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Best Macro Lens for GFX50R

biglouis

Well-known member
Matt: Fantastic test series. Quite thought provoking. To my eye the GF120 does the best all round job. I owned one when I had the 50S but sold it when I went down to the 50R.

One thing I will add to the mix is that I now shoot macro with my XF 80/2.8 on the X bodies I own. The results are drop dead fantastic, I would say even better than I got with the GF120 on the 50S. The XF80 also accepts the TC1.4x which obviously drops its widest aperture to f4 but as for macro I normally shoot at a minimum of f5.6 and more like f16 it doesn't really matter. What I lost in resolution I make up for in terms of weight and handling compared to the GF120 on a GFX body, e.g. you can hold it for long periods handheld if you are trying to catch bugs on flowers. Like the GF120 it also makes a great portrait/short telephoto.

The thing I like to say about Fuji is that they really don't know how to make a bad lens.

An example of focus stacking, the blend was taken on the X-T3 at 80mm iso200 f9.0 and 1/250 (as the flower was subject to some movement I had to use a high speed). I can't remember how many images I took to get front to back sharpness. Blended in CS.

_DSF0770 blend-Edit-Edit.jpg

I've used the XF80 a few times for professional work but mostly as a portrait, short telephoto lens, however one regular client wanted me to photograph their unique collection of artefacts which date back to the 17th century for a forthcoming heritage project at the oldest synagogue in the UK, Bevis Marks (the results of all the macro photography are at their website). This is the ancient seal.
X-T3, TC1.4x 126mm, iso120, f5.6, 0.9secs - single exposure, natural lighting.

Seal_xDSF1187.jpg
 

robmac

Active member
(disclaimer: lens for sale).

We use the Hasselblad HC 120/4 MK II Macro on our GFX50S and H5D. The lens goes 1:1, is very sharp and has the benefit of being able to use either it's own leaf shutter for 1/800 sync or the Fuji body shutter for 1/125 sync to save activations on the lens shutter or to go to 1/4000 w/o flash. Just tap the button on the Fuji-Hassy adapter and it allows you to flip between shutter desired.

This feature comes in very handy when using flash outside in say portrait work and wanting to simply dial-back the ambient using shutter speed.

The MK II was designed for digi backs and is sharper with less CA than the older, more prevalent MK I .
 

P. Chong

Member
How about this one? Anyone tried?

 

rdeloe

Active member
How about this one? Anyone tried?

Nope. However, if you're interested in thorough evaluations of lenses for 1:1 and higher magnification, I highly recommend Robert O'Toole's web site, https://www.closeuphotography.com/ In particular, see https://www.closeuphotography.com/lenses A take-away from Robert's work is that you can get outstanding results from lenses that don't cost a lot of money.
 

anyone

Active member
I'm surprised that no one uses tech cam macro or enlarger lenses on a bellows. I use that way a Apo Rodagon 80mm and the results are quite good, only surpassed by the Digitar 80mm M.

I do not own a GFX, but use the Apo Rodagon with my 35mm gear and The Digitar 80mm M with my Linhof Techno.
 
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rdeloe

Active member
I'm surprised that no one uses tech cam macro or enlarger lenses on a bellows. I use that way a Apo Rodagon 80mm and the results are quite good, only surpassed by the Digitar 80mm M.
Except for 35mm, all my lenses are enlarger lenses or tech camera lenses (mostly Schneider Kreuznach). The distinction between "tech camera" and "enlarger" lenses is a bit blurry in the old Schneider Kreuznach lineup. For example, my Apo-Componon HM 60mm f/4 has the same optical formula and design as the Apo-Digitar 60mm f/4. I think it's the same lens with the most minor tweaks to account for sensors. My Apo-Componon 60/4 was actually mounted in an industrial iris mount for machine vision (scanning circuit boards to look for defects).

My 80mm is an actual Apo-Digitar f/4 (not the slower Macro version). It's excellent to 1:1. Apparently it's even better reversed for higher magnifications. At 120mm and up I'm back to straight enlarger lenses (Rodenstock Rodagon-WA 120/5.6, and Schneider Kreuznach Componon-S 150/5.6 and 180/5.6).

These lenses are all very sharp on my GFX 50R, nearly distortion free, and have minimal to no detectable CA. They're as good at 1:1 as they are at infinity. I use them as tilt-shift lenses, where they perform admirably.

I can't comment with any authority on how these kinds of lenses do at higher magnifications than 1:1, but Robert O'Toole sure can. See my post above for the link to his site. He does some really interesting things using enlarger lenses as tube lenses in combination with other lenses. What's interesting from his work is that you really don't need a "macro" technical camera lens to do macro.
 
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