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12-27-2020, 03:06 PM - 2 Likes   #61
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For the historical record I have scans of several technical bulletins published by Minolta probably in the early/mid 1960's judging from the equipment models pictured with them. Minolta Technical Bulletin E deals with "Close-Up and Macrophotography with the Minolta SR System":

Magnification Ratios
We should first establish a necessary arbitrary dividing line between close-up and macrophotography. Close-up can be said to range from 3 feet to distances close enough to give a picture 1/10th life-size or a 1:10 ratio. Macrophotography continues from 1/10th life-size images to about 25◊ magnifications. (25◊ life-size). The term magnification ratio simply indicates the direct relationship between image size and object size. A 1:1 magnification ratio indicates that the dimension of the image on the film is identical with that of the actual object. A 2:1 ratio describes a 2◊ magnification; the images size is twice that of the actual object.
Note the word arbitrary (emphasis mine).


BTW: the Technical Bulletin sums up the majority of macro options which hasn't changed all the much. Although not necessarily budget








12-27-2020, 05:56 PM   #62
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Since as far as I know the first full-frame macro lens came in both 1:1 and 1:2 versions, it seems like at least 1:2 has to be included as "macro." Around Pentax forums, when it comes to lenses the 1950s seem to be considered like yesterday, so that definition is probably still applicable.
12-28-2020, 05:40 AM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
it seems like at least 1:2 has to be included as "macro."
Why? The term isn't copyrighted, camera companies can label anything they choose "macro".What is the benefit to including 1:2? People need to be warned when a lens they are connsidering for macro work is only 1:2. It's already enough wrk, to try and describe the issue. The Tech bulletin above has everything anyone needs to know about macro, (with exception of modern developments like stacking and pixel shift.)

I cannot tell you how P.O.'d I was when I bought my Sigma 70-300 and found out what they called macro. Part of my distrust of Sigma, is their "You have to read the fine print. " attitude. They are untrustworthy. Although it turns out, they are totally trustworthy, if you trust them to label a lens with 1:2 magnification a macro. It makes them price competitive, but not functionally competitive.

It's weird to me, hat people avoid technically defining an issue like this, where is the pay-off?

---------- Post added 12-28-20 at 07:56 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
For the historical record I have scans of several technical bulletins published by Minolta probably in the early/mid 1960's judging from the equipment models pictured with them. Minolta Technical Bulletin E deals with "Close-Up and Macrophotography with the Minolta SR System":

Magnification Ratios
We should first establish a necessary arbitrary dividing line between close-up and macrophotography. Close-up can be said to range from 3 feet to distances close enough to give a picture 1/10th life-size or a 1:10 ratio. Macrophotography continues from 1/10th life-size images to about 25◊ magnifications. (25◊ life-size). The term magnification ratio simply indicates the direct relationship between image size and object size. A 1:1 magnification ratio indicates that the dimension of the image on the film is identical with that of the actual object. A 2:1 ratio describes a 2◊ magnification; the images size is twice that of the actual object.
Note the word arbitrary (emphasis mine).


BTW: the Technical Bulletin sums up the majority of macro options which hasn't changed all the much. Although not necessarily budget





That's a great piece of information, it could be required reading for people wishing to discuss the topic. Notice after 1:1 it bereft mentions 2:1 lenses which also exist. And I've talked to those who maintain even 1:1 isn't true macro. The distinction t me would be, with 1:1 or higher magnification, you need special equipment. 1"2 can be just walk around. It's the difference between the using special technical equipment to get an image, and those just walking around with a camera taking pictures of smaller things. See aslyfox's post above to understand of the confusion caused by confusing one with the other.

Last edited by normhead; 12-28-2020 at 06:01 AM.
12-28-2020, 06:13 AM   #64
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By definition, macro photography means "between 1:1 and 10:1".
Beyond 10:1, we enter into micrography.
So 1:2 is not yet macro but in galleries like Flickr we find way more photos taken between 1:10 and 1:1 than between 1:1 and 10:1.

12-28-2020, 06:27 AM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by tryphon4 Quote
By definition, macro photography means "between 1:1 and 10:1".
Beyond 10:1, we enter into micrography.
So 1:2 is not yet macro but in galleries like Flickr we find way more photos taken between 1:10 and 1:1 than between 1:1 and 10:1.
Exactly. But for someone wanting to learn to do macro photography, taking images 1:2 to 1:10 teaches exactly nothing about macro photography. I can do that with my walk around lenses. To learn to do macro, you don't need to learn close up photography. You do need learn to produce images 10:1 to 1:1, or you shouldn't be calling your work macro. Sadly, all my small sensor cameras have "macro" settings, that are truly only close up settings. Some people get confused by this.

