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stradibarrius
29-May-2013, 05:06
I am curious if I would need a special "macro" lens or if one of my current lenses would take close ups, of say something like I watch face, If I had bellows that were longer?

Dan Fromm
29-May-2013, 05:45
Any lens will do the job. A lens optimized for near distances will do the job better than a general purpose optimized for distant subjects.

To make best use of a lens' optimizations, use it facing normally for magnifications up to 1:1, reversed for magnifications above 1:1.

Ian Greenhalgh
29-May-2013, 05:59
Most lenses need a bellows extension 2x their focal length to achieve 1:1. Enlarger lenses like Componons have always done the job for me upto 1:1.

Leigh
29-May-2013, 07:13
...something like I watch face, If I had bellows that were longer?
For real close-ups you probably want a macro lens, designed for that type of work.

Be aware that when dealing with such magnification your depth of field will be very shallow.

- Leigh

Greg Davis
29-May-2013, 07:14
I started a thread a few months ago about this problem. I was trying to photograph a flat object with a 240mm Schneider Symmar-S at a little less than 3 feet away with my 8x10. The center was sharp, the corners were sharp, but the intermediate areas were definitely not. It was like a ripple from a drop of water: the intermediate blurriness was a circle around the center of the image. I unscrewed the lens from the shutter and replaced it with my 240mm Schneider Componon-S enlarging lens. Same magnification and distance, but the entire subject was sharp. The lenses are designed to behave differently at that distance, I suppose. Schneider's macro lenses are designed to work at close distances without the field curvature I was finding in the regular lens.

Ken Lee
29-May-2013, 08:24
Some lenses designed for close work, will also function nicely at infinity. However, many general purpose lenses designed for infinity or distance, do not work well close up.

Dan Fromm
29-May-2013, 10:02
Some lenses designed for close work, will also function nicely at infinity. However, many general purpose lenses designed for infinity or distance, do not work well close up.

Ken, I don't think you answered the OP's question. But maybe you did. His questions aren't always well posed.

Bob Salomon
29-May-2013, 10:23
Any lens will take macro shots as has been stated already. But they will not necessarily be the same quality as a dedicated macro lens, which has also been stated already. In fact among macro lenses there can be specialization. For instance an Apo Macro Sironar is excellent at reproduction ratios from 1:3 to 5:1 (assuming you have enough bellows extension, a good enough camera support and enough light. But if you want to copy slides or negatives an Apo Rodagon D will easily out perform it.
Conversly, if you take your watch shot, and fill most or all of the frame, with a general purpose lens corrected for 1:10 0r 1:20 then the same shot with a true macro will be crisper, have more detail and will overall be of higher quality

So, if you are doing insurance record shots the general purpose lens will be fine. If you are shooting it for a high end auction house it probably will not be good enough.

Mark Sawyer
29-May-2013, 10:24
If one were to use a macro lens for general use, should it be reversed? (I would presume so...)

BTW, most general-use lenses I use for close ups do quite well, and I seldom reverse them. A big exception is the Super Angulon; visibly terrible at about 1:1.

Sevo
29-May-2013, 10:38
If one were to use a macro lens for general use, should it be reversed?

Not unless you want to use it for a ratio that is closer to inverse of the ratio it has been designed for than to the latter.

In practice, the only LF lenses you will want to reverse (for general photography) are the more extreme micro lenses (Luminars etc.), which actually are intended to magnify the subject onto film, with ratios past 1:1. Macro lenses proper have greater subject distances and have their sweet spot somewhere in between 1:1 and 1:10 - reversing them might give them a secondary sweet spot in the corresponding micro range, but would make them even worse for general applications.

Dan Fromm
29-May-2013, 11:08
In practice, the only LF lenses you will want to reverse are the more extreme micro lenses (Luminars etc.), which actually are intended to magnify the subject onto film, with ratios past 1:1. Macro lenses proper have greater subject distances and have their sweet spot somewhere in between 1:1 and 1:10 - reversing them might give them a secondary sweet spot in the micro range, but would make them even worse for general applications.

