I picked up a Canon F1 from the 70's awhile ago. Put new seals in it and have been shooting it with a 50mm f1.8 lens. I'm interested in a macro setup for this camera and was wandering about lenses and extentions.
I would like to make 1:1 lifesize photographs. Sharpeness is also important to me. I would like the best setup possible. Thanks for all suggestions.
First off, I think flat field lenses like enlarger lenses would be better than extension tubes and macro lenses. Do you want to copy 1:1 life size negs or photographs. For photographic prints, a good set up would be a copy stand with polarized light and a polarized lens. Also the larger the copy neg the better. You probably could find old copy stands for a song on Ebay. A lot of institutions are dumping them due to flat bed scanners. I'm sure some smart APUGer will give some great advice on copying photos.
For 1:1 you can use the 50mm f/3.5 macro (either SSC or new FD mount) with the life size adapter (essentially a 25mm extension tube). Coupled to the Bellows FL or Autobellows you can do great copystand and slide copying work. This is really the only flat field copy setup available for Canon FD. There are also some special 35mm and 20mm copy lenses for the Bellows for 16mm and 8mm copy work or high magnification macro.
If you aren't doing copy stand work then there are also 100mm and 200mm macro lenses available with much more working distance. Both will go to 1:1 without extension tubes.
If you just want to fool around with flowers and bugs, get yourself a set of Vivitar or other 3rd party extension tubes. They'll give your 50mm f/1.8 lens 1:1 or more and honestly if your subject isn't flat then a real macro lens isn't that huge an advantage anyways.
ilikemycat wrote "First off, I think flat field lenses like enlarger lenses would be better than extension tubes and macro lenses"
Stuff and nonsense! There are exceptions, but few enlarging lenses will beat Canon's own macro lenses on 35 mm. I'm a Nikonist, use 55/2.8 (great), 105/2.8 (great), and 200/4 IF (middling) AIS MicroNIkkors. I also shoot closeup on 2x3, my preferred lenses there are a 100/6.3 Reichert Neupolar (better by test than a known good 100/6.3 Luminar) and (here's the exception) a 4"/5.6 Enlarging Pro Raptar. My 105/2.8 MicroNikkor isn't quite up to these marvels, and my 55/2.8 MicroNikkor isn't quite up to a 40/4.5 Luminar at magnifications above 1:1, but for out and about use the MicroNikkors are (a) much much better than good enough and (b) so much easier to use that I've never seriously considered using my best macro lenses on my Nikons. Same goes for Canon's answers to my MicroNikkors.
Questions of attainable image quality aside, the big problem with using a lens with manual diaphragm such as an enlarging lens or any of my really good macro lenses on a 35 mm SLR is stopping down to take the shot. Auto diaphragm with viewing at full aperture makes shooting closeup much easier. People who know only modern SLRs don't appreciate how good they have it.
mwelsh, if you don't have it, buy a copy of Lester Lefkowitz' book The Manual of Closeup Photography. Also buy a copy of A. A. Blaker's book Field Photography. Both books make the point that poor technique always beats good equipment and explain good closeup techique in detail. Field Photography is a little better for beginners and near-beginners who have 35 mm SLRs.
You should also learn how to use flash closeup. Flash on a 35 mm SLR greatly reduces the difficulty of getting good results and allows shooting handheld. Blaker explains it well.
The cat stands corrected
I used to work at a photo lab and we used to dupe slides that slightly smaller that 1:1. We had to fit the dupe the original slide to fit into a slide mount. From our set up, we used bellows and a Schneider enlarger lens. I didn't fully understand his question of copying photos 1:1. I also did work on a Bencher copy stand where we did use a 50mm macro lens. So you're correct. :laugh:
Tamron SP 90mm f2.5 model 52B and a set of extension tubes should do the job and then some. Bill Barber
He didn't say he wanted to copy photographs at 1:1, he said he wanted to make them.
OK, here are a couple of links that talk about the lens. http://www.adaptall-2.org/lenses/52B.html and http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/838477. I use Olympus OM equipment and own the Zuiko 90mm f2 lens and two of the Tamron SP 90mm f2.5 52B lenses. Why, I take the Tamron when I know conditions might be a little iffy and I also teach a basic photo classs and have my students used it sometimes. Great lens. Bill Barber
mwelsh, don't be swayed by people who push what they have.
And don't go crazy chasing the best setup possible. All of the major manufacturers' macro lenses are better than good enough. Better than good enough means exactly what it says. Buying any of them would not be a bad mistake. That said, if you were invested in Nikon I'd advise against the 200/4 MicroNikkor AI/AIS. It is useful but but not that good a lens; the newer 200/4 AF is much much better.
Buy the books I recommended, read them, then decide how much working distance you want. That's the big advantage of 100 mm +/- lenses over 50 mm +/-. But I had a 55/3.5 MicroNikkor for some years before the 100/4 MicroNikkor was introduced and didn't feel deprived when all I had was the 55.
If you really want to learn about and utilize macro set-ups, get a copy of "The Manual of Close-Up Photography" by Lester Lefkowitz. Then you can make decisions as to what set-ups will work and which lenses you will need for macro photography.