Close-up accessories for 80mm C

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by philip_maus, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. I've seen a few posts on this, but frankly, I'm still not sure what I'm looking
    at. I'm new to MF photography and I am currently using only an 80mm C type lens
    with my 'new' 501C Hassy. I was a little surprised at the minimum focus distance
    of nearly a meter on this lens and, wanting to get the most out of the lens, I'm
    looking into what's available for close focusing gear. I don't care so much
    about reproduction ratio and stuff like that; I'm not doing high precision macro
    work. Can anyone illuminate me on the best and most cost effective (read:
    cheapest)way of decreasing minimum focus distance, such as, what? extension
    tubes?, some kind of adapter rings? 16mm? 30mm? What does mm refer to on this
    type thing? How are these devices used, or what do they do? Are bellows used
    with this lens? I'm feeling a little ignorant on the whole subject of closeup
    methods for this lens and format. Are there some pros and cons to these methods?
    All I know is, with 35mm it was easy - go spend a few hundred on a macro lens
    and you're done. I don't have 2 grand to drop on a long focal length Zeiss macro
    lens and looking for a workaround. Thanks in advance for your responses.
  2. cheapest and easiest are probably proxars (lens that attaches to front of lens). Ome would say this was the cheapest, easiest and worst.

    Second choid would be extension tubes. availalbe in 8, 16, 32, and 56 mm (new ones) olders ones have slightly different sizings.

    Third would be a belows or a 120 macro planar lens which may actually
    be the easiest.

    If you go for the bellows which may be the best there are some good arguments around that say you should not bet the automatic bellows.
  3. G -

    Thanks for the input, that's the stuff I was hoping to hear. So 'extension tubes' go between the lens and body? Why the different mm sizes? Closer focusing with different sizes? And: Can bellows be used with this 80mm lens? I've seen some conflicting stuff on that one. What do these different methods give up? A stop or two? Image quality, exposure compensation? Teach me!
  4. Philip,

    Focussing at things closer than the sun and (the other) stars is achieved by moving the lens away from the film plane. The more the distance between the lens and the film is increased, the more the distance between the lens and what is in focus is decreased.
    How close you can get with a particular lens is determined by how far the focussing mount of that particular lens can take the lens away from the film plane, and by the focal length of the lens.
    So the different lengths extension tubes come in are to allow different focussing ranges with different lenses.

    A bellows does exactly the same: it increases the distance between lens and film plane. But it does that over a wide range. Extension tubes have a fixed length, and the range available using tubes is determined only by the amount of extension the focussing mount of the lens itself allows.
    So it may appear that bellows are a better choice. And they indeed are indispensable when high magnifications are needed. But the minimum extension they provide, i.e. the minimum distance between lens and film plane you can have when using bellows, is already rather large. The Hasselblad bellows at its shortest is 63.5 mm long. Using an 80 mm lens (yes, you can use that lens on tubes and bellows. In fact, it is a very good lens to use on tubes and bellows) on a bellows unit, the image scale already is almost 1:1, i.e. the maximum field of view is about 72 mm square. So for just-a-bit-closer-than-the-lens-allows work, bellows are not the thing to use.

    The best way to choose extension tubes is to match them to the amount of extension the lens(es) you are going to use the tube with have already built-in. The extension the focussing mount of the 80 mm lens allows is a little over 8 mm. So the lens stops where the 8 mm tubes begin. Combined, you have an extension range of 8 mm to just a little over 16 mm. Which is where the 16 mm tube begins. Etcetera.
    The 8 mm tube combined with the 80 mm lens will reduce the subject to lens distance (working distance) to about 43 cm, the subject to film distance (the one on the lens' distance scale) to about 47 cm, reducing the field of view from about 52 cm (80 mm lens fully extended) to about 27 cm (80 mm lens fully extended + 8 mm extension tube).

    Unless you are metering through the lens, you need to add exposure compensation to the metered exposure when getting close to your subject. How much depends on the lens, its focal length and the amount of extension used.
    You can read about that here. There is an online close-up calculator, showing all sorts of data besides exposure compensation, here.
  5. Can anyone illuminate me on the best and most cost effective (read: cheapest)way of decreasing minimum focus distance, such as, what? extension tubes?,

    Proxars,not real expensive used, they just attach to the lens front.
  6. I have the BAY 50 Proxars for the 80C and they are very good at f/8. Years ago when I was a poor student I bought a Tiffen +4 close up lens which I used for many shots that I like. F/8 and f/11 are a given with the close up lens but they are cheap and easy to use. In a pinch f/5.6 can be used but don't expect the sharpest image.

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