Close up lens for 5 x 7
I have an old Kodak 5 x 7 camera, and was wanting to use it for close up pictures. My 180mm is not doing the job for me, I need to get closer. Even with the bellows extended to its full 13" it still doesn't get very close. I am thinking of going with a bit longer focal length but am afraid that with the short bellows extension that I will not gain any. Not sure what to do next or if close ups will be possible with this camera.
Anyone's advice would be appreciated.
Do you want 1:1 or higher? Nikkor 120 macro AM ED.
You need a shorter focal length for higher magnification. A 13" bellows would give you over 3x enlargement with a 90mm lens. Another thought would be to use an enlarging lens with a neutral density filter to extend exposures enough to use a lens cap as a shutter.
With 330mm bellows you already are close to 1:1 as 360mm would be theoreticly 1:1 with a 180mm lens.
You could try a cheap close-up lens from ebay or a pricier one with more quality, but if you will get the quality you want this way: I doubt it.
You get one that you could use for an other format and use step-up rings to fit (largest filter-size and then adapt to the other lens), in that way your money will not be entirely wasted.
If you want real close-up quality you will have to look at a 300mm or longer lens on 5x7 inch and a diferent camera like a Sinar......
An other option would be cropping your 5x7 picture down to 5x3,5 inch (or there abouts), it would be te cheapest to start out with.
I have used enlarging lenses for macrophotography and the quality can be superb. Sometimes reversing the lens can be an asset.
It didn't even occur to me to go with shorter focal length! Now that it is mentioned I have to look into it. Thanks for the tips!
Yes, a shorter focal length. A 13" bellows on a 5x7 is not very much draw. Many 4x5" field cameras have only 12-13" of bellows, so you are a bit disadvantaged from the start. The tip above about using an enlarging lens is a good one. If you have a 100 or 150mm lens or shorter, you're in business.
I use the Nikkor 120 quite a bit for 1:1 and further, and there is a very good matching Nikon diopter (called a "4T", I think) that really opens up new possibilities... in any format size.