Seeing that the world has survived my first round of photos, I put together another gallery full of magnificently magnified insects rather than castles. The magnification was achieved with a Marumi macro filter, as described in the next section. Scroll down to see the gallery itself, and click on any image to enter a full-screen gallery view with descriptions and Exif data.
2017-03-06: Moved the gallery from Google Photos to my own host and deleted some pictures taken with other equipment.
Most pictures were taken with the same Sony NEX-7 as before, but this time with the SEL-18200 zoom lens – the big old one that was originally designed for camcorders, with a 67 mm lens diameter. Swapping between the 18-55 and 55-210 lenses in the field was very cumbersome, so I decided to invest in one single lens that covers (almost) the entire range. I’m quite happy with the SEL-18200 and did not notice any quality degradation compared to my earlier lenses. Partly this is no doubt because Sony automatically corrects for the idiosyncracies of its own lenses – but note that you need to manually enable distortion correction, which is the one option that’s inexplicably disabled by default.
For macro photography I also got two macro filters, the well-regarded Marumi DHG Achromat +3 and +5. This gallery uses only the +5 but I’ll probably go back to the +3 for future shooting since it’s quite difficult to focus the +5 on a subject. Sony’s autofocus works well with both macro filters, but the focused area shrinks in all dimensions as the magnification grows, and focusing on moving objects in complex environments gets proportionally harder. Nevertheless, the Marumi filters allow for some excellent pictures when you do manage to get the focus right.
2013-08-20: Added another macro gallery, this time using the Marumi +3.