Sevo, are you sure? As far as I know Luminars are made to be used facing normally, i.e., with the front end facing the subject. The 100/6.3 Luminar is recommended for magnifications from 0.8x to 8x, is threaded at both ends for easy reversing. I've had one, an abused dog, and have had the use of a good one. In my experience reversing the good one made no difference. Reversing the shorter Luminars is very difficult, they have mounting threads at only one end.

Also, aren't you confusing long working distance microscope objectives with the effects of working at magnifications lower than 1:1? I mean, working distance, however you define it, given focal length increases as magnification decreases.

Mark, "macro lens" has at least two meanings so answering your question is harder than you'd expect. In the small format world, "macro lens" usually means a lens optimized for near distances that will focus to 1:2 or even 1:1 or a hair beyond 1:1 on its own mount. In the LF world, "macro lens" often means much the same, a lens optimized for near distances that's intended to be used at magnifications up to 1:1. But there are also macro lenses from, mainly, microscope makers or microscope divisions of merchant lens makers such as Zeiss that are intended to be used only at magnifications above 1:1. When the first type is used above 1:1, it should usually be reversed to preserve its optimizations (big on one side, small on the other); usually because a few of them really are symmetrical. The second type is rarely used below 1:1 so reversing isn't an issue.

Sevo
29-May-2013, 12:31
Sevo, are you sure? As far as I know Luminars are made to be used facing normally, i.e., with the front end facing the subject. The 100/6.3 Luminar is recommended for magnifications from 0.8x to 8x, is threaded at both ends for easy reversing. I've had one, an abused dog, and have had the use of a good one. In my experience reversing the good one made no difference.

Well, I've certainly used it that way, for the 1:2-1:4 (i.e. x0.5-x0.25) range. I can't really say that I tested whether it gave better results my way than the regular way around, but I flipped it around when I felt that it degraded visibly past its lower limit, and was more satisfied with the reversed results. And in theory, lens correction is symmetric, if you can reverse a lens to make it work at the inverse of its nominal range, it ought to be in a mirrored sweet spot range again.

Dan Fromm
29-May-2013, 14:26
And in theory, lens correction is symmetric, if you can reverse a lens to make it work at the inverse of its nominal range, it ought to be in a mirrored sweet spot range again.

Right you are. I was surprised when the good 100/6.3 I borrowed was equally good facing both directions. Not according to doctrine, unless it is a symmetrical triplet, and in that case why put mounting threads at both ends? Charlie used the good one out and about in front of a Contax Aria. Not the best 100 he had, he said, but very acceptable.

Ah. So you were thinking of the 100/6.3 Luminar, not the shorter ones in RMS thread. Reversing them is probably possible, but looks difficult; there are mechanical and working distance problems, not to mention coverage issues.

Possibly of interest to you, two German-speaking alternatives to the 100/6.3 Luminar, 90/6.3 CZJ (DDR) Mikrotar and 100/6.3 Reichert Neupolar, work well from at least as small as 1:4 to at least as large as 4:1 and are very very difficult to reverse. What's even more surprising is that both are reversed Tessars (cemented doublet faces the subject) and far, far from symmetrical. They don't agree at all with what we know is good and true. I'm sorry I can't report on long Photars of the 120 Macro Nikkor, never had any, far too expensive for the likes of me.

JW Dewdney
29-May-2013, 15:46
in my experience - good technique will take you a LOT further than great equipment... just my two cents.

Leigh
29-May-2013, 15:48
While technique is important, the use of quality equipment will definitely improve the results.

As an example, consider driving a bent nail as compared with driving a straight nail.

- Leigh

JW Dewdney
29-May-2013, 16:04
well i'm not suggesting using a holga to do a makro sironar's job here -but I'm just saying that people get way too hung up on the high end equipment - to the point where they fail to realize that the equipment they already have is more than adequate to the task... i.e. I've had great success with using an ancient convertible symmar at 1:1 to the point where people always ask me if my shots were done on 8x10 film. Okay-i'm not trying to brag here but if I can do it then others can too... there's usually a way... necessity is the mother of invention...



