Attempts at micro/macro shots

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Ryan, Oct 11, 2006.

  1. Ryan

    Ryan Guest

    I've been on a project to photograph a few hundred "pages" of a 16mm
    microfilm roll.

    I've acquired a bellows to use along with a D70 and Tamron f/2.8 35-70mm

    Quickly I discovered that I don't get a sharp image across the full
    frame with this method. (It is parallel from lens and flat)

    The very center is passable, but very soon the image becomes slightly
    blurry and chromatic abberation becomes glaring. The edges of the film
    are nearly a rainbow.

    I've been digging through the archives and as much as they've helped,
    they've raised questions.

    Terms like "flat field" are still a bit mysterious.

    I'm now familiar with several terms but don't feel wiser about whether I
    should go about getting a used micro lens, or if I'd get tack sharp
    images by turning my existing lens around with a reversing ring.

    With the lens reversed, does this still mean I need to extend the
    bellows to get "closer" or does it change the rules to have the lens
    backwards? Is focusing changed?

    Does it matter the internal design of the lens? (yes) What I mean is
    does the "aspherical" design of this lens explain the reason for the
    blurriness at the edges, or is that missing the mark completely?

    I'm trying to guage whether I should expect better results with this
    lens reversed, or with a macro lens on a bellows. I can imagine the
    answer depends on what I'm shooting, so I'm curious which conditions
    warrant which answer.

    If a reversing ring is in my future, do I need to also consider the need
    for a step-up ring?

    Help?
     
    Ryan, Oct 11, 2006
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. Ryan

    Paul Rubin Guest

    Ryan <> writes:
    > I've acquired a bellows to use along with a D70 and Tamron f/2.8 35-70mm
    >
    > Quickly I discovered that I don't get a sharp image across the full
    > frame with this method. (It is parallel from lens and flat)


    First thing is stop the lens way down. But yes, zooms like that are
    not made for close-up shooting and will have serious field curvature.
    That means the "plane" of focus is not really a plane.

    You want a regular macro lens. Preferably the 60/2.8 AF Micro Nikkor
    but you can get the 55/2.8 MF on Ebay for considerably less and it's
    also good.

    The VERY old 55/3.5 MF is not terrible but the 55/2.8 is preferable.

    There was also a rare and weird 55/2.8 AF, not really recommended.

    You could also try a regular 50/1.8 on the bellows, possibly
    reversed--I dunno what the results would be.

    > I'm now familiar with several terms but don't feel wiser about whether
    > I should go about getting a used micro lens, or if I'd get tack sharp
    > images by turning my existing lens around with a reversing ring.


    It's worth a try. They are cheap:
    http://camerafilters.com/pages/macrorings.aspx

    > With the lens reversed, does this still mean I need to extend the
    > bellows to get "closer"


    Yes.

    > If a reversing ring is in my future, do I need to also consider the
    > need for a step-up ring?


    Hmm, I dunno if that zoom lens front is too large to reverse like that
    on the bellows.
     
    Paul Rubin, Oct 11, 2006
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Ryan

    tomm42 Guest

    Get a macro lens, flat field just means that a macro lens is designed
    to do what you need it to. Nikon's are the best built, but a Sigma 50mm
    would be fine. I have done this kind of copying from 16mm films, not
    rocket science if you have the right equipment. What posessed you to
    get a md range zoom? Exactly the wrong kind of lens.
    With your D70 I'd stick with lenses that meter for you ie autofocus.
    But for this kind of work you want to turn off the auto focus and just
    use the meter. Oh yes the 55AF Nikkor micro is a very nice lens, very
    sharp, don't know why it has a bad press. Best to get either the 60
    Nikkor micro or the 50 Sigma macro. Don't worry about the micro/macro
    thing, Nikon is right with micro, but common usage is macro.

    Tom
     
    tomm42, Oct 11, 2006
    #3
  4. Ryan

    Bob Salomon Guest

    In article <>,
    "tomm42" <> wrote:

    > Nikon is right with micro, but common usage is macro.


    Micro means magnifications above 14x life size. Macro is in the 1:1
    range. True macro and micro lens can not be used at infinity with
    worthwhile results.

    An example of a macro lens for professional duplicating in the range the
    OP needs would be the 75mm Apo Rodagon D from Rodenstock which would
    need a bellows or 39mm thread extension tubes to focus.

    --
    To reply no_ HPMarketing Corp.
     
    Bob Salomon, Oct 11, 2006
    #4
  5. Ryan <> wrote:
    >I've been on a project to photograph a few hundred "pages" of a
    >16mm microfilm roll.
    >
    >I've acquired a bellows to use along with a D70 and Tamron f/2.8 35-70mm
    >
    >Quickly I discovered that I don't get a sharp image across the
    >full frame with this method. (It is parallel from lens and flat)
    >
    >The very center is passable, but very soon the image becomes
    >slightly blurry and chromatic abberation becomes glaring. The
    >edges of the film are nearly a rainbow.
    >
    >I've been digging through the archives and as much as they've
    >helped, they've raised questions.
    >
    >Terms like "flat field" are still a bit mysterious.


