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Modell66
31-May-2011, 23:48
Hello
I'm getting new to LargeFormat and I would like to do some macro.
I know that you need a lot of bellow extension. Right now I've got about 780mm, but in the future I will get about 1200mm.
The only lens which is recommend by the manufacture over 2:1 are the Schneider Symmar Macro HM, are they really the only lenses for this type of photos? Or do I have missed here something.

What for a lens would you recommend for Macro work between 2:1 and 5:1. The Price doesn't matter.

Thanks
Jannik

Emmanuel BIGLER
1-Jun-2011, 00:37
Hello from France !

Since your are new to LF photography you should not underestimate the technical difficulties of operating at 1:1 ratio with a 8x10" camera. But looking at Karl Blo▀feld's work (http://www.google.fr/search?tbm=isch&hl=fr&source=hp&biw=1000&bih=717&q=%22karl+blossfled%22&btnG=Recherche+d%27images&gbv=2&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=) makes the idea of large format macro somewhat irresistible ;-)

The question of shallow depth of field and vibrations of the camera with a very long bellows extensions are crucial. To me, the dreams and proper choice of a specialized lens is a pleasure but should come after all those difficult technical aspects have been solved ;)

All non-macro standard LF lenses can deliver excellent results down to the 1:2 ratio due to their quasi symmetical design. If fact, standard LF lenses are not optimized for far-distant objects, but for the 1:10 ratio since a lot of photographic jobs with a LF camera were done in the studio at magnification ratios between 1:5 and 1:10
If you consider Avedon's famous series of portraits in the West, taken with a 8x10" camera and a standard lens (do not remember if it is a 300 or a 360 ? but it is not a macro lens !), the magnification ratio is about 1:5, the subject is located at about 1,8 metre (6 feet) from the camera

In fact, macro LF lenses were (and still are) highly specialized lenses dedicated to some special jobs.
For example : jewelry.
Traditionally, the art director would specify the layout of the objects on a transparent foil letter-size (or A4 in Europe), the photographer would directly check on his 8x10" ground glass, through the foil, that the placement of the objects was OK.
Of course not all those pictures were taken at 1:1 ratio, but this is just to give you an idea of which kind of highly-specialized photographic job (big budgets and nothing less than ultimate image quality !!) demanded a macro MF lens for the 8x10" format.

Besides Schneider Kreuznach, macro lenses for the 8x10" format exist in the Rodenstock catalogue (apo macro sironar, I have the 120 mm, this is for the 4x5" format), and Nikon had a macro series as well : the Nikkor AM lens series.

You can also consider as a macro lens any symmetrical lens originally designed for repro benches or for graphic arts like dialyte type (4/4 formula) for example : apo artar, apo ronar, fuji C, or double Gauss (6/4) like the G-claron, fuji-A, apo-gerogon, etc... Those lenses are very cheap on the used market when they have no built-in shutter. And this is not necessarily a problem, since you'll discover that working in the dark with open-flash with no shutter at all is a technique inducing the lowest level of mechanical vibrations.

A possible recommendation would be, as a reasonable starting point, to get a (4/4) dialyte and experiment with it in order to address all potential problems. A used apo ronar will not cost you an arm and leg and can even be used at infinity !!

And keep the example of Blo▀feld's work in mind : how could he do that ! I'm not sure that, as of 2011, historians of photography know exactly the technical details of Blo▀feld's equipment and technique ...

For an excellent discussion about vibrations in macro work, I recommend to get a (used ?) copy of this most excellent book
Lefkowitz, Lester. 1979. The Manual of Close-Up Photography. Amphoto. Garden City, NY. 272 pp. ISBN 0-8174-2456-3 (hardbound) and 0-8174-2130-0 (softbound).
(recommended here by Dan Fromm, hello, Dan ! eh eh I Dan ! I can answer before you due to my time zone :D )
Lefkowitz does not speak about macro in LF but all basics are there and the author has a distinctive style making this book a definite "must-have" for macro aficionados (including some Frenchmen). Carefully read the section dealing with vibrations.

If you need more info on current, or discontinued, Schneider-Kreuznach, Rodenstock or Nikon lenses, the LF group here will help you with pleasure.

Dan Fromm
1-Jun-2011, 02:05
Bon jour, Emmanuel, tu es toujours six heures en avance.

