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Feral Donkey
04-06-2006, 08:31 PM
Which do you guys prefer? I just used my extension tubes for the first time today and I'm not the happiest. I don't know why, but when I used extension tubes with my 35mm rig, it was much easier to find the sweet spot. I used them on my 200 and 75 in different stack ups.

Now with the 120mm Macro lens can you focus all the way out to infinity and use it as a portrait lens also? Could somebody tell me what you think about that lens or the 135mm for the 67?

I'm about ready to send this set of tubes back to KEH and exchange it for a macro lens.

Loose Gravel
04-06-2006, 11:33 PM
I have the 135mm and the tubes. The tubes are not everything I dreamed of, but neither is the 135mm. I've only used the tubes a couple of times, but they are not full auto with the P67II. With the lens alone, I can only get to 2.4feet. At that point, the width of the field is about 6.5 to 7 inches. Certainly not 1:1. I don't know about the 120mm macro. I'm considering using a diopter lens instead of the tubes. I don't know how close these get or what the options are or if Pentax diopters are better than anyone else's. Maybe someone else knows.

Ole
09-03-2006, 09:05 AM
Both (35mm).

I have a 100mm Macro lens, which is great for moderate distances. For getting even closer I use a bellows, mostly with an Industar 90-U (75mm) enlarger lens.

I've also just bought two tubes for my Bronica ETRS, but haven't used them yet. The bellows unit for that camera is still too expensive, a LF camera with a rollfilm back is both cheaper and better for working very close!

Nick Zentena
09-03-2006, 09:40 AM
With the tubes you'll also be able to get closer without getting into macro range. Assuming short tubes. Some times that alone makes them worth while.

I can't see why a macro lens would be easier to find the sweet spot then tubes. How long a lens and at what F/stops?

Dan Fromm
09-03-2006, 09:46 AM
Wild Ass, it really depends on the lens.

On 35 mm -- not what you asked about -- most f/1.7 - f/2 50 mm lenses do fairly well closeup on tubes or bellows. Telephoto lenses, and by telephoto I mean lenses with rear node out front, not long focus lenses, are another matter.

There are two significant differences between "macro" lenses and "regular" lenses made for shooting at distance.

A lens' corrections can be optimized for only one distance/magnification. "Macro" lenses made to be mounted in focusing helicals are typically optimized for a magnification in the range 1:1 to 1:10; "regular" lenses are typically optimized for 1:20 or smaller. So a macro lens will give better image quality in the closeup range (1:1 - 1:10) than will a "regular" lens. And a macro lens may be somewhat worse than a regular lens at distance.

The other difference applies only to lenses mounted in focusing helicals. Macro lenses helicals will let them focus close. "Regular" lenses' helicals won't.

I mentioned that f/1.7 - f/2 normal lenses for 35 mm cameras usually do pretty well closeup. So will f/2.0 - f/3.5 normal lenses for MF cameras, highly asymmetrical lenses like f/2.8 and f/3.5 Tessars excepted.

So what to do? It depends on budget, goals, and strength of back. I used to carry a 50/1.4 Nikkor and a 55/3.5 MicroNikkor. After a time I decided that that was dumb and used the 50/1.4 as a down payment on something else.

So what do I do? On 35 mm -- NOT what you asked about -- my kit contains 55, 105, and 200 MicroNikkors and nothing else at/near those focal lengths. I also shoot 2x3 Graphics, with them I shoot closeup mainly with a 100/6.3 Reichert Neupolar. This is a bigod real macro lens from a microscope manufacturer, works well from 1:8 to 8:1 but the highest I can easily go on a 2x3 Graphic is ~ 2.2:1. I'm trying out a 105/5.6 Componon as a replacement for the Neupolar, for a variety of reasons the Neupolar is hard to use. I also have longer process lenses that I use at lower magnifications, especially when getting close to the subject is difficult.

There are other ways to get the magnification. For a deeper discussion -- you'll have to abstract away from the gear mentioned to yours -- see A. A. Blaker's book Field Photography or Lester Lefkowitz' book The Manual of Closeup Photography. Both are out of print, can be found through on-line book finding services like abebooks.com, addall.com, amazon.com.

FWIW, if I were you I'd get the macro lens. But its your money, not mine.

