Quote Originally Posted by edz
You'd be better off using enlarger objectives rather than cine primes. Something like a Rodagon can nearly compare to a Zeiss Luminar or Leitz Photar. Most cine primes don't work well in close-ups and should I ever have need to do macro cinematography I'd probably rig up a focusing mount (Zoerkendorfer makes these for still cameras) for an L39 enlarging objective (and then experiment with my various models and lengths to find an "optimum" for my application). Both Rodenstock and Schneider even made special versions of their "enlarging" objectives for use in macro work. There is even a variofocal (Schneider Betavaron) available. Any of these bits of "darkroom glass" should be cheap.
Ed, have you ever used a reversed cine objective?

In the book on photomacrography he wrote for EKCo ("Photomacrography", Kodak Publication #N16 when bundled with "Closeup Photography", #N12B, I think, by itself), H. Lou Gibson recommended using the 25/1.9 Cine Ektar II reversed. He reported that it performs well, might not be up to special purpose macro lenses.

I've shot a reversed 25/1.9 Cine Ektar II against two 25/3.5 Luminars. The Luminars performed nearly identically wide open, lost resolution on stopping down. Wide open the CE didn't match them, but at f/2.8 it beat them hands from at 10:1 to 20:1. It lost resolution on stopping down below f/2.8. The Luminars are a little easier to use, but the 25/1.9 CE II is better.

Note the range of magnifications. One wouldn't use a reversed cine lens at low magnification. But Kern made some magnificent macro lenses in several versions of C-mount (real C-mount, H16RX, H8RX). I have a 36/1.4 MacroSwitar in H8RX mount, machined to increase the far focusing distance on an S8 Beaulieu. Its unbeatable. And my much more modest 150/3.3 MacroYvar in C-mount isn't shabby either.

Enlarger lenses that match the better grade of macro lenses are very scarce. I've tried a small heap of them, the only ones I've found that are worth using are the 4"/5.6 and 135 mm/5.6 Enlarging Pro Raptars. The 4" is nearly as good as my 100/6.3 Neupolar from 1:8 to 4:1, matched a 100/6.3 Luminar over than range. Apertures tried were f/11 - f/22 up to 1:1, wide open from 1:1 to 4:1. All this with the lenses mounted normally, i.e., not reversed as is usual when working above 1:1. Come to think of it, the 75/3.5 Boyer Saphir B is usable, but its a little short for my applications.