You'd be better off using enlarger objectives rather than cine primes. Something like a Rodagon can nearly compare to a Zeiss Luminar or Leitz Photar. Most cine primes don't work well in close-ups and should I ever have need to do macro cinematography I'd probably rig up a focusing mount (Zoerkendorfer makes these for still cameras) for an L39 enlarging objective (and then experiment with my various models and lengths to find an "optimum" for my application). Both Rodenstock and Schneider even made special versions of their "enlarging" objectives for use in macro work. There is even a variofocal (Schneider Betavaron) available. Any of these bits of "darkroom glass" should be cheap.
Originally Posted by Anupam Basu
Kino wrote "The Cine Raptar is a Kodak lens,"
Eh? Wot? Raptar is a Wollensak trade name. Were you thinking of Cine Ektars? Ektar is a Kodak trade name.
Ed, have you ever used a reversed cine objective?
Originally Posted by edz
In the book on photomacrography he wrote for EKCo ("Photomacrography", Kodak Publication #N16 when bundled with "Closeup Photography", #N12B, I think, by itself), H. Lou Gibson recommended using the 25/1.9 Cine Ektar II reversed. He reported that it performs well, might not be up to special purpose macro lenses.
I've shot a reversed 25/1.9 Cine Ektar II against two 25/3.5 Luminars. The Luminars performed nearly identically wide open, lost resolution on stopping down. Wide open the CE didn't match them, but at f/2.8 it beat them hands from at 10:1 to 20:1. It lost resolution on stopping down below f/2.8. The Luminars are a little easier to use, but the 25/1.9 CE II is better.
Note the range of magnifications. One wouldn't use a reversed cine lens at low magnification. But Kern made some magnificent macro lenses in several versions of C-mount (real C-mount, H16RX, H8RX). I have a 36/1.4 MacroSwitar in H8RX mount, machined to increase the far focusing distance on an S8 Beaulieu. Its unbeatable. And my much more modest 150/3.3 MacroYvar in C-mount isn't shabby either.
Enlarger lenses that match the better grade of macro lenses are very scarce. I've tried a small heap of them, the only ones I've found that are worth using are the 4"/5.6 and 135 mm/5.6 Enlarging Pro Raptars. The 4" is nearly as good as my 100/6.3 Neupolar from 1:8 to 4:1, matched a 100/6.3 Luminar over than range. Apertures tried were f/11 - f/22 up to 1:1, wide open from 1:1 to 4:1. All this with the lenses mounted normally, i.e., not reversed as is usual when working above 1:1. Come to think of it, the 75/3.5 Boyer Saphir B is usable, but its a little short for my applications.
Both C and D mounts have 32 TPI. The D mount is 5/8 inch. I use the old series adaptor rings to reverse mount movie and enlarging lenses on 35mm and LF cameras. A series 6 or 7 retainer ring epoxied, thread outward, on a lens board or body cap, can be used with step-up rings for about any size lens. Some old camera stores have boxes of adaptor rings hidden away somewhere to mount the lens on the retainer ring. The effective f/number is quite high with movie lenses reverse mounted for micro work. Thus, diffraction limits resolution, even when wide open.
Originally Posted by Lee L
Right you are Dan! I WAS thinking of an Ektar...
Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
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SRB made adapters for me so that I could reverse mount a 25mm Switar with BPM bellows. I only ever used the rig for one shot - a fake slo-mo shot of a needle falling into and following the vinyl groove.
Second Helen's recommendation of SRB. But for those of us in the US, www.skgrimes.com may be a bit less expensive because of the unfavorable (for us) price of UKP.
I was able to find filter step rings that fit my Cine Ektars, so didn't have to buy custom rings for reverse mounting. Note the plural. I've tried 25/1.4 and 15/2.5 CEs. These two are usable, but the 25/1.9 is much better.
A few questions on reverse mounting.
Ok. Now that I've read up a little bit more on C mounts and different mounting threads especially at this web page, I have a few more questions about mounting a C mount lens reversed.
