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Rube Goldberg’s Macro Lenses

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    So about a year ago, I was given a ton of darkroom equipment, which I promptly stored in my garage for six months to age and then started to take apart. In disassembling the two enlargers, I found some pretty spiffy high-quality lenses. One is a Schneider – Kreuznach Componon-S 80mm f/4, for I believe medium format, and the other is a great big El-Nikkor 150mm f/5.6 lens for 4×5 enlarging.

    I’ve always wanted to set up a film lab, and someday I will, but what I’m even better at than setting up huge projects is taking existing things apart.

    So I’ve bought some adapter rings from China and dug out the bare Vivitar macro bellows I bought on a whim on eBay six years ago and never have done anything with, and lo and behold, it’s easy as hell to link all these things up to get a pretty fantastic macro-rail kit for a grand total cost of about $40.

    The shots here are ones I took just holding the whole assembly in my hands, so no tripod or mirror lockup/critical focusing or anything. I was just looking to see how it would turn out.

    If I don’t extend the bellows out, the 150 does a pretty good job as working as a regular lens:

    but if I rack the bellows all the way out, here’s the same Madagascar Palm, close focus, the entire frame captured:

    and from that shot, here is a 100% crop, handheld, with the lens wide open

    I’m kind of blown away by the amount of magnification I’m getting. The shorter lens seems to focus even closer. I’m headed out now into the woods with a tripod to go take some moss and fungus and maybe even insect photos if I’m lucky.


    Awesome. I suspect you’re going to have a helluva lot of fun with that.


    I think so, too.


    Very cool! That last one is pretty good for handheld.


    Looks like your rig does what my Darlot does when I use it in conjunction with my canon lenses. Have LOTS of fun with it–I’ve had a blast with mine (and have done well in the contests with some of the shots, too.)


    so I was out shooting some mosses yesterday and had an opportunity to do some wildlife macro shooting.

    click here to see if you’re not bug-averse

    I’m blown away by the resolution I’m getting.


    Holy fark! The color’s impressive, too. Red blooded much?


    That’s some serious macro you’ve got there. I’m impressed


    ooooohhhh…. nerdgasm… got a pic of the rig?


    Those mosquito shots are pretty serious. Yikes.

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