While technique is important, the use of quality equipment will definitely improve the results.

As an example, consider driving a bent nail as compared with driving a straight nail.

- Leigh

at any rate- you certainly don't need a makro sironar or (god forbid) a luminar to get incredible quality 1:1 stuff... and reversal isn't really going to get you much until you get down to 5:1 or so...

Leigh
29-May-2013, 16:10
If top-quality equipment made no difference, it would cease to exist. :D

People are not going to spend money unless there's a demonstrable benefit.

- Leigh

jcoldslabs
29-May-2013, 16:40
Lately, without really setting out to do so, I have been shooting many images in the 1:2 - 1:1 range on 4x5. Mainly to accommodate the bellows extension needed I have been using an uncoated, pre-WWII 15cm Zeiss Tessar for these shots, and they look fine to me. This may, however, say more about my deplorable lack of standards than the actual quality of that lens for this purpose.

Here is a recent shot taken with this lens at around 1:2 stopped down to f/22. It is certainly not tack sharp, but acceptable to me. This level of detail, or lack thereof, might not be acceptable with a subject like the face of a watch, but does the lens function reasonably at distances this close? I'd say yes.


http://www.kolstad.us/ebay/T55---Yellow-Roses.jpg

Jonathan

Peter Yeti
29-May-2013, 16:49
People are not going to spend money unless there's a demonstrable benefit.


Unfortunately, many people do. Just think of stupid status symbols.

Besides that, you both have your points. The best lens in the hands of a lousy photographer surely will give a poor result. But an excellent photographer can produce a stunning image even with mediocre equipment if this is judged on aesthetic qualities. The equipment will limit the purely technical quality of course.

To answer the OP's question: I think yes. You can use a standard taking lens down to 1:1 if you accept that the result may not meet the highest technical standards. Resolving power and distortion will not be optimal with a lens that's optimized for 1:20 or infinity like most standard lenses. Does it matter? I'd just give it a try. If you get close to 1:1 the technical difficulties increase quite a bit and I'd suspect that many pictures are flawed more by the shortcomings of the photographer than those of the lenses. Of course, all members of this forum (except myself who pledges guilty) are excluded from this suspicion.;)

JW Dewdney
29-May-2013, 16:51
not saying there isn't a need for it. but I AM saying that 99% of the people have no capacity or will to get that level of quality out of the 'top level' equipment when something 'lower end' will work just as well in a particular situation. but you don't have to take my word for it...

JW Dewdney
29-May-2013, 16:54
I'd dare say you could do even better with the tessar in question, Jonathan- esp. for black and white- using a strong color filter of high quality will remove just about all of the chromatic aberration that might be present in such a lens - etc etc...

JW Dewdney
29-May-2013, 17:01
Unfortunately, many people do. Just think of stupid status symbols.


well that's the deal isn't it? especially reading these forums- if there were one TENTH the discussion about images as there were about equipment we'd be improving in leaps and bounds. But we're (photographers) horrible for that - aren't we? I'm disturbed how many people retreat into technical discussions about cameras and lenses and then use them for the manufacture of banal imagery... I think we imagine that ownership of top flight equipment will impress our peers enough to get enough kudos to sate our hungry egos. But hey - i'm no different - you should see the overpriced stuff I've bought in the past imagining myself to be worthy of it...

The bitter truth is anyone can pick up a 75 dollar pawn shop camera and blow everyone away with the results by careful choice of subject matter and execution. At least in terms of aesthetic impact, etc... but I guess I'm getting away from the topic here - which is doing a high quality 'macro' or submacro shot...

Dan Fromm
29-May-2013, 17:17
but I guess I'm getting away from the topic here - which is doing a high quality 'macro' or submacro shot...

