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Thread: Macro Lenses...

  1. #21

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    Re: Macro Lenses...

    Don't get TOO hung up on gear. The likelihood that your technique will influence the final outcome FAR more than the lens you use is pretty great. I've gotten quite acceptable (understatement) results from a beat up 50 year old convertible symmar I picked up for $100 that I've used for some fairly critical work.

  2. #22

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    Re: Macro Lenses...

    Nothing against the Symmar, it's a great lens. But if you take the same close-up image also with a good macro-lens in the same focal-lenght you can see the difference. Specially for some fairly critical work.

  3. #23

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    Re: Macro Lenses...

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter K View Post
    Dan,

    not the focal- but the barrel-lenght.

    The Luminar 100mm Triplet has a shorter barrel as the Tessar-type. Both were made by Zeiss-Opton for the Ultraphot II etc at Göttingen.

    The Mikrotar from 1:1.6/10mm up to 1:6.3/120mm was made by Carl Zeiss Jena up to 1945. And Winkel made the Mikroluminar from 1:3.8/10mm up to 1:5/100mm up to 1950.

    Cheers

    Peter K
    Peter, I'm sorry but I don't agree with you.

    One of my neighbors, Charlie Barringer (Google him), has among other marvels small piles of Luminars, Mikrotars, and Zeiss (Oberkochen, Jena pre-1945, Jena 1945 and later) documentation. Some of his Mikrotars, including several 90/6.3s exactly like the one I used to have, have serial numbers considerably later than 1945. Charlie, Marc James Small (Google him too), and I once compared notes on Mikrotars. CZJ made them into the 1950s and sold them against Zeiss-Winkel- and Zeiss-badged Luminars.

    Please provide references to a tessar type 100/6.3 Luminar.

    Cheers,

    Dan

  4. #24
    the Docter is in Arne Croell's Avatar
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    Re: Macro Lenses...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    On Arne's point that most process lenses' cells won't go into shutters without machining, some (but not all) Apo Ronars' cells will. Beware the 150/9 Klimsch Apo Ronar, a tiny lens whose cells will not go into any known shutter.

    Cheers,

    Dan
    Dan, I was only referring to plasmat-type process lenses.

    Arne

  5. #25

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    Re: Macro Lenses...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Please provide references to a tessar type 100/6.3 Luminar.
    Michel, Kurt: Die Mikrophotographie. Wien, Springer 1967 fig. 103 on page 152.

    Michel was the successor of August Köhler, he has developed e. g. the "Ultraphot" in Jena, later the "Photo-Microscope" and the "Ultraphot II" in Oberkochen and at last the "Axiomat" also called "Michel-Tower".

    In his many books one can find many informations about macro-lenses, specially in the book mentioned before and in the supplementary volume of "Handbuch der wissenschaftlichen und angewandten Photographie", Wien, Springer 1943. Also aviable as reprint in Ann Arbor Michigan 1946.

    An other reference is the brochure "Optik für Mikroskopie" Carl Zeiss Oberkochen ca. 1971.

    Sorry I'm no lens collector, but I've work with both the Luminars 100mm Triplet and Tessar. And with the shorter focal-lenghts too.

    In the early years after the war the trade between Jena and Oberkochen resp. Göttingen was possible. So the one or other lens from Jena was re-labeled in the west. But from the early fifties Winkel made the Luminars. The barrel of early Luminars where made from stainless steel. Some times ago Klaus Schmitt has found one of this early luminars, possible it is in his database.

    Cheers

    Peter K
    Last edited by Peter K; 30-Nov-2008 at 10:46. Reason: Mikrotar

  6. #26

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    Re: Macro Lenses...

    Peter, thanks for the references. I'll look for them.

    Klaus has what he calls a Winkel-Zeiss Luminar in stainless steel or, more likely, chrome over brass, in his database.

    Not that it is relevant to anything, but my 25/3.5 Luminar is engraved Zeiss-Winkel and is in chrome over brass, not stainless. All of the other Zeiss-Winkel Luminars I've seen in mine's serial number range (218xxx) are in black enamel over brass. None of the Zeiss-Winkel Luminars I've seen have been engraved "Luminar." Before many people were aware that many Luminars are not engraved Luminar, these lenses sold for reasonable prices. No more, alas.

    Cheers,

    Dan

  7. #27

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    Re: Macro Lenses...

    Dan,

    Your recommendation to me of the obscure cult classic ~ the Boyer Apo-Saphir 300mm ~ really lives up to its reputation. I find myself amazed at its rendition for macro/process and landscape work, also being the most compact 300mm lens probably ever made. Having discovered it, I've relinquished the modern Tessar equivalents altogether.


    Brief summary: Apo-Sapphir 300mm f10.0

    Kind regards,

    RJ


    Whole Plate Column

  8. #28
    LJ Segil
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    Re: Macro Lenses...

