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Macro photo questions
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iangreant



Joined: 05 Dec 2001
Posts: 4
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2001 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,


I'm strongly considering purchasing a speed graphic as it seems to fit most of my photographic needs. The only thing I haven't been able to figure out is how to get larger than 1:1 for macro's.


I've gotten the impression that the stock camera doesn't have enough bellows to go beyond 1:1 Is there a *macro* lens or an extension of some sort? (no sniggering please , I'm new to large format)
Any pointers or advice would be much appreciated.

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Ian

[ This Message was edited by: iangreant on 2001-12-05 23:57 ]
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daleraby



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

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2001 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, this question is kind of dependent upon the focal length of the lens... but I suspect you may be right. Even though I haven't experimented yet in this area... others on this forum may have.

Assuming you are correct, then there is the old fashioned idea of close up lenses... basicaly a glorified magnifying glass you put on the front of the camera lens. Nobody thinks of this any more, but so long as sharpness is not critical to the application, i.e.: portraiture, closeups of flowers, etc., close up lenses work just fine. You need not worry about a bellows factor, but there will be some light scattering if the lens you use is uncoated. To minimize such, use a lens hood... even if you have to improvise one. I haven't used a close up lens for some time, but they do work.

I would suggest a longish lens... 180mm - 200mm, use a tripod, do your composing on the ground glass with an Agfa loupe, and use a small apperture if depth of field is critical. If you are using a barrel lens and the Speed Graphic shutter for a long exposure, cover the lens with a derby hat or something, open the shutter and then wait until the camera stops shaking before you remove the hat. Time your exposure manually, replace the hat and then close the shutter.

As I said, you don't need to worry about a bellows factor, but you will have a noticable reciprocity departure to consider with long exposures which are common with close-up photography.

Sorry if this was too basic. I also apologize if I was not thorough enough, but there are entire books written on the subject. Good luck.

Dale A. Raby
CEO, The Green Bay Web
http://www.thegreenbayweb.com
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2001 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graflex never advertised a macro lens, but that doesn't mean they were never used.

You are right on target by saying that the camera doesn't have enough bellows to go much beyond 1:1 WITH A NORMAL 135MM LENS.

Any lens will focus at 1:1 when you have bellows equal to twice it's focal length. To go beyond that we need to increase the bellows or find a shorter lens.

I have a 90mm Angulon, that granted is not designed for macro work, but will give me pretty sharp images up to 2.4x

Another lens you may want to look at is the Oscillo-Raptar, or Oscillo-anastigmat. These usually come in a 75mm f1.9. They were designed to photography patterns on Oscilloscopes.

Now some people are trying to sell these on ebay as some rare super wide/superfast lens that covers 4x5. The truth is it will barely cover 2x2 at infinity. It won't quite cover 4x5 at 1:1 but you can get up into the 3x range with it. The nice part about this lens is that they can be had cheap ($50-75) and come in a shutter.

You can find more modern macro lenses, G clarons, and Componons come to mind. But these get to be over $150 in a shutter. If you have a speed graphic you could use enlarging lenses. And remember you need something fairly short- ie less than 90mm. A 150 Componon won't be any better than a 135 Xenar if you are trying for 3x magnification.

A longer lens will only get you farther away from your subject, but will decrease the magnification. I.E. at max bellows a 200mm lens will give you only .5:1

Unless you are shooting chromes, don't forget the added power of the enlarger!. Shoot 1:1 on the neg and blow up the center to 16x20 and you should get a grainless 8x10 at 4X to the original.

If you are wondering how to find the max magnification of a lens the formula for a camera with a 12inch (305mm) bellows is

(305mm-focal lenght of lens)/focal lenght of lens.
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Dan Fromm



Joined: 14 May 2001
Posts: 1885
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2001 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2001-12-05 23:57, iangreant wrote:
Hello,


I'm strongly considering purchasing a speed graphic as it seems to fit most of my photographic needs. The only thing I haven't been able to figure out is how to get larger than 1:1 for macro's.


I've gotten the impression that the stock camera doesn't have enough bellows to go beyond 1:1 Is there a *macro* lens or an extension of some sort? (no sniggering please , I'm new to large format)
Any pointers or advice would be much appreciated.

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Ian

[ This Message was edited by: iangreant on 2001-12-05 23:57 ]

Um, er, ah, Dale Araby's suggestion to use a longer lens isn't very good. Your problem is that with the normal lens you can't get enough extension to get magnification greater than 1:1. Using a longer than normal lens will only reduce the magnification you can get.

