Extreme Close up

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by tim_davin, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. I am a photo student and am looking for a good but cheap way to shoot
    extreme close up with a 4x5 view camera. Does anyone have any methods
    or tricks they would like to share, it would be much appreciated.
  2. You need sufficient bellows draw. About twice as much as you need for focusing infinity (or even more.)

    The images will be slightly better if you use a macro lens like the Schneider Makro-Symmar or maybe the old Rodenstock Apo-Ronar. But it might not matter much for what you are going to shoot.

    In either case, the focal length of the lens should not be too long or you may need a longer bellows.

    If you shoot things that are smaller than 4x5, i.e. you enlarge, you could try turning the lens around, i.e. exchange front and back element of the lens.

    Do not forget that you need to increase your exposure if measured with a regular meter. At 1:1 the factor is 4.
  3. How about this for a close up?
  4. If by extreme closeup you mean photographs of objects smaller than 4x5 inches, then one cheap way is to use reversed enlarging lenses. Even a 50 mm enlarging lens (which are available used very cheaply these days) will cover 4x5 when making an image of an object that is 24x36 mm big -- it's just like making a 4x5 print from a 24x36 mm negative. By the time that you apply the exposure correction for bellows extension, and for reciprocity correction, you don't even need a shutter. You do need a very stable setup.

    Some past discussions: http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00344S



  5. Here are three books that I think you will find more useful than answers here:

    Gibson, H. Lou. Close-Up Photography and Photomacrography. 1970. Publication N-16. Eastman Kodak Co. Rochester, NY. 98+95+6 pp. The two sections were published separately as Kodak Publications N-12A and N-12B respectively. Republished in 1977 with changes and without the 6 page analytic supplement, which was published separately as Kodak Publication N-15. 1977 edition is ISBN 0-87985-206-2.

    Gibson is very strong on lighting, exposure, and on what can and cannot be accomplished. His books, although relatively weak on getting the magnification with lenses made for modern SLR cameras, provide a very useful foundation for thinking about working at magnifications above 1:10 and especially above 1:1. Extensive bibliography.

    Blaker, Alfred A. 1976. Field Photography. W. H. Freeman & Co. San Francisco, CA. 451 pp. ISBN 0-7167-0518-4

    A deep discussion of all aspects of photography, with considerable emphasis on close-up. Discusses getting the magnification, lighting, and exposure. Weaker than Lefkowitz on working above 1:1, stronger on lighting, especially flash. Extensive bibliography.

    Lefkowitz, Lester. 1979. The Manual of Close-Up Photography. Amphoto. Garden City, NY. 272 pp. ISBN 0-8174-2456-3 (hardbound) and 0-8174-2130-0 (softbound).

    A thorough discussion of getting the magnification, lighting, and exposure. Especially good on working above 1:1. Extensive bibliography.

    All three are out of print, so check your library or on-line bookseller.
  6. Put a 90mm on and get really close. Your bellows draw will be pretty good and the wide angle lens will emphasize the closeness. Works really well!
  7. I'm also a photo students and heres something I'm going to try. If anyone sees any error in this, please let me know. Maybe its beyond the sharpness limits of the lens.

    I'm going to take a very long box, and attach the lensboard of a view camera to it. Then at the other end of the long box, I'll attach the graflock back with ground glass in it. I'll load my film just like normal, and place an object in front of the box, very close to the lens. I'll shine bright lights onto the object, to make it bright enough to be visible on the ground glass still, and I'll move the object to adjust focus. Then I'll use as small of an aperture as a reasonable film speed and its reciprocity compensation will allow. I'll also use strobe lights on the subject, possibly flashing it several times to keep the shutter speed down. I'll have a lot of bellows extension to compensate for.

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