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Macro lens for digitizing 120 MF negatives.


tim_herremans
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Hello,

 

I would prefer to have a macro 1:1 setup to digitize 6x7 b/w and color negatives. I’ve read it isn’t necessary to go macro but optimal. Here’s what I have..

 

Setup: Fuji X-T2, XF 16mm f/1.4, XF 35mm f/2, 5000k LED lightbox, Copy table (30cm high), 6x7 negative carrier.

 

Option 1: Use Fuji’s 11mm (MCEX-11) or 16mm (MCEX-16) extenders to achieve something close to a 1:1 magnification with the 16mm wide lens.

 

(See attached chart.)

 

I wanted to ask the community if would be fine. Using Fuji’s chart... the 16mm XF with the 11mm extender would give me something very close to 1:1. Working distance is only 1mm though. Is that fine?? It may require stiching or I can raise the camera up a little. Not sure.

 

 

Option 2: Use a non Fuji lens. Cheaper but high quality would be ideal. I do not want to buy the new 80mm 1:1 macro lens for $1,100. An older manual focus lens with a mount adapter would be totally fine for me, I don’t need AF of course. Just IQ and an ideal magnification.

 

Example: Zeiss Touit 50mm f2.8 macro lens for Fujifilm X mount cameras. Still a bit pricey used.

 

Tim

 

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To digitise the whole of a 120 frame (56mm x 67mm) onto an APS-C sensor (15.6mm x 23.6mm) certainly doesn't require a true macro lens.

Not even a lens that focuses to half life-size.

 

The reproduction ratio required is 1:3.6 (0.28 magnification) - well outside the true macro region that starts at 1:1.

 

What's more important is that the lens has a flat field. That's assuming the film can be held perfectly flat in the first place, which is no small task without risk of Newton's rings or artefacts arising from the use of AN glass.

 

You also don't need an ultra-high resolution lens, but total absence of lateral CA is desirable.

 

For this application the working distance isn't too important either. In fact a close working distance might be a distinct advantage in keeping a close coupling between camera and film-mount. However, a wideangle 16mm lens isn't ideal for the job. It'll have field curvature and maybe CA as well.

 

For this reason, I'd recommend a lens of 50 or 60mm. And from experience I'd say a 55mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor would do the job superbly. They cost around $150 used.

 

I doubt you'd see any difference in results between that and the Zeiss Touit.

 

If you already have a prime lens of 35 to 50mm or so for your Fuji, then why not give that a try? At worst you'll have to buy another lens, and at best you'll have saved some money.

 

To re-iterate, you don't need a macro lens that focuses to 1:1 for this application!

 

PS. I'd look into the possibility of using flash for illumination. A LED lightbox is likely to need lengthy exposure times.

Edited by rodeo_joe|1
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I would prefer to have a macro 1:1 setup to digitize 6x7 b/w and color negatives. I’ve read it isn’t necessary to go macro but optimal. Here’s what I have..

You need a 7x6 sensor to digitize 7x6 film at 1:1. Secondly, extension tubes work reasonably well with non-macro lenses down to 1:4, or even 1:2, but you suffer field curvature as you get closer. That said, even 1:2 would be sufficient to capture a 7x6 image on a FF (36x24 mm) sensor. Just about any manual macro lens can achieve 1:2 magnification with better resolution and flatness of field than an ordinary lens with extension tubes. A Nikon 55/2.8 (or 3.5) would be nearly ideal, and very inexpensive.

 

With lower magnification and longer lenses, you also need a greater working distance. Simple copying devises like the Nikon ES-1 (or mysteriously absent ES-2) won't work. They are limited to 35 mm frame size or smaller and don't have enough extension to work with a 90-105 mm macro lens. Therefore you need a means of holding MF film and illuminating it from the back, parallel to the camera.

 

The simplest and least expensive route is to use a small copy stand and an LED light table. That would work with nearly any film size, up to the size of the light table and height of the arm. Height! With a 50 mm lens at 1:1, the sensor plane will be 8" from the film. Longer lenses will be proportionately further. The distance will also be proportional to the magnification ratio. For 7x6 film, this will be over twice as far. If you copy 7x6 film with a 50 mm lens, the camera will be about 16" away. With a 90 mm lens that distance increases to 29".

 

Lengthy exposure times are no problem if the setup is reasonably rigid. I don't bother with a tripod when using an ES-1. While you may get some degree of automatic exposure with a flash (quenching the flash output), but small changes in the setup are likely to cause large changes in exposure. The aperture must be kept constant to avoid focusing shifts, and AF is slow at close range, and may cause a change in magnification. I use LED lights because they are easy to set up, give good color, and facilitate auto exposure by varying the shutter and/or ISO. Even with a 15 watt desk lamp, exposures are typically 1/4 second or less.

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Thanks for the reasponses.

 

I am now pretty informed that 1:1 isn’t necessary. Especially for my needs of proofing my frames and then sharing low res files online. If I want to enlarge a frame for a high quality print, I’ll wet print or send the neg. frame off to get drum scanned / printed by professionals with better equipment and experience.

 

I did not have strobes on hand and didn’t want a fabricated box setup. So went with the Kaiser slimlite 5000k led light pad and a Kaiser copy stand. They haven’t arrived yet.

 

I have found good 1:1 solutions from other lenses but the 60mm Fuji macro lens at 1:2 should be work great then. It will also be nice to add another lens to the kit that can do portraits.

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Thanks for the reasponses.

 

I am now pretty informed that 1:1 isn’t necessary. Especially for my needs of proofing my frames and then sharing low res files online. If I want to enlarge a frame for a high quality print, I’ll wet print or send the neg. frame off to get drum scanned / printed by professionals with better equipment and experience.

 

I did not have strobes on hand and didn’t want a fabricated box setup. So went with the Kaiser slimlite 5000k led light pad and a Kaiser copy stand. They haven’t arrived yet.

 

I have found good 1:1 solutions from other lenses but the 60mm Fuji macro lens at 1:2 should be work great then. It will also be nice to add another lens to the kit that can do portraits.

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1107862744_4x5scansetup.thumb.jpg.58b329f50b19edec5eed5ef1a49adf23.jpg

 

I use a similar apparatus as SCL, but have removed the enlarger head from my old 4x5 deJure enlarger since I no longer use the enlarger for it's original purpose. For both 4x5 and medium format negatives (all black and white), I use the same setup with a Canon 5D IV and Canon 100mm macro lens. For medium format negatives, a single full-frame exposure has plenty enough resolution to discern film grain. For 4x5 negatives, I take a separate exposures for each of the four quadrants of the negative, and then stitch the four images together in Photoshop. This produces files on the order of 120 MB for each negative. You could do something similar to my approach for 4x5 negatives if you really wanted 1:1 reproduction using your Fuji, but it probably would not be worth the effort unless you had a good macro lens. One inexpensive solution would be to use a 50mm f:3.5 Canon FD macro lens and adapter, plus extension tube if needed. The lens is currently selling for about $50 to $100 for a good example on eBay, and may include an extension tube.

 

Search "DSLR scanning" for similar threads on Photo.net

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