Jump to content

Still life lens recommendation


Eclectic Man

Recommended Posts

Advertisement (gone after registration)

I am in awe of Evelyn Hofer's still life photographs, taken using a large format camera.  What lenses are good for still life photography with the SL2?  I have the R 35-70mm f/4 lens and an R adapter L, what have other people found to be good or best lenses to use?

Thanks in advance.

https://www.galerie-m.com/artist_info2_en.php?aid=65&aifid=194 

Link to post
Share on other sites

The 50mm APO summicron is ideal for this sort of work. Even the 35mm. The 50 is as good close up as a macro lens, and there are essentially no aberrations of any kind. I use this lens (50mm) all the time for close work in the studio. 50mm is also a very natural angle of view that does not distort perspective much or at all, like a wider lens or 100mm macro. 

Edited by Stuart Richardson
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I shoot food primarily.  That means I am keeping it at f5.4 most of the time.  My primary for all-around is the SL50APO.   The 50 would match the images in the link. 

However, the SL75APO adds another punch that sets my images apart.  It is not just tighter, or more detailed, but more pleasing to my eye. 

I am crazy about these lenses and am so glad I purchased them. 

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Advertisement (gone after registration)

The images referred cannot be readily made with a fixed lens camera. Those will likely have been made with a view camera with full movements. The images were made with the camera angled down, but with the back parallel to the mugs or bottles. For this kind of work you also need a lens with a large image circle, I don’t know of any 35 mm format lens with an image circle going much past the diagonal of the frame. Even the best tilt-shift lens for this format is rather limited. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

26 minutes ago, Jean-Michel said:

The images referred cannot be readily made with a fixed lens camera. Those will likely have been made with a view camera with full movements. The images were made with the camera angled down, but with the back parallel to the mugs or bottles. For this kind of work you also need a lens with a large image circle, I don’t know of any 35 mm format lens with an image circle going much past the diagonal of the frame. Even the best tilt-shift lens for this format is rather limited. 

There is a way to introduce movements to the SL cameras. I use the Cambo Actus with some Sinar and enlarger lenses. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, ynp said:

There is a way to introduce movements to the SL cameras. I use the Cambo Actus with some Sinar and enlarger lenses. 

😀 Yep, that would work. The camera becomes a fine sensor back holder and shutter, and that back can move as you need it to. Pity that all my large format and darkroom stuff went away some time ago!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, AZN said:

A tilt-shift lens would make better sense, although am unaware of any in native L-mount. There was the 28mm Schneider in R mount, but i was a shift lens only.

Here is a link to the lens in question:

https://lens-db.com/schneider-kreuznach-pc-super-angulon-28mm-f28/

 

Do not forget this R  lens, also from Schneider-Kreuznach

https://wiki.l-camera-forum.com/leica-wiki.en/index.php/35mm_f/4_PA-Curtagon-R

I think it will be more suited than the 28mm because it has a more natural FOV. It was crazy expensive when new, and is now one of the best bargain R lenses IMO.

6 hours ago, Jean-Michel said:

The images referred cannot be readily made with a fixed lens camera. Those will likely have been made with a view camera with full movements. The images were made with the camera angled down, but with the back parallel to the mugs or bottles. For this kind of work you also need a lens with a large image circle, I don’t know of any 35 mm format lens with an image circle going much past the diagonal of the frame. Even the best tilt-shift lens for this format is rather limited. 

The PA Curtagon 35mm R has an image circle of 57mm. That is pretty large to me, and plenty for my needs. But I am no expert in tilt shift lenses. I got this one 'by accident' and love the results I get. I did not try it on my TL2 with APS-C sensor yet...🤔 Could be fun, a tilt shift 50mm eq. that almost shifts the full frame size.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, shift is easy enough to figure out, but adding a tilt brings in a few more things to consider. My school notes, from some decades ago, would include too many diagrams and exercise prints to understand how to correctly use camera movements. I am sure that there are a number of online articles on the geometry of the the Scheimpflug principle. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think the question was how to exactly mimic Evelyn Hofer's work, which would be both very difficult and artistically vapid. It was what is a good lens for still life photography on the SL2. I have found the 50mm APO truly terrific for close up studio applications, as has tangosix. It appears both of us are doing it professionally. I do it more in line with art reproduction or close up of natural objects (in the studio), and tangosix does food. Both of those fields are very demanding of lens quality -- color has to be spot on, detail has to be very well rendered across the frame with little distortion or chromatic aberrations. If I have to do closeups or shift work, I often put the SL2 on a Sinar P2 and do it that way through a series of different adapters. That works, as does the cambo actus. I think there is also a Novoflex view camera setup that would work as well, and probably be less expensive and more convenient than a full size Sinar (I already have mine for large format studio work). Really any view camera will work, the hardest part is finding a way to mount the camera to the rear standard. I use to shoot the Leica S and Hasselblad, so I have a Hasselblad V to Leica S adapter, as well as an S adapter L. I found a Sinar to Hasselblad board on ebay for a low price. I combine them all and attach the Leica to the Sinar. You have to be very aware of vibration, so e shutter is best if you are not using flash. The downside of this setup is that you need longer lenses as the series of adapters is so large. I think Novoflex has a much more elegant solution...

In general, however, it is quite hard to find a large format lens that is sharp enough in the close/macro range to compare to anything natively L mount. I use a 180mm APO Macro Sinaron SE that does quite well, but I have also tried a 120mm Nikon 5.6 Macro (LF) and that just was not so impressive. I have also had good luck using a reversed APO enlarging lenses. But in my experience the APO Summicrons trounce all of these options, so unless you need very high reproduction ratios or camera movements, I would suggest sticking with a native L mount prime. If you cannot swing the APO Summicrons, the Sigma 105mm Macro is nearly as good (almost indistinguishably sharp) as the APO Summicrons, but much cheaper. I have heard very good things about the 65mm too, and that might be a nice focal length for tabletop work.

Edited by Stuart Richardson
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

On 10/14/2023 at 8:08 PM, tangosix said:

I shoot food primarily.  That means I am keeping it at f5.4 most of the time.  My primary for all-around is the SL50APO.   The 50 would match the images in the link. 

However, the SL75APO adds another punch that sets my images apart.  It is not just tighter, or more detailed, but more pleasing to my eye. 

I am crazy about these lenses and am so glad I purchased them. 

 

I think these are two great suggestions.  When I am out and about I use my 50 APO, but I agree that the 75 renders better for still life/food/product photography.  

@tangosix Funny you mention f/5.4 - I shoot a lot of food and find I'm usually between f/4.5 and 5.6 for most of what I'm doing.  I just got the Q3 and for a daily carry and it's great.  At the 50mm crop I think I'm sitting a little lower than f/4.5 when shooting food, but it may be a function of the fact that I'm really shooting with a 28mm lens and the crop factor vs a true 50mm lens' apertures and DOF are different.    

Edited by Dr. G
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...