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Thread: MF Macro Lenses on LF?

  1. #1
    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    MF Macro Lenses on LF?

    Just idly wondering... how do you think a medium format macro (like the Pentax 67 135mm) would perform as a macro on a large format camera? Should cover 4x5 at 1:1, and at 4:1, 8x10.
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

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    Re: MF Macro Lenses on LF?

    Mark, if you have the lens, try it out, if only in the spirit of "On the other hand, why not?" It should do very well, better if reversed when shooting above 1:1.

    About using macro lenses for 35 mm and MF on LF cameras at suitable magnifications, its been done with good results. And there are all those short high performance macro lenses that cover 4x5 at their intended ranges of magnifications ...

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    Mark Sawyer's Avatar
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    Re: MF Macro Lenses on LF?

    Thanks, Dan. I may have to mount it up and let it have a shoot-out with my 158mm Micro-Tessar. Are there any hard-and-fast rules about what magnification ratio to reverse a macro lens? I'm familiar with reversing a "normal" lens, but when a lens is purpose built for macro work?
    "I love my Verito lens, but I always have to sharpen everything in Photoshop..."

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    Re: MF Macro Lenses on LF?

    Also enlarger lenses can be a very good choice for LF macro, as Dan says inverting the lens when this is a better choice.

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    Re: MF Macro Lenses on LF?

    Don't own a Pentax 67 135mm macro so can't comment on it, but do own and use a 100mm f/4 SMC Pentax Macro lens. I have used it on my view camera a few times for close up work. Worked great when mounted in front of a Sinar Copal shutter. I've never tried reversed it because the results I got were excellent.

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    Re: MF Macro Lenses on LF?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sawyer View Post
    Thanks, Dan. I may have to mount it up and let it have a shoot-out with my 158mm Micro-Tessar. Are there any hard-and-fast rules about what magnification ratio to reverse a macro lens? I'm familiar with reversing a "normal" lens, but when a lens is purpose built for macro work?
    Mark, it depends on the lens. If the lens, like nearly all macro lenses delivered in focusing mounts for 35 mm or roll film cameras, is made to shoot at magnifications no higher than 1:1 on its own mount, then it should be reversed when shooting above 1:1 to get the full benefit of its corrections. But if, like the 65/2.8 Canon MP-E, it is made to shoot above 1:1 then it should not be reversed when used above 1:1.

    Lenses made for high specifically for working above 1:1, such as Luminars and Micro-Tessars (there are many, many more), should be used mounted normally at their recommended ranges of magnifications.

    Let us know how your 158/6.3 Micro Tessar fares in a shootout. I've had a couple of shorter B&L Micro- (and Macro-, so badged) Tessars. All were middling.

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    Re: MF Macro Lenses on LF?

    Whilst not totally pertinent to Large Format, I use an APS AF macro lens on a full frame (35mm) digital camera by adding in a 12mm extension tube. This gives excellent results from about 30cm to slightly above 1:1. But modern AF macro lenses like the one I use are Internal Focus (ie zooms) with variable focal length and have very distinct performance limits, so adding more extension sees a fast drop off in image quality, especially resolution. This is an example of how modern designs, whilst extremely good within their design requirements, are not as versatile as older lenses. I've often wondered how well some of the better 35mm macro lenses (the 55mm micro-Nikkor and 60mm macro-Elmarit) would fare if used on larger formats and at increased magnifications. My suspicion is that they may acquit themselves quite well.

  8. #8
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Re: MF Macro Lenses on LF?

    The issue you would encounter is the actual coverage of the lens in question, not the theoretical coverage of a particular design.

    That's because the lens mount and focusing helicoid will limit the IC.
    There was no need to cover more than the MF image size.

    - Leigh
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  9. #9
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: MF Macro Lenses on LF?

    Here's were the original specs get confusing.

    Go to this OE Legacy site and read 'area covered' for each lens.

    http://www.mamiyaleaf.com/legacy_RB67.asp

    Then explain it. Please.

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    Re: MF Macro Lenses on LF?

    Randy, when Mamiya says "covered" when describing lenses for their RB67 and RZ67 systems they mean "the size of the subject at the lens' close focusing distance."

    I say this very clearly in my list of links.

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