4x5 for close-up shots. Need some advice.

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by fireboy, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. fireboy

    fireboy Member

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    example.png

    this is as close as I can get to my subject, but I'd like to fill the 4x5 frame. I'm shooting with a 4x5 field camera with a 5.5/270mm lens. BELLOWS DRAW EXTENSION is 75 - 340mm. What can I do to fill the frame with this subject?
     
  2. payral

    payral Member

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    To get an image the same size as the original on your negative you need 540 mm bellows draw with a 270 mm lens. So you need an extension between your lens and your camera front. An easier way is to shoot an image of your subject in a mirror. Image will be set on infinity.
     
  3. pgomena

    pgomena Member

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    An enlarger lens can double as a closeup lens. If you have a 135mm or 150mm, you're in business.

    Peter Gomena
     
  4. fireboy

    fireboy Member

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    I have a 5.6/135mm lens as well for the 4x5, I'm new to this so going thru a learning process. I'll try that first. I also have a 105mm enlarging lens.
     
  5. ROL

    ROL Member

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    Well, thinking out of the box, or more accurately within it, you can always crop.
     
  6. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    You can also try a 50mm enlarging lens and see what you get. Would have to be pretty close, though.

    Jon
     
  7. fireboy

    fireboy Member

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    thanks all, Ian, gave me some great advice too.

    Yes, cropping is an option for scanning, but my intent is to do contact prints and show the neg border. The contact prints will be the final print. For now, I'm going to experiment more with my 135 lens.
     
  8. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    How large is your subject? How much of the frame do you want to fill? The two will tell you how much magnification you need.

    Given how much magnification you need, how best to get it?

    The magic formula for extension (from the infinity position) given desired magnification and the lens' focal length is: extension = focal length * (magnification)

    I gave the magic formula for extension from the infinity position because 270/5.5 smells like a telephoto lens, with bellows draw at infinity considerably less than focal length. Oh, and by the way, tele lenses perform poorly closeup. And if you can't get the magnification you need with your 270 you're going to have to use a shorter lens anyway.

    If you need magnification > 1 and don't use a lens that's symmetrical (and I mean symmetrical, with the rear cell a front cell facing backwards) such as an Apo Ronar, you should reverse the lens. This rules out lenses in #1 shutters 'cos the shutters aren't symmetrical and won't allow cells to be swapped front to rear. #0 shutters are symmetrical so a lens in a #0 is easily reversed. Lenses made for general out-and-about photography usually perform poorly closeup, but since you're going to be contact printing this is more a theoretical than a real consideration. But if you enlarge ...

    Before you spend any money on lenses or waste much film, buy a copy of Lester Lefkowitz' book The Manual of Closeup Photography and study it.
     
  9. fireboy

    fireboy Member

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    I''ll check that out, thank you.
     
  10. TimFox

    TimFox Member

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    I have used a 135 mm Nikkor W lens to get 1:1 magnification on 4x5.
    For 1:1 with a non-telephoto 135 mm lens, the object-to-lens distance equals the lens-to-film distance = twice focal length = 270 mm.
    At 270 mm bellows draw, you must increase the exposure by x4 to compensate for the bellows extension.
    This is essentially inverse-square law for the distance from lens to film: at large distance to the object, the bellows is approximately 135 mm.
    At twice that, the light falls off by 2 squared = 4.
    Did you mean that you can't get the camera closer to the object, or that this was the closest focusing distance with your maximum bellows extension with the 270 mm lens?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2012
  11. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Use a shorter focal length lens.
     
  12. fireboy

    fireboy Member

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    the image above, taken with the 270 shows the minimum focus point. I just tried it again with the 135 and was able to fill the frame to what was approximately 1:1 - as far as what I observed in the ground glass. Yes I did rack out the bed the full length and the minimum focus was very short. It gave me results that are what I expected from the 270mm. It's all starting to make sense to me now.
     
  13. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Use the 135. To start, extend the lens 270mm, and place the lens 270mm from the subject. some fine focusing will give you an image very close to life size. if you need a larger image, extend the bellows further as you move the lens closer to the object.
    If an object is to be recorded smaller than the subject, the lens to subject distance is greater than the lens to film distance. If the image is to be larger than the subject, the lens to film distance is greater than the lens to subject distance.
    Jim
     
  14. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    Since you are just getting started, here are a couple of things I found helpful when shooting close-ups in large format.

    When setting up, it is usually faster to get the image about the right size on the ground glass by moving the entire camera, ignoring focus completely, then, after a position is found, focusing with the front standard. Sometimes you need to change lenses, but you won't have to reposition the camera much.

    Being able to move the camera closer/farther from you subject is more for fine adjustments is often more helpful than focusing with just one standard, since it affects focus and image size together. A camera with both front and rear focus is really helpful in this regard since it allows you to effectively move the entire camera back and forth by moving both standards at the same time the same direction. Otherwise, you have to move the tripod or loosen the rail clamp and slide the whole camera in the clamp (for monorail cameras).

    Longer lenses need lots of bellows draw; use shorter lenses for close up work so the camera won't be so unwieldy. It has no impact on depth-of-field, which is a function of the magnification, not the focal length per se. I use a 135mm for 90% of my close up work. For a given bellows draw, the shorter lens will give you the most magnification.

    Don't forget bellows extensions factors. I have a chart for all my lenses and simply measure and look up the distance for a particular lens on the chart to find my factors. There are a number of different ways to determine extension factors. Search here and at the LF forum for info and choose a method that works for you.

    Similarly (especially in view of the next point), don't forget reciprocity corrections. Again, I have charts for various films. Sometimes, when doing tabletop work under incandescent lighting, exposures may be a half-an-hour or more after reciprocity is figured in.

    Stop down a lot. I use the near/far focusing method (focus on closest and farthest elements of a scene, measure the draw and position the standard exactly in between) and look up the optimum f-stop on a chart. Often I am at f/45 or even smaller for close work.

    Use your camera movements to minimize focus spread and allow a larger optimum aperture. Especially with close work, the test of whether a movement has helped you find the best average plane of focus is if the focus spread is smaller after applying the movement than before.

    Macro work with LF is going to be a lot harder than using a smaller format. DoF is generally less, manipulating the camera is harder, etc. If you want to do real close up stuff with very high magnifications, LF is less suited to that than smaller formats.

    Have fun,

    Doremus

    www.DoremusScudder.com
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2012
  15. fireboy

    fireboy Member

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    thanks Doremus, all really great advice - extremely helpful for this NOOB. I won't be doing macro work with LF. This was more to fill the 4x5 film with the jewelry and pottery. I'll be contact printing as well. Ordered some Lodima paper too. I used to use AZO paper all the time back when I work in prepress, but that was with lith film from an imagesetter. Wish I had access to one of those huge vacuum frames still.
     
  16. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    That is macro work :smile:

    With 4x5, a 4x5 subject filling the frame is 1:1 magnification and requires a bellows-extension factor of 4x. Even filling the frame 8x10 will need a bellows extension factor of about 2x.

    Best,

    Doremus

    www.DoremusScudder.com
     
  17. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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    If you want to fill the frame with a 1" piece of jewelry, wouldn't you need 3 or 4X, not 1:1?

    Jon