The limits between macro- and microphotography

Starting out in microscopy? Post images and ask questions relating to the microscope and get answers from our more advanced users on the subject.

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Tzontonel
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Post by Tzontonel »

@Enrico: Great references!

@Rik: Thank you very much for your time to check if the terms are used accordingly.

@Pau: Unfortunately I don't have a wide field objective to obtain a general texture of the rock, the lowest magnification is x3.2 (from an old Carls Jena microscope). Can you provide me a link/image to your work? Did you try to map the slide? and after that to stitch all photos?

Thank you all for positive and constructive discussions!
Andrei

Pau
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Post by Pau »

Andrei, sorry I haven't any at hand, would need to search in backup hard disks or to take new ones, not possible until the end of final exams time :(

This guy, who makes and sells thin sections, does it for general views of his slides:
http://geosec.biz/Thin-Section-Microsco ... ?sid=35215 of his slides:
Pau

Tzontonel
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Post by Tzontonel »

@Pau Good luck with exams. I saw some photomicrographs on that website. Very interesting approach, do you know the appropriate objective for this kind of results (high FOV)?
Andrei

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

enricosavazzi wrote:I can provide an earlier definition of photomacrograph:

Whalmsley W.H. 1899: Photo-micrography for everybody. International Annual of Anthony's Photographic Bulletin and American Process Year-book. 12: 73–90.

p. 73: "and under the lower, or five diameters, may be readily produced by any form carrying a lens of short focus, a bellows, or other means of extension, and a focusing screen. The picture thus made may be termed a photo-macrograph, as a distinction from the true photo-micrograph produced by the combination of microscope and camera."
An excellent find!

The quote you found, in isolation, could be interpreted as saying that photomacrographs can only be taken using equipment other than a microscope.

But then the slightly later quote -- by the same author, the fellow who coined the term -- seems to make clear that his concept refers to the product, not subtle aspects of the equipment used to produce it.

So it seems we have the situation -- or at least did have it at the beginning of the previous century -- that all images shot through a microscope can be called photomicrographs, and some of those can also be called photomacrographs, the criterion being if they show an object "visible to the naked eye or to the eye assisted by a pocket lens".

I like to imagine that after the first publication, Mr. Walmsley fielded several questions about exactly what his new term meant, and the second publication was his attempt to clarify the meaning so as to stave off any more questions. But who knows? Probably this is all lost to antiquity, and in any case, as you've pointed out, later authors have thoroughly muddied the waters with attempts to capture their own concepts.

But back to the current thread...

My initial response of "This statement is simply not correct" was a kneejerk response to the comment that "it appears that macrophotography was created by marketers". In the Oxford English Dictionary, the entries for "photomacrography" and "macrophotography", it seems clear that these terms were used interchangeably in 1967. That is a period when I was spending quite a bit of time looking in lens catalogs to do this sort of work. But I have no memory of any lenses being labeled as "macro" at that time, hence my doubt that it is "marketers" who were responsible for the term.

However, I have re-read your posting in this thread many times. I think I now see your point, though I still think that "created" is far too strong. Certainly there are now many lenses that are labeled "macro", and since macro is popular (whatever macro is), manufacturers are motivated to stick that label on their lenses given the slightest justification. This tends to broaden the term. I personally have not seen anything with a magnification as low as 0.1X being proposed as "macro", but I have no doubt that it's been done. Meanwhile serious photographers keep pushing back, arguing that more restrictive definitions should be used. It's a tug-of-war, typical of all language.

One thing I remain curious about: Enrico, do you agree or disagree with my assessment of the captions in Andrei's paper?

--Rik

Edit: to include Enrico's quote in this post, instead of just on the previous page where context might be missed.
Last edited by rjlittlefield on Sat May 20, 2017 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

enricosavazzi
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Post by enricosavazzi »

rjlittlefield wrote:
enricosavazzi wrote:I can provide an earlier definition of photomacrograph:
An excellent find!

I like to imagine that after the first publication, Mr. Walmsley fielded several questions about exactly what his new term meant, and the second publication was his attempt to clarify the meaning so as to stave off any more questions. But who knows? Probably this is all lost to antiquity, and in any case, as you've pointed out, later authors have thoroughly muddied the waters with attempts to capture their own concepts.
That is my thought too. There are plenty of such examples in scientific literature. I used to work in a field of paleobiology called "constructional morphology" by a group at Tübingen University that used the term in a different way than its original creator. Then another German group started using their own brand definition of the term, and telling us that what we were doing was not "real" constructional morphology. Meanwhile, linguists had been happily using "constructional morphology" for decades, with a yet entirely different meaning.

The full text, by the way, is available at https://archive.org/details/internationalan00unkngoog
I personally have not seen anything with a magnification as low as 0.1X being proposed as "macro", but I have no doubt that it's been done.
I don't have specific examples, but "macro zoom" is used in very liberal ways by manufacturers. I would not be surprised to see it applied to a 0.1x lens, especially legacy ones from a time when it was more difficult than today to force a zoom to focus close.
One thing I remain curious about: Enrico, do you agree or disagree with my assessment of the captions in Andrei's paper?
When reading scientific papers, I tend to try to understand what the author means rather than stick to the correct/formal use of terminology. The caption of Fig. 11 does mention "microphotographs", but it is easy to understand what is meant, and no chance of mistaking it for Victorian-era microphotographs.
--ES

Alan Wood
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Post by Alan Wood »

Rik wrote
In the Oxford English Dictionary, the entries for "photomacrography" and "macrophotography", it seems clear that these terms were used interchangeably in 1967. That is a period when I was spending quite a bit of time looking in lens catalogs to do this sort of work. But I have no memory of any lenses being labeled as "macro" at that time, hence my doubt that it is "marketers" who were responsible for the term.
I remember having a 40mm f/2.8 Macro Kilar around that time, in a screw fitting for a Miranda.

Alan Wood

enricosavazzi
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Post by enricosavazzi »

Alan Wood wrote:Rik wrote
In the Oxford English Dictionary, the entries for "photomacrography" and "macrophotography", it seems clear that these terms were used interchangeably in 1967. That is a period when I was spending quite a bit of time looking in lens catalogs to do this sort of work. But I have no memory of any lenses being labeled as "macro" at that time, hence my doubt that it is "marketers" who were responsible for the term.
I remember having a 40mm f/2.8 Macro Kilar around that time, in a screw fitting for a Miranda.

Alan Wood
I have nothing certain to report for the 60s (Komine might have been marketing a 55 mm Macro in the 60s, and certainly did in the 70s under several brands including Panagor), but in the 70s there were several Macro Switar lenses (marked as such) for 16 mm Bolex movie cameras. In the same decade Nikon marketed its Multiphot system with the Macro Nikkor lenses.

PS: the Zeiss brochure "Photography with Luminar lenses", probably published in 1966, says: "Macrophotography comprises the scale of
reproduction from 1 : 1 to 25: 1 (magnification)."
--ES

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