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Thread: 4x5: If I don't have a macro type lens, what's the next alternative?

  1. #1

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    4x5: If I don't have a macro type lens, what's the next alternative?

    So looks like a smaller'ish lens is better for getting close right? (I'm so darn technical man!). So if I don't have a real macro lens (i have plenty in 35mm ), the best I can do is use my 135mm and just go long bellows right? Are there any cheap barrel type lenses I can play around with? I saw these really cool flashes/LED things on Amazon, looks like little antennas for macros. Thought it would be fun to use. They are like 20-30 bucks.

    I know the next step is to try my 90mm wide angle, will try that later maybe tonight, but if anyone knows right away that that's a waste of time, let me know.

  2. #2

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    Re: 4x5: If I don't have a macro type lens, what's the next alternative?

    You should look for a copy camera (process) lens in the 150-200mm range, which can be found in barrel configurations quite frequently. Look for G-Claron, Apo-Nikkor, or similar lenses. Using a wide angle lens like a 90mm for macro work will give somewhat distorted results, which may or may not be what you are after.

  3. #3

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    Re: 4x5: If I don't have a macro type lens, what's the next alternative?

    Quote Originally Posted by djdister View Post
    Y Using a wide angle lens like a 90mm for macro work will give somewhat distorted results, which may or may not be what you are after.
    That's what I thought! Thanks for clearing that up.

    You should look for a copy camera (process) lens in the 150-200mm range, which can be found in barrel configurations quite frequently. Look for G-Claron, Apo-Nikkor, or similar lenses.
    Sweet, sounds like plan for the next year or so. Thanks!!!

  4. #4

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    Re: 4x5: If I don't have a macro type lens, what's the next alternative?

    The "on the cheap" ways for very close-up/macro work in 4x5 are:

    #1: Add extension if you can -- to whatever lens you are using

    #2: Use whatever enlarging lenses you have -- they are flat field and produce great results

    #3: Use your 35mm macro lens -- at higher magnifications they will cover 4x5 (see: http://www.subclub.org/fujinon/mygear.htm)

  5. #5

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    Re: 4x5: If I don't have a macro type lens, what's the next alternative?

    Quote Originally Posted by xkaes View Post
    The "on the cheap" ways for very close-up/macro work in 4x5 are:

    #1: Add extension if you can -- to whatever lens you are using

    #2: Use whatever enlarging lenses you have -- they are flat field and produce great results

    #3: Use your 35mm macro lens -- at higher magnifications they will cover 4x5 (see: http://www.subclub.org/fujinon/mygear.htm)
    Great info!!

    Sadly, I sold all my enlarger/wet darkroom stuff.

  6. #6

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    Re: 4x5: If I don't have a macro type lens, what's the next alternative?

    Macro and process lenses are great, but it all depends on how much you need to enlarge the resulting image, whether you have access to a digital workflow and are competent at sharpening. Ordinary non-macro lenses can be quite good, right up close - and a modern lens is not always required either.

    I made this 32x40 inch enlargement from a 4x5 negative shot with a 70-year-old Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar lens, not a modern macro lens by any stretch.

    Although sections of the image are purposely blurred, the in-focus areas are perfectly sharp, right up close.
    Last edited by Ken Lee; 28-Aug-2017 at 13:03.

  7. #7

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    Re: 4x5: If I don't have a macro type lens, what's the next alternative?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericantonio View Post
    Great info!!

    Sadly, I sold all my enlarger/wet darkroom stuff.
    You can get some great enlarging lenses on EBAY for little more than the cost of shipping.

  8. #8

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    Re: 4x5: If I don't have a macro type lens, what's the next alternative?

    Quote Originally Posted by xkaes View Post
    You can get some great enlarging lenses on EBAY for little more than the cost of shipping.
    Yeah, I had wonderful Kodak ektar ones before in about 135mm size. They were so nice. Will have to start looking for some.

  9. #9

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    Re: 4x5: If I don't have a macro type lens, what's the next alternative?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    Macro and process lenses are great, but it all depends on how much you need to enlarge the resulting image, whether you have access to a digital workflow and are competent at sharpening. Ordinary non-macro lenses can be quite good, right up close - and a modern lens is not always required either.

    I made this 32x40 inch enlargement from a 4x5 negative shot with a 70-year-old Carl Zeiss Jena Tessar lens, not a modern macro lens by any stretch.

    Although sections of the image are purposely blurred, the in-focus areas are perfectly sharp, right up close.
    These are great. I do remember seeing this webpage. Bookmarked now for Vuescan tips!

  10. #10

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    Re: 4x5: If I don't have a macro type lens, what's the next alternative?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericantonio View Post
    So looks like a smaller'ish lens is better for getting close right? (I'm so darn technical man!). So if I don't have a real macro lens (i have plenty in 35mm ), the best I can do is use my 135mm and just go long bellows right? Are there any cheap barrel type lenses I can play around with? I saw these really cool flashes/LED things on Amazon, looks like little antennas for macros. Thought it would be fun to use. They are like 20-30 bucks.

    I know the next step is to try my 90mm wide angle, will try that later maybe tonight, but if anyone knows right away that that's a waste of time, let me know.

    Depending on the magnifiction you target... I'd recommend using reversed an EL Nikkor 50mm enlarging lens for 1:1. Awesome results. Reversed, it covers 4x5. http://extreme-macro.co.uk/el-nikkor-50mm-28n/

    Single problem would be shutter, you would need to improvise one.

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