Good luck, have fun,

Dan

rembrant
03-27-2008, 04:59 PM
Macro can be a technical/high detail illustration such as the mechanism of a watch or can be an abstract art form where the viewpoint is rather abstract and form,color,and composition are predominant and what the subject IS may be LESS evident because of it being so out of the usual scale.

I like to put my 300 f4 tele on a bellows and shoot flowers. Even better....use a grainy high speed slide film. The results are not "accurate" as much as interpretive. I may stick an old Zeiss Tessar on tubes just for a different flavor. Again...the most "true" rendition isn't the point as much as findind a bit of extra "soul" in the subject. Much of the attraction of macro is that you get a much different view of what might be something fairly common. NOT using the "right" lens or film may actually add to that. The unexpected is what can seperate solid from special or craftsmanship from art. 35 mm's edge in macro is in large part that you are more apt to have an assortment of hardware as well as the relative agility to find the point of view. Often the GREAT shot is what you got using the WRONG lens and an unlikely angle and composition.

Russ Young
03-29-2008, 09:24 AM
I have an old Pentax 6x7 which made lots of money for my studio "back when" by doing copy work with the 135 macro. For most of that work, no additional accessories were needed. Eventually I had to buy the tube set but never needed any more than a single tube from the three tube set. The bellows were never under consideration due to their cost. Long after my career was no longer in the studio, I did acquire the bellows, dual cable release, etc. My opinion: it is a royal pain in the ass (no insult intended, feral donkey) to use and is of no practical-world advantage over the tubes unless you consistently do larger than 2:1 macro. Of course, your mileage may vary.

Russ

dynachrome
05-05-2008, 11:19 AM
I would have to guess that most macro work with film cameras is done with 35mm equipment. There were systems like the Nikon Multiphot and the Polaroid MP-4 which allowed macro work to be done with more convenience on 4X5 film but this was often copy work. If you are limited to a magnification of not greater than 1:1, any subject which is 24X36mm or smaller should probably be done with 35mm equipment. With a rigid set-up and fine grain film you can enlarge the 35mm slide or negative quite a lot. A subject which is 24X36mm and which is shot at 1:1 will provide the same usable space on the slide or negative on 35mm film as on the film of any larger format. To gain any advantage in image quality by using medium format equipment you would need to shoot the same subject at 2X or 3X. This is much more difficult to do with medium format equipment. I have plenty of 35mm macro equipment but my medium format SLR cameras are all Bronica ETR/SQ/GS-1 models and the bodies have no shutters. If I had a Pentax 6X7 I might make my own extension tubes in different lengths and attach enlarging lenses to them. This would work on a coy stand or with a strong focusing rail.

Dan Fromm
05-05-2008, 01:05 PM
I would have to guess that most macro work with film cameras is done with 35mm equipment. There were systems like the Nikon Multiphot and the Polaroid MP-4 which allowed macro work to be done with more convenience on 4X5 film but this was often copy work. If you are limited to a magnification of not greater than 1:1, any subject which is 24X36mm or smaller should probably be done with 35mm equipment. With a rigid set-up and fine grain film you can enlarge the 35mm slide or negative quite a lot. A subject which is 24X36mm and which is shot at 1:1 will provide the same usable space on the slide or negative on 35mm film as on the film of any larger format. To gain any advantage in image quality by using medium format equipment you would need to shoot the same subject at 2X or 3X. This is much more difficult to do with medium format equipment. I have plenty of 35mm macro equipment but my medium format SLR cameras are all Bronica ETR/SQ/GS-1 models and the bodies have no shutters. If I had a Pentax 6X7 I might make my own extension tubes in different lengths and attach enlarging lenses to them. This would work on a coy stand or with a strong focusing rail.Silly ideas. You don't know that I shoot 2x3, or why.

Short answer, to get closeup shots of, e.g., flowers with good detail in the main subject and a reasonable amount of its surroundings in the frame. With 35 mm one can get one or the other, not both.

