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Antje
08-31-2007, 09:09 AM
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

Nick Zentena
08-31-2007, 09:24 AM
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.

Dan Fromm
08-31-2007, 09:48 AM
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

DrPablo
08-31-2007, 10:07 AM
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.

Nick Zentena
08-31-2007, 10:12 AM
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

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?

Peter Williams
08-31-2007, 10:26 AM
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.

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.:)

Peter

Antje
08-31-2007, 10:47 AM
Wow, guys, I really like the 4x5 suggestion. Might get one for myself...

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

Antje

keithwms
08-31-2007, 11:24 AM
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.

Dan Fromm
08-31-2007, 12:00 PM
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?Uh, Nick, I said 105/4.5. And $300 from $700 leaves a bit for body, finder, and back.

Nick Zentena
08-31-2007, 12:20 PM
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.

Antje
08-31-2007, 12:35 PM
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. :)

Antje

Dan Fromm
08-31-2007, 01:21 PM
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

Antje
08-31-2007, 01:38 PM
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

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. :)

Antje

keithwms
08-31-2007, 01:50 PM
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 ;)

keithwms
08-31-2007, 01:58 PM
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.

Jon Shiu
08-31-2007, 03:07 PM
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

Bandicoot
08-31-2007, 09:15 PM
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. :)

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

Antje
09-01-2007, 02:32 PM
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...

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. ;) But on the other hand, I'm quite happy with the Hasselblad and tubes at the moment.



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.


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. :(

Antje

Antje
09-01-2007, 02:38 PM
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

MattKing
09-01-2007, 11:39 PM
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