You never got near the original topic. The original question: "I am curious if I would need a special "macro" lens or if one of my current lenses would take close ups, of say something like I watch face, If I had bellows that were longer?"

This question was answered directly and accurately in post #2 in this thread. To paraphrase, "Yeah, sure, why not?" Unfortunately that didn't end the discussion.

Since then there's been substantial drift. Thread drift got ya, JW.

Peter Yeti
29-May-2013, 17:20
I think you are right at the core of the original question and I'm totally with you. My point is use what you have and make pictures. I have and use many lenses but one of my favourites is a 1928 Meyer Helioplan anastigmat for $50. Some time ago I made some 1:1 shots and used my specialized Componon-S for it. Just for fun I changed to the Helioplan and exposed a couple of sheets. There are visible differences in rendition but I think most people would be hard pressed to answer the question, which one would be the better take.

jcoldslabs
29-May-2013, 17:28
Many pictures are flawed more by the shortcomings of the photographer than those of the lenses.

Indeed. I don't know if I've ever thought, "This photo would have been better if I'd had better gear." But I have often thought, "This photo would have been better if I were a better photographer."

J.

JW Dewdney
29-May-2013, 17:36
You never got near the original topic. The original question: "I am curious if I would need a special "macro" lens or if one of my current lenses would take close ups, of say something like I watch face, If I had bellows that were longer?"

This question was answered directly and accurately in post #2 in this thread. To paraphrase, "Yeah, sure, why not?" Unfortunately that didn't end the discussion.

Since then there's been substantial drift. Thread drift got ya, JW.

not at all Dan- if you read my first post on the thread (and I get into specifics on a later one too) - I explained how 'garden variety' lenses will work PERFECTLY WELL for shots in the range of 1:1. I think you just saw my last comment out of context perhaps...

JW Dewdney
29-May-2013, 17:40
This question was answered directly and accurately in post #2 in this thread. . - But if it's kudos you're after Dan- I fully agree with your answer... yes I think you are bright and I'm sure, talented... ! my own entry into the thread was just an attempt to generalize (broaden) the topic.

Dan Fromm
29-May-2013, 18:18
not at all Dan- if you read my first post on the thread (and I get into specifics on a later one too) - I explained how 'garden variety' lenses will work PERFECTLY WELL for shots in the range of 1:1. I think you just saw my last comment out of context perhaps...

A number of conjectures come to mind:

You and jcoldslabs, who made much the same point, have low standards. This can't be true.

The two of you have never shot lenses that are good and not-so-good closeup against each other at 1:1 or so. This can't be true, can it?

The two of you are more concerned with aesthetic quality, whatever that means to you, than with image quality, i.e., sharpness and contrast. This might be true. If so, it bothers me a little.

I'm an ignorant barbarian so started out shooting closeup with low standards. I was initially delighted to get a well-exposed shot with the subject more-or-less in focus. Unfortunately, ignorant or not, I was aware of better work than mine with similar subjects. So I learned -- invented, really, at the time there was little in print that would help me -- the technique. I couldn't stand being worse than the competition.

I started out with a 55/3.5 MicroNikkor, a fine lens but that caused working distance problems. I tried my 105/2.5 Sonnar type Nikkor on bellows. At 1:1 it was so soft I couldn't focus it wide open. I bought and promptly unloaded a 105/4.5 Noflexar bellows lens. Rebadged plain vanilla Xenar I believe, and far from up to the 55 MicroNikkor. When I came across a 135/2.8 Steinheil Auto-Macro-Tele-Quinar in Exakta mount at a reasonable price I bought it and adapted it to my humble Nikkormat. It let me get shots I couldn't possibly have got -- working distance, y'know -- with the 55 but they were noticeably softer than my 55 MicroNikkor shots. Same magnifications, apertures and lighting set ups. The Steinheil was and is highly regarded. When the 105/4 MicroNikkor came out I got one. As they say, it blew the Steinheil into the weeds. For small format, the lens matters. Garden variety won't cut it and there are significant differences between macro lenses with good reputations.

