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Thread: Macro with 4x5

  1. #1
    Willie Jan's Avatar
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    Macro with 4x5

    Hi,
    i would like to shoot with my 4x5 and 120 macro a subject that is about 1"x1".
    I hoped to get as much detail as possible by going to 3:1.

    But focusing is a pain to get it right.
    The fresnel makes it harder i guess.
    What is best way to do this?

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    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Use a lot of light to focus, even if you don't use that much light to make the exposure.

    Focus with the rear standard or by moving the camera. Focusing with the front standard will be nearly impossible. Linhof makes a macro rail for LF.

    Here's an example with a photo of the setup in my APUG gallery--

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphot...=all&ppuser=60

    This was before I had a Linhof macro rail. I have a short Arca-Swiss plate on the Technika body and a 4" Arca-Swiss type plate on the bed, and I can slide the whole camera in the Arca-Swiss type clamp to focus. It isn't as precise as a geared focus rail, but it's not bad.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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    Willie Jan's Avatar
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    Maybe the light was indeed the problem for me to focus it correct.
    I use a cambo master. Focussing is always done with the back standard. Should be no problem....


    A friend of my uses a flat surface where the subject is placed.
    This surface has a millimeter movement mechanism from a depth measurement tool that measures 1/100 millimeter.
    So he moves the subject and not the camera.

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    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Sometimes I use a small LED flashlight very close to the subject for focusing.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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    BradS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    ...Focus with the rear standard or by moving the camera. Focusing with the front standard will be nearly impossible.....

    This really is the key to doing macro.

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    Bosaiya's Avatar
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    Compose with the front, focus with the back works for me. I don't use a lot of light, but I keep a pretty good amount of dark material around my head and the ground glass to maximize what is available. Make sure you close off the bottom as well since that lets in more than you might think (grip together with a free hand, use some sort of elastic enclosure, etc.). A set of reading glasses help, if you don't already use them, to get closer to the ground glass. I normally work in the 12:1 (12x) range, but go up beyond 20:1 when the subject calls for it. Don't forget to compensate for bellows extension.

    Of course the biggest suggestion is to practice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willie Jan View Post
    A friend of my uses a flat surface where the subject is placed.
    This surface has a millimeter movement mechanism from a depth measurement tool that measures 1/100 millimeter.
    So he moves the subject and not the camera.
    I have been thinking about building a similar thing. Can you buy those? What are they called?

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    This may be off-topic, but is the "compose with the front, focus with the rear" also responsible for why it is so darn difficult to do high magnification with my Mamiya RB67?

    Up to 1:2 or so things are easy enough, but beyond that (> 1:1), the physical act of moving the lens closer to the subject as the bellows is extended actually overwhelms the intention of bringing the focus point closer to the lens, so that focusing "closer" actually moves the plane of focus further away from the camera.

    It would be interesting to devise a mechanism of attaching the lens to a tripod / focusing rail, thereby freely moving the camera body backwards when focusing. Hmm...

    On a related note, Bosaiya, I would *love* to see some of those 20:1 mcro shots on 4x5, I have never seen examples of such extreme magnification. I can imagine you need some very strong light on the subject to focus and compose, as well as extreme bellows extension and a subject mere millimeters from the lens. This will take some doing I imagine. 2:1 on 6x7cm is tough enough already.

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    Willie Jan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by verney View Post
    I have been thinking about building a similar thing. Can you buy those? What are they called?
    He made it himself.
    He used a micrometer and a small table from which the top plate can move back/forward attached to the micrometer. Build from metal so the table will not move.

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    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by philosomatographer View Post
    This may be off-topic, but is the "compose with the front, focus with the rear" also responsible for why it is so darn difficult to do high magnification with my Mamiya RB67?
    In this situation, the best approach is to set the lens and move the whole camera on a macro focusing rail. The Linhof focusing rail is sturdy enough for a medium format SLR. I've posted a photo of the rail in another thread--

    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum206/...tml#post747379

    This is the newest version of the rail that I've seen. There's also an older version that comes in that 70's Linhof light tan color that shows up more frequently on eBay.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

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