If you are not familiar with enlarging lenses they are an excellent way to get into high magnification close-up photography for larger than life-size or beyond the 1X range images. Macro lenses normally work up to life-size or 1X but a 50mm enlarging lens can give you good, even great image quality up to four times life-size or 4X . The best part is that you can pick up a very high quality enlarging lens for very little, just a fraction of the cost of a new macro lens. For the 50mm Componon S lens you see below, I paid $98 new and still in the box, and it is one of the sharpest enlarging lenses out there. Good clean copies of this can be found easily on Ebay for about $50-60.
For more information on the Componon-S and how to get the most out of it see the links below.
For the 50mm Componon S enlarging lens:
For the Componon S Industrial version:
This image was made in the studio on a vertical Nikon MM-11 microscope stand with a single flash and lots of diffusion. I shot this at f/4.5 since this is the lenses sharpest aperture and to avoid losing sharpness to diffraction.