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  1. #1
    Kevin Kehler's Avatar
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    Large Format Macro Lenses

    I am looking for a wider lens for my 5x7, with the Nikkor 120 F/8 currently in the lead. However, Rodenstock's 180 F5.6 Macro (I like to get close to some objects) seems to be interesting as well; I realize there is a significant difference in viewing angle between the two. The spec's on the Rodenstock indicate that the closer to the object being photographed the camera is, the larger the imaging circle - 1:5 has 302mm, 1:1 has 415mm, 2:1 has 565mm which leads to my question - can this lens cover 5x7 at infinity? As in, if I wanted to use this lens (or any other large-format macro lens) for some landscape work, is there enough coverage? Also, is the lens designed for a more "flat" photographic subject than such a "deep" subject as landscape?

    I use my Nikon 60mm Micro on 35mm as the regular walk-around lens as it gives great colours and it allows me to switch into macro mode instantly - can a large format lens do the same?

    Thanks.
    Once a photographer is convinced that the camera can lie and that, strictly speaking, the vast majority of photographs are "camera lies," inasmuch as they tell only part of a story or tell it in a distorted form, half the battle is won. Once he has conceded that photography is not a "naturalistic" medium of rendition and that striving for "naturalism" in a photograph is futile, he can turn his attention to using a camera to make more effective pictures.

    Andreas Feininger

  2. #2
    ruilourosa's Avatar
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    hello

    wide angles and macro lenses are a different business. choose what suits you best. macro-symmar (180mm) from schneider covers 5x7 at infinity, i don´t know about the rodenstock. macro lenses in large format seem to follow more the simetrical design and do not have the floating elements as the micro 60mm from nikkor to make some corrections when focusing to infinity or close up so they will perform a bit worse when focused to infinity, specially in the corners, probably not very important. another thing, macro lenses tend to have a high mcro contrast that may not be very appealing to some subjects.

    your choice...

    rui lourosa
    vive la resistance!

  3. #3
    Thingy's Avatar
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    According to the Schneider website, you can use the 180mm Macro-Symmar with any format up to and including 10x8.

    https://www.schneideroptics.com/ecom...D=167&IID=1846

    I use their 120mm Macro-Symmar with 5x4 and it provides excellent results for both macro work, and in an emergency also provides superb images at infinity (no movements possible though with 5x4). It reminds me of my excellent 55mm Micro-Nikkor.
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    According to the Schneider data in the link given in post #3, the maximum view angle is 55° at f/22. The true focal length is 179.9mm of the 180/5.6 Macro-Symar. The data for a Rodenstock 180mm macro lens should be similar.

    At infinity that gives an image circle of 187.3mm diameter. I don’t think that’s sufficient to cover the diagonal of the image rectangle of a 5” x 7” film. It’s close, but not quite sufficient.

  5. #5
    Kevin Kehler's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone, I think I will look at 2 separate lenses as opposed to one as the lack of movements at infinity would bother me.
    Once a photographer is convinced that the camera can lie and that, strictly speaking, the vast majority of photographs are "camera lies," inasmuch as they tell only part of a story or tell it in a distorted form, half the battle is won. Once he has conceded that photography is not a "naturalistic" medium of rendition and that striving for "naturalism" in a photograph is futile, he can turn his attention to using a camera to make more effective pictures.

    Andreas Feininger

  6. #6

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    G-Clarons are a classic example of good close-up, infinity and coverage. You do have to stop down for best coverage. And I'm not sure how they would work in extreme close conditions. I use a 150 for 5x7 and it works fine with small movements at f32 or greater.

  7. #7
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Image circle at infinity is not really the question with a dedicated macro lens for large format. The question is whether it covers the format at the magnification range for which the lens is optimized, and at which it will be used. I've used a lens made for 35mm on 4x5" at high magnification--

    http://www.apug.org/gallery1/showima...r&imageuser=60

    You wouldn't even want all that excess coverage in any case, because it would only reduce contrast and should be reduced with a compendium shade.

    A dedicated 120mm or 180mm macro lens that doesn't come close to covering 8x10" at infinity may be considered to cover 8x10" for its intended purpose.
    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

  8. #8
    Leigh B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Kehler View Post
    The spec's on the Rodenstock indicate that the closer to the object being photographed the camera is, the larger the imaging circle - 1:5 has 302mm, 1:1 has 415mm, 2:1 has 565mm which leads to my question - can this lens cover 5x7 at infinity?
    The image circle (IC) gets larger as the subject gets closer because the lens moves away from the film.

    This is true of any lens on any camera.

    The IC at infinity will be half the value shown at 1:1, abour 207mm for this lens.

    The diagonal of 5x7 film (not the image) is ~218mm, so I would expect vignetting at the corners if using the referenced lens, and no movements at all.

    - Leigh
    Last edited by Leigh B; 08-20-2011 at 02:48 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9
    Leigh B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb View Post
    Image circle at infinity is not really the question with a dedicated macro lens for large format. The question is whether it covers the format at the magnification range for which the lens is optimized, and at which it will be used.
    Some folks don't have the luxury of buying multiple lenses of the same focal length, so they end up using macro lenses for general photography. Macro lenses will work find in that application.

    Since the lens may well "be used" at infinity, the IC diameter at that distance is significant.

    - Leigh

  10. #10
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh B View Post
    Some folks don't have the luxury of buying multiple lenses of the same focal length, so they end up using macro lenses for general photography. Macro lenses will work find in that application.

    Since the lens may well "be used" at infinity, the IC diameter at that distance is significant.

    - Leigh
    Of course, but a lens that covers the format at infinity as would be typical of a conventional lens of the same focal length is likely not to be a true macro lens. In that case, better just to by a normal lens for infinity coverage and make it do double duty for macro (like most people do), rather than to buy a macro lens and be surprised that it doesn't cover the expected format at infinity. Most modern plasmat types are pretty sharp in the macro range. A dedicated macro lens will be sharper, but lacking a side by side comparison it's a bit like using a glass negative carrier vs. an open negative carrier in the enlarger--if you don't make the comparison, it still looks pretty sharp.
    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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