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Thread: For macro lenses on 4x5in cameras, what focal length is most useful?

  1. #31
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: For macro lenses on 4x5in cameras, what focal length is most useful?

    THere must be more ARKAY stands near you. Made in Milwaukee. Most people don't want them, I have 2

    THey are easy to shorten to fit your ceiling, but make it as tall as possible, the cable needs to be shortened also

    There are 2 tricks to the ARKAY I learned the hard way

    To move it, raise the arm as high as it goes, which puts the lead weight almost on the floor

    Then tip it over which is easy with the lead at bottom, the lead will slide out after letting the arm hook off The post is also removable, the cast iron base is heavy, but all a one man job for most

    Transport in 4 pieces, base, lead, arm, post

    Cut to length once...


    When first using an ARKAY always make sure the arm is not a lever with with a big camera on it. They can tip over if you ignore physics

    I almost dropped an 8X10 Horseman

    A FOBA is better and you pay for it
    sin eater

  2. #32

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Massachusetts USA

    Re: For macro lenses on 4x5in cameras, what focal length is most useful?

    Quote Originally Posted by JMO View Post
    Ken, thanks for these helpful comments, too. I don't expect to ever enlarge to prints greater than 16x20in. I also have Fujinon A lenses in 150, 180 and 240mm; as well as APO-Sironar-S in 135, 150, 180 and 210 (for my landscapes); and finally Fujinon SF in 180mm. I love some your images taken using these SF lenses. Based on the suggestions from earlier posts in this thread, I've ordered an APO Makro Symmar HM 120mm...
    You're most welcome.

    As you probably know, the Fujinon A series are corrected for 1:5, which makes them quite sharp from very close to infinity. Similarly, the APO-Sironar-S line is corrected for 1:10 which accomplishes much the same task. These lenses should prove perfectly adequate for what you want to do.

    Additionally, the Sironar-S has lovely blur rendition: for close work at f/8 they're really hard to beat. For example, this shot was made with a 150mm APO Sironar-S at that setting. I suspect they have what esteemed forum member Christopher Perez describes as very very neutral out of focus rendition in his lens testing, due to ideal correction of spherical aberration.

    If I had unlimited funds I'd hire someone to replace the irises of all my LF lenses with Waterhouse stop inserts. But that's another conversation

  3. #33

    Re: For macro lenses on 4x5in cameras, what focal length is most useful?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    Suggest getting a GOOD studio camera stand instead of any tripod for table top work as the GOOD ones (Foba, Linhof, Arkay and etc. Not one of those tiny rink-dinky pretend studio camera stands, those do NOT work very well) are far easier to maneuver and deal with to meet the demands of table top image making if space allows. Good wheels and brakes, ease of camera up-down, side to side can make ALL the difference for this kind of work.

    Most common lighting for table top is a BIG soft box, much larger than the items being photographed is common. This is also where strobe works good as most of the time still life objects don't move much if at all and they don't easily flinch (like portrait sitters when the strobe goes FLASH) when the strobe goes off. Strobe allows better control of film exposure, precise control of color on film is possible, demands of shutter speed accuracy and consistency is no where as great. Get to know reflectors of white, aluminized, mixed, and black (negative fill) of various made up shapes and their holders.. they ARE your best friends for this king of image making. Subject item positioning and camera position must be driven by image on the ground glass. First time ya do this, it will become apparent why this must be. Bernice
    +1. Every studio needs a camera stand and lighting suited to the jobs at hand. In my studio it is Sinar, Broncolor, and Plaubel.

    Plaubel Peco Profia Eye Candy by Nokton48, on Flickr
    “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
    ― Mark Twain

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