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Macro photo questions
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1888
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2001 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2001-12-06 18:57, iangreant wrote:
Quote:

On 2001-12-06 18:30, 45PSS wrote:
Having been published in Photographers Fourm Best of a few years back, a 35mm macro shot using extension tubes, extension tubes or bellows extension will give better resolution than close up lens add ons. Try customizing a lens board, the reverse of a recessed board. Happy shooting.

well that's cool to know. I'd thought about this before posting but written it off as a crackpot idea. I'll have to try it out. Be nice to get shots like this on a 4x5 instead of a 2280x1680 pixel digital.. although realistically I'm not sure if I've got the wallet to chase bees with 4x5 slides



Um, er, ah, you want to shoot LIVE subjects close up with a press camera? I burn a lot of film shooting live fish in aquaria, both in my house and on field trips (portable photo aquarium). Sell pictures. Am published. I also shoot flowers and insects very close up in the field. Nice shot, by the way.

Shooting a live subject close up with a press camera or an RF camera or a TLR is not very practical. Maybe with a focusing frame, but otherwise it just won't work.

The right tool for the job is an SLR, and if you must go 4x5 you have few choices. W. T. Innes, at one time the dean of US aquarium photographers and writers and publishers, used a Graflex. You could try a Graflex or maybe an ArcaSwiss reflex or maybe a Gowland, but a Speed Graphic isn't the right tool for the job. Wonderful cameras, won't do absolutely everything though.

Cheers,

Dan
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daleraby



Joined: 24 Nov 2001
Posts: 60
Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2001 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it may not be the best tool for the job, but it seems to me the most versatile camera ever created by man. Perhaps an SLR would be a better idea, but I got outbid on the Graflex RB I saw on ebay.

I know of a photographer who sat in a cage with an owl for eight hours to get a closeup of its head with a Calumet 4x5 view camera. It took that long for the owl to get used to the photographer and that awful big three legged thing with one eye staring at it. I plan to shoot some plants next spring, and insects are a natural companion to such things. You have to wait until later in the day than you would most often shoot flowers if you want bees. Mostly I get 'em by accident with my 35 setup... quite an experience to be leaning over a clover blossom and have a giant insect fly into your field of view.

The biggest difficulty is exactly the same as the one faced by a man wanting to practice nude portraiture on an attractive young lady... getting the subject to pose. Fortunately, one can use various methods to immobilize critters like cages, drugs, freezing, and even tethers (Yes, I once tethered a dragonfly to the stem of a cattail using a woman's hair tied around it's neck, they fly around as far as the tether will allow, but they eventually get tired and land on the only thing they can reach... the object you have them tethered to).

I don't recommend such things on a human model... there are irritating little items like laws and morals that come into play here. For this subject use the tried and true methods of flattery, lust, and if all else fails... offer them money!

What exactly is a "focusing frame" Dan? I've been out of it for a while... though I too am published... twenty years ago on the staff of a local daily. I am just now venturing into large format and am probably unfamiliar with lots of things.

Dale A. Raby
Editor/Publisher
The Green Bay Web
http://www.thegreenbayweb.com

[ This Message was edited by: daleraby on 2001-12-07 10:13 ]

[ This Message was edited by: daleraby on 2001-12-07 10:14 ]
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iangreant



Joined: 05 Dec 2001
Posts: 4
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2001 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2001-12-07 04:49, daleraby wrote:
I once successfully photographed a nest of yellow jackets with a 90mm on a Leica m3... using flash yet. That was back in my young and fast on my feet days. As I recall, they held my camera hostage until after dark. I had no fear of it being stolen.

Dale

[ This Message was edited by: daleraby on 2001-12-07 04:50 ]


Thanks for the story Dale, sure got a laugh out of me. Live bugs look a lot better when than than the dead ones.
My tip for successful bee (and other pollen seeking insects) photos: Find a busy patch of flowers, pick a nice flower, get the shot all set up and wait.
In the azeala patches 'round my neck of the woods it's not unusual to have 20 bees making the rounds. Usually don't have to wait long
Worse case you'll have an ok flower photo.

Just so ya'll don't think I'm a nutbar, the bug macros was initially sort of wishful thinking/joke. Most of my macro work will be doing studio stills, however! Now I *am* going to try and bag a bee or two this coming summer. This would have made an awesome 16x20.

Cheers!

_________________
Ian

[ This Message was edited by: iangreant on 2001-12-07 11:24 ]
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1888
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2001 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:



What exactly is a "focusing frame" Dan? I've been out of it for a while... though I too am published... twenty years ago on the staff of a local daily. I am just now venturing into large format and am probably unfamiliar with lots of things.

Dale A. Raby
Editor/Publisher
The Green Bay Web
http://www.thegreenbayweb.com

[ This Message was edited by: daleraby on 2001-12-07 10:13 ]

[ This Message was edited by: daleraby on 2001-12-07 10:14 ]

A focusing frame is a wire square (or rectangle) that is held in front of the camera parallel to the film plane. The lens is focused to that an object in the square's plane is in focus. To use it, just more-or-less center the subject, e.g., a bloom with an insect on it, and push the shutter release.

