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TrichomeArts



Joined: 08 Nov 2015
Posts: 8
Location: Spokane Washington

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 9:25 pm    Post subject: New to this site and seeking advice! Reply with quote

Hello new friends, my name is Dustin and I am new here (first post). I am trying to decide on a new lens under 200 dollars that will help me achieve the results I am looking for (printable 12x18 files at 3-5xish). my current setup...

im all set on my studio gear, just need to get this camera/belllows/lens dialed and i will be able to create the images i am envisioning. (3-5x macros of live plant resins.)

canon 6d
180mm bellows (moves camera body for focus)
sigma 100mm 2,.8 ex macro. (nikon mount)

I have been getting decent stacks of manual shooting stacks of around 40 images at what I assume is ~2:1 with this set up but I need better. I need a sharper focus and higher resolution profjected image. I feel like I am losing detail and sharpness in this set up, the result is fine full frame, but I am croping most of my images for compositon reasons and the overall feel is not there.

My research leads me to belive that I am looking to pick up an el nikkor enlarger 50mm. what magnifaction factor would this lense be serve me at ~200mm total extension on my full frame sensor?, and will i be losing DOF when shooting this setup over my 100mm macro?

Might there be a better lens option for me outside of the mpe price range?
Where do u recommend shopping for used gear?
What additional adapters will be required to mount an enlager lens to my bellows?

Thank you for your time in answering, i have been searching but its a lot to dive into and i feel a bit overwhelmed. . I would love to share some of my work with you all in the future, but my current macro photography portfolio is not appropriate to share on this website so currently I will leave you with a couple of my non macro images and my ugly mug doing what i love most, releasing big wild fish into rivers!. cheers.








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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2015 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dustin, welcome aboard -- your sky shots are great!

I see the Canon 6D is 20.2 megapixels, full frame format.

Given your goals and budget, the EL Nikkor 50 mm f/2.8 is a good start. (Avoid the f/4 -- it has much lower image quality.)

Reversed, on 200 mm total extension, the EL Nikkor 50mm will give about 3X, with good resolution and no problems covering your full frame sensor. (I mention coverage because at some point you may start thinking about microscope objectives for even higher resolution, and then covering full frame presents some challenges.)

You can easily push that to 5X by adding some cheap tubes to give another 100 mm extension. The whole rig will be pretty long at that point, but for bench use it should be fine.

If you happen to have say a 1.4X teleconverter already in your kit, you can use that to increase the magnification instead of more tubes, albeit with some loss of image quality.

An alternative to the EL Nikkor, probably with slightly higher image quality and still within your price range, would be a 50 mm f/2.8 Schneider-Kreuznach Componon S. If you compare the MTF charts at http://coinimaging.com/nikon_el50-28n.html versus http://coinimaging.com/s50comp.html , you can see that the Componon's MTF50 is maybe 10% higher in the 3-4X range. I'm quite happy with mine, though I haven't used it much. See http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=23546 for an example (at lower magnification than you need).

On eBay you'll also see APO Componons. Those are a different beast, and outside your price range.

Most of us do our used lens shopping on eBay. Just be sure you have return privileges, and do test the lens promptly so that you can take advantage of that if necessary. The "Schneider Kreuznach Componon-S f 2.8/50mm Enlarger Lens on Plate" currently offered looks clean except for some dust, but if I were in the market I'd probably ask a question about fungus before going for it. The seller doesn't have a lot of feedback, so a rapid and helpful reply would also give you some confidence that the seller will be good to work with.

In addition to the lens, you'll need a reversing ring to fit your bellows, and a step ring to fit between the reversing ring and whatever lens you get. The usual combination is to get a reversing ring that goes to 52mm, then a 52-to-whatever step ring to fit the lens. For an EL Nikkor, that will be 40.5 mm; the Componon S is 43 mm. Note that the step ring will be what's normally called "step up" -- the small thread will be male, the large female.

Quote:
at what I assume is ~2:1

Magnification is easily measured. Just photograph a ruler and divide mm on sensor by mm on ruler.

I hope this helps!