More recently I had the joy of shooting a 200/4 MicroNikkor AIS (this is not the current 200 MicroNikkor, which is a different design and by all accounts much better) against a 210/9 Konica Hexanon GRII, a process lens. I've never been overjoyed with my 200 MicroNikkor, it passes light and forms an image but the image isn't as sharp or as contrasty as one could want. Mine is consistent with Modern Photography's lukewarm report. The 210 GRII beat it hands down at f/9, f/11 and f/16 at 1:2, 10' and 30'. The lens matters.

I've had the joy of shooting 105/4.5 Comparon against a 100/6.3 Neupolar and a 4"/5.6 Enlarging Pro Raptar. If you had free choice you wouldn't use the Comparon in preference to the Neupolar or Enlarging Pro Raptar. The lens matters. Understand, the Comparon works but the difference between it and the other two is noticeable. One could be happy with the Neupolar, Enlarging Pro Raptar, 100 Luminar or 90 Mikrotar. Garden variety isn't nearly as good.

There are inexpensive and very fine alternatives to Luminars and such, but not for shooting at 1:1 on 4x5. The Rodenstock macro lenses that Bob Salomon recommends and their counterparts from Nikon are fine lenses, but not inexpensive.

Whether technical quality matters is up to the photographer. I think that sharpness is often overrated, have come to like some of my softer shots. Composition matters a lot, so do lighting and good exposure. But in closeup work sharpness seems essential. It it isn't, why go to the trouble of shooting closeup when you can shoot at low magnification and enlarge more?

Leigh
29-May-2013, 18:28
But an excellent photographer can produce a stunning image even with mediocre equipment if this is judged on aesthetic qualities. The equipment will limit the purely technical quality of course.
Agreed/

- Leigh

rdenney
29-May-2013, 19:01
...Same magnifications, apertures and lighting set ups. The Steinheil was and is highly regarded. When the 105/4 MicroNikkor came out I got one. As they say, it blew the Steinheil into the weeds. For small format, the lens matters. Garden variety won't cut it and there are significant differences between macro lenses with good reputations....

Dan, since we are in the weeds anyway, did you ever try the humble Tamron SP 90/2.5 lens at 1:1? I have one with its dedicated extension tube, adapted for my Canon using a recent Chinese Adaptall mount for Canon EF. I think it is excellent for three-dimensional subjects, not so much for copy work.

And my 55mm Micro-Nikkor does not measure up to my 50mm f/2.5 Canon Compact Macro, with its dedicated 1:1 converter. It's plasticky, but the best of the bunch for copy work at 1:1.

But it was no better than a humble 80mm f/2.8 Arsat reversed on bellows at 2:1. (The Canon had to be enlarged more to get to 2:1, of course.) That's the plain 6-element double-gauss normal lens for the Kiev medium-format cameras. I think a lens like that, on a 4x5, at 5:1, would do very well. And it would need to be at least 4:1 to cover the same field of view as 1:1 on 24x36.

By the way (back on topic), I have photographed a number of watch faces recently, but not with large format. Depth of field is a killer with small format. I think I could focus only on the front side of the surface molecules with large format at 5:1.

Rick "macro is a place where small format is just so much more manageable" Denney

Dan Fromm
29-May-2013, 19:28
Rick, I never tried the Tamron. I was happy enough with my 105/4 MicroNikkor until it was stolen, then was happy enough with the 105/2.8 MicroNikkor that replaced it. Remember my motto. Good enough is good enough.

About y'r 55 MicroNikkor, there were a number of versions. I was happy with my 55/3.5, am happier with my 55/2.8, but I've never used the 50/2.5 Canon you mentioned. What apertures did you use your macro lenses at?

