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Thread: A Macro disappointment

  1. #1
    xpatUSA's Avatar
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    A Macro disappointment

    Hi macro enthusiasts,

    Today, I tried out the technique of mounting a lens backwards onto the front of the existing macro lens in order to get more magnification which I need only occasionally. I put a 28mm on the front of a 50mm (true macro) lens using a male-male coupling ring. After a few goes, finally managed this with the 28mm set to infinity and the 50mm set to 1:1.

    A Macro disappointment

    Was quite disappointed to see that the combined magnification was less than 1:1, [although the shot itself was OK for my purposes]

    Pixel pitch for the shot was 18.24um (SD9 Foveon sensor, LO res). 7mm's worth of ruler spanned 330 pixels at 100% on my screen. 330 x 18.24um = 6mm on the sensor. Was expecting more than that! Tried setting the 28mm to close focus but it made little difference and the lens was then actually touching the ruler, making lighting a bit difficult.

    Maybe I was defeated by principal planes, focal ratios and stuff?

    Ted
    Last edited by xpatUSA; 15th April 2012 at 03:54 PM. Reason: [clarified]

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    Re: A Macro disappointment

    Check out this link for a better combination.

    http://birdsnbugs.wordpress.com/2010...versing-rings/

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    Re: A Macro disappointment

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Check out this link for a better combination.

    http://birdsnbugs.wordpress.com/2010...versing-rings/
    Thanks John,

    Your link showed several methods and combinations: which one did you consider to be better?

    best regards,

    Ted

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    Re: A Macro disappointment

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    Thanks John,

    Your link showed several methods and combinations: which one did you consider to be better?

    best regards,

    Ted
    Ted,

    Different circumstances for each photographer, I have film 28 or 55mm lenses reversed on Nikkor 55-200mm lens and it works fine but as stated in the article lighting is essential. 28mm reversed on a 50mm is doable but you need good lighting, steady support and patience.

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    xpatUSA's Avatar
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    Re: A Macro disappointment

    Thanks again,

    It seems like one might be better off with a longer lens on the camera, which is also good in theory and has been said elsewhere. I've got a couple of Sigma "macro" zooms and also an old 50mm Carl Zeiss film lens doing nothing useful at present. So would it make more sense to leave and continue to use the Sigma 50mm macro as-is, but have e.g. the Zeiss 50mm reversed onto the Sigma 70-300mm for those tiny little individual watch parts or details?

    I've got good adjustable lighting, a reasonable tripod and the subjects do stay where they are (usually). Patience, however, is another matter for this grumpy old man . . .

    Off to B&H for more coupling rings!

    Ted
    Last edited by xpatUSA; 15th April 2012 at 03:50 PM.

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    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: A Macro disappointment

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    Thanks again,

    It seems like one might be better off with a longer lens on the camera, which is also good in theory and has been said elsewhere. I've got a couple of Sigma "macro" zooms and also an old 50mm Carl Zeiss film lens doing nothing useful at present. So would it make more sense to leave and continue to use the Sigma 50mm macro as-is, but have e.g. the Zeiss 50mm reversed onto the Sigma 70-300mm for those tiny little individual watch parts or details?

    I've got good adjustable lighting, a reasonable tripod and the subjects do stay where they are (usually). Patience, however, is another matter for this grumpy old man . . .

    Off to B&H for more coupling rings!

    Ted
    Use the 50mm as is, check your manual to see the closest range the lens will focus (manually), try going a little closer. I have a 40mm macro and the closest focus range is listed as six inches, I have been able to get a little closer. Here's an example handheld, still working on my technique.
    A Macro disappointment

    Regarding the 40mm reversed on the 70-300mm, go for it, you should be able to get some good results.

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    A past example

    Ta John,

    I'll post when the rings arrive. Might try bodge tape in the meantime!

    As an example of what I shoot, apart from whole watches, this is probably as well as I've done before this post:

    A Macro disappointment

    100% crop from a 3008x1500px jpeg, Nikon D50 + 60mm micro-Nikkor

    A Macro disappointment

    From an Arthur Schild AS1906 movement out of a Bulova watch. The pivot at the bottom is about 0.25mm diameter from memory.

    Pinions A and B are a friction fit which allows the hands to be adjusted. If friction is lost through wear, the watch runs but the hands don't turn.

    Supposed to be non-repairable, but using a cup-shaped staking tool and whacking the spigot at C fixed this one and saved me a buck or two.

    Ted
    Last edited by xpatUSA; 15th April 2012 at 04:24 PM.

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    Re: A past example

    Ted,

    I've been looking for a few more macro ideas, I have a few old watches laying around, I'll have to give it a try. Right now my subjects have been the leaf and a set of gemstones. Nice efforts on the watches, are they covered in oil? Another accessory for your macro efforts you might want to look into is stacking software. I think Adobe Photoshop CS4/CS5 has a stacking function, also try Helicon Focus (30 day free trial), and Combine ZP is freeware.

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    Success of a sort!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Ted,

    I've been looking for a few more macro ideas, I have a few old watches laying around, I'll have to give it a try. Right now my subjects have been the leaf and a set of gemstones. Nice efforts on the watches, are they covered in oil? Another accessory for your macro efforts you might want to look into is stacking software. I think Adobe Photoshop CS4/CS5 has a stacking function, also try Helicon Focus (30 day free trial), and Combine ZP is freeware.
    Hi John,

    No, watches are not covered in oil, nor are watch movements. The grease that you see in my previous was for the slipping surface and too liberally applied (not by me, I hasten to add).