It is tempting to shoot 2x3 above 1:1 and sometimes it makes sense, but the real rewards for moving up in format are in the range 1:4 to 1:1. But 645 is only half frame 2x3, looks pretty punk in comparison. And 2x3, which I like, is pretty punk in comparison with 4x5.

dynachrome
05-11-2008, 11:22 PM
Dan, I don't know why you think it isn't possible to get good detail in flowers with 35mm equipment while at the same time getting their surroundings in the frame. With Velvia or EVS or even EB you can get a tremendous amount of detail. To see this in a print you need very high resolution scans but it can be done. If you are referring to swings and tilts then this is a different subject. The front standard of the Minolta Auto Bellows III has movements. If I know I will want to use these movements and I am in the 1:4 to 1:1 range then I will use an enlarging lens with enough coverage for what I need. I have successfully used the Bogen 60mm f/4 Wide Angle enlarging lens, a 150/5.6 Rodagon, a 105/5.6 EL Nikkor and others with the bellows and with movements. If I don't need movements I can use my Bronica GS-1 with a G-36 extension tube and the 100/3.5. This lens is not as well corrected in the close range as some others but if I close down to f/8 or f/11 I will still get a very high quality image. I will then be comparing a 6X7 negative with a 6X9 (2X3). It I am using the SQ-A I can use either an S-36 extension tube with the 80/2.8 PS or I can also add the 2X S teleconverter. If I had a Pentax 6X7 I would still be tempted to either buy or make extension tubes and attach enlarging lenses for close-up work. I wouldn't have the movements of a view camera or even those of my Auto Bellows III but there is no reason this wouldn't work. As far as how the format sizes compare to each other, that depends on how large your prints are going to be. If you are ever in the NYC area we can request tripod permits from the Botanical Gardens in The Bronx and go shooting for a day.

Dan Fromm
05-12-2008, 06:27 AM
dynachrome, I'm still shooting 135 KM, don't need or even like Velveeta. EVS and EB don't come close. E100G doesn't come closer either, but a 2x3 E100G shot has to be enlarged less than half as much as a 135 KM shot to get the same print size and E100G is better than half as good as KM. For me, at least, that ends the discussion.

I examine my shots with a good 8x magnifier or a stereo microscope. I don't need to scan to see what they contain. My 35 mm KM shots don't enlarge well to 8x10. Experienced guests tell me that I'm too critical of my own work; they see strong images where I see unacceptable fuzziness. From a couple of feet they look fine, from 10" they don't pass muster (according to me). Projected they look very good.

Just about anything will print well at small sizes, even really crappy digital.

Gear?

35 mm, usually 105/2.8 MicroNikkor AIS on an FM2n. Flash illumination by a pair of Minolta Electroflash 20s on a Spiratone Macrodapter. I shoot at what I've decided are too small apertures, have to put ND gels on the flashes. I shoot the 105 with flash hand-held. Very occasionally a 40/4.5 Luminar on Minolta Compact Bellows on the FM2n (lots of adapters at both ends of the bellows), always from tripod with 2-axis rail.

2x3, Pacemaker Speed Graphic with 100/6.3 Neupolar or 4"/5.6 Enlarging Pro Raptar, occasionally with a longer process lens, e.g., 180/9 Apo Saphir. Depending on the situation, available darkness, a single handheld Vivitar 283 with VP-1, or a pair of 283s with VP-1s on a bracket I made. Am just testing another smaller Jones macro bracket (very rare) that holds a pair of small flashes with ND gels. Always from tripod, usually with 2-axis rail.

I aim for 8x10 prints. Starting from a 2x3 tranny, this means that I can't shoot at apertures smaller than f/16 (set, effective is usually considerably smaller).

Cheers,

Dan

dynachrome
05-12-2008, 10:26 AM
Dan,

I think you answered some of my questions. I still have some KM left and I agree that it is a great film. When it was available and when it could be processed I also shot 120 Kodachrome. I shot 35mm Ektachrome last week and when it comes back from the lab I would like to have an 8X10 made from one of them and send it to you. I started shooting more slide film at about the time that Type R materials were being phased out. I actually preferred the look of Type R prints to that of scanned and digitally printed slides. Even with contrast masks it was not possible to control contrast as well as you can with scanning and digital printing. The first print order I got from The Slideprinter after they had switched over to scanning and digital printing was a surprise. The slides I has sent were KM. I expected to see the KM grain pattern but instead, when I looked at the 8X10 and 11X14 prints with a magnifier, I saw the pattern of the digital printer. From even a little distance the prints looked very good and I would say that shadow detail was better than what I had seen with Type R prints. The problem with this arrangement for me is that if you look very closely at a print (with a magnifier) and if the print was made digitally the same pattern will appear whether you used 35mm film, 120 film or even 4X5.