One point not mentioned in this discussion or in the recent one on diffraction is that small format macro lenses really lose sharpness when stopped down too far. I've used my 55/2.8 reversed on 2x3, from somewhat over 2:1 up and at f/4 it is better across the field than a 63/4.5 Luminar wide open. Both lenses lose sharpness if stopped down farther. I mentioned this to Brian Caldwell years ago. He responded that the 55/2.8 MicroNikkor is diffraction limited (has a Strehl ratio > 0.85, IIRC) centrally at f/4.

About watch faces, they're a real challenge. On the one hand, they're nearly planar. On the other, they're not planar enough. When you can, take a look at Kodak Publications N-12b Photomacrography or N-16 Closeup Photography and Photomacrography. By H. Lou Gibson, one of Kingslake's English imports and, I understand, an infrared photography guru. Gibson is very strong, i.e., absolutely terrifying, on what can and can't be done and uses photographs to make his points real. Maybe its time, at least for studio work, that we all go digital and use confocal techniques.

Dan "closeup is hard no matter what the format" Fromm

rdenney
29-May-2013, 19:49
For copy work, usually f/5.6. For watches, I've been using f/16, being much less concerned about diffraction than about depth of field, and considering that I'm doing it for web display. Maybe I'll post some of them in the small format thread. Lighting watches is the biggest challenge, and not making accidental self-portraits is right behind that.

Rick "whose Micro Nikkor is the f/3.5 AIS version" Denney

JW Dewdney
29-May-2013, 20:21
case in point - I'm STILL using a 55 micro nikkor - on 4x5 no less for some newer work. VERY competitive with a luminar. Just because it's a 'consumer grade' lens and far cheaper than a luminar does not mean it's a slouch... most of the comparisons I was trying to discuss were something like a 700 dollar lens vs a 3000 dollar lens. And in most cases the 3000 dollar lens won't get you significantly more than the 700 dollar lens - esp. where less than perfect is at play. At any rate. I strongly suspect we are ALL in agreement - but we're just reading into each other's statements a bit too much perhaps....

Leigh
30-May-2013, 00:03
...most of the comparisons I was trying to discuss were something like a 700 dollar lens vs a 3000 dollar lens. And in most cases the 3000 dollar lens won't get you significantly more than the 700 dollar lens - esp. where less than perfect is at play.
I'll agree with that.
At that point it's a question of what "perfect" means.

If one is doing photolithography for micro-machining, then every lp/mm counts.
If one wants a picture with the maximum detail discernible by a human viewer, the requirements are less demanding.

- Leigh

Mark Sawyer
30-May-2013, 00:10
There are so many variables involved beyond the all-important lens... :rolleyes: What holds up remarkably well in an 8x10 contact print falls apart in a 16x20 enlargement from a 4x5...

Dan Fromm
30-May-2013, 07:44
For copy work, usually f/5.6. For watches, I've been using f/16, being much less concerned about diffraction than about depth of field, and considering that I'm doing it for web display. Maybe I'll post some of them in the small format thread. Lighting watches is the biggest challenge, and not making accidental self-portraits is right behind that.

Rick "whose Micro Nikkor is the f/3.5 AIS version" DenneyRe lighting, geometric optics is your friend. For my fish in aquaria work, which poses much the same lighting problems as watch faces, I normally use a pair of flashes at 45 degrees to the lens' axis and try to shoot with the lens' axis perpendicular to the tank front. I've learned to mask the lens' trim ring to avoid getting images of it reflected from the tank's front, have rarely had problems with my face ...

I've never tried tenting, never hit a situation where it seemed necessary. This, at least in part, because when shooting flowers, insects and such out and about I usually position small flashes close to the subject. This is contrary to typical LF practice. A more-or-less point source close to the subject gives the same effect as a large one far away.

Dan Fromm
30-May-2013, 07:48
case in point - I'm STILL using a 55 micro nikkor - on 4x5 no less for some newer work. VERY competitive with a luminar.