    The flatness of the field of focus is interesting.

    If there is a specific point source of light in the lense (think
    about when you use f/22, that little small aperture opening),
    then light that goes through that point would all be focused at
    a particular distance. If that distance is always exactly the
    same no matter what part of the image it lands on, then the
    field that the image focuses on is curved like a circle
    (actually a square patch cut out of a sphere). It won't be in
    focus on a flat surface, because the edges of a flat surface are
    more distant from the aperture than is the center.

    Here is an exaggerated example which is very crude, but about the
    best I can do using ASCII text:

    , + top of film Use your imagination to
    .| draw a curved line between
    | the dots. That is the
    o + center of film actual field where the
    .| image is in focus. The
    | straight line between '+'
    ` + bottom of film points is the flat film.

    If that 'o' is the aperture, obviously it is a longer distance
    to the top or bottom of the image on the film than it is to the
    center.

    Lense designs have to be made so that the light headed for the
    edges will focus at a longer distance. The designs are not
    perfect and in practice vary from having a "focal plane" that is
    curved inward smoothly as it goes away from the center, to ones
    that sort of wave back and forth and get fairly close at some
    distances but are less close at others. None are perfect, they
    just get close enough that you can't see any difference.

    You have an example of how lense designs are compromises. By
    using a bellows to focus yours closer, you've discovered one of
    the compromised areas: close focus. And because it is a zoom
    lens, there were all sorts of complications trying to make it
    work well as the focal length is changed, and they managed to do
    that only over a limited range of focusing distances.

    Astigmatism and flatness of field are opposing characteristics,
    and a design can pick one or the other over the distance range
    which a lense can be focused. It can b optimized well enough at
    the center of a range (hence is always good at medium
    distance). But it is worse at the limits of the focusing
    range, so at 1000 yards and at 10 inches it is a case of choose
    one or the other to have astigmatism if the design has a flat
    field. (Many true macro lenses aren't so good at 1000 yards!)

    Most lenses of course are optimized to be sharp when focused at
    infinity. The designer then picks the closest focus at which
    the lense is still acceptably sharp, and limits the mechanical
    linkage for focusing to that distance.

    If you put such a lense on a bellows, what you find out is why
    the focusing mechanism limited it to 20" instead of 5"! It
    suffers all sorts of horrible problems when actually focused at
    5 inches.

    >I'm now familiar with several terms but don't feel wiser about
    >whether I should go about getting a used micro lens, or if I'd
    >get tack sharp images by turning my existing lens around with a
    >reversing ring.


    If it were a fixed focal length lense, I'd suggest going for it.
    But many of the problems you are experiencing have to do with it
    being a zoom lense. Reversing the lense would probably help,
    but not enough. And it is not particularly difficult to find a
    lense that would work significantly better.

    >With the lens reversed, does this still mean I need to extend
    >the bellows to get "closer" or does it change the rules to have
    >the lens backwards? Is focusing changed?


    Not much.

    >Does it matter the internal design of the lens? (yes) What I
    >mean is does the "aspherical" design of this lens explain the
    >reason for the blurriness at the edges, or is that missing the
    >mark completely?


    That is a complex subject. Use Google to find tutorials on
    lenses, and read several of them. Even a brief discussion is
    long, so I'm not going to even try because it isn't actually a
    significant part of your problem, though it certainly is an
    interesting topic.

    >I'm trying to guage whether I should expect better results with
    >this lens reversed, or with a macro lens on a bellows. I can
    >imagine the answer depends on what I'm shooting, so I'm curious
    >which conditions warrant which answer.


    Forget about using that particular lense. Think about what
    kind you actually do want. The question then becomes a matter
    of money and complexity. Are you interested in the least expensive
    solution, or the least complex solution?

    >If a reversing ring is in my future, do I need to also consider
    >the need for a step-up ring?


    Depends.

    Because 16mm film is fairly small, I'd think that you will want
    a solution that is a bit better than average. Nobody needs that
    much detail if they are taking pictures of 2" flowers, so what
    is a great lense for them might not be acceptable for you at
    all.

    For that reason, you probably should not bother with any lense
    that is not specifically designed for macro work. (Skip all
    zoom lenses, and note that "close focusing" is not really the
    same as a "macro" design.)

    Also, given that taking pictures of a film strip means back
    lighting, you do not need to worry much about the distance
    between the front of the lense and the object (a common point of
    contention in photomacrography). That means shorter focal
    length lenses are acceptable for you. Anything from 35mm to
    105mm is probably workable, though shorter focal lengths give
    greater magnification at any given extension.

