202 on a 105mm f/2.8 Micro Nikkor on a D800E. Un-cropped video giving about 194x on a 40″ HD screen.
    The miniscule aperture of the 105mm helps a lot.
    I can’t post a link to it, it gets deleted, but search Flickr for “Hungry moth mint caterpillar”

    • no, links do not get deleted here, I just have to manually approve them

      • RIT

        How does that work? When I paste a url in it gets deleted immediately, long before I click the post button. One stayed long enough for me to post it but then the whole post disappeared. It’s obviously a good moderator privilege to have though!

        • This is strange – others are posting links all the time. Can someone else try to post a link please? Maybe disqus changed something and I am not aware of it.

          • RIT

            I tried again by replying here. The Link successfully went up and the post stayed, even remained after a page refresh with a greyed-out message above saying that it’s yet to be approved. I’ve come back an hour or two later and the whole post has gone. Maybe there’s a time limit for approval?

            • Yep, I just approved two of your comments.

            • RIT

              Ahh.. I see. Thanks!

            • I usually approve the comments in no more than an hour, unless I sleep 🙂 I can also “whitelist” you so your links will go up directly. I have done this already for many regular visitors, will do it for you as well.

          • RIT

            Holy Cow!!… Now the original post with the original link is back!! It had completely disappeared. Weird… must be a Disqus thing.

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