    I'm avoiding stacking like the plague 'cos I really don't need it - lots of DOF is quite un-necessary for my purposes. I'm also sticking to PSE 6 because it too does everything I need.

    Well, following your suggestion and having found that the one coupling ring I have fits the 70-300mm I went ahead and gave it a try with the 28mm and got a whopping 11.5 to 1 magnification ratio!

    A Macro disappointment

    Took it with my usual set-up for watch pics:

    A Macro disappointment

    The set-up proved to be totally uncontrollable, showing just how springy my wonderful tripod
    is with all that extra mass and length. Also well nigh impossible to set the zoom lens because,
    in manual, the weight of the 28mm was enough to pull the extending bit all the way down so
    I gave up trying to focus pretty quickly - just got it near enough to prove the concept.

    I need a rock steady tripod firstly, and a good supply of duct tape to tame the lens extension,
    and maybe a remote shutter release - all of which is detracting from the primary hobby of
    fixing watches . .

    A really good tripod would nice . . . This one is a "National Geographic" branded device, quite
    possibly made in a far-off land. Any recommendations for one that I can use as shown, i.e.
    vertically?

    Ted

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    Re: Success of a sort!!

    Ted,

    I've seen a few microscope stands retro-fitted to hold steady a seup like yours. Also consider the Novoflex mini rail which holds the camera horizontally and is attached to a tripod. One can be fitted to hold the lens steady as well. I believe this unit costs about $400.00
    A Macro disappointment

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    Re: Success of a sort!!

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    The set-up proved to be totally uncontrollable, showing just how springy my wonderful tripod
    is with all that extra mass and length. Also well nigh impossible to set the zoom lens because,
    in manual, the weight of the 28mm was enough to pull the extending bit all the way down so
    I gave up trying to focus pretty quickly - just got it near enough to prove the concept.

    I need a rock steady tripod firstly, and a good supply of duct tape to tame the lens extension,
    and maybe a remote shutter release - all of which is detracting from the primary hobby of
    fixing watches . .

    A really good tripod would nice . . . This one is a "National Geographic" branded device, quite
    possibly made in a far-off land. Any recommendations for one that I can use as shown, i.e.
    vertically?

    Ted
    Hi Ted,

    Like cameras, there's almost no limit to how much you can spend on a tripod. A decent Manfrotto or Giotto with a good solid head can set you back a couple of hundred bucks, but will pay for itself over and over. Keep the wobbly one for when you're hiking across the desert or climbing mountains, because you won't want to carry the new one (unless you spend even more and get a carbon-fibre one).

    The zoom-creep that you're suffering from (and it happens to all of us) can be minimised by using a nice wide rubber band on the zoom ring to provide a bit of extra friction. Simpler than gaffer tape as well!

  12. #12
    xpatUSA's Avatar
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    Re: Success of a sort!!

    Thanks both,

    I've taken the plunge and ordered a Giottos 2-extension aluminum tripod and a Giottos MH1000-100 ballhead thingy. I'm leery of the stiffness on the 100 quick release but we'll see. Can always get a 621 or, in extremis, just forget quick releases! Won't ever take it outside, so that rather simplifies my choice.

    Seen those rubber bands on eBay - I thought it was a joke until I tried it without!

    The rail-type mount is attractive (apart from the price) but I'll pass on that for now. I set the focus with the lens although the rack-and-pinion is no doubt easier.

    Later,

    Ted
    Last edited by xpatUSA; 16th April 2012 at 04:36 PM.

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    Re: Success of a sort!!

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    Thanks both,

    I've taken the plunge and ordered a Giottos 2-extension aluminum tripod and a Giottos MH1000-100 ballhead thingy. I'm leery of the stiffness on the 100 quick release but we'll see. Can always get a 621 or, in extremis, just forget quick releases! Won't ever take it outside, so that rather simplifies my choice.

    Seen those rubber bands on eBay - I thought it was a joke until I tried it without!

    The rail-type mount is attractive (apart from the price) but I'll pass on that for now. I set the focus with the lens although the rack-and-pinion is no doubt easier.

    Later,

    Ted
    You might consider finding an old film enlarger since you are doing a lot of vertical mount work. It will be very stable.

    Another thing to try is getting all in focus and position in the frame, locking the mirror up and/or using a delay after the shutter push if your camera permits that. A remote release would also help. Just pushing the shutter can cause vibration.

  14. #14
    xpatUSA's Avatar
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    Re: Success of a sort!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Saorsa View Post
    You might consider finding an old film enlarger since you are doing a lot of vertical mount work. It will be very stable.
    This is an old thread I started back in April 2012 and things have changed for me since then. I did get the Giottos stuff and it's working well but the watch work has ceased pretty much (shaky hands). Have since gone MFT with stabilized lenses which helps a lot.

    Another thing to try is getting all in focus and position in the frame, locking the mirror up and/or using a delay after the shutter push if your camera permits that. A remote release would also help. Just pushing the shutter can cause vibration.
    Good advice, thanks.

  15. #15
    Saorsa's Avatar
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    Re: Success of a sort!!

    Quote Originally Posted by xpatUSA View Post
    This is an old thread I started back in April 2012 and things have changed for me since then. I did get the Giottos stuff and it's working well but the watch work has ceased pretty much (shaky hands). Have since gone MFT with stabilized lenses which helps a lot.



    Good advice, thanks.
    Ooops, I apologize. I just joined the forum and was browsing threads. This one had a link to my blog and that's how I found the forum. I didn't realize it was more than a year old.

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