Nikon Macro Photography

Discussion in 'Macro Photography' started by Ara Ghajanian, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. Ara Ghajanian

    Ara Ghajanian Member

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    Hey gang,
    I just bought a used Nikkor 55mm Micro and PK-13 extension tube off eBay. I am so psyched: 1:1 macro photography. Does anyone else on APUG have experience with this lens or Nikon macro photography in general? Does anyone have the bellows attachmnet? Can you offer me some advice, etc.? Any links I should check out?
    Ara Ghajanian

    Just as a silly nostalgic side note: Does anyone remember that National Geographic publication for kids called "World"? (Yes, I grew up with National Geographic in the household... what a nerd.) On the back cover of every issue they had a feature called "What in the World?" which was basically extreme close up photos of every day objects and you had to guess what each one was. I was always inspired by that feature and now I want to try just that: extreme closeups of every day objects. Anyways... what a nerd.
     
  2. mfobrien

    mfobrien Member

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  3. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    I've got the 55mm micro f/3.5. I hand picked it for it's tight focusing so it's a little hard to use for general photography. It focuses to 1:2 without extension and 1:1 with the pk-13. I also have a set of tubes and the PB-5 bellows.

    Make sure to post your results in the gallery.
     
  4. titrisol

    titrisol Member

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    I have the 55/2.8 (AIS).
    Very good lens for macro and normal use, sice the front element is buried somewhere in there there is almost no flare.
    I have used it for some closeups, but I'd love to have a 200mm micro for getting 1:1 without having to be a few mm away.
    It works very well for copying documents and technical pictures, I use it a lot with a digital camera (D70) for work here in the university for my research.

    PS. Yes I remember World, I still have 7 years of that magazine (Hardbound per year) in my library, as a way to remember my childhood.

     
  5. eric

    eric Member

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    I have this setup but unfortunately, I don't use it much. Not in years actually. Its quite dark with the F2 and the lens is older so it does not fit my FM2. Yes, I know, mounts are the same, but when asked, it turned out that some of the older lenses are very thight on newer bodies and do-no-use-them on that body or I'll be damaging something.

    I'll have to try it again sometime. I have a waist level finder now so it might be easier to focus.
     
  6. Sanjay Sen

    Sanjay Sen Member

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    I have the 60mm f/2.8 AF which I've used for some flower and still life photography in daylight. I'd like to try photographing insects too, but haven't got around to that yet. With the 60mm, you have to get really close to get the 1:1 magnification; the 200mm will give you more room to work with. I've heard good things about the 55mm but I don't have it. Results with the 60mm have been pretty good for me.

    Photographing everyday things really close-up also sounds very interesting....
     
  7. Mongo

    Mongo Member

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    If your Nikon body support TTL flash metering, you're in with ease. Just get a cord to move the flash off of the body (make sure it's a cord that carries all of the signals...the Nikon cords are by far the best for this) and use the flash to illuminate your subject. No need for exposure compensation...just set up the light where you want it, set up any reflectors you want, focus, and shoot.

    My FE2 can actually be used for 1:1 macro work hand-held with the flash off-camera. (I have an old Vivitar 90mm f/2.5 lens that doesn't need an extension tube to reach 1:1 as well as a Nikkor 105mm f/4 macro that goes to 1:2 without a tube.) I just get the flash where I want it (with a bracket or a willing friend), focus the lens all of the way "in", and slowly move towards my subject until I find the focus point. With good reactions you can fire off the camera at this point and the short duration of the flash will give you deadly sharp pictures.

    Now, if your body doesn't do TTL flash metering, you have some math ahead of you. :smile:
     
  8. Thomas Wagner

    Thomas Wagner Member

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    I have done a lot of work in the past with my nikon and a lense reverser. A 50mm lense, used backwards by a simple adapter ring makes a pretty good macro lense.

    Tom
     
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    hi ara

    i don't have experience with the lens you mention, but i have years and years worth of the magazine ( i think 2 bankers boxes ?) that my parents gave me to take from "the museum" when they moved. i always think of the back end of a 50s era vw bug covered with snow.

    have fun with the lens!
    john
     
  10. macrorie

    macrorie Member

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    I have taken hundreds of photos of archaeological artifacts and have done a lot of copywork with a 55mm 3.5 AI lens on a F2A, and it is one of my favorite lenses. If you have not done much macro work, one piece of advice would be to systematically check the range of focus with the depth of field preview. It is definitely an advantage to have a camera with that feature, unless you are photographing in low light for some reason.
    mac
     
  11. harveyje

    harveyje Subscriber

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    The 55 micro was the first extra lens that I purchased after buying my Nikomat (I had just arrived in Okinawa). I have always loved the lens and macro photography. I also use it frequently for general photography. You must understand that the only automatic Nikon I have is a Nikkormat EL - the others are all completely manual.
     
  12. Dimitri

    Dimitri Member

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    I've been using the 105 Micro Nikkor for the past year now. Excellent quality and 1:1 with no extension tubes or attachment lenses. A bit expensive, but worth every penny.

    AF is not that fast, but then MF is supposed to be used most of the time.

    The good thing about the lens is the working distance, which is large enough not to scare bees and such.

    For illumination I bought an el-cheapo ring flash (comes under various brand names, mine's a TOPCON) and have been using it with a reasonable success rate.
     
  13. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    I've been using the phenomenal Kiron 105 macro. 1:1 without any adapters or tubes. 2:1 with a quality 2x teleconverter.

    Kiron Kid
     
  14. Ara Ghajanian

    Ara Ghajanian Member

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    Hey everyone,
    Thanks for all the insight on macro photography. I got the lens on Saturday and it's great. Only one gripe: in order to get 1:1 with the 55mm micro and the PK-13 extension tube, the front of the lens has to be a couple of inches from the subject. Not very good if you're using lighting due to shadows, etc. I think I should have gotten the 105mm micro instead. Oh well, I'll deal with it. I'll have some images for the Gallery soon.
    Ara
     
  15. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    I have used the 55mm 2.8 and 105mm f4. Both are lenses of good quality. The 105mm f4 required an f stop of f8 to really get sharp.

    If you get a bellows I would very much suggest that you also get adapter ring(s) allowing the use of both the Micro-Nikkor and your enlarging lenses to be used in the ordinary as well as the reversed mode. The reversed mode for 55mm threads will also allow use to use any lens with a 55mm thread reversed. For example if you wish to get a lot more magnification than is allowed by the Micro-Nikkor a reversed 28mm for example will allow you to do so and may give extraordinarily good results. If your interests, in the future, lie in really extremely large magnification than reversed movie camera lens can perform nicely. Of course one may use for example Photars and Luminars with great success they can be quite costly.