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Thread: Macro Photography Setup Calculator

  1. #1
    Marco Fantin
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    136

    Macro Photography Setup Calculator

    During these days in lockdown I attempted to take close-up images with my large format camera. But some questions arose:

    - what lens can I use?
    - does my camera have enough bellows draw to focus this close-up?
    - how far from the subject should I position the camera? (8x10 viewcameras are always cumbersome to move around when fully deployed)
    - how much light-loss should I compensate for?

    So, I made a Google sheet that can answer all these questions.

    Link to spreadsheet (you will have to make a copy of this file to edit it. Once opened, click on File -> Download)



    How to use the spreadsheet

    You need to input these three pieces of information in the yellow boxes:

    1. Select your camera format in the drop-down menu.
    2. Measure the length of the subject you want to photograph (long side).
    3. Input the focal length.

    The spreadsheet with tell you:

    1. how much bellows draw you need,
    2. how far to place the camera (film plane) from the subject.
    3. how far the subject will be from the lens
    4. how much light is lost due to magnification (both the stops lost and the multiplication factor for the exposure time).

    Additionally, by entering the f-stop used (for example f/32), the spreadsheet will estimate the depth of field.

    For convenience, there is one column with imperial units, and one with metric units. Let me know any comment or question you may have.

    I tested the spreadsheet several times and it works great, really improving the workflow. Here is one of the results, which was taken close to 1:1 magnification:
    My Youtube Channel - Darkroom and large format tutorials

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Location
    Buford, GA
    Posts
    13,144

    Re: Macro Photography Setup Calculator

    15 feet is not 5 millimeters!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    7,752

    Re: Macro Photography Setup Calculator

    Making the circle of confusion a user input would improve the spreadsheet. And Bob is right, there's something wrong with your hyperfocal distance calculation.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    171

    Re: Macro Photography Setup Calculator

    The calculation for the hyperlocal in feet is correct, just delete the /1000 in the equation that calculates it in mm (or change the units to m instead of mm)
    You can change the circle of confusion and will recompute.

    But the focal length in the "Column for the US units" is still in mm, what's up with that? /s

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    171

    Re: Macro Photography Setup Calculator

    Jokes aside, this is very helpful and nice to have, so thank you for generating it !!

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    near Seattle, WA
    Posts
    922

    Re: Macro Photography Setup Calculator

    Lots of rounding off here. 15 ft = 4.572 meters.
    Not a big deal, but I've always used the conversion 1" = 25.4 mm

  7. #7
    Marco Fantin
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    136

    Re: Macro Photography Setup Calculator

    Thanks for catching the mm vs m... just a 1000X error!!!
    For the rounding, I needed to add two significant digits to the cell, the correct formula was there.
    My Youtube Channel - Darkroom and large format tutorials

  8. #8
    Marco Fantin
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    136

    Re: Macro Photography Setup Calculator

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Making the circle of confusion a user input would improve the spreadsheet. And Bob is right, there's something wrong with your hyperfocal distance calculation.
    Yes, you can change the circle of confusion and it will recompute. However, this will overwrite the current formula, which reads the circle of confusion for the different film formats based on the following table:

    format mm
    35mm 0.029
    medium format 0.05
    4x5 0.11
    5x7 0.15
    8x10 0.22
    11x14 0.3

    Of course this is one of the possible interpretations... I had to make a choice to keep the file usable/simple enough.
    My Youtube Channel - Darkroom and large format tutorials

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Posts
    171

    Re: Macro Photography Setup Calculator

    Quote Originally Posted by marcookie View Post
    Yes, you can change the circle of confusion and it will recompute. However, this will overwrite the current formula, which reads the circle of confusion for the different film formats based on the following table:

    format mm
    35mm 0.029
    medium format0.05
    4x5 0.11
    5x7 0.15
    8x10 0.22
    11x14 0.3

    Of course this is one of the possible interpretations... I had to make a choice to keep the file usable/simple enough.
    Easy enough for anyone that wants it to add an additional entry with desired values in the table (like “My 8x10”) or just modify the CC values to their preferred value in the existing entries. I think it’s good as is, users can tinker as they see fit.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    ic-racer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    5,565

    Re: Macro Photography Setup Calculator

    I have the F-stop aperture as the independent variable and focal spread as the dependent variable. That is, my spreadsheet calculates the aperture based on focal spread.

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