--Rik
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ChrisR
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Joined: 14 Mar 2009
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2015 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

By total extension, Rik means to include the distance inside the camera body, I think, which is of the order of 50mm. So your bellows should take you to over 4x with a 50mm.

For the cost (couple of bucks from China) you could try a reversing ring on the Sigma 100.
You can try it reversed on the body, and on the bellows, though the latter may not be a success. You can also try reversing the enlarger lens on the Sigma, reversed. (M = 2x)

The Schneider is reckoned to be better than the Nikon at low magnifications (around 1x - 2x) on bellows.

At 3x - 4x you'll be using about f/5.6 (BEST, seems to vary with the specimen a bit)
At 3x, the Effective Aperture will be
(M + 1) x Marked f number, so
(3+1) x 5.6 = "Eff/" 22.4.

Then, you can play with the Comparison graphs at coinimaging until they fry your noodle. The one I stole and put below may cause a sizzle. Don't be lured into extravagance for a small (20%) improvement in some number, that's only a 12" print versus a 10". Not something your mum would notice Wink . Just avoid the baddies and you'll be fine.

Remember he's using a small (APS /DX) sensor, so take "corner" with a pinch of salt.

He also misses a few options/tests. I bought an old micro Nikkor pre-AI 55mm f3.5 for $60. Fairly amazing quality/usefulness for the price, reversed on bellows.

And by the way, DOF is not dependent in the slightest, on the lens you use, only the Effective Aperture and the magnification.

The APO is included just to show what you (don't necessarily) get when you throw money at it.

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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree completely that the MTF charts at coinimaging.com can fry your noodle.

A comparison graph that I'd consider especially relevant is this one:



So how is it that in this graph the Schneider looks better than the EL Nikkor, and in Chris's graph it looks worse?

The answer lies in what's being graphed, and how the lenses have been set. The graph Chris shows is MTF10 (resolution at 10% contrast), with all lenses operated at the same aperture. The graph I show is MTF50 (resolution at 50% contrast), with each lens set at what coinimaging.com considers to be the sharpest aperture for that lens. For the Schneider, that's f/4.7; for the EL Nikkor, it's f/5.6. The reason I chose "Sharpness versus magnification" to get MTF50, instead of "Resolution versus magnification" to get MTF10, is that I'm guessing you care more about the gestalt impression than how many bars you can see on a high contrast test chart. That's a subjective matter. Objectively, the issue is that the optimum apertures for the two lenses are different, and when you run each lens at its optimum setting, the Schneider does a little bit better (in coinimaging.com's tests).

I also agree completely that the difference is not large and that there are lens-to-lens variations. Still, if I were going to do your task, I'd reach for my Componon rather than my EL Nikkor. Perhaps with Chris's samples of these lenses he would make a different choice.

--Rik
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Lou Jost



Joined: 04 Sep 2015
Posts: 2712
Location: Ecuador

PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be really interesting to see similar graphs for reversed modern macro lenses (eg newest aspheric +ED glass 60 mm Nikkor) versus reversed enlarger lenses. Anybody here have any experience with these?
Although Dustin set his budget at $200, perhaps the extra versatility of a lens that can be used both reversed and in his daily photography would be worth the extra cost. His Sigma might then become superfluous and he could sell it....
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd agree that in (almost?) all the other comparisons on that website, the SK comes out better.
I was surprised to see the one I posted, though I did work out what was going on.

Some time ago I posted some comparison pictures, where most people preferred the Nikon. The others were an SK, Rodagon Apo, and SK Apo. Our member NikonUser posted pictures where his particular one worked best at about f/6.3, which is smaller than I and others expected, though I found the same later.
I always meant to revisit it, as duplicates turned up. Most of my highly scientific lens evaluations use expanded Live View or single shots and result in bits of tape with cryptic remarks about two lenses together.

Sometimes the shape of the MTF curves would be different, guessing from the way one compares better for higher contrast subjects and another for low.

I wrote to the coininaging site owner about a few things, but he didn't answer. And I don't understand some of his omissions.

