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01-06-2015, 12:59 PM   #1
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Lightweight Macro

I am often torn when I have no specific idea what I want to photograph between carrying the F series 100 Macro or other equipment in my small bag. There are times that I have the 100 double as a medium tele but other times it's there only for the macro capability. I have toyed with getting the 50mm or a 35mm macro or a manual focus A series 50mm as a way to lighten the load. However today I got to try out a solution I had originally purchased for use with my M42 bellows as an option for Micro photography.

I mounted a Schneider Componar-C 50mm f/2.8 enlarger lens onto an M39 to M42 adapter ring and then put the assembly onto a set of NOS Pentax M42 extension rings which in turn went onto an M42 to K adapter. The whole thing was light as a feather. I then used a small table top Leica tripod and simply moved objects back and forth to get focus. It was down and dirty and worked pretty well. The largest issue was the fact that it is hard to take the M42 to K adapter on and off. I have a genuine Pentax and a KALT - both were equally cumbersome using the KALT wrench. The only other complexity was the fact that different tubes lined the aperture up in a different orientation making checking the F stop more complicated - this is mainly a problem if you want to record the f-stop used.

Here are some sample pics:

---------- Post added 01-06-15 at 03:02 PM ----------

The last photo shown was taken by popping up the onboard flash. The object in question was positioned in front of a mirror and the camera was pointed nearly 45 degrees relative to the mirror. WB was set to auto. All other pictures shot with available light.

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01-06-2015, 01:43 PM   #2
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Here are some images from the Pentax F 100 f/2.8 Macro of the same subject. Sorry the composition is different but the space available for composition does not allow me adequate working distance on some of the shots to get the 100 back far enough to simulate the original shot. Also included a comparison of the gear used for the shots. The entire stack of M42 tubes wasn't used on any of the shots as I recall.
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01-06-2015, 02:12 PM   #3
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You've achieved some very nice shots with the Schneider set-up and it's certainly compact. I have tried reversing rings in the past but found the whole process slowed me down too much, but that's probably a statement about my skill. I eventually got a F 50mm f2.8 autofocus macro which got me the macro but suited my lazy workflow.
I think what you have achieved will have a lot of people browsing ebay to get their hands on Componar lenses.
01-06-2015, 02:27 PM   #4
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For some macro work I use either a 45mm APO Componon or APO Rodagon reverse mounted either directly via tubes or a bellows, or reverse mounted onto a 180 or 200mm F4 lens. The latter combo provides about 4X or 4.4X and is useful for very small live subjects because the diaphragm of the prime can be stopped down instead of the reversed enlarging lens. Mounted via tube or bellows either lens provides a variety of magnifications, almost exclusively stationary subjects so the lens can be left wide open, or at most one stop down, then image stacking can be used to get suitable DOF. I prefer the Componon.

FYI: The 28mm Componon (not APO) has an excellent reputation as a reverse mounted high magnification macro. Again, best results are with the lens not more than one stop closed and image stacking used to get adequate DOF.

01-06-2015, 02:47 PM   #5
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These shots were with the lens mounted right way round not reversed, I'm not actually sure of the front lens threading so I didn't even try that yet. I do have a K to 49mm reversing ring and a K to 52mm reversing ring and a 49-52 ring so it's probably just a matter of some minor stepping rings to make it happen. I also haven't tried the prime lens stacking or even focus stacking yet. A general lack of compute power (I'm on a chromebook right now) makes that a future rather than present goal.

Here are some more shots - one at f/2.8 and one at f/11 - this time with the complete stack of M42 tubes shown. Also a couple of mounted on the camera shots to show the basic size difference a different way. I must say the results are surprisingly good.
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06-22-2015, 02:24 PM   #6
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Since I now own the Raynox 250 supplemental close up lens I most often toss that in the bag when dedicated macro work is not planned - then I have a really light small solution for the moments when something does come up that I want to capture that I hadn't planned on. It works really really well on the DA* 60-250 which was a bit of a shock.
08-11-2015, 11:04 AM   #7
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+1 for the closeup lens + DA* 60-250mm. I too was shocked how good that combination was. Instead of the Raynox, I use a Marumi 67mm closeup filter. But I can confirm that a 58mm Canon closeup filter also works using a step down ring. In addition to that I also pack an HD 1.4x teleconverter and a 25mm extension tube. Using these three attachments I have a lot of flexibility out in the field in a small package.

Michael
08-11-2015, 12:11 PM - 1 Like   #8
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I'm out carrying 2 combos these days, a 50-200 with 150 + 250 stacked, and af160fc (that's about 1:1-4:1) strapped over the chest on the back and a Tamron 70-200 with 2x tc converted to extension tube on monopod & ballhead. It's a combo that's working for me. It lets me concentrate on butterfly closeups but when I can't find any or it's too windy or they're sulking cause of rain I can just resort to extreme macro bugs which I can nearly always find.

Schneider do some excellent optics. I'd advise going for the Componon series rather than Componar (6 element vs. 4 element) as they're better quality for a broadly similar price bracket and availability. I've used the 28, 38 and 80 a lot, all outstanding, for stacking especially.

08-11-2015, 01:53 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nass Quote
I'm out carrying 2 combos these days, a 50-200 with 150 + 250 stacked, and af160fc (that's about 1:1-4:1) strapped over the chest on the back and a Tamron 70-200 with 2x tc converted to extension tube on monopod & ballhead. It's a combo that's working for me. It lets me concentrate on butterfly closeups but when I can't find any or it's too windy or they're sulking cause of rain I can just resort to extreme macro bugs which I can nearly always find.

Schneider do some excellent optics. I'd advise going for the Componon series rather than Componar (6 element vs. 4 element) as they're better quality for a broadly similar price bracket and availability. I've used the 28, 38 and 80 a lot, all outstanding, for stacking especially.
Thanks that's awesome info.
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