Last edited by normhead; 12-28-2020 at 06:35 AM.
12-28-2020, 08:10 AM   #66
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One thing I am not sure is mentioned, is that on many of the newer Pentax bodies, I think starting with the k series, the camera body needs to have the lens contacts shorted to make it think ther is a lens attached. Many film era extension tubes have painted / anodized lens mounts and need to have the finish sanded off in order for the camera to allow the aperture to close down.

The other thing to remember is that the term macro is normally considered to be 1:1 reproduction ratio on the film / sensor. This is achieved by achieving focus with the lens to subject distance equal to 2x the native focal length and at the same time achieving equal subject to lens distance and lens to film/sensor distance As a result, short lenses have you working really really close to the subject. It may not be an issue, but it is something to consider. The longer the lens, the more distance you have. Also remember, close up lenses that add on to the front of the lens, actually work by reducing focal length in order to achieve close focus. Extension tubes work by increasing the spacing between lens to film/sensor offering better working distance.

The trade off is that with extension tubes you increase magnification by projecting the image to a larger area, and as many have noted the resulting reduction in overall lighting. Close up lenses increase magnification by reducing focal length, while not changing the lens opening (aperture) hence will give a brighter viewfinder image.

Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 12-28-2020 at 08:17 AM.
12-28-2020, 09:29 AM   #67
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Maybe we just need to accept that there is no universally agreed upon definition of the fairly-recently-developed term "macro lens", and move on. From an historical perspective, does anyone know if any lenses were referred to as "macro" prior to the Makro-Kilar?

12-28-2020, 10:10 AM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
Maybe we just need to accept that there is no universally agreed upon definition of the fairly-recently-developed term "macro lens"
Yep...In AOC-land, the term is younger than I am, by about nine years*, and I am an still younger than dirt.


Steve

* Asahi Macro Takumar 50/4, 1964
12-28-2020, 10:35 AM   #69
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The working definition of a macro lens that I'm familiar with:

Lens capable of infinity to at least 1:2 (0.5◊) reproduction optimized for flat-field performance (center and edge/corner sharpness).

Things have been blurred further when lens makers starting labeling zoom lenses as "macro" or having a "macro" feature. This was mainly a marketing ploy in the feature wars. "Macro" usually means the minimum focusing distance under one meter and reproduction ratios from 1:10 to 1:3 depending on the widest angle of the lens. There are a few exceptions that are capable of 1:2 or 1:2 reproduction like some versions Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm zoom. These required setting the zoom control to a position where the internal optics could be shifted to a macro mode.

Last edited by Not a Number; 12-28-2020 at 10:43 AM.
12-28-2020, 11:26 AM   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by tibbitts Quote
Maybe we just need to accept that there is no universally agreed upon definition of the fairly-recently-developed term "macro lens", and move on. From an historical perspective, does anyone know if any lenses were referred to as "macro" prior to the Makro-Kilar?
QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Yep...In AOC-land, the term is younger than I am, by about nine years*, and I am an still younger than dirt.


Steve

* Asahi Macro Takumar 50/4, 1964
Using that infinitely reliable source (Wikipedia) shows that the macro-Kilar lens evolved in the 50ís as well as the Pentax macro tak, but the term photo macrography was first proposed in 1899, predating both lenses by at least 50 years.

However, given the current misuse of the term, I think any lens capable of close focusing, and yielding a reproduction ratio of at least 1:10 is probably the most market consistent use of the term today.

Funny though, my celestron C90 that can focus to 1 meter and is a 1 meter focal length is not referred to any where in the literature as a macro lens
12-28-2020, 12:08 PM   #71
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Using that infinitely reliable source (Wikipedia) shows that the macro-Kilar lens evolved in the 50’s as well as the Pentax macro tak, but the term photo macrography was first proposed in 1899, predating both lenses by at least 50 years.
1955 for the Kilfitt Makro-Kilar 40/3.5 (D for 1:2 and E for 1:1) and 1964 for the Macro Takumar 50/4.0 (1:1).

I just took a look-see at the Wikipedia article on Macro Photography. It is definitely not to the usual standards and promotes multiple myths. I am shocked. The part you quote is accurate by much of the rest is really bad.


