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  1. #1
    Willie Jan's Avatar
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    using normal 4x5 lens versus macro lens

    Hi,

    I am working in my studio with little plants and stuff which bring me often around the 1:1 on 4x5".

    Currently I use a sironar-n 150mm for this work.

    I am curious about the quality when I would use a macro for this kind of work.
    Would it increase the quality increadible or it the quality gain almost not visible on the print?

    Thanks.

    Willie

  2. #2
    Ole
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    At around 1:1, there would be a visible improvement. Macro lenses really are better than "normal" lenses between 1:3 and 3:1, and better than most "normal" lenses to 1:5 or a bit more - depends on the lens, of course.

    If you go even closer a reversed normal lens is worth considering.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  3. #3
    Willie Jan's Avatar
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    Benefit of the 180 is the longer distance to subject, but bellow extension is much more.
    A 120mm would be better for the bellow, but distance is much closer.

    Which macro lens are you guys using?

  4. #4

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    In my experience, the difference between my regular 150 mm Apo Symmar and my Apo Makro Sironar 120 mm is clearly visible. Makro Sironar sharpness at short distance is much better.

  5. #5
    Philippe-Georges's Avatar
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    A 'close up' lens is always better then a 'normal' lens.
    I have shot with the Hasselblad S-Planar 120 mm on 4"x5". At the time I had no other option for macro on 4"x5".
    But the results are wonderful; sharp, lots of tonality and bokeh, I did not liked it with the 'normal' 4"x5" lens.
    Because I could not use the shutter, I worked in the total darkness and fired the studio flash by hand once the sleeve of the film holder was taken out.
    Look here for some examples : http://www.photoeil.be/books/finefle...eur-cover.html

    Philippe
    "...If you can not stand the rustle of the leafs, then do not go in to the woods..."
    (freely translated quote by Guido Gezelle)

    PS: English is only my third language, please do forgive me my sloppy grammar...

  6. #6
    Thingy's Avatar
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    I have a Schneider Makro Symmar 120mm HM which I recently bought half price (secondhand) off Robert White. With any lens the question is will you use the lens enough to justify the price? The above new, costs £824 with VAT on top. I could not have justified that price, but the price I paid for the secondhand one was worth the money. If the price of the Schneider Symmar is too steep and you cannot get one secondhand, then the Rodenstock 120mm Apo Macro Sironar lens is good quality and significantly cheaper at £580 with VAT on top.
    The Thing

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    Film Cameras currently used:
    Large/Stort-format: Ebony 45SU (field camera), Medium/Medlem-format: Mamiya 7, Hasselblad 503CW
    35mm/Små format: Nikon: F4, D800 (yes digital, I know)

  7. #7

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    Macro lenses are usually corrected for reproducing flat objects, so there's no sharpness loss on the edges, even with shallow depth of field. "Normal" lenses are designed to reproduce rather 3-dimensional reality (inside of the sphere). As a result, with depth of field typical for close-ups, only middle of the picture is sharp, or only edges - depending on what are you focusing.
    Gracjan Ziółek, gracjan.art.pl

  8. #8
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    You might also look for a G Claron they are optimised for 1:1 and work best between 5:1 and 1:5

    Another option is find a 135mm Comonon or Compnon S, they were sold in shutters as Macro lenses at one time. The elements from my 135mm Componon will fit into a Copal 0 shutter. Schneider still sell Componon's as Macro lenses, and I've used a Componon-S on my Pentax bellows for 35mm macro work and it's excellent.

    Ian

  9. #9

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    I'm wondering why the playing field isn't being described here as being essentially level between the practical picture taking properties of LF macro and APO lenses for a subject like flowers-- which typically have conical or spherical rather than flat shapes, and which will require stopping way down to what I'll venture will be a diffraction-limiting aperture to get any reasonable DOF with a large format? Now, I can understand the argument why LF macro lens blows away a standard LF lens and/or smaller formats for any subject that lies primarily in one plane, which with view camera movements could be brought into sharp focus at optimum apertures. But flowers? At f/32 or smaller? Is it even theoretically possible to get more than 50 lpmm on large format film here, even with a lens capable of much greater resolution at larger apertures? Adding in the diffraction limit increase from bellows extension, it seems all the more daunting, when a marked f/22 becomes f/45, at 1:1.

    If ever there's a case to made for smaller formats and their inherent boost in DOF for a given angle of view, and the resolution improvement of smaller format macro optics, this would seem to be it-- or am I missing something?
    Last edited by Pupfish; 12-10-2008 at 12:05 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: clarity

  10. #10
    Philippe-Georges's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pupfish View Post
    I'm wondering why the playing field isn't being described here as being essentially level between the practical picture taking properties of LF macro and APO lenses for a subject like flowers-- which typically have conical or spherical rather than flat shapes, and which will require stopping way down to what I'll venture will be a diffraction-limiting aperture to get any reasonable DOF with a large format? Now, I can understand the argument why LF macro lens blows away a standard LF lens and/or smaller formats for any subject that lies primarily in one plane, which with view camera movements could be brought into sharp focus at optimum apertures. But flowers? At f/32 or smaller? Is it even theoretically possible to get more than 50 lpmm on large format film here, even with a lens capable of much greater resolution at larger apertures? Adding in the diffraction limit increase from bellows extension, it seems all the more daunting, when a marked f/22 becomes f/45, at 1:1.

    If ever there's a case to made for smaller formats and their inherent boost in DOF for a given angle of view, and the resolution improvement of smaller format macro optics, this would seem to be it-- or am I missing something?
    Eh... could you repeat that please? I feel I am missing more than 'something' here...

    Philippe
    "...If you can not stand the rustle of the leafs, then do not go in to the woods..."
    (freely translated quote by Guido Gezelle)

    PS: English is only my third language, please do forgive me my sloppy grammar...

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