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

  1. #21

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

    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




    Quote Originally Posted by JMO View Post
    [B][COLOR="#0000FF"]
    I also picked up a really nice used Linhof HD Professional tripod with geared column, and then a Majestic 1200 geared head, a couple of years ago. I'm looking forward to diving in on this new phase in my LF journey!

  2. #22
    tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: For macro lenses on 4x5in cameras, what focal length is most useful?

    Consider adding a tripod dolly to your set-up. For a camera of your weight you don't need an expensive one. I've used this https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...l?sts=pi&pim=Y with a Toyo 810G and Toyo Robos.

    Thomas

  3. #23

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

    Tripod dollies with good wheels and brakes can work, difficulty with them is if the camera position needs to get up close with a position that demand the camera support to be under the still life item table.

    Using a GOOD Foba studio stand is not fully appreciated until the image making requirements notes how easily the Foba simply works in these demanding conditions. No tripod made can match the ability of a GOOD Foba stand with the proper head (Majestic does OK on this) in the studio.


    Bernice

  4. #24
    tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: For macro lenses on 4x5in cameras, what focal length is most useful?

    that's why, as Doremus pointed, a monorail is the best choice. Instead of moving the whole camera set-up forward you just slide it forward on the rails. That assumes, of course, that you have a stable tripod that wont tip over. You can sandbag the dolly.

    Thomas

  5. #25
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: For macro lenses on 4x5in cameras, what focal length is most useful?

    Rail Horseman have a useful geared tripod foot than can move the entire camera fore and aft, for focus aid

    I am using that feature now, by mounting another foot on top, so I can use it with any camera, all sitting on Majestic gear

    I am doing close work with old plate cameras this month, behind is a 60" soft box, not fired, I have one bigger

    Seneca Chautauqua Uno by TIN CAN COLLEGE, on Flickr
    sin eater

  6. #26

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

    "Any other advice you might offer for lens choices would also be appreciated."

    How much enlargement ?

    Lenses corrected to accommodate close work will prove themselves when making huge prints, especially color prints. They exhibit fewer aberrations and other flaws. If we're merely enlarging B&W 4x5 film to 11x14 or 16x20 we may not see a substantial difference.

    This idea was first suggested to me by our esteemed forum member Emmanuel Bigler, a professor of Optics. I tested it myself just to be sure

    Most of the photos here were made with 4x5 b&w film. Looking over the 16x20 prints there is no appreciable difference in sharpness between those made with Sironar Macro/APO Nikkor/Fujinon A/Vintage Tessar/APO Sironar S/Apochromat Artar/Fujinon Soft Focus. At larger sizes, perhaps the differences would emerge.

    Where I have noticed the most important difference is blur rendition - but that's a separate well-worn discussion. This image was made with a very old non-coated Tessar.

  7. #27
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: For macro lenses on 4x5in cameras, what focal length is most useful?

    Ken gives good advice...and takes excellent pictures!
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing you don't already know

  8. #28

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    Ken gives good advice...and takes excellent pictures!
    Indeed, many of Ken's "around the house" and other close-up images have been primary inspiration for my interest in this new direction for my photography. So far, which is only 7 years or so with LF and MF film cameras, most of my images have been in national parks and other landscapes. For this new table top work I am planning and expecting that it will be mostly on B&W film, but I do have various types of color film and feel that I over-purchased when I first decided to try LF (so won't mind using some of it up as needed). My thanks for the additional tips about camera support gear, as I should have room in my basement for a studio stand, so I'll see what I can locate. As for lighting, I am thinking the newer LED technology now available would be the way to go, and especially if I'm mostly using B&W film?
    ... JMOwens (Mt. Pleasant, Wisc. USA)

    "If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all." ...Michelangelo

  9. #29

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Lee View Post
    "Any other advice you might offer for lens choices would also be appreciated."

    How much enlargement ?

    Lenses corrected to accommodate close work will prove themselves when making huge prints, especially color prints. They exhibit fewer aberrations and other flaws. If we're merely enlarging B&W 4x5 film to 11x14 or 16x20 we may not see a substantial difference.

    This idea was first suggested to me by our esteemed forum member Emmanuel Bigler, a professor of Optics. I tested it myself just to be sure

    Most of the photos here were made with 4x5 b&w film. Looking over the 16x20 prints there is no appreciable difference in sharpness between those made with Sironar Macro/APO Nikkor/Fujinon A/Vintage Tessar/APO Sironar S/Apochromat Artar/Fujinon Soft Focus. At larger sizes, perhaps the differences would emerge.

    Where I have noticed the most important difference is blur rendition - but that's a separate well-worn discussion. This image was made with a very old non-coated Tessar.
    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 of 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...
    Last edited by JMO; 9-Feb-2020 at 19:28.
    ... JMOwens (Mt. Pleasant, Wisc. USA)

    "If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery, it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all." ...Michelangelo

  10. #30
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: For macro lenses on 4x5in cameras, what focal length is most useful?

    I'd start with the Fujinon A lenses.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing you don't already know

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