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  1. #1
    gma
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    4x5 macro photography

    I have an idea to use my Pentax 55mm SMC Takumar for some macro photos on a 4x5 view camera. I plan to mount the lens backward and use long calculated exposures with controlled studio lighting. Any reason this is not a valid method? Any comments appreciated.

  2. #2
    glbeas's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have the technique nailed to me. Got a darkroom handy to check the bellows and reciprocity compensation?
    Gary Beasley

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    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    just make sure you have enough coverage from the lens.
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    At high magnification you should have adequate coverage with the 55mm, but the working distances may be too close to allow proper lighting. I like to use at least a 110mm and usually a 150mm for macro work with a 4x5.
    Tom Hoskinson
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    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    Tom, is that a 110 or 150 normally used on 35mm?
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    No Eric,
    I generally use my 110mm Super Symmar XL and either my 150mm Apo Ronar or my 150mm Apo Sironar for LF macro work. All of these lenses cover 4x5 at infinity and all are in Copal shutters. I also use these same lenses (bellows mounted) for Medium Format macro work.

    However, at high magnifications 100mm and 150mm 35mm lenses will work - no shutters, of course.
    Tom Hoskinson
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  7. #7
    gma
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    If my calculations are correct for a two inch lens I will have a lens to subject distance of 2.9" and a lens to film distance of 6.4" for a magnification of 2X plus with adequate 60 degree cone coverage for the 4x5 film. I want to make some macro photos of plant structure. My wife has some interesting specimens in the garden window. Since the lens to film distance is 3X focal length that means the exposure compensation is 3 Squared or 9X, right? So if I read 1/10 second on the meter it will really be 1 second plus reciprocity effect.

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    You might want to make a white card reflector with a hole in it to put the lens through to bounce light onto the subject for more even lighting. A ringlight would be even better.
    Gary Beasley

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    gma
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    Thanks for the suggestion of the white card with a lens cutout. I'll try that. Also some side lighting with one side brighter than the other. I am not a big fan of even ring lighting for 3-dimensional objects. I can see that it is very useful for photographing coins or stamps or other more or less 2-dimensional items.

    gma

  10. #10
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    I wouldn't discount ring lights entirely. If you want some modelling simply cover half the ring. The main thing is to get the light between the camera and the subject but not shining into the lens. A ringlight does that. You can make a homemade version with a cheap bundt pan by cutting a hole in one side and pointing a small flash into it. The light will bounce around the shiny insides and out, you can shoot through the hole in the middle, though the hole may have to be enlarged for some lenses. It's a fairly cheap experiment.
    Gary Beasley

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