Macro Photography with Hassy
Would love to tap the minds of those who have used a Hassy to do macro work. I'd like to start shooting fine details in nature such as flowers, wood grain, moss, fungi details in rock formations.
My kit includes a 500cm, 80mm and 150, there is a 40mm too but I imagine that will not be good for macro. I have an extention tube but have no idea how to use it and I also have an old prisim head that I leave at home because the meter is dead and it is heavy, but I have one.
I believe I should mount the tube to the body first, with the camera body already wound then the lens to the tube, but would like some guidance first before locking up the system.
Also how do I meter for macro?
Light for macro?
How do I beat a tripod into submission to get me close enough?
Your experience here and images of your success will help. I know I will have greater success if I tuck my ego in my pocket and ask a few questions before venturing out and guessing on what I think should be done.
there are tubes and there are bellows. I have a set of tables that give you the increase in exposure necessary which is probably on the internet if you look when you use the tubes but the scale is already marked on the bellows. tubes have automatic link to lens, bellows requires a cable release with two connections (one for camera, one for lens). make sure the tube is cocked before attaching to body, then attach lens
I have long (and often) recommended the use of Bob Wheeler's free software "Photographer's Vade Mecum" that you can get for the Palm 'device'. Set the parameters for FL of lens, extension and film format and just press the button. You have the choice of 'total' or lens extension for use with 35mm film cameras to 8x10 cameras. The given result is provided in 0.1 stops (I have yet to use a lens that is marked to that accuracy). I only wish I had known of the availability of this software when I was 'working', it would have saved a great deal of time with my slide-rule (or pencil and notebook in the field) figuring out the proper exposure correction for the many thousands of photo-macrographs made over a 30+ year period. I can only imagine what the cost of time and film that could have been used had I made my decisions on a 'rough' calculation followed by the extra CYA exposures either side of the chosen one. My Palm device was (and still is) as valuable as my light meter.
There are holes in the sky where the rain gets in,
But they're ever so small that's why rain is thin.
Make sure you can handle the case of mis-fire shutter. It just happens all the time with extension tube to me. You need also a sheet for exposure calculation plus certain experimentation. BTW, I am not sure about 40mm but 50mm is ok for some shots.
Regarding your tripod, read the manual and see what features it has — on some tripods, you can reverse the centre column so that the camera ends up in between the 3 legs (make sure nothing falls).
Some tripods have locks at the joints, just below the ball head, to adjust the angle limits of the legs (on mine, unlock it all the way and it splays out almost flat on the ground. I've used that feature quite a bit.)
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Using tables to work out extension factors is one way to go. However, lots of pro's use polariod film backs to asses exposure time, especially if they're using studio flash (which makes macro work easier). Of course, these days you'd have to use Fuji instant materials instead.
Using instant materials is a little more costly, but they have the added advantage of letting you assess other aspects of the image, such as lighting ; used carefully, they might even save you money in the long run by avoiding potential errors such as lens flare.
That 150 probably focuses to around 4.6 feet without the tube. Depending on which tube length you have, you will go closer, but maybe not what you would call "macro." Try it and see. You may need to get more tubes and stack them or look for a bellows unit. A TTL meter is nice in these cases, but otherwise, as inidicated, there are tables you can use for aperture compensation based on the tube length. As the aperture goes farther from the film plane, the f-number effectively becomes bigger.
If you don't get it sorted out by July, bring your kit to John's and we can get it sorted out.
An online Hasselblad Close-Up Calculator.
Play around with it, see what adding extension does.
If you want to know about the formulae behind the calculations, have a look here.
The 80 mm is a very good lens for macro. The 150 mm will do too.
The routine is indeed as you describe: the camera (wound) acts as an achor, keeping things from releasing when they shouldn't.
So add the tube to the camera. That is then 'fixed'. Then add another tube, or a lens, to the one that is on the camera. Etcetera: obne by one, from the camera out.
Removing things is the same, but in the opposite direction. So firts the outermost thing (the lens), then the thing the lens was fixed to. Then the [etc.] until everything has come off the camera, one by one.
Metering is easiest using a prism with meter built-in.
Else, you need to calculate the compensation needed (do that once, and compile a table of all lens + tube combinations you could be using).
(Taking Polaroids is the worst way of finding out how to expose. It takes how many guesses? How many expensive sheets of instant film? It may be fine to check after you have measured light, done the calculations, and set what you think you should set based on those 'hard data'. But why bother?)
Tripods are indeed difficult. Always in the way.
Such is life... Nothing much you can do about it.
One or two focussing rails will allow to adjust the camera's position without having to move the tripod or head. Well worth considering putting two of those on top of your tripod head.
There are tubes, there are bellows that don't link the lens to the camera (the ones mentioned by Bill), but there are also bellows that do link the lens to the camera. Those are called "Automatic Bellows". Good to have, but only if you want to get real close (the minimum extension is 63.5 mm. Try the calculator to see what that amount of extension does combined with your lenses. The maximum extension of the auto-bellows is 202 mm.)
This is Good Stuff
I'm excited here. The level of suggestions and expert information is starting to pave the way for some productive shooting this weekend.
I'll try to mount the tubes tonight after I get back from the college and mount the 80mm. I wish the meter in my funky old prisim really worked, that might solve a lot of trouble but I am encouraged that I can calculate the exposure via the distance.
Like the online table. Really nice. Do you think I can figure the distance up in the house from the tube I have (unknown today, but need to take out to see) and then keep the information in a notebook for easy travel?
Fully encouraged to try using what I have and see some results.
PS I will try to bring it to John's too.
If your tripod doesn't have a low level capability, you can use a manfrotto magic arm and superclamp it to either the center post or one of the legs. The combination gets a LOT of flexibility.
If you want to work with a fixed magnification, a focusing rail with X & Y axis will come in handy too.