Funny, I made the same point in my lens diary and I've made it on-line too. See http://www.galerie-photo.com/telechargement/dan-fromm-6x9-lenses-v2-2011-03-29.pdf

After I pointed this out on the French LF forum, one of the members reported that his tests found the 55/3.5 MicroNikkor better than the 55/2.8 in this application. He gave no details, alas. Which do you use?

rdenney
30-May-2013, 09:48
Re lighting, geometric optics is your friend. For my fish in aquaria work, which poses much the same lighting problems as watch faces, I normally use a pair of flashes at 45 degrees to the lens' axis and try to shoot with the lens' axis perpendicular to the tank front. I've learned to mask the lens' trim ring to avoid getting images of it reflected from the tank's front, have rarely had problems with my face ...

I've never tried tenting, never hit a situation where it seemed necessary. This, at least in part, because when shooting flowers, insects and such out and about I usually position small flashes close to the subject. This is contrary to typical LF practice. A more-or-less point source close to the subject gives the same effect as a large one far away.

I've always done photos of small things using two lights at 45 degrees. But the two lights are too specular for watches--watches are too shiny in too many directions. The markers and hands are often faceted, and the movements have polish graining that will reflect light from any angle hideously. I've gotten the best results from aiming the flash straight up into a 3-foot white umbrella that is draped over the set and camera. But then I get reflections of the camera and the portion of the room visible through the gap in the camera. I have used white mat boards placed on either side of the camera, with just enough gap in between for the lens. If I can keep the camera and what's visible through that gap completely dark (not easy!) then it becomes a black stripe which is acceptable. I've done the same making photos of highly polished tubas. But that's a time-consuming setup and I'm too lazy. So, I think I'll make a big Crescent board with a hole just big enough for the lens. That should help control reflections. And a black round piece of cloth that can be placed appropriately to kill reflections off the watch crystal itself, without undermining the illumination of the dial furniture. I'm also amazed at how shiny things can see the lamp that's on the bedroom three rooms away and around two corners and cause an off-color reflection stripe down one edge of the watch case. Watches have proved to be the most difficult thing I've photographed up close. I do see the attraction to the tents. A couple yards of white velvet, and a couple of yards of black velvet are also really useful.

By the way--got your email, thanks. I'll take a look at it when I have a few moments to devote to it.

Rick "recalling some of the work of Brian K of this forum, who was the real expert on lighting small, shiny things" Denney

Jerry Bodine
30-May-2013, 10:17
I do see the attraction to the tents.

Rick, the whole time I was reading your post, I kept thinking a tent would solve the problems. Then I had a sudden thought that using a Harrison tent inside out might work, placing the camera inside one of the sleeves. Crazy, just a thought. Have never tried it.

rdenney
30-May-2013, 10:41
Rick, the whole time I was reading your post, I kept thinking a tent would solve the problems. Then I had a sudden thought that using a Harrison tent inside out might work, placing the camera inside one of the sleeves. Crazy, just a thought. Have never tried it.

Heh. I have one of those Chineses knockoffs. I'll have to look at it.

But the surface inside the tent has to be very even and consistent. I had a couple of shots affected by the struts on my umbrella reflecting (despite being out of focus) on the polished surface of a pocket-watch case. It looked like some weird stain in the metal. Those dang watches will pick up everything.

Rick "still thinking this might be the application for attaching a DSLR to the Sinar" Denney

Nathan Potter
30-May-2013, 11:06
[QUOTE=rdenney;1031951]Dan, since we are in the weeds anyway, did you ever try the humble Tamron SP 90/2.5 lens at 1:1? I have one with its dedicated extension tube, adapted for my Canon using a recent Chinese Adaptall mount for Canon EF. I think it is excellent for three-dimensional subjects, not so much for copy work.

Rick, the Tamron SP 90/2.5 I believe is the same design as the older Vivitar Series 1 90/2.5 macro I've been experimenting with recently for use in copying films using a D800E. Down to 1:2 using the lens without the 1:1 adapter the resolution from a USAF target is not so impressive but with the adapter at 1:1 it seems exceedingly sharp. While very sharp the contrast is very low - maybe something to do with the thick glass optical formula and excess dispersion.

