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Thread: Which Macro Lens

  1. #1
    Grego
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Lancaster County, PA
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    74

    Which Macro Lens

    I have an EbonySV45U2 4X5 with max bellows extension of 510mm. What is the advantage of 80 vs 120mm macro lens. Can I get magnification to 4X with either lens because I have the bellows length (320mm - 480mm)? Am I calculating that correctly.

    And to put some fuel on the fire, are the Schneider macro lenses better than the Rodenstock macros.

    Thanks all

  2. #2

    Re: Which Macro Lens

    Greg,

    Most macro lenses would be optimized for 1-1, you may get better results with a reversed enlarging lens for 4X.

    Schneider, Rodenstock, Fuji, Nikon and Leica are all fine, pick by price and availability.

    Remember a well fitted lens shade, bellows flair at 4X can be a problem (on top of everything else)

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Nashville, TN
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    227

    Re: Which Macro Lens

    I used to use a Nikkor Macro 120mm, but I downgraded to a Polaroid Tominon 127mm f4.7. It turned out to be an upgrade. I love that little lens, super sharp at 1:1 or more. They also typically come with a self cocking shutter!
    Will Wilson
    www.willwilson.com

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Tamworth, Staffordshire. U.K.
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    1,164

    Re: Which Macro Lens

    I'll second what Will says. Tominon's are great. They all seem to fit the one shutter as an added bonus.
    Pete.

  5. #5

    Re: Which Macro Lens

    I've got Tominon's, Schneider's, and all sorts of oddball lenses. They're all different, none is better or worse. Try them out and choose the one that seems like the best fit for your purposes.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Harbor City, California
    Posts
    1,748

    Re: Which Macro Lens

    lTo get 1:1 magnification you rack out two focal lengths. Each focal length further will get you one more even magnification. 3 focal lengths = 2:1 and so forth. 4X with a 120mm lens requires 5 X 120 = 600mm.

    Obviously, it's easier to get magnification with a short focal length, but you can run into problems with the front of your camera getting into the way of your lighting.

    Macro is a rather specialized field of work. If you wearch macro on the Forum you'll find recommendations for books on the subject, Perhaps your library will have them. There are also some brief articles dealing with aspects of the subject amongst those at the bottom of the Forum home page.

  7. #7
    Grego
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Lancaster County, PA
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    Re: Which Macro Lens

    Is anyone using a 180 Macro? From what I've heard, the 120 macro offers the better balance between image size and depth of field.

    Thanks

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Location
    GA
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    Re: Which Macro Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Liscio View Post
    Is anyone using a 180 Macro? From what I've heard, the 120 macro offers the better balance between image size and depth of field.

    Thanks
    Then you also have to bear in mind that the shorter focal length will also foreshorten. Items closer to the lens will be reproduced larger then things further from the lens. So it's a tradeoff. 120 requires less extension to get to a given magnification but 180 will reproduce things more realistically and a 210 or 300mm even more.

    So it is what magnification do you need? What is the image (if you are doing round things and want them to stay round then you either need a longer lens or will have to move back and lose magnification. How much bellows extension do you have?

    You won't have much depth of field with any of them if you are actually in macro range.

    Then you will know the best focal length for you.

  9. #9

    Re: Which Macro Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Liscio View Post
    Is anyone using a 180 Macro? From what I've heard, the 120 macro offers the better balance between image size and depth of field.
    I have a 180 Schneider that's beautiful. Very nice. Most of the photos in my Angels & Insects collection were shot with it.

  10. #10
    Grego
    Join Date
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    Lancaster County, PA
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    Re: Which Macro Lens

    Thank you Bob. Always a pleasure reading your input.
    Greg

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