If you are completely new to macrophotography or have no idea what Raynox macro lenses are, congrats! You've come to the right place! McGill Commercial House is a specialist optics trading company with THE difference - we provide user-friendly solutions with easy-to-understand explanations. You'll be clearer how our Raynox lenses will help you take better pictures of insects, flowers and various small objects. Below are some of the more common questions that hundreds of customers ask when purchasing Raynox macro lenses from us. We hope it'll be helpful to you too. :)

1) What are Raynox macro lenses?

2) What are the advantages of using Raynox macro lenses?

3) What cameras can be used with Raynox macro lenses?

4) How do I attach the DCR-250(/MSN202/CM-2000A/CM-3500A) to my digital camera or DSLR camera?

5) I'm new to Macro Photography. How do I ensure proper light exposure with Raynox macros?

6) How do I ensure quick and proper focusing of images?

7) I want to take pictures of insects' heads. Which Raynox macro lens would be suitable for me then?

8) What's the difference between CM-2000A and CM-3500A? Is it just the extra lens for CM-3500A?

9) Raynox lenses come with varying diopters. What are these values actually and the resulting magnification my object will get on 35mm film format?

10) Can I have an idea of the diopter values of the different Raynox macro lenses on offer? Anything graphic would be easier for me to appreciate the differences in magnification.

11) Can Raynox macro lenses be used for underwater macrophotography?

1) What are Raynox macro lenses?

Raynox macro lenses are specially-made auxiliary or add-on lenses which work in conjunction with digital cameras or DSLR lenses to produce sharp, clear macrophotos or close-up images of an object. These are completely different from close-up filters which have typical 1-piece glass designs prone to image degradation. Each Raynox macro lens system houses a special optical formulation utilizing high index, rare-earth optical glass elements which maintains a high order of resolution and contrast. These lenses are very reasonably priced for the average to high-end consumer. In fact, such macro lenses have been commonly used by professional photographers and videocam experts.

Raynox is getting more famous, as seen from the long queue of buyers at McGill.


Raynox lenses are manufactured by Yoshida Industry Co., Tokyo, Japan, a company which has been around for more than 40 years in the highly competitive Japanese camera market. Raynox is also well-known as a leading global brand for add-on digital imaging in North America and Europe.

2) What are the advantages of using Raynox macro lenses?

Raynox macro lenses offer several clear advantages compared with the traditional method of using extension tubes or normal DSLR macro lens reversed onto a bellows attachment. In addition to considerably lower cost, Raynox macro lenses maintain full Through-The-Lens (TTL) exposure control. Also, the design is such that there is more separation between the lens and the object, thus allowing better and easier placement of lighting devices such as additional flash units.

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3) What cameras can be used with Raynox macro lenses?

McGill currently markets 5 Raynox models in Singapore: DCR-250, CM-2000A, CM-3500A, MSN-202 and DCR-5320PRO . These are the most popular, capable and versatile lenses to meet the increasing demands of both DSLR and digital camera users in Singapore. These lenses simply connect directly to the front of DSLR lenses. Some digital camera models may need an extra lens adapter though.

DCR-250 & CM-2000A: Suitable for any make/model of interchangeable-lens DSLR camera and consumer digital cameras. (Some cameras may need a lens adapter.) Best results will be obtained with focal lengths between 50mm to 300mm (fixed length or zoom). However a 50mm or 60mm macro lens may not experience obvious magnification as it's near the end of the optimal range. Vignetting or darkening of images may occur for DSLR lenses of more than 62mm filter size. Large and medium format cameras (such as 6x6cm, 6x7cm or 4x5") may also be used with suitable lenses, such as a Mamiya RB67 camera with a 127mm or 180mm lens.

CM-3500A & MSN-202: Suitable for any make/model of DSLR camera with medium to telephoto lenses (100mm to 300mm focal length) and any consumer digital camera. (Some cameras may need a lens adapter.) Very high magnification can be achieved with cameras of more than 10x optical zoom! Vignetting may occur for lenses with filter size of more than 62mm. Using a good tripod or camera stand with shutter release is highly recommended for clear and crisp pictures.

DCR-5320PRO: Suitable for any make/model of DSLR camera with medium to telephoto lenses (100mm to 300mm focal length) with filter sizes of 67mm to 82mm. Also usable on prosumer digital cameras with high optical zoom of more than 10x. When used with most DSLR lenses, there will be no vignetting due to the large lens design which has 72mm filter size. Due to the heavier weight of the DCR-5320PRO as compared to the rest of the models, a good tripod or camera stand with shutter release is highly recommended for taking clear and crisp pictures.

Detailed information of all the macro lenses mentioned can be obtained from the respective product pages found on McGill main website.

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4) How do I attach the DCR-250(/MSN202/CM-2000A/CM-3500A) to my digital camera or DSLR camera?



Connect the DCR-250 lens (above, right) to the universal adapter (left) by screwing it into the internal hole of the adapter. Ensure that the lens is flat and parallel to the adapter. The mounting should be very smooth. If it becomes tight initially, it means the lens is not levelled and threaded correctly. The setup is ready for use (below).

Next, make sure you remove any existing filter on your main camera lens. This is to prevent image degradation. Some digital cameras need an additional lens adapter to connect to the DCR-250, such as the Olympus C-720 as seen below, before and after with the DCR-250.