I have two of the Series 1 oldies from about the 70's and they both perform similarly. The unit I've checked at 1:1 rather tentatively with the D800E shows about 90 lp/mm at 5% contrast but surprisingly is only about 15% contrast at 45 lp/mm. In a sense this is ideal for film copying where one wants to control contrast buildup in the copying process. My tests were done on the glass target backlighted with an isotropic halogen source since this is the configuration I need for scanning films.

Visually this lens image is unique in that at even very low spacial frequencies, 5 lp/mm, the contrast barely reaches 50% but the edge definition of the line pairs is exceedingly sharp. I'll try to make time to check the 1:1 resolution more precisely and put an MTF plot here.

I wonder what your impression is of the Tamron equivalent - if it is equivalent?

Nate Potter, Austin TX

rdenney
30-May-2013, 12:40
I wonder what your impression is of the Tamron equivalent - if it is equivalent?

I've never formally tested it. But I ahve made some beautiful macro shots using that lens, including this one. (http://www.rickdenney.com/Virginia/emergingtulilp2009.jpg) (Linked only since it's small format.)

I also experimented with it for use with film scanning, but it just wasn't up to the performance of the Canon Compact Macro, or to a reversed medium-format lens on bellows, or to a 105mm EL-Nikkor. It appeared to me that it suffered from field curvature, so focusing in the center caused the edges to go soft. Thus, while I love this lens for macro photography of three-dimensional subjects, I would not use it for copy work.

A lens that resolves well but at lower MTF is less useless to me than a lens that does not resolve well at any MTF. In many applications, a bit of corrective sharpening can increase MTF at a spatial frequency of interest, as long as there is something there for the algorithm to work with.

I also like the out-of-focus rendering of this lens, a lot, when used in the macro range.

All in all, it's not bad for a hundred bucks.

Rick "who has no idea whether this is similar to the Vivitar Series 1" Denney

Ivan J. Eberle
30-May-2013, 12:40
There was a Series 1 90mm macro that was made for them by Kiron, also private labelled as the Lester Dyne. Don't think it's the same lens as a Tamron though. Supposedly generated the highest MTF ever recorded by PhotoDo testers? I cleaned one up and sold it for an okay price last year for a friend who last used it 15 or 20 years before. The barrel was massive, the engraving impressive for a 70's lens, but the helix was wobbly and this is apparently endemic to the design.

Ivan J. Eberle
30-May-2013, 12:48
Before you go all esoteric on 4x5 macro, realize that it's now almost trivial to achieve unlimited depth of field shots using DSLRs using 35mm macro lenses at optimal sensor limited apertures with almost unlimited DOF possibilities via focus stacking (which is astandard feature of Photoshop now, there are also stand-alone stacker programs too). No one is much doing diffraction-limited 4x5 macro work commercially these days.

JW Dewdney
30-May-2013, 13:33
I have a 2.8 with a messed up aperture (using it at 5.6 since the aperture is stuck). But i'm still futzing around trying to find the perfect mounting method for it - and now reverting to a sinarcam nikon mount board.


Funny, I made the same point in my lens diary and I've made it on-line too. See http://www.galerie-photo.com/telechargement/dan-fromm-6x9-lenses-v2-2011-03-29.pdf

After I pointed this out on the French LF forum, one of the members reported that his tests found the 55/3.5 MicroNikkor better than the 55/2.8 in this application. He gave no details, alas. Which do you use?

JW Dewdney
30-May-2013, 13:42
There are so many variables involved beyond the all-important lens... :rolleyes: What holds up remarkably well in an 8x10 contact print falls apart in a 16x20 enlargement from a 4x5...


can't say for others what they consider a reasonable benchmark, Mark - though for myself I'd expect something that reasonably saturates the available resolution of the medium - so conservatively I'd say a critically sharp 16x20 or 20x24 (4-5x enlargement sound reasonable?).