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  #1  
Old 01-03-2010, 09:39 AM
cypher000's Avatar
cypher000 cypher000 is offline
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Thumbs up Close-up

Hi guy's. I have the option of using Extension tubes, or Reversing rings with my Praktica MTL3. The subject will be wild flowers. Which of these would be the best, given that I need close up shots which will completely fill the frame. I do not want to take shots and then have to crop the image to do this. Is it reasonable to hope that one of these two options will give me that and not lose that essential crispness? Many thanks for all the help. Regards Cypher
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Old 01-03-2010, 10:38 AM
Mike Mike is offline
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Re: Close-up

You are trying to use a lens in a manner that it was not designed for. That being said, sometimes you can make such a plan work and sometimes you cannot. The only way to find out is to try.

If you can try out your plan at little or no expense then have at it. If you have to invest money in this I would be very careful as the camera system is already 25 to 30 years old.

There are lens designed for the type of work you are looking at, however I do not know if you can get one that would fit this camera. I might spend a bit of time looking into that option.
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Old 01-03-2010, 11:25 AM
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cypher000 cypher000 is offline
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Re: Close-up

Thanks Mike. I know that the camera may not be the ideal, but it has always taken very good photo's. Close ups? Well maybe not that close, but I am experimenting with 110mm 55mm and 35mm focal length lenses. The only one that comes anywhere near what I am looking for, seems to be the 55mm. The Extension tubes I think, might not be a good idea. Do you think that they will reduce the amount of light reaching the film? The Reversing rings will probably be the best option. I cannot find any reference to them having any adverse effect, in respect of the light needed. My big problem is going to be that I shall probably have to cart a heavy tripod around with me as I notice that 'camera shake' is greatly increased. That is very sad to say the least. Thanks a a lot Mike for your kind reply. I shall have to tread carefully and see how it goes. Regards. Cypher
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Old 01-03-2010, 01:35 PM
Mike Mike is offline
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Re: Close-up

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Originally Posted by cypher000 View Post
Thanks Mike. I know that the camera may not be the ideal, but it has always taken very good photo's. Close ups? Well maybe not that close, but I am experimenting with 110mm 55mm and 35mm focal length lenses. The only one that comes anywhere near what I am looking for, seems to be the 55mm. The Extension tubes I think, might not be a good idea. Do you think that they will reduce the amount of light reaching the film?

Yes they will reduce the amount of light, any increase in the distance between the lens and the film will reduce the amount of light getting to the film.

The Reversing rings will probably be the best option. I cannot find any reference to them having any adverse effect, in respect of the light needed. My big problem is going to be that I shall probably have to cart a heavy tripod around with me as I notice that 'camera shake' is greatly increased. That is very sad to say the least.

A tripod will most likely become mandatory. You have a loss of light from the extended distance and you are very close to the subject which means your depth of field is very reduced which can mean that the intended subject may be completely out of focus with just a fraction of an inch of movement of the camera.

Thanks a a lot Mike for your kind reply. I shall have to tread carefully and see how it goes. Regards. Cypher
Do not get discouraged, although this type of photography can be somewhat complicated, it can also be very interesting and produce spectacular images.
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:44 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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Re: Close-up

i used to do some macro (close-up) photography back in the film days. i used both extension tubes and a reversing mount (ring). in my experience it's best to have both and as i recall, i could use them together for some really dramatic close-ups. however, if all you're shooting is flowers i doubt you would really need either for this. any decent 50mm lens shld allow you to take most flower shots full frame. granted, smaller flowers might require the tubes or ring. or, if you're trying to capture small insects on a flower or the stamen and such then the tubes or ring would be useful.

i'm not familiar with your camera but the principle is going to be the same.

lighting can be a problem since you're going to find yourself with the camera lens sometimes almost touching the object and if you use a lens hood then it can get really tricky as the hood is going to shroud the entire subject. i dont remember all the tricks i pulled on this, but i do know i shot a lot of high iso shots and usually used a fast, black and white film ( i think it was an agfa chrome 400 or something along those lines).

to give you an idea of how close up you can get with tubes and ring, i once shot some ashes in an ashtray with them not only filling the entire frame but actually couldnt get the entire four inches of ashtray all within the shot. it was VERY close up. you can also get very close in on the center of flowers and such items. it's generally best if you can shoot outdoors to avoid the hassle of lighting. just watch out for camera shadowing. if you do shoot indoors forget the flash on the camera; it's not designed for close-ups. just flood the area with lights and adjust as needed. on the ashes in the ashtray shot, i seem to remember setting up two flood lights, one direct and one indirect. it was a make-shift arrangement but came off just fine.

close-up photography has its own rewards. it's amazing sometimes what you can find in a square foot where you couldnt find anything worthwhile to shoot in an acre. so, like mike said, persist and test things out... a LOT! it can be really quite a fascinating tiny journey
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