I see your arguments, but the DOF on 4x5 really isn't bad for macros, and there is so much precision focusing it on that big ground glass.
Originally Posted by Bandicoot
I've tried it with 8x10 as well, and that's more of a problem; in part because you really do have to stop down a lot and you get into reciprocity problems.
I have a modern type Arca M, but for much of my work I use the old 'pre-M, pre-F' models. These are just as beautifully made, light and rigid, and currently a bargain on the used market. Apart frm the format frames and the bellows most parts are interchangeable between the old and new types, or can be made so with very little work. A used 'old style' Arca 6x9 is a very nice macro camera.
Originally Posted by Antje
Well, I did say that I liked 4x5 for macro, and I do do it, and 10x8 too. But for the OP's purposes, I wouldn't recommend it as the place to start. I wasn't saying 4x5 is bad for macro - quite the opposite - but responding specifically to the OP's question, to which I think there are better answers.
Originally Posted by DrPablo
Um, Antje, if your father wants convenience a field or view camera is not for him. I do closeup and macro (above 1:1) work with Nikons and Speed Graphics.
Until I figure out a convenient way to set up the Graphics for use with focus frames (and make the frames too), they're totally useless for moving subjects. And fairly slow to set up for subjects that hold still.
I continue to use the Graphics closeup even though they're slower-working and harder to use than the Nikons because they give better results. I don't use them to get higher magnification (larger image of the main subject) than is easy with the Nikons but to get more of the scene in the frame at the magnification I'd use with a Nikon.
Oh, yeah, I usually shoot with flash. Its essential when shooting hand-held to stop movement (even when the subject is a rock, I move), very helpful for stopping subject movement when shooting from from tripod. Wind is dangerous.
In MF, this limits you to using lenses with leaf shutters. No MF camera's focal plane shutter syncs with flash at a usefully high shutter speed. Do the thought experiment (ISO 100 film, 1/30 shutter speed, broad daylight) and you'll see why.
Dan, I totally agree - I shoot macro mostly with my Canon and a Canon MP-E. And some with my Hassy and some tubes. I wouldn't get my dad a view camera (that's a side project that came out of this thread that I am interested in myself). He used to own a Mamiya 645 (don't know which model), but apparently traded it in for a Pentax some time ago. But that one spends more time at the repair shop than in his photo bag.
Tough choices. In any case, I picked up that poor Mamiya 120 macro for under $200 I found. Looks clean so far. Maybe I'll just get a body for that and see how it handles. My husband is fearing the worst - Antje venturing into yet another camera system.
Another possibility is the Rolleiflex SL66. The lens racks out pretty far for 1:2 reproduction, and you can easily reverse the lens (without adapters) for 2:1 reproduction.
In all, it's a nice camera for close-up work. My only suggestion would be to use the camera on a sturdy tripod, as it's a hefty camera.
Plus, there are a decent selection of Carl Zeiss lenses for the SL66.
Here's my brief writeup on the SL66.
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what that guy said!
I'm not certain that a better MF for shooting macros has been conceived than the SL66. Made in Germany, formerly costing as much as a VW, now quite reasonably priced with affordable ($300-500) Zeiss Oberkochen lenses.
I own one with a Bill Maxwell screen installed, three film magazines, 45 deg prism plus WLF finder, and the 50-80-150-250 lenses. Its my main nature photography camera. Basic lens tilt has bought me 2-3 extra stops on many occasions that would leave the Hassey shooters blurry in the wind stopping down.
CZ Planar 80/2.8 (reversed)
Fuji Velvia 50
I respectfully disagree. I have never had many occasions to shoot a macro photo with higher than 1/30 using my SL66. With MF/LF, you are stopping down a fair bit, plus bellows factors, plus filter factors, plus slow film and its a non issue.
Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
Mike, if you use available darkness for illumination, then you can certainly use slow shutter speeds.
But if you use electronic flash and want to eliminate the effects of ambient light -- if you don't do this, you lose the motion-stopping advantage of flash -- then 1/30 is pretty limiting with most emulsions. Unless, that is, you can turn ambient light way down.
E.g., yesterday I wanted to do an ambient exposure of a wildflower. Got 1/2 second (f/16 + 2.5 stops bellows) Velvia 50. That's plenty enough to overpower ambient with 4 stops to 1/30, though that was overcast skies.
I was going to try a flash exposure two stops from ambient but it started raining on me and I had to get the beast packed away. I don't like shooting those black background type flash shots.
Its true I'm screwed in sunny f/16 conditions but I would sooner shoot ambient with a diffuser for a macro shot in those conditions.
Mike, I'm glad you see my point, albeit dimly because its so dark where you are. A substantial fraction of my outdoors macro shots have been taken where sunny 16 rules, so I'm sensitized, if not exactly sunburnt, to the need for high sync speeds. Gotta plan for the worst, not the best, shooting conditions, eh?