Ed, have you ever used a reversed cine objective?
Originally Posted by edz
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.