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  1. #1
    Steaphany's Avatar
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    When does Macro become Microscopy

    As per this video:


    Sigma considers a lens suitable for Macro if the image projected on the imager, or film, is at least 1/3 the size of the subject. My example of Sigma lenses here is due to both my Sigma SA9 and SD14 having the SA mount and use the same lenses.

    My question is, When does Macro Photography step beyond Macro and enter into the realm of Microscopy ?

    I would not mind having a lens, whether for my 35mm cameras or for my medium format Mamiya RB67 Pro SD, that could capture subjects at 10:1, 10X, or even 25:1, 25X. ( At 25X, a 1mm subject would just exceed a 35mm frame )
    Cameras: Mamiya RB67 Pro SD fSLR, Sigma SD-14 dSLR & SA-9 fSLR, Voigtländer Bessa, Konica BigMini 302 ( Yup, I Shoot Film )
    Lenses: Mamiya K/L 65mm, C 150mm SF, Sigma 28mm, 18-50mm, 28-80mm, 70-300mm, Orion 1250mm Maksutov-Cassegrain, & DIY f/176 Pinhole
    My Photography

  2. #2

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    Depends on whether or not you have a Nikon lens. In Nikon Speak, a lens that is 1:1 reproduction or larger is a micro lens. If its not a Nikon lens, up to 1:1 reproduction is a macro lens. Beyond 1:1 reproduction is micro (or microscope) territory.
    "Insert pithy philosophic statement of your choice here".

  3. #3
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    I thought I had an answer from J. Harris Gable, "Complete Introduction to Photography" because it has phrases like "Do not confuse..."

    But turns out you should not confuse "Photomacrograph" a picture taken where the subject is larger than life size on the negative... with "Macrophotograph" which is simply a big picture.

    And you should not confuse "Photomicrography" which is photographs taken with a microscope... with "Microphotograph" which is a microscopic size photograph.

    Great! Four answers but not one of them answers your question.

  4. #4
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by momus View Post
    Depends on whether or not you have a Nikon lens. In Nikon Speak, a lens that is 1:1 reproduction or larger is a micro lens. If its not a Nikon lens, up to 1:1 reproduction is a macro lens. Beyond 1:1 reproduction is micro (or microscope) territory.
    +1;that's my understanding as welll;up to 1:1 is macro; beyond it is micro.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
    +1;that's my understanding as welll;up to 1:1 is macro; beyond it is micro.
    Ayup, me too.

    Did she actually say 1:4 is life size? That would be 1/4 life size, 1:1 is life size.

    A lot of zooms use the term macro in their blurbs but I doubt that any are as sharp as a true macro design. That said, they may good enough for government work. That's like an old reference to "Eh! Good enough"

    Nikon,Canon, Zeiss, Olympus all made true micros but are used with bellows.

    Nikon seems to cloud the issue a bit calling their macro lenses "micro-nikkors"
    Last edited by John Koehrer; 02-28-2015 at 12:37 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Some might say I have a bad attitude! Too bad.

  6. #6
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    Olympus's OM was one of the most complete systems for both macro- and microphotography. What they say on the topic is determined by usage of a microscope, not determined merely by scale.

    "Between the range of some 1/5 life size, through those magnifications where the size of the image on the film is the same as that of the actual subject in real life, and on to still larger images (up to some 16 times life size) is the magic territory we refer to as the world of macrophotography.
    ...When a photographic lens is used to take pictures at over about 10 times life size magnifications, a number of unfavorable factors come into prominence. The makes high magnification macrophotography very trying. At this point we find that microscope photography with the aid of the OM System Photomicro Group provides a more satisfactory answer."

    The OM System Lens Handbook
    , Olympus Optical Co. Ltd., 1985

  7. #7

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    In Scientific Photomacrography, #31 in the RMS Microscopy Handbooks series, Brian Bracegirdle defines photography at magnifications up to 1x as closeup photography, at magnifications from 1x to 50x with a single stage of magnification as photomacrography, and above 50x with two stages of magnification (using a compound microscope) as photomicrography.

    That said, all of these words are used loosely in most contexts so fighting to the death over what they really mean seems excessive.

  8. #8
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    In Scientific Photomacrography, #31 in the RMS Microscopy Handbooks series, Brian Bracegirdle defines photography at magnifications up to 1x as closeup photography, at magnifications from 1x to 50x with a single stage of magnification as photomacrography, and above 50x with two stages of magnification (using a compound microscope) as photomicrography.

    That said, all of these words are used loosely in most contexts so fighting to the death over what they really mean seems excessive.
    I'd agree, macro photography is a lens on a camera photo-micrography is a camera attached to a microscope more usually, although we use the term photomicroscopy, of course there's an area of cross over. It's 40 years since I last used a camera with optical and electron microscopes.

    Ian

  9. #9
    Nodda Duma's Avatar
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    When you can't see details of the subject with the unaided eye.

  10. #10
    Bosaiya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nodda Duma View Post
    When you can't see details of the subject with the unaided eye.
    Then as with most things the meaning changes with age.

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