    You can also probably make use of auto focus capability if you
    don't mind the expense. A macro lense in the range from 40 to
    60mm used with set of AF extension tubes will give you maximum
    convenience (at just about the highest cost of any
    solution). Nikon sells a 60mm macro lense, which will cost
    something over $300. At least Sigma, Tamron and Tokina also
    make AF macro lenses, any of which will probably cost less than
    the Nikon lense. I think it is Kenko that has AF extension tubes
    for Nikon, at probably just over $100.

    If you want to spend less money, there are other solutions which
    will provide equal technical results, but at significantly less
    convenience for the photographer. There are *many* 50mm, 55mm,
    90mm and 105mm macro lenses made by virtually everyone who ever
    made a good lense. Almost all of them will provide excellent
    images. They are all manual focus, and will work with your
    bellows.

    And beyond that, virtually any Pentax Screw mount, or T1 mount
    macro lense can be adapted to your bellows! There must be several
    dozens of different macro lenses that you could find on eBay that
    can work. Most of them will cost less than $150.

    If you want the lowest cost solution that still provides the
    best technical results, buy a good 50mm enlarging lense and the
    necessary adapters to fit it to your bellows. Not all enlarging
    lenses are made equal, so this takes a little more care or
    you'll once again end up with fuzzy edges. But it happens that
    older El Nikkor 50mm f/4 or f/2.8 enlarging lenses are forsale
    at bargain prices on eBay every day. Another good one is a
    Rodagon 50mm enlarging lense.

    If you want to get really fancy, get the adapters necessary to
    reverse either a 50mm f/4 El Nikkor lense (it has a 34.5mm
    filter ring) or a 50mm f/2.8 El Nikkor (40.5mm filter ring). It
    will require stepup rings (probably more than one will be
    required to get to 52mm) and then a 52mm reversing ring for a
    Nikon mount. (Another way is to have a Nikon camera mount to
    pentax screw mount lense adapter on the bellows, and convert the
    lense filter ring to 49mm (rather than 52mm) and then use a
    Pentax screw mount reverse adapter. That has the advantage that
    a Leica to Pentax adapter on the other end will allow the lense
    to be mounted either direction.)

    You already have the bellows, and El Nikkor enlarging lenses
    go for $20-30 with regularity. The various adapters are not
    easy to find but cost $5-15 each.

    If you don't need the absolute best images technically, a BR2A
    lense reversing adaptor and a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 lense is the
    simplest solution. Put that on your bellows. It won't be quite
    as sharp as the others above, but I'm not sure the difference
    would be significant either.

    --
    Floyd L. Davidson <http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson>
    Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska)
     
    Floyd L. Davidson, Oct 11, 2006
    #5
  6. Ryan

    Paul Rubin Guest

    Ryan <> writes:
    > I've been on a project to photograph a few hundred "pages" of a 16mm
    > microfilm roll.


    Forgot to mention, you could look at ebay for a gadget called a
    Duplikin, made for doing this type of shooting. They have them for
    different formats including 16mm cine.
     
    Paul Rubin, Oct 11, 2006
    #6
  7. Bob Salomon <> wrote:
    >In article <>,
    > "tomm42" <> wrote:
    >
    >> Nikon is right with micro, but common usage is macro.

    >
    >Micro means magnifications above 14x life size. Macro is in the 1:1
    >range. True macro and micro lens can not be used at infinity with
    >worthwhile results.
    >
    >An example of a macro lens for professional duplicating in the range the
    >OP needs would be the 75mm Apo Rodagon D from Rodenstock which would
    >need a bellows or 39mm thread extension tubes to focus.


    Virtually any good enlarging lense from maybe 35mm to 105mm
    would do, though the 50mm and 75mm focal lengths would probably
    be best as well as most available.

    El Nikkor and Rodenstock Rodagon lenses are all very good. They
    each have older models and newer models, both of which are
    available new and used on eBay, or of course the newer versions
    can be purchased at premium prices from just about any larger
    source of photo equipment.

    Used examples of the older models are dirt cheap. I just now
    saw a 50mm f/2.8 Rodagon sell on eBay for $21.01, which was $.50
    higher than my bid...

    --
    Floyd L. Davidson <http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson>
    Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska)
     
    Floyd L. Davidson, Oct 11, 2006
    #7
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. TravisMLC

    Micro/Macro Photography

    TravisMLC, Jun 27, 2004, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    6
    Views:
    610
    Ray Fischer
    Jul 3, 2004
  2. JackN

    Macro/micro Again!

    JackN, Apr 30, 2005, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    10
    Views:
    504
    Mick Brown
    May 4, 2005
  3. =?iso-8859-1?Q?Rita_=C4_Berkowitz?=

    Nikon Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8 VR vs. Micro Nikkor 105mm f/2.8D

    =?iso-8859-1?Q?Rita_=C4_Berkowitz?=, Jun 17, 2006, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    917
  4. ~~NoMad~~

    Micro Macro

    ~~NoMad~~, Jul 17, 2007, in forum: Digital Photography
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    420
  5. SMS
    Replies:
    29
    Views:
    1,231
    John Turco
    Jul 18, 2008
Loading...

Share This Page