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c-mount macro lens


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#1 Seth Sherwood

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 03:15 PM

Hi all--

I have a B&H Filmo 70DR, and I want to do some extreme close up work of some toys/miniatures.

The filmo takes c-mount lenses, does anyone know of a good, inexpensive macros lense I could use for this sort of work?
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#2 Ian Marks

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 04:28 PM

Doing extreme close-ups with a non-reflex camera is going to be challenge (I wouldn't try it myself). You'd need something like a rackover device to sight accurately through the finder and then reposition the taking lens for actual photography. Bolex made a rackover specifically for their cameras but I don't know of one for the Filmo.

Anyway, as long as you know that Filmos are a poor choice for extreme close-ups and wish to proceed, here are a few thoughts -

There were some macro lenses made in C-mount - the 40mm and 90mm Macro Kilars are sometimes seen on Ebay, and there are also some macro Kinoptiks, but these are rarer and likely to be quite expensive. A very few zooms, like the Canon 12-120mm, incorporate a macro-focusing feature, but these may or may not be sharp enough for your purposes, and in any event, the idea of mating one of these to your Filmo seems a bit far-fetched.

Both the Kilars and Kinoptiks are more often seen in Arri standard mounts. There are a some Arri-to-C-mount adapters out there that will allow you to mount these on a C-mount camera like your Filmo, but due to the nature of the old Arri mount they often interfere with focusing. I have one made by Beaulieu, but they were made by various manufacturers.

Another approach would be to use extension tubes with your existing C-mount lenses (you didn't mention what you've already got). You can usually pick up a set of extension tubes by Vivitar or another manufacturer for a few dollars. You won't need a lot of extension to get, say, a 25mm lens into the macro range. It's the question of how you're going to frame and focus that you really need to worry about.

Finally, you might consider using a lens designed for 35mm still photography (Nikon, Canon, Pentax, or other) along with a C-mount adapter. There are, of course, macro lenses from each of the major manufacters, but these usually start at around 50mm, which for 16mm might be too long to provide the depth of field and perspective that you're seeking if you're shooting things like toys and miniatures. However, because your Filmo will be utilizing only a small center portion of the image projected by one of these lenses, all 35mm still cameras end up being de facto close-focusing (if not macro focusing) lenses, so a still lens of 20mm or 24mm, which will typically focus to a foot or less from the film plane, might do the trick. Let us know how you fare...
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#3 Seth Sherwood

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 05:30 PM

Yeah, I was planning on some guess work and a lot of trial and error by trying to do this with a non-reflex camera!

I pretty much ruled out any sort of rackover option because for the cost I could easily do it another way.

I hadn't considered adapting 35mm still lenses though-- that might actually cause some happy accidents. One reason I am doing it with this camera and not my K3, is because I am almost sort of hoping for some sort of crazy focus issue or distortiont hat will end up looking like an interesting effect.

Thanks for the reply, it's given me plenty of ideas!
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#4 Ian Marks

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 06:20 PM

Try fitting a bellows with a shift and tilt lens plane to the front of the K3. By shifting and tilting the lens, you can change the plane of focus and get some crazy effects.
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#5 Seth Sherwood

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Posted 21 December 2006 - 07:36 PM

!!!

I didn't think of that either! Awesome suggestion. I did some fun still ifes with a 4x5 camera 10 or so years ago doing exactly what you're saying with billows. It didn't even occur to me that it woul translate to a motion film world.
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Visual Products

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