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Ambitions In 'Panoramic' Macro
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Harold Gough



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
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Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:49 am    Post subject: Ambitions In 'Panoramic' Macro Reply with quote

I have a Hasselblad X-Pan and the 90mm and 45mm lenses. I love the wide format and would like to try to get in closer and closer to subjects to see how it would improve some close-up images.

Of course, there are severe problems of framing and focus with a rangefinder and the optics are limited, with no extension tubes or teleconverters available. Obviously, this is a matter of trial and error, framing jigs, measurements and, perhaps, calculations. The chances of getting into true macro are very slim.

This is not going to happen in a hurry but now is the time to ask if anyone else has had any success with a similar project.
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lauriek
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a film camera isn't it? and a rangefinder, not an SLR?

If so I think you're a bit stuck. If it were digital then I would suggest you could manufacture your own extension tubes from body caps and stuff, but the trial and error approach to framing etc would not really work with film!!

ETA: You realise that you can achieve panoramic effects by similar means to image stacking? So you could make the same shaped pictures, at very high res with a DSLR and some sort of sideways camera movement - like a sideways focus rail. You take two shots with some overlap and stitch them together in one of the many pieces of software designed for such a task (or you can do it manually in Photoshop or similar)

Personally I think this might be the way to go unless you have something against digital workflow?!
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arlon



Joined: 22 Aug 2007
Posts: 146
Location: Houston

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used a rail system and the closer I got the worse the stitching got. Problem was from the different angle that small parts where shot from as the camera moved along the rail. I got much better panos by going to a longer telephoto lens and shooting the same scale from a fixed position just further back. Nothing like a 400mm on a bellows for macro at 6ft..
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Cyclops



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've not got anything to add other than to say the XPan is a fabulous camera and i'd love one!
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harold,

Your best bet would be using the 90mm with something like a Canon 250D close-up lens attached (250mm focal length, +4 diopter). You would likely need a wire framing device or at the very least something to measure your distance accurately. (With lens at "infinity" you would be focused at around 10 inches ... 250mm). A few test shots should get you the info you need.

Charlie
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elf



Joined: 18 Nov 2007
Posts: 1375

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think I could afford to shoot macro panoramas in film Smile This one has 383 individual images: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v649/etfrench/10789_p.jpg
It's not that impressive resized for the web, but the print at 30"x40" is a different story.

With a spherical pano head, you can set the amount of rotation between frames. You can use any FOV table to calculate it for your lens. Any overlap between 10% and 50% will work, with 20% being normal. Here's a link to my current pano head: http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3830
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Harold Gough



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
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Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charles Krebs wrote:
Harold,

Your best bet would be using the 90mm with something like a Canon 250D close-up lens attached (250mm focal length, +4 diopter). You would likely need a wire framing device or at the very least something to measure your distance accurately. (With lens at "infinity" you would be focused at around 10 inches ... 250mm). A few test shots should get you the info you need.

Charlie


The starting point would be one of these, which I have:

http://www.argraph.com/Press%20Releases/Marumi%20Filters/Marumi%20Achromat%20Press%20Release.htm
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting dynamic here. New member Harold, whose signature specifically says "Committed to the use of fine grain colour reversal film", asks a question about a high-end film camera, and three of the first four substantitive replies essentially say "go digital & stitch".

Harold, I apologize for my colleagues' enthusiasm. I like stitching too, but there are times when it's not the right solution. Smile

Now, about that XPan. I've never laid hands on one. But reading the review at http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/haselbla.shtml, it says that the 90 mm lens is roughly equivalent in horizontal coverage to 50 mm on standard single-frame 35 mm film. That sounds to me like "normal" coverage.

So it seems to me that putting a 250D closeup lens on the XPan with 90 mm will actually give the same perspective that you'd get with say a 40 mm lens on single-frame 35 mm film, extended to focus at 10 inches -- albeit on a larger piece of film. Have I got that right? If so, then I'm not sure how much advantage there will really be to using the XPan. Finer grain and higher resolution, I guess, if the lens is agreeable.

On the other hand, the 45 mm lens on the XPan will give coverage more like a 24 mm lens on single-frame -- a lot wider angle, and therefore also less friendly for closeup lenses. It would work better if you could extend the lens instead. I don't suppose they make extension tubes for that thing, or could something be lovingly crafted to fill that role? (With my equipment, I'd probably say "cobbled together", but that really won't do with a Hasselblad!)

Just some thoughts...