Overall quality, from even a small distance, can be better with the larger formats but the resolution of the scan and the dpi output of the printer will make important differences. For making 8X10 prints with minimal cropping on the 8" side there isn't much of an advantage in using 6X9 over 6X7. The more important advantages you would have would be camera back amd lens board movements.

Now I'm curious about how much KM I actually have in the freezer. I have never liked Velvia (50) for people and it will never have the exact same overall look as KM but where sharpness and fine grain are concerned, nice work can be done with that film too.

Dan Fromm
05-12-2008, 11:43 AM
Thanks for the kind offer of a sample print. I have no idea whether the labs I use for color prints do as well as possible. I have a print on my desk of an E100G shot (not closeup) taken with a Perkeo II that has an 80/3.5 Color Skopar. The tranny's soft everywhere -- possibly the lens isn't all that sharp at, IIRC, f/11, possibly I'm not steady enough -- but the print is no softer. The lab that made it will print on glossy paper if asked, for sharpness that's a better surface and any of the various mattes. Thing is, at 8-12x, every image I've ever put on film, with the possible exception of some copy stand shots at relatively large apertures, is soft. This is partly, as I've said, because I often shoot stopped down too far, but happens even when I don't.

I prefer evaluating original transparencies and negatives to evaluating scans and prints from scans for the reasons you brought forward. I'm not anti-digital like many here, but when working with film going to digital in order to evaluate what one has seems, um, incorrect. Stupid,even.

Funny you should mention movements. Practically speaking, my little Graphics' only useful movement is front rise, and in closeup work moving the camera is better. I don't miss movements much when working closeup, I can usually make the film plane parallel to the intended plane of best focus. Landscapes are another matter entirely.

IMO Velveeta is sharp enough, but the colors are false. I remember shots of a Sicydium with brilliant blue in its dorsal fins. They came out correctly on KM, velvety black on Velveeta. For me, that was the end of RVP.

My other objection to Velveeta, if it really is an ISO 50 film, is that it is too fast. KM is at least a stop faster than I really need. The people who love fast films don't try to do close up work out-of-doors with flash illumination. With ISO 100 film it takes quite a fast shutter speed to reduce ambient enough in the worst situations; my 35 mm SLRs' 1/250 synch speed can't quite do it, another reason for using a Copal #1 (1/400) or SynchroCompur #1 (1/500) with my macro lenses on the Graphic. I mourned seriously when KM was discontinued and I realised I'd have to use an ISO 100 E6 emulsion in my Nikons.

I agree with you that 6x7 and 6x9 aren't that different. But my guru, such as he is, A. A. Blaker made the point in Field Photography that the returns to moving up in format without at least doubling both dimensions of the frame aren't worth the trouble. 24x36 doubled is 48x72, so a long 6x7 just meets Blaker's criterion, but 6x9 beats it. And that's why I went 6x9. I don't regret it, but many people are happy with 6x7.

telkwa
09-01-2008, 06:16 PM
I don't like the 135mm for the 6x7. It's macro ratio is pretty awful. You'll want tubes for that.
The 120mm for 645 is a good lens and goes to 1:1. I've never wanted to get closer than that.
I have a 100mm Macro 1:2 for 35mm, which at first I thought was pretty good, but after using the 120mm it just doens't cut it :)

michael9793
11-22-2008, 10:46 AM
So,
I just read this threat and I just got a 135mm macro for my 67 II and am very disappointed with the fact that it has a bad ratio to it. At work (dentistry) I use a Canon 10D with a 100mm macro with a ring light and I can get down to 3 teeth in photographing without any other help. Why couldn't they do this with the 67. Can you shoot small flower with the extension tubes. I understand that the larger the film size the harder it is to get 1:1 since 1:1 on 35mm is much smaller a area than a 1:1 on 4x5.

panastasia
11-22-2008, 11:58 AM
So,
I just read this threat and I just got a 135mm macro for my 67 II and am very disappointed with the fact that it has a bad ratio to it. At work (dentistry) I use a Canon 10D with a 100mm macro with a ring light and I can get down to 3 teeth in photographing without any other help. Why couldn't they do this with the 67. Can you shoot small flower with the extension tubes. I understand that the larger the film size the harder it is to get 1:1 since 1:1 on 35mm is much smaller a area than a 1:1 on 4x5.

