View Full Version : Reverse 65mm Super Angulon f5.6 (Macro)

25-Nov-2009, 17:05
I did some experimenting the other day by trying my Super Angulon 65mm f5.6 in reverse for macro work & i was amazed. I can focus on a 1" Square object with the lens being One inch away from the subject & the subject fills up the entire 4x5 frame sharply focused. Has anyone else experimented with reverse lens's for macro work ?

25-Nov-2009, 17:29
Stupid Stupid Me, I just tried to focus the same subject but with the lens the right way around & realised that i can focus just as close. I had never tried to photograph anything that close before with that lens.

Dan Fromm
26-Nov-2009, 06:04
Um, er, ah, y'r SA isn't symmetrical. It is designed to be used mounted normally, with a large subject in front of it and a small image on the film behind it. If you want to get the most out of its optimizations, when the situation wants, um, small front and large behind you should reverse it.

That you can use y'r SA closeup isn't a good reason for doing so. There are fairly inexpensive lenses that will give you better working distance and image quality at the magnification you described. Think reversed enlarging lens. Hint: the cells of many Schneider enlarging lenses are direct fits in standard shutters. To make reversing the lens easy, you're limited to ones which fit a #0 shutter; remember that the #1 isn't symmetrical, has larger front than rear threads. I don't know whether Rodenstock or Fuji enlarging lenses' cells are also direct fits in standard shutters. The one EL-Nikkor I have, a 105/5.6, isn't.

26-Nov-2009, 06:31
Thanks Dan Fromm for the info. I did a bit of searching through the forum & dug up some old threads on the subject of using Enlarging lenses in reverse. I sort of have a bit more understanding now.

thanks - Rupa

26-Nov-2009, 08:09
One other point. You don't need a superwide angle 65mm lens to cover 4x5 when making an extreme enlargement. Even a 50mm tessar enlarging lens has no problem making a 16x20 print. When reversed on a camera and focused to produce a greatly magnified image, it will cover 4x5 with no problems.

26-Nov-2009, 17:32
How would a reversed enlarging lens compare to a dedicated macro like the "80mm Schneider Macro Symmar HM" Besides the price obviously.


Dan Fromm
26-Nov-2009, 18:06
It depends on the enlarging lens. I've never used one, but I expect that the Macro Symmar will be better than most enlarging lenses.

I've shot enlarging lenses against very serious macro lenses (CZ Oberkochen Luminars, CZJ Mikrotars, Reichert Neupolars). I'd be surprised if the 80 Macro Symmar were better than the 100/6.3 Luminar, 90/6.3, or 100/6.3 Neupolar. All three are much better than all but one of the enlarging lenses I tried and all three are superb; at that level differences in image quality between lenses have no practical significance, one could be as happy with any of the as with the one enlarging lens I've found that is competitive with them.

Schneider recommends the 80 Macro Symmar for work above 1:1. The three lenses I mentioned all work well mounted normally in the range 1:8 to 8:1. I expect that the Macro Symmar would have to be reversed for best image quality below 1:1, could be mistaken.

FWIW, the lens I use for close-up and macro (1:5 or so to 2:1) on my 2x3 Graphics is a 4"/5.6 Enlarging Pro Raptar. It tested better than the two Zeiss lenses (borrowed good example of the 100 Luminar, an equally good 90 Mikrotar that I later sold), not quite up to the Neupolar. It because it is much easier to usethan the Neupolar. The Enlarging Pro Raptar's cells are not direct fits in any known shutter, I use mine front-mounted on a #1; likewise the Luminar (I had one, damaged and a dog, also the one I borrowed), Mikrotar, and Neupolar.

If you want to play around for little money, look for a 105/4.5 Comparon (not a Componar, not a Componon). The cells are direct fit in a #0 and the lens is better than a Componon in the range 1:4 - 4:1. If you want more working distance, the same is true of the 150/5.6 Comparon. I have both.