The solution? Use a shorter lens. No matter what size Speed you have, a Polaroid MP-4 Copal #1 shutter will fit the board. Get one, and get the appropriate Tominon macro lens as made for the MP-4. The MP-4 shutter has no diaphragm, MP-4 lenses all do. These things are inexpensive and work.

If you want better (= much more expensive) optics, look for any of the lenses listed on http://www.a1.nl/phomepag/markerink/microlen.htm
FWIW, Micro Tessars are the next cheapest. Adapters to fit any of those things in a #1 can be made, afaik none is available off the shelf.

Lastly, to help us all think about these things, the rule of thumb is: extension (film to rear nodal point) distance = f*(1+m) where f is lens focal length and m is magnification.

Cheers,

Dan
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daleraby



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

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2001 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What the others have said makes sense... I was low on sleep when I answered.

To clarify my position, as pointed out, a longer lens will get you further away from your subject. This is useful if the subject you are photographing is very small... often the case with macrophotography. For example, if you end up with the lens one inch from the subject, you may get a frame filling image of, say, a bumble bee... except for the fact that bumble bees don't normally stand for such nonsense and will show you the error of your intrusive ways. Also, being that close to your subject you will likely cast a shadow ON your subject rather than illuminated as it was when you took your light reading.

I still maintain that close up lenses will be the best solution except for fine copying or other technical photography.

A question for someone smarter than I am; would the use of a close up lens change the field coverage of the camera lens?

I must point out that my own efforts at macrophotography involve 35mm and a 90mm macro lens... which I found preferable to the 55mm macros I found out there.

Dale
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iangreant



Joined: 05 Dec 2001
Posts: 4
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2001 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the great (and informative) replies! That was a lot easier than I thought it would be.
I probably won't have many more questions until I start shopping for a speed graphic.

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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2001 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haven't posted in a while and thought I'd throw my 2 cents in here...

I've used close up lenes for years with excellent results, but in 35mm. One of the first things I bought for my Graphic was a 67mm close up set used for about 20 bucks. They're readily available and work great with any length lens. Admittedly, I haven't shot any macro yet but have viewed a lot on the GG. My 90mm get's in real close, but that can be a big problem with some subjects. The 135 and 254 work much better with a close-up lens. And I don't have anything in LF larger than 67mm (filter diameter), with adapters to fit the rest of the lenses. It's a good and inexpensive way to macro with a lot less worries about exposure.

As far as bellows extension. I had this idea a while back and will try it over the Winter. A ressesed lens board has problems on the Graphics, but what about an extension board? It would be incredibly easy to take a board and screw it to a PVC tube for any length extension. Somthing at the font end to hold the real lens board would be a bit more work, but not all that hard? Has anyone done this before? Just now thinking of a simple wood block with the center rabbitted out to hold the lens board and simple swivels to hold it in... Well, there's my Winter project

So, I pretty much agree with everything else posted here. But I prefer a longer lens with a close-up lens attached to give me some distance....

Rich...



[ This Message was edited by: RichS on 2001-12-06 12:05 ]
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daleraby



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

PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2001 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only potential problem with an extension tube would be the possibility of unintentional vignetting... that would be the limitting factor... but I am unsure of how you would set up the geometry to check this mathematically.
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iangreant



Joined: 05 Dec 2001
Posts: 4
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2001 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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

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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2001 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My friend has a B&L macro/micro stand It's essentially a small desk with a vertical 4x5 monorail camera a drawer full of focus tubes and other neat stuff (think old brass projection or portrait lenses but without the glass) All of these things essentially make up extension boxes.

While I haven't tried to play with it myself, I get the idea that vignetting isn't a problem because you are using such a small portion of the image coming through.

By adding an extention tube, you could use longer lenses, which can make for much more esthetically pleasing picture.

I agree that it can be a real challenge to get QUALITY light on a subject when your lens is a few centimeters away.

Also when you get into higher magnifications, the bellows factor stars to really hurt, so you increase the intensity of the light (that's why you see those B &L Carbon arc lights on ebay) And just as you put your film in, that beautiful butterfly wing goes up in smoke!

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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2001 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2001-12-06 18:57, Les wrote:
My friend has a B&L macro/micro stand It's essentially a small desk with a vertical 4x5 monorail camera a drawer full of focus tubes and other neat stuff (think old brass projection or portrait lenses but without the glass) All of these things essentially make up extension boxes.