To connect the DCR-250 to the camera lens, press against the flexible handles of the universal adapter so that you feel its strong spring tension. Insert the 2 protrusions or clips (located at the underside of the universal adapter) carefully into the inner diameter of the main lens (or lens adapter) and then release the handles. You may do some minor adjustments by shifting the handles to ensure the macro lens is aligned at the centre. Your set-up is now ready! (Please note this adapter can only be mounted to camera lenses of internal diameters 52mm to 67mm.)


5) I'm new to Macro Photography. How do I ensure proper light exposure with Raynox macros?

Most cameras are now equipped with TTL metering, which simplifies the use of such macro lenses. You may use fully automatic (or program mode), aperture-priority, shutter-priority or manual mode. Since you should often be using a small aperture for maximum depth of field, the aperture-priority mode is recommended, if not, the manual mode. In any case, you should determine the best exposure by using settings on either side of those selected by the camera's metering (bracketing). If you are shooting with electronic flash, a good practice is to take trial exposures at various apertures and flash positions to decide the best combination.

6) How do I ensure quick and proper focusing of images?

Macro lenses generally have very short focusing distance. You may simply place your camera, attached with the macro lens, as near to the object as possible. Then slowly work your way away from it, and the image should be clearly focused somewhere along the way.

7) I want to take pictures of insects' heads. Which Raynox macro lens would be suitable for me then?

Firstly, you would have to determine the type of insects that you wish to deal with. The head of a dragonfly as compared to a mosquito head is very different in size! As a general guide (we don't want to be dogmatic here!), for insects of more than 10mm in length, the DCR250, CM-2000A and DCR-5320PRO should be sufficient to take near close-ups of the insect's body. One of our clients has actually shot a unique frontal view of a dragonfly eating something using the DCR-5320PRO and a Sigma macro DSLR lens! For high-power magnification or for objects of less than 10mm in size, you can try the CM-3500A or MSN-202. For your information, the head of a mosquito can be shot using suitable DSLR lenses with the MSN-202!

Secondly, your shooting equipment, techniques and postures are very important too if you want to take super close-ups. We won't want to suggest that a complete beginner or very ordinary digital camera can take extraordinary macro shots, though there are certainly some exceptions!

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8) What's the difference between CM-2000A and CM-3500A? Is it just the extra lens for CM-3500A?

No, the CM-2000A and CM-3500A are completely different in terms of lens design and mounting threads. The diopter values are different in the first place. CM-2000A has diopter values of +4.8, +8 and +12.8 (combined) while CM-3500A has +6, +12 and +24 diopter values. Secondly, CM-2000A is based on 43mm threads while the CM-3500A series uses 37mm threads. Hence these 2 sets have universal adapters of different hole size but both will fit to 52mm to 67mm filter sizes. The obvious advantage of the CM-2000A is both lenses can be threaded to filters or McGill's ring light for better illumination under high magnification. This add-on or stacking feature also allows both CM-2000A lenses to be combined with each other for nearer close-ups. But the CM-3500A lenses don't have this feature and can only be used 1 lens at a time. Also if McGill ring light is used, it can only illuminate object from the sides as it can't be mounted to any of the CM-3500A lenses.

9) Raynox lenses come with varying diopters. What are these values actually and the resulting magnification my object will get on 35mm film format?

The varying diopters are to suit different needs and magnification for macro applications. A higher diopter value means a higher magnification for your pictures. For a 50mm macro lens with DCR-250 of +8 diopter, the resulting magnification on 35mm film format will be 0.4x. (You know how to derive?). It means the object size has increased by 40%. However with a high diopter lens like the MSN-202 which has +25diopter, the magnification is 1.25x using the same 50mm lens, ie. object size has more than doubled!

10) Can I have an idea of the diopter values of the different Raynox macro lenses on offer? Anything graphic would be easier for me to appreciate the differences in magnification.

Yes, sure, especially when macrophotography involves extremely diverse range of object size, from the obvious to those almost invisible to the naked eye. Please click here to find out about a simple coin exercise which involves the DCR-250, CM-2000A and CM-3500A. The DCR-5320PRO and MSN-202 macros are not part of the test as their diopter values are similar and we can easily deduce the magnifying results. The maximum magnification produced by the DCR-5320PRO (2+3=+5diopter) is similar to that of the CM-2000A +4.8diopter lens while that of the MSN-202 (+25diopter) is slightly better than the +24diopter lens of CM-3500A.

11) Can Raynox macro lenses be used for underwater macrophotography?

Possible but might be extremely tricky. The degree of difficulty of shooting underwater is definitely greater than on land. It would be good to master important techniques in the comfort of your home first before making your way to the turbulent and unpredictable sea floor.

Firstly, ensure your underwater housing has sufficient space for attaching a macro lens at the front. However most casings are custom-made for certain camera models and might not have been designed to facilitate add-on lenses.

Secondly, ensure a good strobe is around for the shots, and a capable and knowledgeable assistant will definitely help.

However, the best way of doing close-ups underwater would still be using a high quality (and expensive!) macro or telephoto lens. Spare Raynox the embarrassment, will you?!

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