Individuals do vary. I still have a new, sealed SK50 to try, when I'm not busy .. .. . .
In the meantime I can't comment much on the lower magnifications because I never did much with them there, and I'm frankly spoilt for choice. Last time I used them around 3x - 4x, which was quite a while ago, individuals overlapped, but it didn't make a heck of a difference.
As Rik said, just avoid the 50mm f/4, also the 75mm El Nikkor.

I do have that one Nik50 which does particularly well. It beats an SK apo f/4 (or was it f/4.5) but not an SK APO f/2.8, for apparent sharpness, but there's something about the smaller aperture SK APO I prefer. That's probably something somebody would annoyingly call "rendering" which annoys me because I can't measure it.
Sharpness-wise I can usually out-resolve my sensor with something, if I really want to. Usually I work backwards from the size of the result to use least frames..

If I were saving money and had 1x to 2x covered, I'd wait for a cheap "clean" Nikon. Or find something for $10 ( like some weird but decent 50mm f/1.8 6 element camera lens) then wait for a cheap SK, which would typically be +50% on a Nikon. Some of them are way too expensive. And I'd wait for a later one, I believe the coatings improved at some point around 1977. One in front of me now 13902993 (1982, = middle aged), and ended at £26 including shipping, (~ $40 currently) which was a below the normal.

Buying on eBay - be aware, something like half to a third of what you get is wrong/faulty/, or something annoying due to a clueless seller, even if it looks fine in the listing.

Sorry to have witterrd on - I'm waiting for a phone call and..... Embarassed
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TrichomeArts



Joined: 08 Nov 2015
Posts: 8
Location: Spokane Washington

PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2015 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

haha i have a lot to learn... it sounds like the schneider componon-s 50mm f/2.8 or the nikkor 50mm 2.8 enlarger lens will both do basically the same thing, with the componon taking a slight edge in resolution on full frame sensors at 3x.

i will begin shopping and prob just go with which ever i find at a better deal for a better copy.

so when i get this thing, i should be able to adapt it, in reverse, to the front of my bellows and have a better macro set up. its frustrating to make a great stack only to be let down by my currents kits resolution and sharpness at such extension and i am excited to start explore our worlds details!

being that i can probably find copies of these lenses, is there an addition enlarger lens i should consider for results in the range of 4-6x on my bellows? I would ideally be able to photograph a series at each magnification level from 1-6x and still retail sharp printable detail at each step.

thank you so much for your help. im gonna go look for sample images from those 2 lens now.
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2015 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
is there an addition enlarger lens i should consider for results in the range of 4-6x on my bellows?
Not really, they get too expensive compared with Microscope objectives .
See the FAQs,
> How can I hook up an objective... ?
> Where can I get a... ?
> How can I get a bit more magnification?...

The optics are easy really. Mounting, lighting, and incrementing focus are more effort.
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TrichomeArts



Joined: 08 Nov 2015
Posts: 8
Location: Spokane Washington

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChrisR wrote:
Quote:
is there an addition enlarger lens i should consider for results in the range of 4-6x on my bellows?
Not really, they get too expensive compared with Microscope objectives .
See the FAQs,
> How can I hook up an objective... ?
> Where can I get a... ?
> How can I get a bit more magnification?...

The optics are easy really. Mounting, lighting, and incrementing focus are more effort.


luckly i have those down pat. having access to a mill and lathe in the garagee is real helpful in building parts and such. for now, im not wanting to go the microscope objective route just yet, one thing at a time. i do hope to eventuall be set of for light and dark field photography through a microscope.
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ChrisR
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2015 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The point is, that you can't get enlarger lenses with apertures large enough to compete with (relatively cheap) microscope objectives for smaller than about a 5mm subject.

There's a small number of macro bellows lenses eg the Olympus 20mm f/2, but they're expensive, and only available used.
It's the same focal length as a 10x scope objective, but for the money, not as good.

Objectives are just lenses, you don't have to use them on a microscope.
Finite ones are fine on a bellows unit, as are "infinite" types coupled when with a Raynox.

The lighting etc - you'll have to try it and evolve your technique. At higher magnications it's fussy.
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