Jannik, the magic formula -- Lefkowitz gives it, buy the book before you buy a lens -- for extension given focal length and magnification is extension = f * (m + 1) where f is the lens' focal length, m is magnification, and extension is measured from the lens' rear node. For lenses of normal construction (this includes all symmetrical lenses) the rear node is near the diaphragm.

If you must shoot at 5:1 and the most extension you can get is 780 mm, you'll have to use a lens no longer than 130 mm. If I'm reading them correctly, Rodenstock's lens selection nomograms say that none of their short repro lenses will cover 8x10 at the range of magnifications you want.

Good luck, have fun,

Dan

Bob Salomon
1-Jun-2011, 02:24
Hello
I'm getting new to LargeFormat and I would like to do some macro.
I know that you need a lot of bellow extension. Right now I've got about 780mm, but in the future I will get about 1200mm.
The only lens which is recommend by the manufacture over 2:1 are the Schneider Symmar Macro HM, are they really the only lenses for this type of photos? Or do I have missed here something.

What for a lens would you recommend for Macro work between 2:1 and 5:1. The Price doesn't matter.

Thanks
Jannik

Yes you have. The Rodenstock Apo Macro Sironar 120mm and 180mm both cover 810 as well at those ratios.

Bob Salomon
1-Jun-2011, 02:46
"Rodenstock's lens selection nomograms say that none of their short repro lenses will cover 8x10 at the range of magnifications you want."

That is incorrect. They show the 120 covers with movement at 2:1 and the 180 more then covers with lots of movement at 1:1 and above.

http://www.rodenstock-photo.com/mediabase/original/e_Rodenstock_Analog_Lenses_27-42__8226.pdf

Click on analog lenses amd then Apo Macro Sironar and then on image circles to see the coverage.

Emmanuel BIGLER
1-Jun-2011, 03:51
I forgot to mention that for the 5:1 ratio covering the 8x10" format (20x25 cm) the object size will be 4x5 cm.
Hence a macro lens designed for the medium format, but used reversed, will also perform a good job for a 4x5cm object and cover the 8x10" format on output.

At 2:1 the object size being 4x5" and the image size being 8x103, a LF lens will be required; LF macro lenses being symmetrical (or very close to) do not need to be reversed.

Dan Fromm
1-Jun-2011, 04:40
"Rodenstock's lens selection nomograms say that none of their short repro lenses will cover 8x10 at the range of magnifications you want."

That is incorrect. They show the 120 covers with movement at 2:1 and the 180 more then covers with lots of movement at 1:1 and above.

http://www.rodenstock-photo.com/mediabase/original/e_Rodenstock_Analog_Lenses_27-42__8226.pdf

Click on analog lenses amd then Apo Macro Sironar and then on image circles to see the coverage.
Repro lenses, Bob. Apo Ronar, Apo Gerogon, ... , as Emmanuel suggested. As I said, I may have misread the nomograms.

I wasn't referring the very good still camera lenses that you sell and have promotional literature on. I checked Rodenstock's literature as soon as I saw your recommendation because, I'm sorry to say, I doubted you. I didn't ask you to justify your assertions because you quoted Rodenstock's claims.

If the OP can get 1200 mm of extension then the 180 macro will give him the magnification he wants and more lens-to-subject distance than the 120. But if he's stuck with 780 mm and insists on 5:1 then the 120 is the Rodenstock lens he wants. I think that the competition (Nikon, whose 120 AM is discontinued but they're available, and Schneider) have 120 mm lenses that will do for him too.

Cheers,

Dan

Modell66
1-Jun-2011, 07:48
Thank you for all you contributions.
As far as I understand I need first at all some really strong tripods, I'll looking for 2 column stand, one stand for the front and one for the rear, so vibrations shouldn't be a problem.
Is the Schneider Macro Symmar 180mm HM superior to the Rodenstock Macro 180mm ?or Rodenstock Sironar 210mm? What I've found out that the Rodenstock 180 has got 6 Glass design and the Schneider has got an 8 glass design. I haven't found a datasheet for the Rodenstock 210 Macro.
Is the Schneider 180mm better optimized for 4:1 than the Rodenstocks, because Rodenstock doesn't say anything about a 4:1 ratio or is that just a marketing gimmick from Schneider?
Thank you again
Jannik
PS: My engish isn't really good, but I hope you understand me.

Dan Fromm
1-Jun-2011, 08:21
Jannik, first buy the book and read it. Then buy the bellows only if you think that you won't get the working distance you need with a 120.

Your written English is better than good enough. I expect that you read English better than you write it.

