Quote Originally Posted by Anupam Basu
I have often wanted to experiment with high magnification photography with reversed movie lenses. They are mentioned in passing in many books including Shaw and in slightly more detail in Lefkowitz (pp. 133) but apart from names like cine raptar and switar I know next to nothing about them. So any source of information about movie lenses would be appreciated - especially in the context of macro photography with 35mm equipment.

I was unaware that anyone made a specialty of using motion picture lenses for still micro work; guess it makes sense...

The Cine Raptar is a Kodak lens, depending upon generation, probably went on a Cine Kodak Special, K100 or Reflex Special 16mm or Kodak Super 8 or Regular 8mm camera. The Switar is a Kern Palliard Lens by Bolex of Switzerland and can be 16mm, Super 8mm or Regular 8mm.

The body of information on cine lenses is staggering; a trip to any major metro library should harvest at least a few sources like the ASC (American Society of Cinematographers) Handbook; published since the late 1920's I believe.

Quote Originally Posted by Anupam Basu
What are the 'normal' lenses for the various movie formats - 8mm, 16mm etc. Does anyone have any experience using them for macro photography. Do you use bellows or extension tubes. Any input would be welcome as it would add to my non existent knowledge on the subject.

It's the same going down in gauge as it is going up; 25mm is "normal" for 16mm, 12.5mm is pretty much normal for both Super 8 and Regular 8mm (I am sure purists will argue, but close enough for government work).

I have no experience in using them for STILL micro/macro, but on a 16mm camera, you can use extension tubes or a microscope "T" adapter ultra close ups IF the lens is not natively a macro lens like some Cine Lenses are...

Most early 16mm lenses are "C" mount screw threads, but there are variants on the "C" mount; Bolex uses regular "C"s on their rangefinder cameras, but reflexed cameras like the Rex 3, 4 and 5 use a modified "C" mount lens with a longer backfocus to make it through the reflex beamsplitter prism and are usually designated with the "RX" moniker.

Most early 8mm lenses are "D" mount screw lenses; I am unaware of any variations on the D-mount, but then again, I didn't shoot much Regular 8mm film.

When you start getting into proprietary bayonet and compression mounts for 16mm lenses... well, I could type for days, but wont!

Here's a few other facts that might come in handy...

Circle of confusion:

S8mm Cine -- .00055 inch
16mm Cine -- .002 inch

Field of View (full aperture) 16mm -- .402 inch by .292 inch

I used to have a ton of this sort of information in little spiral notebooks when I used to DP a bit on 2nd unit and commercial shoots, but since I took the archive job, I've let it migrate back into the file cabinets and bookshelves. I can attempt to dig it back out again if you're interested, but what exactly are you looking for?

I have recipes for flat pack explosives (bullet hits), exposure formulas for Sunset for Sunrise, Sunrise for Sunset, Day for Night, fake blood formulas, Scale model frame-rate calculations for proper apparent mass in high speed cinematography...

Ha! Another obsolete old fart...