Easy to handle MF macro solution?

Discussion in 'Macro Photography' started by Antje, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. Antje

    Antje Member

    Messages:
    478
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Location:
    Near Erlange
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Hi all,

    My dad's birthday is looming, and I really don't know what to do with him this year. Usually, it's totally simple, he gets something he really wants for his camera, and gives the complete ID and tells us where to get it (love him for that). But this year... It's not only one of the big birthdays, but... Well, I gave my mom something very flat and shiny to make photos with for her birthday, and she's become very very good at photography. Better than my dad, at least at macros. Ouch. Now he wants something nice for macro photography, and it should be MF. Not like he doesn't already have a zoo of cameras at home, but, well, they all have different purposes (you all know what I'm talking about, I'm sure).

    Now, owning a Hasselblad and having a spare body, I was thinking about giving that to him and getting him a 80 mm lens and some tubes, but I found that working with tubes is just not for him. So I'm searching for a solution that doesn't exceed our combined budget of $500-700. It should focus down to life size on its own, and I'd be thrilled if it had metering, too. It doesn't have to have interchangeable backs, AF, or anything fancy. TLRs are out too, I'm sure. Mamiya M645, maybe?

    If anyone could help me brainstorm, I'd highly appreciate it!

    Thanks,

    Antje
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2007
  2. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

    Messages:
    4,679
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Italia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Why doesn't he like tubes? Without them you need a "macro" lens which will cost more and I'm not sure they'll reach 1:1 without tubes. You can mount the tube and leave it on if this is a macro only setup.

    Pentax 645, a long enough lens plus a tube or two. I think that would fit below your budget. TTL metering plus TTL flash if you want to add the Metz module. If he could live with manual aperture he could get the Kiev 60 tubes and lenses but I don't think with todays prices this will save any money.

    If you want built in metering I think the Pentax 645 is the lowest cost option. For comparison the Bronica ETRSI metering prism often costs more then the complete Pentax 645 body,insert and normal lens.
     
  3. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,134
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Antje,

    You've defined yourself into infeasibility.

    The cheap macro lens for 'blad, the 120/5.6, won't focus close enough. Ihr vater is averse to tubes. So much for 'blad.

    Mamiya 645 has a focal plane shutter, i.e., too slow max shutter speed with flash. Also its 80 macro won't go to 1:1 on its own mount and your father is averse to tubes. So much for Mamiya 645.

    Same goes for Pentax 67.

    But and however the Bronica ETR/ETRS/ETRSI has a 105/4.5 that is in leaf shutter and goes to 1:1 on its own mount. Cheap, too, especially in Euros, at www.keh.com Just remember, 645 isn't that much larger than 35 mm.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Dan
     
  4. DrPablo

    DrPablo Member

    Messages:
    796
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Location:
    North Caroli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The tubes are so easy, though, and the 80mm lens is perfect for 1:1 and larger than life macros.

    People like the RB67 for macros if you can handle the size / portability issue.

    Another possibility is to get him a 4x5 view camera with at least ~450mm of bellows extension, and a 210mm or 150mm lens. I don't think anything is better than 4x5 for macro -- unless your main subject is moving, i.e. insects.
     
  5. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

    Messages:
    4,679
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Italia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The cheap ETR 105mm isn't the macro. Checking KEH right now the macro 105mm starts at over $300. That's most of the budget. Still need to add a camera body,back and finder. Plus shipping. Still no metering.

    Does the older 100mm macro make 1:1 without tubes?
     
  6. Peter Williams

    Peter Williams Member

    Messages:
    275
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2005
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    If your father is so inclined, I think this is a great approach as well. I bought a Toyo 45CX on closeout for $300 and you can easily find a used 150mm lens for under $200. That would leave enough of your budget for lens board, film holders, etc. If you absolutely have to have a roll film camera, the RB/RZ cameras are probably closest to what you want. Bellows focusing, whether MF or LF, is really great for macro. Good luck.:smile:

    Peter
     
  7. Antje

    Antje Member

    Messages:
    478
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Location:
    Near Erlange
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Wow, guys, I really like the 4x5 suggestion. Might get one for myself...