    Dan,
    Question to you (and all, of course)--if I understood you correctly, in one of your earlier posts you mentioned that the macro lenses are already diffraction limited when wide open. Are you referring to the more conventional LF macros like the Nikkor AMs or Macro-Sironars, or to the microscope type lens designs, or all types? If that is so, it would seem like a poor trade off to stop down a macro lens to achieve depth of field, and leave one with primarily movements rather than aperture to achieve desired focus (of course, the bug always jumps when you trip the shutter anyway). Have I misunderstood your earlier statement?
    Others have also commented that a conventional lens like say the Fuji A 240mm can perform very well up to 1:1 and perhaps beyond. Does a purpose built macro lens, say again the 210mm Nikkor AM or Macro-Sironar, have much of an advantage at these sorts of magnifications? Does it take higher levels of magnification for the macro lens to outperform a Tessar or Process lens?
    Thanks for all your wisdom and patience,
    Larry

  9. #29

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    Re: Macro Lenses...

    Quote Originally Posted by RJ- View Post
    Dan,

    Your recommendation to me of the obscure cult classic ~ the Boyer Apo-Saphir 300mm ~ really lives up to its reputation. I find myself amazed at its rendition for macro/process and landscape work, also being the most compact 300mm lens probably ever made. Having discovered it, I've relinquished the modern Tessar equivalents altogether.


    Brief summary: Apo-Sapphir 300mm f10.0

    Kind regards,

    RJ


    Whole Plate Column
    RJ, thanks for the kind words.

    I'm astonished that you got a 300/10 Apo Saphir to cover 8x10. Boyer claimed the lens covered 48 degrees, so a 300 would cover 267 mm. And their coverage claims are usually optimistic.

    Cheers,

    Dan

  10. #30

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    Re: Macro Lenses...

    Quote Originally Posted by ljsegil View Post
    Dan,
    Question to you (and all, of course)--if I understood you correctly, in one of your earlier posts you mentioned that the macro lenses are already diffraction limited when wide open. Are you referring to the more conventional LF macros like the Nikkor AMs or Macro-Sironars, or to the microscope type lens designs, or all types? If that is so, it would seem like a poor trade off to stop down a macro lens to achieve depth of field, and leave one with primarily movements rather than aperture to achieve desired focus (of course, the bug always jumps when you trip the shutter anyway). Have I misunderstood your earlier statement?
    Others have also commented that a conventional lens like say the Fuji A 240mm can perform very well up to 1:1 and perhaps beyond. Does a purpose built macro lens, say again the 210mm Nikkor AM or Macro-Sironar, have much of an advantage at these sorts of magnifications? Does it take higher levels of magnification for the macro lens to outperform a Tessar or Process lens?
    Thanks for all your wisdom and patience,
    Larry
    Larry, I was referring to Luminars, Macro Nikkors, and Photars, the 100/6.3 Neupolar (not the 50/3.5), and a few others. Special purpose lenses for photomacrography made by microscope manufacturers (or microscope divisions). Most intended to be used at magnifications above 1:1.

    Conventional macro lenses like Nikkor AMs or Macro-Sironars generally benefit from stopping down, but aren't used at such high magnifications.

    When I was testing high performance macro lenses (Luminars and the like) I eventually got around to trying out my 55/2.8 MicroNikkor AIS reversed. It turns out to be diffraction limited from f/4 down at magnifications above ~ 2:1; right up there with the 63/4.5 Luminar that I need not have bought. Same goes for the 25/1.9 Cine Ektar reversed at f/2.8 from around 10:1 up; as good as the 25/3.5 Luminar that I need not have bought.

    But and however, remember that because many aberrations get worse off axis it is often the case that although the central couple of mm of the field may be diffraction limited at full aperture sharpness in the outer zones can improve a bit a few stops down. As I keep saying, the only way to know for sure what a lens can do is to ask it.

    Remember too that increasing magnification reduces effective aperture. So the higher the magnification is, the more important diffraction's effects are.

    There are two ways of learning what can and can't be done. One is systematic experimentation. The other is reading a book and, perhaps, doing some calculations. I don't know which works better for you.

    If trial and error is it, get some lenses and the appropriate target and burn some film. If books/calculations are it, buy:

    Gibson, H. Lou. Close-Up Photography and Photomacrography. 1970. Publication N-16. Eastman Kodak Co. Rochester, NY. 98+95+6 pp. The two sections were published separately as Kodak Publications N-12A and N-12B respectively. Republished in 1977 with changes and without the 6 page analytic supplement, which was published separately as Kodak Publication N-15. 1977 edition is ISBN 0-87985-206-2.

    and

    Lefkowitz, Lester. 1979. The Manual of Close-Up Photography. Amphoto. Garden City, NY. 272 pp. ISBN 0-8174-2456-3 (hardbound) and 0-8174-2130-0 (softbound).

    Gibson's example shots should curl your hair. He's very strong on what can't be done. Lefkowitz gives the magic formulas very clearly. With them you can build a little spreadsheet and work out how bad things can get. Short answer, very, very rapidly.

    About magnification and all that, at all magnifications a good f/3.5 or f/4.5 lens will be sharper wide open than a good f/9 (that's most process lenses) lens wide open. At high magnifications apertures as small as f/9 are generally useless. There's nothing wrong with triplets or tessars that are designed to work at high magnification. Peter K and I have been wrangling about whether some 100/6.3 Luminars are tessar types, but we agree that all 40/4.5, 63/4.5 and some 100/6.3 Luminars are triplets. My old 45/4.5 Mikrotar was a triplet. All are super, all are worse one stop down than wide open.

    Cheers, buy the books or take some trial shots,

    Dan

    I hope Richard will rejoin the discussion, regret that Ted Harris isn't here to share his experiences with us.

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