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  1. #31
    keithwms's Avatar
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    I have tried my hand at some "ultra-macro" with a cambo 8x10 monorail (inexpensive) and a little Nikon 120 AMED, the lens that became very inexpensive recently. As I recall, when using a diopter with that, 5:1 was no issue at all and I simply found it too annoying to focus after that.

    If I wanted to push further my advice would be to get that same camera, a long piece of aluminum extrusion to subtitute for the rail, an extra rear standard so that you can attach another segment of bellows, and that'd do it. Something like a cambo has the stability for ultra macro. The major issues at high mag are stability and well-controlled focusing. The good news is that the shutter impulse and such won't matter because you will be taking looooong exposures when you go appreciably past 1:1. You can use your lighting control to control the exposure- you don't need a shutter at all.

    But I would foremost think very carefully about the overall stability of your platform. People use heavy macro rails for a reason. A long-axis optical rig has real vibrational modes to worry about. In my profession we use inconel for this reason! Fortunately you won't have to go to that extreme, an old cambo would do nicely!
    "Only dead fish follow the stream"

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  2. #32
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Just another quick thought that struck me, how about using an enlarger. Nwo that is a stable platform for just about any enlargement. You would reverse the lens and put your film where the lights are.

    Hmm maybe I will try that.

    4x5 enlargers are quite inexpensive, especially without a light housing!
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  3. #33

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    Beseler IIRC made a copy setup to mount on 4x5 enlargers in place of the light source. I think it included a graflok back and took standard 4x5 film holders. OTOH the bellows on any 8x10 camera will go further then likely any 4x5 enlarger. Unless you use a big old process camera?

  4. #34
    keithwms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Zentena View Post
    Beseler IIRC made a copy setup to mount on 4x5 enlargers in place of the light source. I think it included a graflok back and took standard 4x5 film holders. OTOH the bellows on any 8x10 camera will go further then likely any 4x5 enlarger. Unless you use a big old process camera?
    I think my 4x5 enlargers go about 2 feet, but I guess one could extend that. That stuff is so inexpensive now.

    A process camera would definitely be the best overall performance! Say, I have a 600mm process lens and you only need ~2m of bellows draw to do macro!
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  5. #35

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    Just a note on Sonotube (Which someone suggested) It should work quite well as long as you flock the inside (flat black paint will probably work). a lot of people have used sonotube as the basis for homebuilt telescopes, so I don't see why a camera would be a problem.

  6. #36
    Dave Wooten's Avatar
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    build the slide in box, and mount on the front a small bellows with standard...these are available often 50.00 or less, ex a toyo rail front standard..then you have some movement and an easy lens mounting platform
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  7. #37

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    Thanks again everyone. I don't think an enlarger will be transportable enough for where i want to take it, but I'm thinking of throwing on a homemade bag bellows just behind the front standard. I'm thinking of using this mainly for toadstools etc so I'll be using it at ground level mostly. I think i'll do away with a tripod and just have permanent threaded rods attached which will support it. Also, has anyone needed to shoot through a mirror in order to get underneath fungi or something like this? With 8x10, even at best I'm going to be 4in. or 5in. above ground, usually above the toadstool. I understand focussing at 5:1 or so will be hard but I can't think of another way. I don't fancy digging holes for every shot!

  8. #38
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    If you use a standard rear-surface mirror you will get ghosting of the image due to internal reflection. You will need to pick up a front surface mirror from an optical surplus outlet. These have the silvering on the front surface instead of the rear. You can probably get away with a small one as you are macroing (Is that a word??). Alternatively you could grab the mirror out of an old slr or tlr as these are front surface.

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogzbum View Post
    If you use a standard rear-surface mirror you will get ghosting of the image due to internal reflection. You will need to pick up a front surface mirror from an optical surplus outlet. These have the silvering on the front surface instead of the rear. You can probably get away with a small one as you are macroing (Is that a word??). Alternatively you could grab the mirror out of an old slr or tlr as these are front surface.
    There are companies which sell first surface mirrors with protective coatings. Depending on the grade(flatness spec.) they can be reasonable to very costly. For this use you can use the lowest grade so it is not that costly. I'm sorry but I don't have the links any more.
    It's not the camera......

  10. #40

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    Thanks for that, I'm sure I can pick up a mirror from an old SLR from a repairer for almost nothing. I'll give that a go first. Thanks for the info, I did know it but had it stuck in the depths of my brain and it never came out :-)

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