Macro Photography with Hassy

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by daleeman, May 27, 2010.

  1. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    Would love to tap the minds of those who have used a Hassy to do macro work. I'd like to start shooting fine details in nature such as flowers, wood grain, moss, fungi details in rock formations.

    My kit includes a 500cm, 80mm and 150, there is a 40mm too but I imagine that will not be good for macro. I have an extention tube but have no idea how to use it and I also have an old prisim head that I leave at home because the meter is dead and it is heavy, but I have one.

    I believe I should mount the tube to the body first, with the camera body already wound then the lens to the tube, but would like some guidance first before locking up the system.

    Also how do I meter for macro?
    Light for macro?
    How do I beat a tripod into submission to get me close enough?

    Your experience here and images of your success will help. I know I will have greater success if I tuck my ego in my pocket and ask a few questions before venturing out and guessing on what I think should be done.

    Lee
     
  2. williamtheis

    williamtheis Member

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    there are tubes and there are bellows. I have a set of tables that give you the increase in exposure necessary which is probably on the internet if you look when you use the tubes but the scale is already marked on the bellows. tubes have automatic link to lens, bellows requires a cable release with two connections (one for camera, one for lens). make sure the tube is cocked before attaching to body, then attach lens
     
  3. KenS

    KenS Member

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    Lee,

    I have long (and often) recommended the use of Bob Wheeler's free software "Photographer's Vade Mecum" that you can get for the Palm 'device'. Set the parameters for FL of lens, extension and film format and just press the button. You have the choice of 'total' or lens extension for use with 35mm film cameras to 8x10 cameras. The given result is provided in 0.1 stops (I have yet to use a lens that is marked to that accuracy). I only wish I had known of the availability of this software when I was 'working', it would have saved a great deal of time with my slide-rule (or pencil and notebook in the field) figuring out the proper exposure correction for the many thousands of photo-macrographs made over a 30+ year period. I can only imagine what the cost of time and film that could have been used had I made my decisions on a 'rough' calculation followed by the extra CYA exposures either side of the chosen one. My Palm device was (and still is) as valuable as my light meter.

    Ken
     
  4. dng88

    dng88 Member

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    Make sure you can handle the case of mis-fire shutter. It just happens all the time with extension tube to me. You need also a sheet for exposure calculation plus certain experimentation. BTW, I am not sure about 40mm but 50mm is ok for some shots.
     
  5. xxloverxx

    xxloverxx Member

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    Regarding your tripod, read the manual and see what features it has — on some tripods, you can reverse the centre column so that the camera ends up in between the 3 legs (make sure nothing falls).

    Some tripods have locks at the joints, just below the ball head, to adjust the angle limits of the legs (on mine, unlock it all the way and it splays out almost flat on the ground. I've used that feature quite a bit.)
     
  6. jerry lebens

    jerry lebens Member

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    Using tables to work out extension factors is one way to go. However, lots of pro's use polariod film backs to asses exposure time, especially if they're using studio flash (which makes macro work easier). Of course, these days you'd have to use Fuji instant materials instead.
    Using instant materials is a little more costly, but they have the added advantage of letting you assess other aspects of the image, such as lighting ; used carefully, they might even save you money in the long run by avoiding potential errors such as lens flare.

    Regards
    Jerry
     
  7. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    That 150 probably focuses to around 4.6 feet without the tube. Depending on which tube length you have, you will go closer, but maybe not what you would call "macro." Try it and see. You may need to get more tubes and stack them or look for a bellows unit. A TTL meter is nice in these cases, but otherwise, as inidicated, there are tables you can use for aperture compensation based on the tube length. As the aperture goes farther from the film plane, the f-number effectively becomes bigger.

    If you don't get it sorted out by July, bring your kit to John's and we can get it sorted out.
     
  8. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    An online Hasselblad Close-Up Calculator.
    Play around with it, see what adding extension does.

    If you want to know about the formulae behind the calculations, have a look here.


    The 80 mm is a very good lens for macro. The 150 mm will do too.