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12-28-2020, 01:19 PM   #72
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The book of monsters, written by David and Marian Fairchild, has been published in 1914.
Here is the camera:


You can read the book here: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/40035/40035-h/40035-h.htm


The handbook of micrography (written by H. Lloyd Hind and W. Brough Randles) has been published in 1913, but it is about micrography, not macro.
12-28-2020, 01:32 PM - 1 Like   #73
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Thank you all for this thread, especially the Title, and I can now confirm I am thoroughly confused !

Seriously, I shall continue to take whatever close-up photos I wish, and not worry my antient head about the definition of the technique. For me, the result is more important than the terminology.
01-02-2021, 02:40 PM   #74
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Happy New Year everyone, sorry for delay we all got ill over Xmas and New Year - i never realised Macro was such a hornets nest!.Much of this talk here is beyond my level of understanding, though appreciated.

- i noticed the comments on learning styles with interest, I am dyslexic and unless i can use something practically it tends to not make sense, my brain just cannot absorb all the intricacies of aperture etc without me looking at videos, trying suggested small projects to learn a technique etc which is why i was leaning towards a cheap set up at first.

- regarding the 'type' of macro photography i want to do, its very much a cross between on the go and some in my garden, i may move on to bringing items in at some point but not right now.

- that image of the moth, is beautiful and what i imagined in my head i would like to produce, that level of detail that stops you being able to see what its actually come from is interesting to me, so narowing down kit to achieve that is probably what i need, though i suspect that cannot be done cheaply.

Are the below even worth considering?

Raynox DCR-150 Macro Snap-on Adapter with 49 mm Front: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo

52mm Close-up Filter Kit,Fotover 4 Pieces Macro Filter: Amazon.co.uk: Camera & Photo

Continued Thanks all
01-02-2021, 06:02 PM   #75
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rococo Quote
that image of the moth, is beautiful and what i imagined in my head i would like to produce, that level of detail that stops you being able to see what its actually come from is interesting to me, so narowing down kit to achieve that is probably what i need, though i suspect that cannot be done cheaply.
I think that must be the images I posted, as I haven't noticed any other moths around here. I take it you mean the higher-magnification image, where you can only see a small part of the moth's wing, and can see the wing scales in detail. So let's talk about equipment and process for working at this magnification level.

First, if you haven't already done so, you really should watch the video linked earlier in this thread. While he is mostly working at somewhat lower magnifications, he is still mainly doing what we call "extreme macro", and he is doing so with a simple, inexpensive setup and a fairly simple process. And he gets fantastic results. Here's a shot of mine using a similar kit to what Shahan describes in the video:



That is, I used the built-in flash, a cheap diffuser (which I've reviewed here), and an old and not too expensive prime lens mounted on a reversing ring and extension tube. Diffuser: $8 in my case; free in Shahan's (easy to make one out of things you have lying around the house). Lens: mine was $110; there are $40 lenses that can also give excellent results. Reversing ring: $22. Extension tubes: I paid $57 for a set, but you can certainly find cheaper ones. And, as with Shahan's work, the shot above was hand-held, i.e., no tripod.

You ask about the Raynox 150. The 150 (and the higher-magnification 250) both pair well with your DA 55-300. With the Raynox 250 and your DA 55-300 zoomed to 300mm, you would have 2.4x macro, about what I have for the spider photo here. I've never used one, but they are known to be high-quality optics; many serious photomacrographers use them. If you go that route, you won't need the reversing ring and/or extension tubes. You'll have the advantage of changing magnification simply by zooming the lens in and out, much less cumbersome than extension tubes.

Note that in my photo above, most of the spider is out of focus. You can get a good sense of the narrow depth of field by looking at the rock surface the spider is on. An inescapable fact of macro photography is that the higher the magnification, the shallower the depth of field. Again, as Shahan shows, you can make wonderful extreme-macro photos with that shallow depth of field, as long as you get the critical parts in focus, the key to which is to take lots of exposures.

For the close-up of the moth's wing, I wanted the entire frame in sharp focus. Even though the subject is pretty flat, at that magnification that was impossible to do in a single shot. So I took a series of shots (68 of them in that case), making a tiny focus adjustment between shots. This was easy to do, because in this case I wasn't using extension tubes, I was using a bellows. I then used a program called Zerene Stacker to combine them into a single, sharply-focused final result. This is a much different process than shooting hand-held with diffused flash, rather tedious in fact. There's an automated focusing rail that makes the process much less tedious, for those who are dedicated to this process (it's not a cheap device). You probably don't want to jump straight into focus stacking! Start with the Shahan set-up and technique and learn what subjects really interest you and how much magnification you need.

Good luck, and enjoy the process!
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