Picking a 120mm Macro Lens - HELP

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by BOSS565, Oct 15, 2006.

  1. BOSS565

    BOSS565 Member

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    Does anyone have an opinion on large format Macro lens? Are there any major differences between the 120mm Nikon, Rodenstock and Schneider lens either in coverage, magnification or use? Thank you in advance.
     
  2. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    There is some difference of opinion on which is better at a particular magnification. Some time ago I was in this same debate and I concluded that, dollar for dollar, the Nikon was the best deal. What format do you need to cover?

    Then I went nuts and bought an enlarging lens and reversed it into a shutter, and that rig provides ridiculous macro magnification. The working distance is small and the lens cannot be stopped down as far as one may like, but if you're an extreme macro freak then it may be a way to go. The Nikkor EL lenses are going for a song.

    For 1:1 'barely' macro I just use my 150mm Schneider. If I had to shoot products then I would definitely pick up a true macro though.
     
  3. BOSS565

    BOSS565 Member

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    Sorry Keith, I forgot to mention that I use 4x5
     
  4. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    In a 120mm macro (makro) the Nikkor, Schneider, Rodenstock and Fujinon are all good but I found the Nikkor to be the sharpest. The down side is that prices have gone up now that it is out of production.
     
  5. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Here's what I gathered from a Japanese site: the 120 AMED will cover
    210mm at f/5.6 (good for 4"x5") and 250mm (5"×7") at f/22.

    Among the Schneiders, the 80 will barely 4x5, the 120 will 5x7, and the 180 will cover 8x10. I gleaned this from a pdf I got some time back from the Schneider site.

    I don't know offhand what my reversed EL rig will cover, I've only used it with medium format so far. But I can check how it fares on 4x5 if are interested.
     
  6. DrPablo

    DrPablo Member

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    Keith, what is the best DOF one can hope for with these extreme macro images?
     
  7. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Uh, zero :wink:

    You will be working with millimeters, not inches.

    But if that's a problem then you can of course crop into your frame to get effective magnification over a smaller film area.

    I can try to make an example when I get time.
     
  8. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    My 110mm Schneider Super Symmar XL covers 5x7 with movements. Stopped way down, it covers 8x10 with no movements.

    My 150mm Schneider Super Symmar XL covers 8x10 with movements.
     
  9. MichaelBriggs

    MichaelBriggs Member

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    A key criterion is what reproduction ratio is your goal.

    I see the Rodenstock Apo-Macro-Sironar as the most different. Both the AM-ED Nikkor and the Schneider Makro-Symmar HM are symmetrical designs, and thus optimized for life-size imaging. Schneider suggests their lens as suitable for reproduction range 1:4 to 4:1. Both the Nikkor and Schneider have 55 degree coverage, which is 250 mm diameter at 1:1. Rodenstock reasoned that photographers usually take pictures of objects a bit larger than 4x5 inches, and made a slightly non-symmtric lens, optimized for 1:2, i.e., half-life size image. The recommended range for the Rodenstock is 1:5 to 2:1. At 1:1, the coverage is 60 degrees, or 277 mm diameter. So a consideration might be the size of objects that you intend to photograph. If generally larger than 4x5, the Rodenstock might be better.

    If you want larger than life size images, reversed enlarging lenses work very well.