Macro Lens for 8x10? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread


I want to get a good macro lens for 8x10 photography. The ideal focal length would be 300-400mm.

Why don't Schneider, Rodenstock or Nikon make them? They make them for 4x5 but not 8x10. Why?

What about the Rodentstock's Apo Ronar, Schneider's G-Claron or the Nikon M. Aren't these classic desgins optimized for 1:1? If so, then why don't they call them Macro?

Please help!


-- Sol Campbell (, December 29, 2000


Macro really isn't a technical term - witness the misuse of the term with regards to 35mm zoom lenses. Usually shorter focal length lenses are used in large format photography for 1:1 or thereabouts than in smaller formats (relative to the format) - who wants to deal with a yard of bellow's draw? You can get a 355mm Claron or a 480mm APO Ronar, but they're huge when compared to the 200 - 250mm lenses that will easily cover 8x10 at 1:1.

-- Wayne DeWitt (, December 29, 2000.

Sol, as previously said the terms macro,micro and so forth are relative concepts. I general you tend to define macro prictures with a ratio arount 1:1 ans micro anything smaller than that, if your format is 8"x 10" you are pretty much around Macro when you take a portrait (close ups) and anything smaller in full format is surely micro. If you would for whatsoever reason want to use a long focal lens the amount of bellows would be impressive, so as anybody who has ever done serious macro on 35mm as well as any other format, you need short focals in order to hase large reproduction ratio and even though negligeble at this ratios some slight depth of field advantage. I once took a picture of an injection needle, full size on 8"x10" using a 6mm lens (from a 8mm film camera) and joining a 4x5 camera to a 8x10 in order to have enough bellows. the light source were two small strobes at a couple of centimeters from the subject which was pretty close to the lens. Very difficult and an experience that you only want to do to prove that you can do it but is no fun. Many have this strange idea that macro requires long lenses, no it is not so. Even 35mm macro-micro requires short focals see Leitz , Minolta, Contax, Nikon and so on catalogues! Enjoy

-- Andrea Milano (, December 30, 2000.

Enlarging lenses often work quite well for this purpose, and I believe Calumet sells an adapter ring for attaching an enlarging lens with Leica thread to a Copal 1 shutter. Depending on the enlargement factor and the lens design, it may work better to reverse-mount the lens.

-- David Goldfarb (, December 30, 2000.

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