The RB67 can get 2:1 with the 90mm standard lens w/o extension tubes - the bellows focusing extends 40mm+ and the floating lens elements found in the 50mm thru 140mm macro lenses allow good flat field focusing. The wider lenses will get very close, beyond 1:1 mag. ratio.

I'll admit: 35mm macro photography is easier but for prints greater than 5x7 inches 6x7 format is better; although, you can go closer with 35mm, especially if you use micro lenses which can give you 1:20 magnification ratio.

View cameras are great for doing macro work but movements offer no advantage with such shallow DOF.

Q.G.
11-23-2008, 06:06 PM
The amount of extension needed is directly proportional to the focal length. Longer lenses (MF lenses are longer) thus need more extension than shorter lenses (like the ones used on 35 mm cameras and the even shorter ones used on sub-35 mm format digital sensor cameras) to reach the same degree of magnification.

Also, 35 mm format lenses are smaller, and fancy tricks, like not just using extension to reach a certain degree of magnification, but changing the focal length of the lens while focussing as well, are a lot cheaper then they would be if the lens would have to cover a larger format.

MF lenses are larger, thus put more weight on the focussing helicoid. This sets a mechanical limit to how far you can rack tsuch a thing out before it will start to sag under the strain.

So you will need rigid extension tubes sooner with larger formats than with smaller formats.

Now if all you want to record are three teeth at 1:1, and these fit inside a 35 mm frame, there is absolutely no reason to use a larger format. All you will get is more of what is next to the teeth, more of what you were not interested in.
If you want to photograph the same three teeth, but at a higher magnification, so the fill the larger 6x7 frame the same as they do the 35 mm frame, you will need a bigger, more cumbersome kit.

View camera's movements do offer advantages, because you can position the plane of focus more or less where you like. It is not necessary (as in cameras without movements) to have it paralel to the film plane. Can be of very great help to get more of the image in focus (and/or in depth of field).

bagdad child
05-28-2009, 04:08 PM
I have used the extension tubes for a few months now, mostly with my 90mm (non LS) and 200mm f/4 (late) lenses. I was quite overwhelmed initially but now I get some really nice work with the setup. What I find most difficult is composition and framing and not having unwanted things coming in the picture and I don't pay attention to it in the waistlevel finder image. Focusing is no problems for me and proper depth of field is a matter of practise. Do you have the correction tables for lenses with the extension tubes? For close-up and macro I mostly shoot color negative - I apply the correction and then usually add about an extra stop or two of exposure to avoid getting black background areas. The lenses are both excellent and extremely sharp. The 90mm stops down to f/22 which may be a disadvantage whereas the 200mm goes to f/32. I hear some people recommending the 90-180mm zoom for macro. The minimum aperture is f/45. The lens is apparently very good but I have no idea about performance at f/45. I also have the reverse adapter which may produce some intriguing images but I have not yet tried it.

Bosaiya
06-03-2009, 03:48 PM
View cameras are great for doing macro work but movements offer no advantage with such shallow DOF.

That depends entirely on your intention.

(I know it's an old thread, but I thought it was worth mentioning)

Galah
06-04-2009, 02:59 AM
So,
I just read this threat and I just got a 135mm macro for my 67 II and am very disappointed with the fact that it has a bad ratio to it. At work (dentistry) I use a Canon 10D with a 100mm macro with a ring light and I can get down to 3 teeth in photographing without any other help. Why couldn't they do this with the 67. Can you shoot small flower with the extension tubes. I understand that the larger the film size the harder it is to get 1:1 since 1:1 on 35mm is much smaller a area than a 1:1 on 4x5.

My dentist uses a "cord" on the end of which is a very small digital lens (smaller than the end-cap of a ballpoint pen).

With this, he can get down to just the crown of of a single tooth to display on his 17" monitor in live colour (in real time), a movie clip, or get a still of it for discussion of any defects in the tooth, old fillings, and work needed: fabulous!

Horses for courses.:)