extreme macro

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does anyone on this forum have any experience hooking up a 4x5 to microscope? I am curios what kind of microscope do you need, what kind of mount? and anything else. thaks in advance.-J

-- josh (devil_music@usa.net), October 19, 2000


There was a piece on LF macro/micro photography in _View Camera_ magazine about 4-6 issues back.

-- David Goldfarb (dgoldfarb@barnard.edu), October 19, 2000.

The answer to what sort of microscope you need is - A very strong one.
You are joking aren't you?
Putting a large format behind a microscope doesn't gain you anything in image quality. The light from the objective is already diffraction limited at any reasonably high magnification, and all you'll do is get a bigger and more blurred image.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), October 20, 2000.

The Snow flake guy took all the snow flake pics with a view camera and that was back in the `20s? so there must be some way. I dont think I understand Pete. Diffraction limited what do you mean?people take fine 35 and mf pics with microsopes all the time. why would 4x5 be different?-J

-- josh (devil_music@usa.net), October 20, 2000.

A snow flake is a huge thing that doesn't really warrant a microscope, besides back in the 1920s 5x4 was the norm for most professional photography.

The conventional way to take pictures through a microscope is to use the microscope objective to project directly onto the film, without using the camera lens. The camera is simply a box to hold the film and provide a shutter. (this precludes most LF cameras anyway, unless they've got FP shutters, with all their vibration,... ouch!)
The limit of sharpness is the microscope objective, and the illuminating stage aperture. Projecting onto a bigger piece of film doesn't get you any more resolution or sharpness. It's the same image, just bigger. You might as well use 35mm, and then make LF dupes from it.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), October 20, 2000.

I'm staring at one on my desk right now. It's an older full-size Zeiss research microscope that dates back to the late 1960's. I have the 4X5 trinocular camera attachment that has the numbers 47 60 57 and the 0.8X/0.25X lens/shutter with the numbers 47 60 12-9901. The electronic control box for the entire unit is the Zeiss MC63. We used to use it in our labs to generate 4X5 Polaroids. Talk to a Zeiss dealer or maybe you can find one of these at a shop where microscopes are repaired. If you have more questions, contact me.

Hope that helps.

-- Bill Riemenschneider (willi444@yahoo.com), October 20, 2000.

you make a good point Pete. So any ideas on the best way to do get magnifactons beyond 1:1. at some point with any lens you just cant get any closer.-J

-- josh (devil_music@usa.net), October 20, 2000.

For Large Format there is also the Zeiss Luminar Lenses. On the expensive side, but really top notch stuff. Take a look at the January/February 2000 issue of View Camera. You can get up to 40x with the 16mm lens. Of course depth of field is about the width of a hair at that point. Linhof made an extension cone lens board for the Luminar lenses that fit the Technika IV and later models.

-- Donald Brewster (dpbrewster@prodigy.net), October 23, 2000.

Can we clarify whether we're talking about Macro photography, or Photomicrography here?
Large format does have advantages for Macro work, in that for a given magnification, the DOF increases with format size. For use with a microscope though, unless you're lucky enough to own a special rig, like Bill, then 5x4 presents huge problems.

For macro work, I've successfully used enlarger lenses on both 35mm and 5x4. An 80mm enlarger lens will easily cover 5x4 at 4:1 magnification, and IMHO gives an image quality equal to special macro lenses.

-- Pete Andrews (p.l.andrews@bham.ac.uk), October 24, 2000.

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