All of the lenses you mentioned are better than good enough. There's no point trying to decide which is best. Any of them will do. Don't forget the Nikon AMs.

Except that if you get a 210 you'll need 1260 mm of extension to get to 5:1. If you're serious about shooting at 5:1 ...

In my <sarcasm> limited experience </sarcasm> with macro, lighting with electronic flash solves many, not all, problems. One of the problems it solves very well is vibration.

Some people insist that multiple pops with large studio flashes far from the subject are what's needed; I think they're mistaken. Small flashes, not particularly powerful, close to the subject do very well. If you doubt this, apply guide number arithmetic, with correction for magnification, and you'll see that I'm right. If you're averse to arithmetic, do the experiment(s).

Good luck, have fun, get good value for your SF,

Dan

Ole Tjugen
1-Jun-2011, 09:22
If you don't mind old equipment, the old Scneider Symmar convertibles are said to be optimised for 1:3. All but the 150mm can be easily reversed by swapping the two cells, for large magnifications. I suspect they will deliver results that are hard to distinguish from a new lens, at least all mine do!

Bob Salomon
2-Jun-2011, 03:31
"Repro lenses, Bob. Apo Ronar, Apo Gerogon,"

Those are corrected for flat field copy work at 1:1 at f22 and will not perform nearly as well with 3 dimensional macro as the proper Macro lenses.

Unfortunately your reply did not indicate which type of lenses you were alluding to it just stated that Rodenstock had none that worked in this ratio while saying that another company did.

Dan Fromm
2-Jun-2011, 03:48
"Repro lenses, Bob. Apo Ronar, Apo Gerogon,"

Those are corrected for flat field copy work at 1:1 at f22 and will not perform nearly as well with 3 dimensional macro as the proper Macro lenses.

Unfortunately your reply did not indicate which type of lenses you were alluding to it just stated that Rodenstock had none that worked in this ratio while saying that another company did.

Bob, from post #3 in this thread (emphasis added): "If I'm reading them correctly, Rodenstock's lens selection nomograms say that none of their short repro lenses will cover 8x10 at the range of magnifications you want."

You're one of this forum's most powerful forces for good and I respect you. I'm surprised that you misread post #3.

Cheers,

Dan

Bob Salomon
2-Jun-2011, 05:18
Bob, from post #3 in this thread (emphasis added): "If I'm reading them correctly, Rodenstock's lens selection nomograms say that none of their short repro lenses will cover 8x10 at the range of magnifications you want."

You're one of this forum's most powerful forces for good and I respect you. I'm surprised that you misread post #3.

Cheers,

Dan

Actually I didn't. Many people use repro and macro somewhat interchangably. And the current Rodenstock macro lenses; 180mm Apo Macro Sironar, 120mm Apo Macro Sironar and the 120mm Apo Macro Sironar Digital are all short focal lengths (although M Componons and Luminars were even shorter while process lenses were mostly longer).

Lastly, Rodenstock has not made any process lenses for several years and their current literature does not list the specs on their discontinued lenses. So current Rodenstock literature does correctly shoow that the current 120 and 180mm Apo Macro Sironars doe cover at the intended ratios.

Dan Fromm
2-Jun-2011, 06:39
Actually I didn't. Many people use repro and macro somewhat interchangably.

I don't and I'm surprised that you do.

Also, we agree on what Rodenstock's promotional literature says about the Macro Sironars.

Modell66
3-Jun-2011, 00:12
Well now I'll go for the "old" Rodenstocks 210 and 300, because the distance of the lens to the subject does matter. 1200mm Bellow are not enough so I'm planing to get a Bellow about 2500mm, which will be enough I hope. So I know for what I'll be working this summer.
Thanks a lot
I hope I can post my first shoots in a half year.
Have a nice day
Jannik

Armin Seeholzer
3-Jun-2011, 02:23
I can only recomand do not take any f9 lenses at all! Even at 1:1 they get very dark! I know it really I started with a 150 mm G-Glaron!
Now I'm very happy with my 120 APO Macro Sironar 120mm but use it only on my 4x5!
On 8x10 a 180mm Macro should be better!

Just my 2 cts. Armin just round the corner of Luzern

Ken Lee
3-Jun-2011, 04:39
Armin's 2 cents is more valuable !

Another voice in favor of APO Macro Sironars.