    Oh no. Now you've done it. :D

    Antje
     
  8. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,074
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yup any bellows-focusing camera like the RB or a 4x5 will work well. I have done some macro with a Nikkor 120 AMED on an old crown graphic, using a closeup diopter. Fun combination and very light and easy to take into the field. The RB is much heavier but for macro that is somehting that you quickly learn to love: stability! Also the nice thing about the RB is that you can use a metering prism so then you can just forget the bellows factor calculations.

    Let me also suggest that a good diopter on the hassie may be a very simple solution. Especially if you are stopped down to f/22 or more then there is little (if any) performance penalty.
     
  9. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,134
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Uh, Nick, I said 105/4.5. And $300 from $700 leaves a bit for body, finder, and back.
     
  10. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

    Messages:
    4,679
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Italia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    How fast is the old non-macro 105mm?

    Considering the cost of the AEIII finder $700 ends up covering the macro PE lens and the finder.
     
  11. Antje

    Antje Member

    Messages:
    478
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Location:
    Near Erlange
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Excellent suggestions, guys! Hmmm... Just called our not-quite-local photostore, and they'd sell a Mamiya 120 macro KEH would probably rate as BGN for approximately $200. I could add a M645 from KEH for 300-400... I admit I have absolutely no clue regarding that system. He used to have one, that I know. And it still might leave a little room for small extras.
    I have enough time to get something for him when I'm in the US next time, so I'm not in a hurry and could shop around a little. That's why I need you guys' input so badly. :smile:

    Antje
     
  12. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,134
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Antje, if you have time and aren't planning a nice surprise that would be spoiled by discussing it with him, why don't you talk things over with your father and then buy gear that will suit him and fit your budget? I mean, there's a world of difference between shooting closeup with a press or view camera and doing the same with a nice convenient SLR. And if he thinks that using an extension tube or two on an SLR is too much, surely he'll hate using a press or view camera.

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
  13. Antje

    Antje Member

    Messages:
    478
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Location:
    Near Erlange
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Dan, you see, that's what we *usually* do. Didn't work this time, he expects the big surprise and is just dropping hints. :rolleyes: It's all because of my mom's sudden display of talent.

    He actually owns a Canon 20D with a macro lens. But it has to be film and, I think, MF. He's also a little envious of my Hassy. And to admit it: I selfishly loved the 4x5 comment because I've been thinking about that for myself. :smile:

    Antje
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,074
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Antje, why use a M645 for macro? Is there a particular reason? I don't see what it gives you versus the hassie.

    Get something with bellows or else you'll need tubes and/or a diopter :wink:
     
  16. keithwms

    keithwms Member

    Messages:
    6,074
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Location:
    Charlottesvi
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ah, okay, now I see that one can get macro extension bellows for the M645. But it probably won't be easy to find them.
     
  17. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,814
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    Elk, Califor
    Shooter:
    Plastic Cameras
    Hi, the Mamiya 120mm macro is a great lens. I have one on a Mamiya 645E and works great and focuses to 1:1. I like the 645E body especially for the adjustable diopter viewfinder.

    Jon
     
  18. Bandicoot

    Bandicoot Member

    Messages:
    201
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Location:
    Eastern Engl
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    4x5 is nice for macro, but the tiny DoF, the cost of film, and the bulk of the gear all mean it may not be the best place to start on a quest to make better macros than one's spouse...

    I really like using 6x9 monorails for macro. This is taking a similar approach to working with the larger format, but with a bit more DoF, much lower film costs, and rather more portability. You still have the benefit of a huge choice of lenses, movements, etc.

    Just a thought,


    Peter
     
  19. Antje

    Antje Member

    Messages:
    478
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Location:
    Near Erlange
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Yeah, but it might be an area I could expand into myself. And maybe it's something my dad wouldn't want to, well, borrow. :wink: But on the other hand, I'm quite happy with the Hasselblad and tubes at the moment.