--Rik

[Edit] BTW, I started shooting macro several decades ago, with closeup lenses in front of an Argus C3. It wasn't the simplest job, but actually it worked OK after due calibration.
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Harold Gough



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
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Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rik,

The X-Pan is dual format, the panoramic format giving the coverage such that the lenses (medium format design) have half their nominal focal length.

Let us just dispose of "stitching"! I would aspire to, for example, getting a dragonfly, in profile, to largely fill the panoramic format. Getting it to stay still while I reposition it/the camera take the two or more shots to stitch is a non-starter.

I have yet to work out quite what the supplementary lens will do. They do very little for a macro lens e.g. the Olympus OM 50mm macro. However, they do substantially reduce the minimal working distance of lenses not designed for close focus. I have not worked out (trial and error is likely to be required) what this might do for the 90mm. Its field of view at closest focus is about 55cm wide without the close-up lens. (The 45mm has a field over 75cm wide). So the 90mm is the one to go with.

The X-Pan has a parallax-corrected rangefinger focusing device for the normal range of its lenses to permit accurate framing.

The other limitation is that the X-Pan is manual flash only. I could link in one of my OM bodies and OM flash such that the camera controls the flash and flash exposure. A twin cable release would synchronise the cameras.

You can see why I would like to know if someone has done this ahead of me!
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harold,

I had an Xpan for quite a while (just sold it to try to accumulate enough funds for a Canon 1Ds) so I am very familiar with it. As Rik said, you could cobble together an extension tube, but you would probably need to cannibalize a body cap (and perhaps a rear lens cap). Those are ridiculously expensive, possibly more than a good supplementary close-up lens!

I did not know you had a close-up attachment already. I mentioned the 250D because I am familiar with its quality and it was designed to be used with lenses in the 50-135mm range... so I would expect it to be very good for this use. (Especially since you will likely need to stop the lens down greatly to get sufficient DOF to cover the inability for very precise focus).

The 90mm focused down to only about 40 inches (100cm). With the 250D (250mm focal length), you would be focused at about 10 inches (with lens at "infinity"), and "fill the frame" with field size of roughly 2.5x7 inches. That would make for some interesting images.

Manual flash would not be difficult to calibrate, as there is no "extension factor" using these supplementary close-up lenses. A few test shots and you would be in business there as well.

Since you have a close-up lens, why not give it a try first. Then if you like what you see you can explore more elaborate methods if needed.
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Cyclops



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Talking of panoramas, this is one i made inseide the camera phone, it has a pan mode that stitches 3 images together then saves as a pan

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v11/Dawnrider/allansplacepan.jpg
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Harold Gough



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meniscus lenses would be the first option. It's not true that they don't affect exposure, I checked. That is an urban myth, arising from the limited magnification they offer. With a +3 and a +5 stacked it is only half a stop loss so it is not a major concern.

I've just realised that the Olympus OM body cap (a bit tightly) fits the X-Pan body, such that OM manual tubes might offer some possibilities as a starting point for modifications, with extreme caution.

Harold
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lauriek
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do apologize Harold, I didn't read your tagline!! Wink

Is Charles correct that a body cap and lens cap for this camera cost as much as a good diopter? If so I have to say Hasselblad are taking the mickey!! Two bits of moulded plastic that much money, bonkers!

In my experience Diopters don't work terribly well on wider lenses, they have a lot more effect on longer lenses. If you're working with wider lenses then extension is a better way to increase magnification, so I think your idea of using the OM body cap as a start would be the way to go (or keep searching ebay for a cheaper Hassy body cap!)

Good luck, you obviously have a /lot/ more patience than me!! Smile
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Harold Gough



Joined: 09 Mar 2008
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Location: Reading, Berkshire, England

PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As the camera is discontinued we rely on the used market, largely eBay. Parts are rare and the only body cap I have seen cost me something like £25.

If you want to pay real money go for a 30mm lens, one at £1,000 being a real bargain (RRP £2,200, if I remember correctly).

It was not the lens cap I would use. Its fit suggests that an OM tube might be made to fit.

Harold
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Charles Krebs



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Meniscus lenses would be the first option. It's not true that they don't affect exposure, I checked. That is an urban myth, arising from the limited magnification they offer. With a +3 and a +5 stacked it is only half a stop loss so it is not a major concern.

Don't think so.
Where have you seen or experienced otherwise?

There's no exposure change needed. (When used properly. Unless perhaps
you stack a bunch of poorly/non coated ones).
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