View Full Version : Wide angle and macro at the same time!!!

Boulos Isaac
6-Apr-2004, 12:24
Hello everybody... Beside using the (90 mm f/8 Nikkor-SW) as a wide angle lens. What about using it for macro (up to a maximum magnification of 2.5:1 image/subject), and table top photography, Do i really need a graduated center filter if i use it with a 6x9 cm roll film back? Does stopping down to 22 or more really increases the sharpness? My budget limit is 1000$ for wide and macro, that's why i need only one lens for both.

Thanks for your consultation...

Boulos Isaac

Mark Sampson
6-Apr-2004, 12:42
I use this lens, and have used it close-up occaisonally. It's very sharp at 'normal' working distances. If you use it for real macro work you're likely to have your subject very close to the front element. You'll want f/22 or smaller to give sufficient depth-of-field. I've never needed a center-filter on 4x5 so can't imagine you'd want one on 6x9. But on 6x9 it will be more a normal lens than a wide-angle.

Gem Singer
6-Apr-2004, 13:30
Hello Boulos,

A previously owned Nikon 90SW f8, in 9+ condition, is available at Midwest Photo Exchange (www.mpex.com) $599. Way under your budget limit. You will not need to use a graduated center filter for table top photography.

A 90SW lens can be used for 1:1 closeup work with the 4X5 format, as well as with 6X9, but it's not the best choice. You will only have (approx.) 90mm between the front of the lens and the subject. Not much room to work. Small depth of field, even at f22.

I, personally, have never found a grad. center filter necessary with a 90SW, but you may find that you prefer one for wide angle landscape work, especially for color transparencies. If you plan on only doing macro photography, a Nikon 120AM-ED would probably be a better choice, but it won't cover 4X5 at infinity. As far as your question about stopping down, it will not only increase the depth of field, but it will also increase the size of the image circle.

Dan Fromm
6-Apr-2004, 13:42
You can easily do what you want if you'll stop being obsessive about getting the one best lens.

I haven't tested the 105/4.5 Tominon as sold for a variety of Polaroid close-up cameras because I don't own one, but I have tested and use all of the shorter ones (75, 50, 35, 17). The ones I own aren't up to, e.g., Luminars but are very usable. If you spend more than $50 for a used 105/4.5 in Copal 1 Press on eBay, you'll have paid too much. It will do what you want reasonably well. I have, use, and have sold Luminars so I have a small basis for comparison.

If you're not up for a Tominon, a good grade of ~ 100 mm plasmat type enlarging lens will do the job just fine. I sold my 100/6.3 Luminar (not a good one) after I found by testing that from 1:8 to 4:1 my $12 plus postage 4"/5.6 Enlarging Pro Raptar did no worse on TMX than a known good 100/6.3 Luminar. Zeiss is nice, but ...

And $1k should get you a perfectly fine used 90/8 Nikkor SW or even a 90/5.6 SA with enough left over to buy a used 105/4.5 Tominon in shutter and a good book on photomacrography. You'll need the book too, get Lester Lefkowitz' The Manual of Closeup Photography. Under no circumstances get John Shaw's Closeups In Nature, it is too shallow and Nikon-centric. And there are other perfectly good 90mm lenses that cover 4x5 with ample movements and usually cost less than the Nikkor SW or an SA, e.g., the 90/8 Ilex Acugon.

About center filters, um, for most lenses illumination on the film plane drops off with cos(theta)**4, where theta is the angle off axis. A 90 mm lens is a short normal lens on nominal 6x9, cos(theta)**4 doesn't bite hard, so if you shoot a 90 on nominal 6x9 you won't need a center filter. FWIW, I shoot a 65 on nominal 6x9 and have never felt the need for a center filter with it.



Kerry L. Thalmann
6-Apr-2004, 13:52

Rather than try to force one lens to do multiple tasks, why not just get two lenses. If you really have $1000 to spend, it should be possible to get BOTH an outstanding wide angle lens AND a lens designed specifically for close-ups. This will yield better results, and more versatility, than the one lens for all purposes approach.

For example, you should be able to to find a near mint condition used 90mm f8 Nikkor SW for around $600. That leaves you $400 for a dedicated close-up lens in your choice of focal length. Something like a late shutter mounted 150mm G Claron (which also can serve double duty as a general purpose 150mm lens on 4x5) or a multicoated shutter mounted 150mm APO Ronar (which will not cover 4x5 at infinity) would be readily obtainable for $400 or less.

Unless you plan on using some really extreme movements, a center filter will not be needed for the 90mm f8 Nikkor SW on the 6x9 format. This lens covers 5x7 with movements, so on 6x9 you will only be using the very center of the image circle and will not experience noticeable fall-off. I never found a center filter necesary with this lens on 4x5. So, I have a hard time imagining a situation where one would be needed on 6x9.

As far as sharpness goes, the Nikkor SW series is designed to provide best overall (center to edge) performance at f16. My experience with this lens confirms the manufacturer's recommendation. Below f16, you will begin to gradually lose sharpness to diffraction as you stop down further. The lens still provides very usable results at f22 (and even f32), but if you don't need to stop down further for depth of field reasons, f16 would provide the sharpest overall results on 4x5. On 6x9, you are once again using only the very center of the image circle, and f11 would likely provide the sharpest results over such a comparatively narrow field. This assumes a subject that is fairly close to planar. In the three dimensionsal world we live in, it is often necessary to stop down further for depth of field reasons.

Of course, if you only plan to shoot 6x9, 90mm isn't very wide for that format. Unless you plan to use this lens with 4x5 (I assume you do, but you only specifically mentioned 6x9), something like a 100mm APO Symmar would be smaller, lighter, less expensive and provide good movements on 6x9.


Dave Schneider
6-Apr-2004, 14:04
You can get a used 90mm F8 lens and a 150mm G-Claron for your budgeted $1000, you may even have some cash left over. The 150 G-Claron works quite well for magnification of 1:1 and less. A 90mm lens at 1:1 would give you so little clearance from the front element to make lighting difficult. I actually prefer a 240 or 305mm lens for studio macro. The G-Claron is not a true macro lens but works very well in that application. You may find a 210 or 240mm G-Claron that would meet your budget. With a $1000 budget you're going to have to compromise. Two used lenses like this would be better than one new lens ill suited to either requirement.