While I haven't tried to play with it myself, I get the idea that vignetting isn't a problem because you are using such a small portion of the image coming through.

By adding an extention tube, you could use longer lenses, which can make for much more esthetically pleasing picture.

I agree that it can be a real challenge to get QUALITY light on a subject when your lens is a few centimeters away.

Also when you get into higher magnifications, the bellows factor stars to really hurt, so you increase the intensity of the light (that's why you see those B &L Carbon arc lights on ebay) And just as you put your film in, that beautiful butterfly wing goes up in smoke!


That sounds like some neat equipment!
Have to admit, I didn't think of the vignetting, and I never sat down to do the math to see how much of an extension would be needed. My idea was/is in a pretty primary stage

And those are the main reasons. The amount of light needed and cumbersome real-world use. It's hard enough to chase bugs with a 35 w/bellows at high speed and rocking back & forth trying to grab focus and shot. Couldn't imagine how that could even be accomplished with the Graphic? But static shots of flowers and other inanimate objects could be done. It'll be a while before I can give any of this a test though...

Rich...
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Les



Joined: 09 May 2001
Posts: 2682
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2001 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's hard enough to chase bugs with a 35 w/bellows at high speed and rocking back & forth trying to grab focus and shot. Couldn't imagine how that could even be accomplished with the Graphic?

To paraphrase an often heard quote from Dr. Bones McCoy to Capt James T. Kirk----"They're dead, Jim!"

I dappled with macro medical photography in college and the trick wasn't the right magnification, it was to get this formaldahyde soaked (tissue, muscle, skin, tendon) to look like it was alive.

I still think more Ektagraphic projectors are used in macro photography (as a light source) than are used for boring friends, family, clients, and bosses.

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daleraby



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

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2001 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, come on now... you only need one shot to bag a bee

Nice shot by the way... to duplicate in 4x5... get some kid to capture the critter in a jar, get set up on your flower, expose bee to smoke until it becomes lethargic, put it on the flower using heavy gloves. Then get your shot and vamos before it wakes up. This doesn't work on German yellow jackets or other wasps and hornets... for those, put em in the freezer until they become lethargic, get your shot and either run or kill 'em before they thaw out... they are predators and have bad tempers. 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 ]
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2001 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2001-12-06 22:00, Les wrote:
It's hard enough to chase bugs with a 35 w/bellows at high speed and rocking back & forth trying to grab focus and shot. Couldn't imagine how that could even be accomplished with the Graphic?

To paraphrase an often heard quote from Dr. Bones McCoy to Capt James T. Kirk----"They're dead, Jim!"

I dappled with macro medical photography in college and the trick wasn't the right magnification, it was to get this formaldahyde soaked (tissue, muscle, skin, tendon) to look like it was alive.

I still think more Ektagraphic projectors are used in macro photography (as a light source) than are used for boring friends, family, clients, and bosses.



) Yep, I've known some poeple who think nothing of shooting dead bugs & critters. Even to the point of carrying them along to create the shot. I prefer living things myself which makes the chance & luck of the shot all the more special...

Didn't know you had that morbid side Now there's a job I wouldn't envy!

Rich...
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RichS



Joined: 18 Oct 2001
Posts: 1467
Location: South of Rochester, NY

PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2001 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

On 2001-12-07 04:49, daleraby wrote:
Oh, come on now... you only need one shot to bag a bee

Nice shot by the way... to duplicate in 4x5... get some kid to capture the critter in a jar, get set up on your flower, expose bee to smoke until it becomes lethargic, put it on the flower using heavy gloves. Then get your shot and vamos before it wakes up. This doesn't work on German yellow jackets or other wasps and hornets... for those, put em in the freezer until they become lethargic, get your shot and either run or kill 'em before they thaw out... they are predators and have bad tempers. 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! Now there's some practical suggestions! I'm hoping to get into bee keeping next year and know about smoke. But to be honest, I didn't think it made them all that docile? But the freezer idea is great! I'll have to try that in the Spring. And we may even have some kids then to help out (been trying to adopt for 3 years now...).

I haven't tried photographing hornets or yellow jackets yet mostly because we just don't seem to get along all that well. They took ownership of my tractor a couple years back and I had a heck of a time reclaiming it. Too bad I didn't notice the football sized nest unitl _after_ I started to work and raised the front bucket! Wasted a whole day fighting them buggers. They got shot, but not with the camera

Rich...
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