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Thread: Using Enlarging Lenses

  1. #1
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    Using Enlarging Lenses

    Forgive me if this has been comprehensively answered elsewhere, but I can't find it.

    I am thinking of using a number of enlarging lenses on my GH2 for macro work. I understand that this is possible but am hopelessly confused about what I need.

    From what research I have been able to understand, I need something to reverse mount the lens (?) and possibly something called a focusing helicoid (which I don't really understand but imagine allows focusing for a fixed focus lens).

    Can anyone point me to a thread which explains this in simple terms or attempt the same while pointing me to sources for the necessary adapters.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member kwalsh's Avatar
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    Re: Using Enlarging Lenses

    Reversed enlarging lenses do make good macro lenses.

    In many cases, particularly for close macro work you can just use a belows instead of a focusing helicoid. You are correct, these are just to provide a means to focus the lens (change its distance from the sensor).

    Reverse mount adapters allow you to mount a lens by its filter threads. So it looks like the mount on the back of lens on one side and like a filter thread on the other. Here for example is one for a Nikon camera:

    http://www.amazon.com/Fotodiox-Filte.../dp/B001G4NBSC

    For m43 what you'll probably want to do is find a focusing solution (helicoid or belows) for some other camera system (Nikon, Canon FD, whatever is easy to find and in expensive). Then find a reverse adapter for the same system. Then find an adapter for that system to m43.

    Using the Nikon system as an example, you'd do this:

    -m43 to Nikon adapter attached to your GH2
    -Nikon belows attached to that
    -Nikon reverse mount attached to that
    -Enlarging lens screwed by its filter threads onto that

    Ken

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Using Enlarging Lenses

    Quote Originally Posted by pflower View Post
    From what research I have been able to understand, I need something to reverse mount the lens (?)
    I am not trying to confuse you but you normally do not need to reverse an enlarging lens for close-ups.

    Only if you intend to go way more than life size, you need to do that.

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    Re: Using Enlarging Lenses

    Most enlarging lenses come in an M39 screw mount, so all you need to adapt them to your GH2 is some sort of adapter that lets you attach M42 lenses to your m43 mount, then an M39 to M42 adapter ring to attach your enlarging lens to the M42 adapter. You can find both types of adapters easily enough on eBay. I use enlarging lenses almost exclusively for macro work on my m43 cameras. They're excellent!
    -Dragos
    Panasonic GH1/G1, Canon FTb(n)/F-1, Mamiya C330F/RB67 Pro SD, Chamonix 45N-2, Nikon F5 + Assorted Lenses

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    Senior Member kds315's Avatar
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    Re: Using Enlarging Lenses

    There is one part missing though, you need a suitable focusing helicoid in between. M42 types helicoids can be found in various lengths on ebay, that would allow to set the magnification. So the sequence of parts would be:
    M39 enlager lens -> M92-M42 adapter ring -> M42-M42 focusing helicoid -> M42-mft adapter -> Lumix GH2

    The longer the focal length of your lens, the longer the helicoid should be. VERY coarse rule, 1:1 magnification needs twice the focal length of the enlarger lens between lens middle and sensor, so an EL-Nikkor 80mm for instance needs 160mm if 1:1 should be reached.

    More precise is outlined Here on my BLOG

  6. #6
    Allan Ostling
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    use a focusing rail

    Quote Originally Posted by kds315 View Post
    There is one part missing though, you need a suitable focusing helicoid in between.
    Not necessarily. What you need are extension tubes, or an extension bellows. In macro-photography focusing is best accomplished, not by moving the lens relative to the camera, but by moving the lens-camera combination relative to the subject.

    This is accomplished by a rack and pinion focusing rail. Here is one made by Velbon: Amazon.com: Velbon Super Mag Macro Tripod Slider for Precision Macro Photography: Camera & Photo

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    Re: Using Enlarging Lenses

    The best thing a newbie can do is to find some old books on basic photography. There are many excellent books out there.

    One I would suggest is by A.A. Baker, Field Photography ISBN 0-7167-0518-4

    Long out of print but can be found used or in libraries.

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    Re: Using Enlarging Lenses

    FWIW I have tried several helicoids that can be adapted to M39. I consider the ones I have tried to be of poor quality. Now I am using an enlarger lens adapter. It is not a true helicoid design but it is well made and gets the job done. It's available in M39 and M42 with 2 different extension ranges. I add an MFT extension tube to extend close up capability. The lens I am using is a 50mm f2.8 Rodagon. It works well for me.
    Raccordi / Adapter

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    Re: use a focusing rail

    Quote Originally Posted by Allan Ostling View Post
    Not necessarily. What you need are extension tubes, or an extension bellows. In macro-photography focusing is best accomplished, not by moving the lens relative to the camera, but by moving the lens-camera combination relative to the subject.

    This is accomplished by a rack and pinion focusing rail. Here is one made by Velbon: Amazon.com: Velbon Super Mag Macro Tripod Slider for Precision Macro Photography: Camera & Photo
    Agreed. I have a helicoil, but don't use it for macro with enlarging lenses. I use either fixed M42 extension tubes, or my portable M42 mini bellows.
    -Dragos
    Panasonic GH1/G1, Canon FTb(n)/F-1, Mamiya C330F/RB67 Pro SD, Chamonix 45N-2, Nikon F5 + Assorted Lenses

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