Equipment,  Macro

Macro Mayhem

A generous friend gave me a bellows attachment.  Bellows allow you to get the lens away from the camera body, and this gives you more magnification.  It was made for an M42 screw-thread mount camera system (think 1950/60’s Pentax or Praktica), so making it work with my Olympus MFT system needed an adapter.

Having done a few trial images I decided to “go big or go home” and stuck on some extension tubes (two lots of two) as well.  Oh, and I also fitted my Olympus 1.4x teleconverter.  The converter is not designed to do this, but it fits if you are careful.  It ended up being quite a long system!

From camera to lens it goes: Oly 1.4x teleconverter, Fotga MFT extension tubes (x2), MFT to M42 adapter, Vivitar bellows unit, M42 extension tubes (x2), 50mm f1.8 Pentacon lens.   I bought the lens from ebay but on arrival it didn’t work properly.  The seller refunded me and said I could keep the lens.  Having watched some videos, I managed to disassemble the lens, unstick the stuck aperture blades, and reassemble it.  It’s now working OK.

The light source is a 64 LED panel and my first subject was a £20 note.

With all this extension and the converter, I reckon I’m getting about 5x life-size on the sensor.  You can see just how much detail there is on the notes, which make it harder to forge.  The Pentacon lens is never going to be a stellar performer, but it’s OK.

Because this arrangement ends up very close to the subject it’s easier to shoot things that are self-illuminated or translucent.  This image is of a section of my HD monitor screen that was showing pure white.  Red plus Blue plus Green in equal amounts gives white, but get close and it stops being white.

I’ve subsequently got a reversing ring, so I will be able to reverse the lens and get even more magnification.  Keep your eyes out for further posts on this.