    The routine is indeed as you describe: the camera (wound) acts as an achor, keeping things from releasing when they shouldn't.
    So add the tube to the camera. That is then 'fixed'. Then add another tube, or a lens, to the one that is on the camera. Etcetera: obne by one, from the camera out.

    Removing things is the same, but in the opposite direction. So firts the outermost thing (the lens), then the thing the lens was fixed to. Then the [etc.] until everything has come off the camera, one by one.

    Metering is easiest using a prism with meter built-in.
    Else, you need to calculate the compensation needed (do that once, and compile a table of all lens + tube combinations you could be using).

    (Taking Polaroids is the worst way of finding out how to expose. It takes how many guesses? How many expensive sheets of instant film? It may be fine to check after you have measured light, done the calculations, and set what you think you should set based on those 'hard data'. But why bother?)


    Tripods are indeed difficult. Always in the way.
    Such is life... Nothing much you can do about it.
    One or two focussing rails will allow to adjust the camera's position without having to move the tripod or head. Well worth considering putting two of those on top of your tripod head.


    There are tubes, there are bellows that don't link the lens to the camera (the ones mentioned by Bill), but there are also bellows that do link the lens to the camera. Those are called "Automatic Bellows". Good to have, but only if you want to get real close (the minimum extension is 63.5 mm. Try the calculator to see what that amount of extension does combined with your lenses. The maximum extension of the auto-bellows is 202 mm.)
     
  9. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    This is Good Stuff

    I'm excited here. The level of suggestions and expert information is starting to pave the way for some productive shooting this weekend.

    I'll try to mount the tubes tonight after I get back from the college and mount the 80mm. I wish the meter in my funky old prisim really worked, that might solve a lot of trouble but I am encouraged that I can calculate the exposure via the distance.

    Like the online table. Really nice. Do you think I can figure the distance up in the house from the tube I have (unknown today, but need to take out to see) and then keep the information in a notebook for easy travel?

    Fully encouraged to try using what I have and see some results.

    PS I will try to bring it to John's too.

    Lee
     
  10. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    If your tripod doesn't have a low level capability, you can use a manfrotto magic arm and superclamp it to either the center post or one of the legs. The combination gets a LOT of flexibility.
    If you want to work with a fixed magnification, a focusing rail with X & Y axis will come in handy too.
     
  11. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    A good suggestion, Manfrotto magic arms.

    But i find i need to use two to get a stable camera platform. The first one holds the camera, and is positioned as needed. The second then clamps the first one, stabilizing it as a brace.
    Else, the arm resonates too much with any movement that finds its way to the arm.

    You get to haul a lot of stuff, doing photomacrography... :sad:


    Yes, Lee, using the calculator to compile tables - though a lot of work, but only once - you then print out and carry with you is the easiest way to go about it.
     
  12. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    Mounted the 55 tube last night

    After reading a lot of great stuff here I pulled out the tube, still in the original box that someone had sold me with the 500CM years ago but never used it. It is a 55 tube. I mounted it and the dead meter prisim with the 80mm CF. The WLF was then on the table and it gave me my first visual target.

    The WLF was just about the size of the field of view and as others have shared it was all about the distance to the object as far as focus goes. depth of field while viewing at f2.8 with the 80mm was like spitting in the wind. I did not get out the tripod and try some stop down viewing, but did go about the house looking at things to get a sense of what it will cover.

    Well today after work I will stop at the florest and "get the wife some flowers" for the house. Will practice on them to see what I can do there. Figured it would be good to do some controlled first shots before venturing out without a notebook with information about using the 80 and the 150 on the tube.

    Keep the ideas flowing.

    Any one know of a X,Y,Z kind of mount that I could refine the position of the camera on while mounted to a tripod? We are talking cheap here, or at least I am.

    Lee
     
  13. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I have a Manfrotto arm similar to this one, though without the camera mounts, that works ok. An X/Y mount is better, but much more expensive.
    Here is a view of it in action, the flower was shot with an 80 and the 55 mm tube;
     

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  14. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    nice work

    Very nice. Love the soft tones. Looks like the 80 with the 55 tube can turn some nice results.

