Best macro lens for 35mm film?

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by sethbaldwin, Aug 20, 2021.

  1. I've not shot test charts, but I have three samples of the 55mm f/3.5 Micro-Nikkor. One is AI, one is non-AI, and one is AI-converted compensating aperture. All of them outperform the 55mm f/2.8s I have at macro distances. The f/2.8 is better at infinity, but the f/3.5s are consistently better in macro applications. The f/2.8, like every other floating element lens I've ever tested, falls apart when you start adding extension tubes beyond the companion 25mm one, and especially reversed or on bellows.

    On the 105mm front, I have a 105mm f/4 which is okay. My AF 105mm f/2.8D is a really, really good lens out to 1:1-not as good as the 55mm f/3.5-but really good. I find it better than the 105mm f/2.8 VR, which I had and sold.
  2. I have the 75mm Apo Rodagon-D and use it for slide copying. It's very good, but requires a bellows as it has no focusing mount. I got mine for about $350 10+ years ago, after I found most other lenses for copying were not quite up to scratch (some distortion and/or sharpness fall off) and the Rodagon is precisely designed for 1:1 use. One day I will use it for MF film, but of course unless I use it as 1:1 it probably will not be quite so stellar. The precise distortion and resolution characteristics of macro lenses depend on the magnification. Enlarging lenses I found were not good performers 1:1 as they are designed for 8X + magnification

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