F/5.6 is much brighter than f/9 when you're working close. When an f/9 lens is extended to reach 1:1, the effective aperture becomes f/18 wide open. Unless you're under very bright illumination, working it can be difficult. At closer range, it gets even worse.

Being of modified plasmat design, the APO Sironars have wider coverage than process lenses.

That being said, if your only choice is process lenses, you can get by. I am very happy with several images I have made with APO Nikkors. They were hard to compose, and I didn't perform View Camera adjustments - and didn't get closer than 1:1 - but they are razor sharp. Here (http://www.kennethleegallery.com/html/tech/17.html) is one made with a 150mm APO Nikkor on 4x5.

Philippe Grunchec
4-Jun-2011, 03:24
Ole, I have a 5.6/210-12/370 Symmar... but I don't really understand what you mean by "swapping the two cells": the front cell has a larger thread than the rear one!
Could you please tell me (us) more? Thanks in advance.

Bob Salomon
4-Jun-2011, 03:36
Ole, I have a 5.6/210-12/370 Symmar... but I don't really understand what you mean by "swapping the two cells": the front cell has a larger thread than the rear one!
Could you please tell me (us) more? Thanks in advance.

He was referring to the 210 and 300mm Makro Sironar lenses specifically. Not the lenses that you own.

Philippe Grunchec
4-Jun-2011, 03:42
Bob, are you sure?

Ole Tjugen
4-Jun-2011, 05:21
He was referring to the 210 and 300mm Makro Sironar lenses specifically. Not the lenses that you own.

No, I wasn't. I never refer to lenses I have no experience with or knowledge of.

I misremembered; the 150, 180 and 210mm Schneider Symmars are all in #1 shutters with different front and rear threads.

All others, from 100mm to 360mm, and in symmetrical shutters which lets the cells be swapped easily.

For the magnifications in question here, a 135mm or 100mm might be best - or a 240mm for longer working distance.

Bob Salomon
4-Jun-2011, 06:53
Bob, are you sure?

Positive. Those were the predecessors to the current Rodenstock Apo Macro Sironars which are shorter and do not require reversing the cells. The statement has nothing to do with regular Sironar, Sironar N, Sironar N MC, Apo Sironar N, Apo Sironar S or Apo Sironar or Apo Sironar W.

It was only for the Makro Sironar which are marked Makro Sironar.

Bob Salomon
4-Jun-2011, 06:53
No, I wasn't. I never refer to lenses I have no experience with or knowledge of.

I misremembered; the 150, 180 and 210mm Schneider Symmars are all in #1 shutters with different front and rear threads.

All others, from 100mm to 360mm, and in symmetrical shutters which lets the cells be swapped easily.

For the magnifications in question here, a 135mm or 100mm might be best - or a 240mm for longer working distance.

I was answering someone else's question, Ole, not yours.

xfrench
31-Mar-2013, 17:56
Hey all. I know this is an old thread, but while opinions come and go, people with them tend to stick around, so I thought I'd ask. That, and I have been reading over this post for a week now since I accidentally bought a Calumet C-1 8x10 off of Craigslist, no lens. Since I want to do small object shots, and contact print, I have been searching under macro and 8x10 and voila.
My problem is that yesterday I put money down on a lens at my local store, since I thought it was supposed to be ok for my purposes. It's a stretch for me to buy all of this gear all at once, but that's another matter. The lens is a Rodenstock 210mm Makro-sironar 5.6. I look here again and see that the info has been on the 120 and 180 models, which I find listed in the current literature (thanks Bob).
Anyone ready to calm my nerves? I assume it's a good lens, and worth what I promised to pay for it, but will it be good for 8x10 close-up work? A customer at the store searched on his phone and said it had a 500mm image circle... Anybody? Excitement and terror often seem the same...

Ken Lee
31-Mar-2013, 18:00
Image circle varies with bellows extension.

See this earlier thread: http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?26590-Specs-Macro-Sironar-N-210mm

"Image circle at 1:3 is 350mm and at 1:1 is 525mm and at 3:1 it is 1050mm."

So for anything around 24x30 inches or smaller in size, it should have enough coverage.

The cells on the 210mm Rodenstock Macro Sironar can be reversed for magnification beyond 1:1

I have used this lens on 4x5 and 5x7 and have a high opinion of it. It's quite sharp at infinity distance too.

xfrench
2-Apr-2013, 20:42
Excellent. Thank you. Judging from your site, I believe you know what you are talking about.
Now all I have to do is come up with the rest of the payments and I'll be good to go (in May, probably)!