    Lee
     
  15. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Well, what is cheap? :wink:

    I use Manfrotto rails. Two of them, one mounted on the other at 90 degrees.
    The Z-axis the tripod must provide.
    They are not ideal, but quite usuable. The alternative (moving the tripod) is far worse.
    And they are not too big. Though not small either.
     
  16. daleeman

    daleeman Subscriber

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    Cheap to me is under $ 200.00 for a platform that can help me move in and out in fine increments. It is comes in really cheap then that is good. Otherwise I'll keep nudging the tripod.
     
  17. greybeard

    greybeard Member

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    If you decide to get seriously into 6x6 macrophotography, then by all means look for an auto bellows and a longish lens (180 or more). The longer lens will reduce distortion (the source of many old "guess what this is?" pictures of match heads and the like) and the large extension is in proportion to the lens focal length, so the magnification won't be unwieldy. The dedicated macro lenses are, of course, superb optically, but I found that there is at least one macro combination (C lens and variable extension tube) that is mechanically incompatible; a C lens and automatic bellows works fine.
     
  18. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    ?
    There is no lens that can't be used on the variable extension tube.

    The variable extension tube was intended to be a focussing mount for the 135 mm S-Planar/Makro-Planar (C and CF version respectively).

    The other macro lens in the range is the 120 mm S-Planar/Makro-Planar (C, CF and CFE/CFi versions).

    135 mm would be the longest lens i would use for photomacrography, because the extension needed is indeed proportional to the focal length. (An 80 mm lens on a bellows covers a range from 0.8x to 2.6x. The same extension combined with, say, a 180 mm lens will cover 0.3x to 1.3x.)
    So for 'serious' magnifications, shorter lenses are preferred.

    However, the shortest lens in the Zeiss/Hasselblad range that produces good image quality in the macro range is the 80 mm Planar.
    (Planars also are the lenses that keep performing well over a wide range, into the macro-zone, so a 120 mm or 135 mm Planar would also be the lens to use if you want a lens that's a bit longer.)

    Longer lenses do not keep image quality up when getting close, and also not evenly over the entire field of view. The center sharpness is less than that of lenses like the Planars, and they produce colour faults and unsharpness towards the edges and corners of the frame.

    For 'really serious' magnifications, special lenses even shorter than the Planars are used, such as the great Zeiss Luminars (the most used on MF for macro are the 16 mm, 25 mm and 40 mm ones. They don't have a shutter, so require a camera that does have one, or mustbe mounted on a shutter. With the long exposures you will run into, the rear auxillary shutter in 500 series cameras will often do.)

    True distortion is something that also depends on lens design, and again the Planars are the best to use.

    Perspective does indeed vary with working distance, which given a chosen fixed magnification varies with focal length.
    But we are not used to see tiny things in any particular perspective, so you will not run into an exaggerated perspective situation, the way you do when photographing something from too close that we do see everyday in another perspective.
    And even using longer lenses, lens to subject distances will still be small.

    So all in all, longish lenses would be the worst choice for macro:
    - too much extension needed for the same magnification
    - not the best image quality in the center of the frame
    - uneven image quality across the frame
     
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  19. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    There are some relatively inexpensive(Hah) X-Y rails around. I believe Novoflex may still offer something. Manfrotto, Kirk, RRS?
    Peruse the *bay. I've been able to pick up a Velbon with gear drive on both axis for less than $100. Velbon isn't known for higher quality stuff but this is much better than most of their stuff.
     
  20. greybeard

    greybeard Member

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    There is no lens that can't be used on the variable extension tube.

    With all due respect, yes, there is. I have one.

    The older macro lens (C-type) has a protrusion at the back which interferes with the variable extension tube; on the CF that I have, this ring has a cut-away portion which allows it to be mounted. All conventional wisdom seems to be that the Hasselblad components are fully compatible with each other, so I was greatly surprised that I couldn't mount the C-type lens.

    If there is a way around this that does not involve machining of the lens mount, I would be interested in knowing what it is.