I hate 'em, prefer to use an SLR, but they do work.

Cheers,

Dan

Come to think of it, when I finish setting up to use my Graphics for 1:1 flower shots I'll have to make one and try it.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1888
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2001 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2001-12-07 11:10, iangreant wrote:

Just so ya'll don't think I'm a nutbar, the bug macros was initially sort of wishful thinking/joke. Most of my macro work will be doing studio stills, however! Now I *am* going to try and bag a bee or two this coming summer. This would have made an awesome 16x20.

Cheers!

_________________
Ian

[ This Message was edited by: iangreant on 2001-12-07 11:24 ]

Of course you're nuts. We all are here.

More seriously, I have a moderate number of very nice shots of bees, beetles, true bugs, and some spiders on flowers, including some insect pornography (!), shot around 1:1 with a manual focus 105/2.8 MicroNikkor on KM. Flash illumination, cheap little flashes on a cheap little bracket.

These shots are usually very easy to get. Butterflies are harder.

One of next year's projects is trying higher magnifications, but that's another set of problems.

For studio macro shots, a press camera will work well, although I suspect that in time you'll want a view camera's ability to put the plane of best focus where you want it.

Cheers,

Dan
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daleraby



Joined: 24 Nov 2001
Posts: 60
Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2001 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm... sounds kinda sticky. Have you actually tried it? I would wonder if a bee can tear flower petals loose... they are very strong, but poor fliers. Also, how do you grab the wings with the tongs without getting stung?
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3230
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2001 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



[ This Message was edited by: 45PSS on 2005-12-24 19:41 ]
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1888
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2001 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2001-12-14 20:59, 45PSS wrote:
Dale, don't threaten them!

I would like to know where I can find the lens and/or more information on them, that Dan Fromm mentioned in his reply.
Thanks,
Charles.


Charles:

I'm not sure which lens you mean. So far in this thread I've mentioned Tominon macro lenses, micro Tessar, and MicroNikkor.

Tominon macro lenses were made for use on Polaroid MP-4 copy cameras, and will cover 4x5 at various magnifications. There are 10/? (mythical), 17/4, 35/4.5, 50/4.5, 75/4.5, 105/4.5, and 127/4.5 ones sold in barrel, to screw into #1 shutters. The 75, 105, and 127 are also sold in shutter for Polaroid CU-5 and DS-something or other cameras. http://www.redwop.com gives specs for the barrel lenses. They can be bought fairly cheaply on eBay (keep on looking), also dealers have them (try a web search). Not to be confused with Tominon enlarging lenses, which seem to stop down only to f/8 and are in M39x1.0 mount; the barrel macro lenses are in M40x0.75.

B&L made micro Tessars, these things are supposed to be very good. Also not terribly expensive, not terribly abundant.

The MicroNikkor I mentioned is a Nikon lens for use on Nikon's 35mm cameras. Lots around, the price of one will buy a full set of Tominons and a shutter. They come in focal lengths of 55, 105, 200, the shorter ones in several speeds. The 55 and 105 are great lenses, the 200 (I have one) is only pretty good.

To find dealers who have these things, do an AltaVista or Google search. Look in Shutterbug. Go to camera flea markets.

Hope this helps,

Dan
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45PSS



Joined: 28 Sep 2001
Posts: 3230
Location: Mid Peninsula, Ca.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2001 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



[ This Message was edited by: 45PSS on 2005-12-24 19:41 ]
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1888
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2001 3:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2001-12-15 23:03, 45PSS wrote:
Thanks Dan. The tominom is what I haven't heard of. Although I have a Sigma 50mm macro for my F4s I perfer to use my Nikon 35-135 zoom with either or both the Kenko 20mm or 36mm extension tube behind it. Most of my good shots were at 70mm-90mm f16-22. I've even have a nice ladybug pair with the 75mm-300mm in front of the 20mm tube that was worth the 45 minutes of following them. I didn't think that 35mm lens would cover 4x5.
Charles



Off topic, but FWIW, try to get a 100ish macro lens for your F4. Even the cheap Phoenix/Vivitar 100/3.5 will be an improvement on your zoom. I use a manual focus 105/2.8 (replaced a stolen 105/4, replaced a 135/2.8 Steinheil macro lens) and am still very happy with it. Recently lucked into what seems to be a 100/6.3 Luminar; after its front element has been recoated and an adapter has been made we'll see whether I'm still delighted.

Cheers,

Dan
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daleraby



Joined: 24 Nov 2001
Posts: 60
Location: Green Bay, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2001 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just recieved a tenth edition copy of Graphic Graflex Photography from my favorite used book source and have been perusing it. They had a photograph of a frog in it.

The frog was persuaded to pose by chilling it in a refrigerator while the shot was prepared. I hadn't thougt of this before, but my insect chilling technique would work on virtually any cold-blooded organism from a paramecium to the largest sea turtle or crocodilian. Hmmm.... a portable cooler filled with ice water would swiftly chill a small animal like a frog down to hibernation temperatures... it has possibilities.

I doubt it would work on small mammals that hibernate... at least not as well or as quickly... but it might be worth a try... or not. OK PETA people... let the flaming begin.
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