TeraPixel (Charly) is using a wide array of DIY solutions for his amazing macro photographs. Including reversed lenses (with electronics modified to allow metering and control), bellows and extension tubes, with new lenses like the Nikon 35mm/1.8, the Canon 50/1.8 and old ones like the Nikkor 35-70 and the Fujinon 50/1.4.
Charly recently compared four of the possible combinations of the lenses/setups, and reveled the big difference in quality they produce. (Click the photo for more info).
“The comparison pieces are 100% crops from the untouched raw-images, shown in (how I think) chronological order. A relatively new 35/1.8, a Nikkor 35-70 from analog times, a Canon 50/1.8 and a Fujinon 50/1.4. (Click the links in the image notes to see the details) I tried to keep the viewing angle, magnification and focal plane identical, but I did not completely succeed.
An external flash with a diffuser was used set to minimum power, so all the shots were taken at the same amount of light.”