Close up with normal lens: Revers? Diopters?.. : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hello, Have You any experience with reversing of normal lens for close up, like it is in small and medium format? I tried to make close ups with Apo-Sironar_N 150, but it looks like it drops quickly in image quality at scales over 0.3. Special lenses is too expensive for my case. Can You recommend any close-up diopters for this? Best Wishes. Sergey.

-- Yarigin.S (, February 18, 1999


I don't know about reversing the lens (how would you release the shutter from inside the bellows?), but I have experimented a little with a Nikon 4T closeup attachment (a good quality, two-element achromatic attachment) on a Nikkor 150W/f5.6. The results have been very good. I was pleasantly surprised.

If I'm not mistaken, your Rodenstock Apo-Sironar N 150mm has a 49mm filter thread. Nikon's 3T and 4T closeup lenses have 52mm threads, so they'll work easily with your lens and a 49-52 step-up ring. In addition, for other lenses you might have, Nikon's similar 5T and 6T attachments come in 62mm threads, and I believe others make similar two-element closeup lenses in other filter sizes (Canon makes 58mm ones, I believe, and I know that Pentax sells 58mm and 67mm ones, ostensibly for their P645 and P67 lenses).

-- Greg Lawhon (, February 19, 1999. didn't take me long after submitting my previous response to realize that you might be able to "reverse" the lens by unscrewing the front and rear elements and exchanging them (and then the shutter would still be accessible on the front of the lens board). What you probably are asking is whether the lens would work for closeups with the elements reversed. I think that certain macro lenses are designed to do just that (such as the Makro Sironars from Rodenstock). I don't know whether you'd get a good image (or any image) from reversed elements from a standard lens formula. I think I'll try it!

-- Greg Lawhon (, February 19, 1999.

I used to photograph at life size or greater on 8x10 with a 203mm Ektar that normally went on my 4x5 camera. The negs were plenty sharp, the lens covered the 8x10 format when it was racked out to double or triple extension with no noticable falloff.

-- Tony Brent (, February 21, 1999.

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