telephoto lens for macro work : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

Hi. I am a commercial photographer using a Sinar 4x5. Would anyone be able to help me decide on a telephoto lens for doing shots of small objects such as cellular phones. I bought a 360mm schneider but the bellows draw is too much when I try and get close. Is there a lens with which I can shoot small products and still not draw the bellows more than 12 to 15 inches.

Thanks Aditya

-- aditya arya (, March 18, 2002


Hi Aditya

I would buy a Schneider G- Glaron 150mm or 210mm very cheap and very good for close ups and good for infinity from f22 on! Robert White UK sells them for almost nothing!

-- Armin Seeholzer (, March 18, 2002.

For 3 dimensional objects from 1:3 to 3:1 a macro like the 120 or 180 Apo Macro Sironar will give superior results to a process lens like an Apo Ronar or G Claron.

For 2 dimensional objects the process lenses will give better results.

-- Bob Salomon (, March 18, 2002.

The last I think you would want is a telephoto lens. When using this formula of lens closer to a subject than a distance that would render that subject larger than 1/10th of it's actual size on the ground glass, you will need to apply what's known as an exit pupil factor. And you will most likely have to apply a bellows factor as well, giving you two calculations to make. Short focal length lenses work well at close distances generally. If it were me, I would get out my 110 XL.

-- Robert A. Zeichner (, March 18, 2002.

I agree with the smaller focal lengths. A telephoto will also give to much compression. A few times I have had to do very small diodes on circuit boards and had to use a 90mm! Try it. It works great. Shooting a cell phone is nothing for a 110 or a 150.

-- Scott Walton (, March 18, 2002.

Some years ago a friend of mine had an assignment to shoot the inner workings of a wristwatch. He wanted maximum detail of the tiny gears, so the chose to shoot it on 8x10. He tried a number of lenses, but none quite met his expectations. Finally, someone suggested a 50mm Micro Nikkor, reversed, and mounted on a lensboard. Believe it or not, that did the trick. It covered the full 8x10 frame and produced sensational resolution. I know that is a lot more magnification than you are talking about, but I thought it might interest some of you.

-- Ted Kaufman (, March 18, 2002.

Hi all, I am a newbie here and was also interested in this question myself. When you use 90mm-135mm lenses(in large format), does it make the oject look distorted? sort of like photographing a person's face, close-up with a 20-35mm lens on 35mm camera?

Or this rule does not apply to large format?

I was hoping to get a 150mm myself, to act as both a normal lens and for macro shots.( up to (3:1)

regards sa

-- V Keen (, March 18, 2002.

Try fitting an enlarging lens, reversed, on your viewcamera. I have done this with Rodagon-G lenses. Works great!

-- Roger Urban (, March 18, 2002.

Howdy Adi! I have shot the face of my watch, filling the frame, while taking a workshop at ELLIS VENER'S studio in Houston using my NIKKOR AM*ED 120MM MACRO LENS F5.6 and his ARCA SWISS 4 by 5. The polaroid back is a big help for fine tuning... m.

-- MILES FEIGENBAUM (, March 19, 2002.


I made a shoot of an old pocket watch 5cm diameter in 2:1 with great result with the Schneider G-Glaron 150 mm at F22! A macro lens can`t do it better because of the diffraction limits the 120mm macro Sinaron could be eventually do better because I maybe had it only to stop down to f16 and had enough DOF because of the shorter lens. But with the 90mm I could not do it because of to short lens of object distance for the flashlight!

Good luck!

-- Armin Seeholzer (, March 19, 2002.

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