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Thread: Question Regarding 35mm/MF lenses for Macro on 4x5

  1. #1

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    Question Regarding 35mm/MF lenses for Macro on 4x5

    Alright, so I've been thinking about macro on 4x5, off and on, as I learn more about how Large Format works. I'm still doing a lot of translation between smaller formats and this newer large format... So I got to thinking about the lenses I have and if they could be put to use on the bigger camera? I know the image circle isn't there, but also... if I'm thinking macro then the bellows draw will potentially get me there... maybe... in theory...

    So here's my question, a) is it feasible/possible to do? b) has anyone here tried this? c) if yes, can it be done to interesting effect? Or is it a fools errand?

    Right now I'm thinking about my Nikon AI 35/1.4 as a fun way to start this, and while the 16/2.8 is kind of a weird lens, it might be fun too... but the brightness (which may not directly translate) in conjunction with the loss of light in macro is what made me think about it. The experiment would be conducted on a Cambo SC camera. So... extension shouldn't be an issue... probably... 🤷*♂️

    Would love to hear opinions or thoughts...

  2. #2

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    Re: Question Regarding 35mm/MF lenses for Macro on 4x5

    There are lots of folks far more knowledgable than me on this forum but I would think that it is the angle of view of the lens that you should look at - think of it as a cone, as you focus closer to something the bellows extension gets longer, and thus the cone at the film is bigger.

    So lenses that barely cover at 'normal' distances may cover well at macro distances.

    If you're set on using lens not designed for LF I would think that MF is a better starting point than 35mm (now where did I put that 120mm S-Planar?). Macro normally requires a greater depth of field so utilises small apertures, unless you are after some very shallow depth of field effects. Think heavy, steady tripod and long exposures.

    If you don't want the hassle of rigging a shutter then use paper negs and a removable 'top hat' to cover and uncover the lens. With low light and a small aperture you could probably have a cup of tea while you took the shot.

  3. #3

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    Re: Question Regarding 35mm/MF lenses for Macro on 4x5

    The image circle of a 35mm camera lens seems like it will be really small. Here is a link of someone doing it with a medium format fisheye:

    http://www.subclub.org/fujinon/gonefishin.pdf

    Some of the medium format lenses have the benefit that they have shutters built in (if you can trigger them from the lens directly.)

  4. #4

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    Re: Question Regarding 35mm/MF lenses for Macro on 4x5

    I'm definitely not "set on it"... since as of right now, I have no way of mounting a lens to a board. But the idea of the wider lenses in macro space is appealing. I've had lots of fun shooting the aforementioned 35/1.4 at the 8" MOD because it has such a cool look. That in conjunction with the thought of doing some action figure portraits, it seemed like a way to force perspective.

    And while the MF lenses are not an out of the question option, because they are faster than the LF wide I have... I don't get the same kind of options focal length wise... with the exception of an Arsat Zodiak 30/3.5 I have. That said, nothing is off the table yet.

    I had also pretty much relegated my options to LOOOOOOOOOONG exposures just as matter of bellows factor... But the idea o ftaking advantage of a f/1.4 for focusing and stopping down to f/16 to shoot didn't seem like much more of a burden... But I don't know... It may just be a thing that I think about and never try...

  5. #5

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    Re: Question Regarding 35mm/MF lenses for Macro on 4x5

    Hmm. Image circle grows with magnification. Lenses for 35mm still have to cover 43 mm.

    Here's Emmanuel Bigler's suggestion, taken from http://www.largeformatphotography.in...howthread.php?
    67361-Calculating-lens-coverage

    Covered diameter = (nominal image circle) (1 + M)
    Where M is the magnification ratio
    From which I calculate that the lowest magnification at which a lens for a 35mm camera will cover 4x5 is ~ 3.5:1. For best results the lens will have to be reversed.

    Whether this will work for you depends on what you mean by macro. If you want to work at lowish magnifications -- from 1:2 up -- your best bet would be a 150 mm process or enlarging lens. I've shot two 150/9 Apo-Ronars against two 150/9 G-Clarons, the Apo-Ronars were better. The 150/5.6 Componar isn't bad at those magnifications -- by an odd coincidence that won't bear close examination, I have one of them too -- and is inexpensive. It is a tessar type lens, has to be reversed for working above 1:1. The cells are direct fits in a #0 shutter.

    Why 150 mm? Because it gives better working distance, makes lighting the subject easier. The F-mount flange-to-film distance is 46.5 mm, and that's the minimum working distance of a reversed F-mount lens.

    For higher magnifications, by all means try a reversed F-mount Nikkor. If I were you, I'd use a 55/3.5 (any version or vintage) or 55/2.8 MicroNikkor instead of the two you mentioned.

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    Re: Question Regarding 35mm/MF lenses for Macro on 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by abruzzi View Post
    Here is a link of someone doing it with a medium format fisheye:
    This is promising.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Whether this will work for you depends on what you mean by macro.
    In this particular train of thought, I'm definitely thinking super macro... well above 1:1... based on what I was thinking... 3:1 - 5:1... depending on the lens in question... I had not considered reversing the lens.

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    Re: Question Regarding 35mm/MF lenses for Macro on 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by EBJohnson View Post
    TIn this particular train of thought, I'm definitely thinking super macro... well above 1:1... based on what I was thinking... 3:1 - 5:1... depending on the lens in question... I had not considered reversing the lens.
    Ah. Not easy, and very small depth of field. Yr Cambo SC should have enough extension to get much more magnification than you want with the lenses you named.

    But and however it appears that although you have a dream you don't know much about photomacrography. The first link in this https://www.largeformatphotography.i...mainly)-lenses discussion is to a list of links etc. of interest to, mainly, LF photographers. It includes an annotated list of books on closeup photography. Click, click again, download, read, decide and buy the book of your choice. They're all relatively inexpensive at on-line used book sellers sucn as abebooks.com, alibris.com, amazon.com, bn.com (no kidding!), ...

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    Re: Question Regarding 35mm/MF lenses for Macro on 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    But and however it appears that although you have a dream you don't know much about photomacrography.
    Is it not the point to learn? At least that was in large point the reason for moving from 35mm to MF to now LF... since it all ties in somehow. Beyond that is all started in Non-Linear Post Production... so... learn me up ��

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    Re: Question Regarding 35mm/MF lenses for Macro on 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by EBJohnson View Post
    Is it not the point to learn? At least that was in large point the reason for moving from 35mm to MF to now LF... since it all ties in somehow. Beyond that is all started in Non-Linear Post Production... so... learn me up ��
    You may think that you've asked a simple question for which a simple answer will suffice. In fact you've asked an apparently simple question that wants a book length answer.

    The bulletin board -- that's what this forum is -- isn't a good medium for teaching or learning a lot. Books are much better. I've directed you to some good ones on closeup work.

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    Re: Question Regarding 35mm/MF lenses for Macro on 4x5

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    You may think that you've asked a simple question for which a simple answer will suffice. In fact you've asked an apparently simple question that wants a book length answer.

    The bulletin board -- that's what this forum is -- isn't a good medium for teaching or learning a lot. Books are much better. I've directed you to some good ones on closeup work.
    I in no way considered it an easy question. It was a question that I lacked any idea of where to start. Beyond asking if any had tried it and if there were directions to be pointed towards.

    Now I have things to look at before asking more questions.

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