    Monorails - I think I might have an idea what that is in German, but I'm not quite sure. Do you happen to have a picture? Sorry for my total ignorance. :sad:

    Antje
     
  20. Antje

    Antje Member

    Messages:
    478
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Location:
    Near Erlange
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Ah, OK, got it - something like the Arca Swiss F! That is probably going to be over the budget, but wow, looks really sweet.

    Antje
     
  21. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,811
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Antje:

    Does your father have any MF cameras already? If so, we might be able to recommend something compatible with what he already has.

    For example, if he owns Mamiya TLR equipment (paricularly a 330), he already has a camera that does macro quite well, and only needs a paramender accessory to make it reasonably easy.

    Matt
     
  22. DrPablo

    DrPablo Member

    Messages:
    796
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Location:
    North Caroli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I see your arguments, but the DOF on 4x5 really isn't bad for macros, and there is so much precision focusing it on that big ground glass.

    I've tried it with 8x10 as well, and that's more of a problem; in part because you really do have to stop down a lot and you get into reciprocity problems.
     
  23. Bandicoot

    Bandicoot Member

    Messages:
    201
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2007
    Location:
    Eastern Engl
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have a modern type Arca M, but for much of my work I use the old 'pre-M, pre-F' models. These are just as beautifully made, light and rigid, and currently a bargain on the used market. Apart frm the format frames and the bellows most parts are interchangeable between the old and new types, or can be made so with very little work. A used 'old style' Arca 6x9 is a very nice macro camera.

    Well, I did say that I liked 4x5 for macro, and I do do it, and 10x8 too. But for the OP's purposes, I wouldn't recommend it as the place to start. I wasn't saying 4x5 is bad for macro - quite the opposite - but responding specifically to the OP's question, to which I think there are better answers.


    Peter
     
  24. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,134
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Um, Antje, if your father wants convenience a field or view camera is not for him. I do closeup and macro (above 1:1) work with Nikons and Speed Graphics.

    Until I figure out a convenient way to set up the Graphics for use with focus frames (and make the frames too), they're totally useless for moving subjects. And fairly slow to set up for subjects that hold still.

    I continue to use the Graphics closeup even though they're slower-working and harder to use than the Nikons because they give better results. I don't use them to get higher magnification (larger image of the main subject) than is easy with the Nikons but to get more of the scene in the frame at the magnification I'd use with a Nikon.

    Oh, yeah, I usually shoot with flash. Its essential when shooting hand-held to stop movement (even when the subject is a rock, I move), very helpful for stopping subject movement when shooting from from tripod. Wind is dangerous.

    In MF, this limits you to using lenses with leaf shutters. No MF camera's focal plane shutter syncs with flash at a usefully high shutter speed. Do the thought experiment (ISO 100 film, 1/30 shutter speed, broad daylight) and you'll see why.

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
  25. Antje

    Antje Member

    Messages:
    478
    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Location:
    Near Erlange
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Dan, I totally agree - I shoot macro mostly with my Canon and a Canon MP-E. And some with my Hassy and some tubes. I wouldn't get my dad a view camera (that's a side project that came out of this thread that I am interested in myself). He used to own a Mamiya 645 (don't know which model), but apparently traded it in for a Pentax some time ago. But that one spends more time at the repair shop than in his photo bag.

    Tough choices. :smile: In any case, I picked up that poor Mamiya 120 macro for under $200 I found. Looks clean so far. Maybe I'll just get a body for that and see how it handles. My husband is fearing the worst - Antje venturing into yet another camera system. :wink:

    Antje
     
  26. elekm

    elekm Member

    Messages:
    2,059
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    New Jersey (
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Another possibility is the Rolleiflex SL66. The lens racks out pretty far for 1:2 reproduction, and you can easily reverse the lens (without adapters) for 2:1 reproduction.

    In all, it's a nice camera for close-up work. My only suggestion would be to use the camera on a sturdy tripod, as it's a hefty camera.

    Plus, there are a decent selection of Carl Zeiss lenses for the SL66.

    Here's my brief writeup on the SL66.