Originally Posted by Jim Jones
I found that the C mount has a 1" diameter with 32TPI threads but reverse mounted, this mount is irrelevant to me as it's going to be outside, right? I couldn't find any information about the filter threads the lenses have which is what I need to reverse mount them with some sort of step down ring. I assume that just like SLR lenses C mount lenses come in a variety of filter diameters but what is the thread pitch for filters? Is it the same as for 35mm SLR filters? That would make life a lot simpler? (I couldn't find the specs for filter thread pitches for any camera)
Secondly, if I use a BR-2 ring to get from the F mount of my extension ring (maybe a bellows, but I am coming to that later) to a 52mm male filter thread, then is it just a matter of finding the appropriate step down rings to get to the filter size if the 25/1.9 Ektar, for example. If the filter pitch sizes are the same, I could just screw it on, right?
Finally, I can see that a bellows is not far away in my future . Unfortunatley, I've never handled one of these and all my knowledge is from internet forums and books. I know the Nikon Bellows system comes with male and female F-mounts on each end but are there generic bellows that I could get cheaper with maybe just screw mounts on them that I could just adapt with step down rings or the BR-2.
How usable are the C mount lenses with extension rings for macro - or is bellows a must? I just spent a bunch on a tripod and would like to defer the bellows for some time or keep its cost to a minimum.
I know I am asking a lot of naive questions, but I really appreciate any help in this area.
Anupam, you're right that a reversed lens' native mount is irrelevant. And yes, if you can find the right step rings or have one made to fit, you can screw a reversed cine lens right on the adapter(s) and then on to, say, a BR-2, as you suggested.
A bellows gives variable extension, extension tubes give extension in fixed increments. But not all tubes in a system are the same length, so it is often possible to get nearly the desired extension (= nearly the desired magnification) with tubes.
FWIW, I don't use Nikon F-mount tubes, they're too expensive and too short. I use E. Leitz New York (ELNY) tubes with mount adapters at each end; I have around 30" of them. The only problem with using non-Nikon F-mount tubes on a Nikon is finding an adapter to attach the string of tubes to the body. I have a couple of Novoflex NIKLEIs and a real Nikon El-F, but these things are rarely cheap and not too easy to find.
And if you can get the right adapters there's no reason to use a Nikon F-mount bellows. I have three bellows, probably use the Zenit (?), which is M39x1 at both ends, most. Also sometimes use a Minolta Compact Bellows, with other adapters. But if you don't want to spend the rest of the year chasing adapters or to buy them new at new prices, get a bellows in Nikon F-mount.
What you do want in a bellows is one with a moveable front standard or with a front standard fixed at the front end of the rail. Otherwise you risk the front of rail interfering with your subject.
I think you can get -- no promises and I'm not going to go shopping for you or give you anything -- , say, a 25/1.9 CE II, step rings, BR-2, and a bellows that will do for no more than $100; I'd be surprised if you had to spend more.
Last edited by Dan Fromm; 03-21-2006 at 05:55 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: bad typo
I think I saw someone else mention this earlier in the thread, but couldn't find it. At these magnifications you'll want to use a focusing rail. One driven by a rack and pinion or a threaded rod (like the Bogen 3419 Micro Positioning Plate) is best.
You can't focus effectively with bellows or by shifting the tripod at the magnifications you're talking about, so you need to move the whole rig (camera, lens, bellows) back and forth in very small increments to focus. It can be done with a sliding rail, but a rack & pinion or screw drive is much better.
Sorry to add to your equipment list. Have you considered reversing rings for stacking a couple of your existing lenses? See Shaw for how to do this and to calculate reproduction ratios.
BTW, I've seen good deals on bellows and tubes at the "camera shows" where people swap and dealers sell used equipment. I picked up a bellows with 39mm Leica threads on each end and a chimney finder/focuser (to provide SLR type viewing with rangefinders) a few weeks ago. It came with a 135mm f:4.5 Culminar lens and standard helical focusing lens barrel for $75. The results from the lens knocked me out when I saw them. (This is probably a late '40s early '50s bellows rig, perhaps Steinheil or early Novoflex.)
My son picked up a mint set of extension tubes for his Minoltas for about $20 at an earlier camera show.