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Category: New Questions

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Photography Question 
Debra Forbes
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/16/2005
 

Micro Lens Vs. Macro Lens


Is a macro lens the same thing as a micro lens? In your discussions the terms are randomly thrown around and I don't know the difference. Something I have never gotten into until looking at all the wonderful photos displayed on this site. Thank you.

12/10/2006 3:37:58 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Sharon
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member since: 6/27/2004
  Debra, they are the same thing. Nikon refers to their macro lenses as micro. As far as I know everyone else refers to them as macro. Any lens that will give you a 1:1 or life-size image is considered macro. Often a zoom lens will advertise they are macro but most will only give a 1:2 or half life-size image.

Macro is fun, and I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I do!

12/10/2006 7:05:18 PM

 
Debra Forbes
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/16/2005
  Sharon, I appreciate your answer. Thanks! I had to take a peek at your gallery because you responded so quickly I thought you might have an interest in the subject. I was right and impressed. You have beautiful ideas with excellent results. I love your photographs. Once again Thanks.

12/11/2006 6:52:36 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Sharon
Sharon 's Gallery

member since: 6/27/2004
  Thank you for such a nice compliment, Debra!

12/11/2006 9:43:12 AM

 
W. 

member since: 9/25/2006
  Micro photography, afaik, is (also ?) a catch-all for photography in the realm of microscopes. That is of course a few orders of magnitude smaller than macro.

12/11/2006 4:28:22 PM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
 
 
 
Hi Debra,
Working with microscopes is fun and easy. You can get a Microscope from Surplus Shed for lass than $100. Make images that are 40 times life size on the sensor! You can check out an article I wrote about this on my website: www.siskinphoto.com. The article can be downloaded from the magazine articles page. I should also point out that there are several large format lenses that called micro, including the Bausch & Lomb micro Tessars. Itís amazing how much you can do with almost nothing! Thanks, John
Ps. Iím attaching a shot of a butterfly wing.

12/11/2006 6:11:22 PM

 
Eric Calder

member since: 7/17/2006
  Hi Deb,

I've been doing Macrophotography for over twenty years, it is great. The reason I like it is because it gives you the chance to see and photograph what the unaided eye cannot see. Your eyes cannot focus on any closer than approximately 10 inches, that's why you cannot see real small things. As an example when I take a macro shot of a spider close up you can see all eight eyes and the hairs on its' legs. It is truely amazing what is out there. Close ups of flowers are also great.

12/19/2006 9:31:39 AM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  I think W.S. is correct.
"Micro" is the accepted nomenclature when referring to greater-than-lifesize reproduction.
(Although Nikon uses this terminology on their series of close-focusing lenses...even though they will only achieve 1:1 or 1:2 reproduction without attachments.)

John,
I've been considering going the microscope route but I am concerned that the quality of the glass won't be that great...(without spending a small fortune).
What are your thoughts on this?

I've recently been playing around with a bellows unit and a reversed 20mm Nikkor to get to @ 40:1 with my 35mm film camera.
I haven't seen the results yet but what I saw through the viewfinder looked pretty amazing.

Bob

12/20/2006 3:40:08 AM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Sharon
Sharon 's Gallery

member since: 6/27/2004
  Bob, keep us posted on the bellows/20mm setup. I'd like to see the photos when you have them processed. I've always thought I might enjoy working with a bellows, but the DOF is so shallow with the 105mm macro I'm hesitant to mess with it.

12/20/2006 6:46:26 AM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  Hi Bob,
Strangely enough glass is cheap. A commercial grade 4X Plan optic from Edmund optics is $62.00. Plan is the good highly corrected lens. The things that add a lot to the price of a lens are long working distance, infinity correction and the name Zeiss. Eyepieces are also inexpensive. You could get this stuff MUCH cheaper from Surplus Shed (www.surplusshed.com). You want to stick with a 4X or at must a 10X objective or you will not be able to light from above. So you will want a 10X, 15X or 20X eyepiece to get more power.

An interesting lens for the land of the incredibly tiny is the Bausch & Lomb Micro Tessar. These come up on EBay occasionally. Designed for micro work and larger formats these will often fit onto a microscope. They have diaphragms so you have some control over sharpness. Very fun to play with!

Iíve used the 20 on bellows with extension tubes, what good is depth of field anyway. Nikon makes an extension tube, called the BR-4, which uses a dual cable release to stop down the lens on a bellows or when the lens is reverse mounted. It is really handy for shooting with a reverse mounted lens!

Thanks, John

12/20/2006 4:13:51 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member
cammphoto.com

member since: 7/17/2003
  Sharon,
I will definately post any keepers here after I get them processed.
I'm sending off a batch of slides in tomorrow's mail and should get them back in a week or so.
It's true,...DOF is non-existant when using the bellows and reversed 20 mm so I mostly play around with flat objects I can light from behind.

Thanks John for the info.
I will be looking into the items you recommended.

Bob

12/20/2006 5:03:24 PM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  Microscopes are FUN! John

12/20/2006 5:29:20 PM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  Microscopes are FUN! John

12/20/2006 5:29:21 PM

 
Sharon  Day
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Sharon
Sharon 's Gallery

member since: 6/27/2004
  Thanks, Bob! I'll be looking for them.

12/20/2006 8:45:44 PM

 

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