Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon F3 Macro Photography - Part II
You can easily regard the period toward the end of '70 and early '80 as representing the best era for manual focus photographic equipment. Naturally, optical development was at also at its finest where many Nikon pioneered optical innovations such as IF (Internal-Focus) was introduced in their optics.

For example, the 200mm Micro Nikkor f4 IF (see below) introduced in 1979 was the first Micro Nikkor lens that incorporated the IF feature, the use of ED glass in popular focal length lenses was more popular than ever before; CRC (Close range correction system), another Nikon exclusive technology was almost a standard feature on all the Micro-Nikkor lenses, and many of the wide angle lenses.

<<--- The immensely popular and razor sharp Micro-Nikkor 105mm f4.0 was given a full stop in lens speed gain to a f/2.8 during early part of the eighties


Micro-Nikkor Lense Family: | 50mm | 55mm (AF) | 60mm (AF) | 85mm PC | MF-105mm (AF) | MF-200mm (AF) | 70-180mm (AF) |

All these can also be found in a modern autofocus Micro-Nikkor such as the AF-D 105mm f2.8 illustrated at the right which can go down to a reproduction ratio of 1:1 without any additional extension ! Why was it relative ? Because the good news is, Nikon F3 can take virtually ALL the latest optics that were made for the Nikon autofocus bodies, without the benefit of all the various AF features incorporated.

Twin Macro Nikkor.jpg (13k)
The longest reach Micro-Nikkor I have owned prior to my 200mm focal length macro lenses was only 105mm. I have owned many versions of the early manual focus Nikkor 105mm f4.0, f2.8 to even the current AF f2.8 version.

Subsequently, I bought a 200mm focal length Micro-Nikkor after
Michael Liu's strong recommendation to try out the f4 IF version.

Of which I total agree - that is a very good and very versatile lens. Unfortunately, the lens that I bought was having some 'problems' on the coating inside the 2nd element. Further, when you intend to reach life size reproduction ratio, without owning any TC-300 or TC-301 to go life size which I don't have, I use the PN-11 with my earlier 105mm f2.8 to be able to achieve 1:1. When Miss Rissa, Sales manager of Shriro Malaysia suggested I take a test drive with the AF 200mm f4 IF-ED which can go life size (1:1) without any additional extension, I had a hand on it for a couple of days - although it was not toying along with the Nikon F3, instead it was with a very lightweight Nikon FM2-T. I decided not to return it to her and keep it - Trust me ! - that was one hell of a lens... I suggest you should have one too in your camera bag - provided you don't complain about its price which I think it is a little too stiff for many of us. Side by side comparison with the MF version may make the AF Micro-Nikkor look very bulky and heavy - but the extra size and weigh (The tripod collar in the AF version cannot be removed!) provides the convenience of going 1:1 with the added benefit of superior ED glass which corrects chromatic aberration that might exhibit at this focal length. Further, should you decided to go autofocus later, you can still make use of its features. However, this lens is not cheap, but if you can afford it, it is worth every inch of it (See some *sample images ). That lens is a lens with distance information encoding which might prove to be useful in the future generation of AF cameras for complex and sophisticated metering as with the current top notch AF SLR bodies produced by Nikon. Good news is, Nikon F3 can take ALL the lens type, focal length way back to the first Micro-Nikkor made (no joke, even the rangefinder's version can be adapted with a RF tube !).

70180 Micro.jpg (11k)
AF Zoom-Micro Nikkor 70-180mm f/4.5-5.6D ED

This is the world's first AF zoom lens designed for macro photography. It is a zoom lens, versatile and without the hassle of moving back and forth to crop your image in the viewfinder. Close-focus to approximately 37cm with 3:4 reproduction ratio. Nikon claimed a more rounded diaphragm opening makes out-of-focus elements appear more natural. As with the 200mm Micro Nikkor, ED glass element is used to improve and correct chromatic aberrations. However, life-size (1:1) magnification is only possible with a close-up attachment lens No. 6T (at 180mm) focal length. Compared with the AF 200mm Micro Nikkor f4.0 (Constant aperture)'s hefty weight of 1,200 g and bulkier size (dimension 76 x 193mm), the new Zoom Micro Nikkor lens posts some advantages such as more flexible with zoom range settings, more compact and lighter in weight, but eventually I still settled for the 200mm Micro-Nikkor lens. In my macro photography, focusing speed is not my priority but rather, depth of field and shutter speed are.

Quick Reference: Lens construction: 18 elements in 14 groups;
Closest focusing
: 0.37m/14.4 in 
Working distance*: 112.4mm; 
Filter attachment size: 62mm; 
Hood: HB-14 {Provided); 
Dimensions: 75 x 167mm
Weight: 990g.

Note: When using Matrix or Centre-Weighted Metering with this lens attached to F4-series cameras, set the exposure compensation dial for focusing screens to -1/2.
* Working distance is the distance between the front of the lens and the subject. It is desirable to have a longer free working distance for close-up work due to lighting and subject considerations.

Nikkor Link.jpg

Index Page
Special Application Micro-Nikkor lenses for close -up photography: Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm m

Close-up Accessories

Closeup lenses.jpg (9K)
Although there could be a wider scope of application with such great versatility offered by a Micro-Nikkor lens, which I think is a logical investment if your interest is in close up photography.

But it may not be applicable when there are times only casual usage that might demand such specialized lenses, after all, not every photographer has interest to work in close. Other than the Micro-Nikkor lenses, there are a wide array of close-up accessories that are designed with cheaper, simplicity, ease of use and portability in mind. First on the list is of course the attachment lenses.

selayangnice.jpg (15k) Loading...

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Close-up Attachment Lenses

The cheapest and easy accessory for macro to carry around, this is the main advantage of using close-up attachment lenses. These lenses, work more like filters - can be screwed directly into the front thread of your lenses. It is a simple, convenient way to increase magnification. Even when attached, you can still use automatic exposure control and TTL metering with your F3. Most of these lenses have been treated with Nikon Integrated Coating to improve image contrast and reduce flare. Well, there are many third party offerings as well, and if price is a high priority factor, you can take a look at those alternatives as well. Close-up lenses are usually represented in numbers to represent their 'magnification power'. For Nikon's close up attachment lenses, 0, 1 and 2 are recommended for lenses with a focal length up to 55mm. Numbers 3T, 4T, 5T and 6T are two-element achromatic lenses that still maintain high image quality. 3T and 4T work best with lenses from 85mm to 200mm, and 5T and 6T with lenses from 70mm to 210mm. Numbers 5T and 6T have a front attachment size of 62mm; the front attachment size for all other numbers is 52mm. For close-up lenses, the higher the lens numbers, the closer you can focus. For the prime lens, the longer the focal length, the greater the reproduction ratio you can obtain. You can use them either singly or in combination, close-up attachment lenses can open up numerous interesting close-up effects.

Lens and Attachment Size:

Close-up Lens No. 01C 52mm (0.7 Dioptre)
Close-up Lens No. 1 IC 52mm (1.5 Dioptre)
Close-up Lens No. 2 IC 52mm (3.0 Dioptre)
Close-up Lens No. 3T IC 52mm (1.6 Dioptre)
Close-up Lens No. 4T IC 52mm (3.0 Dioptre)
Close-up Lens No. 6T IC 62mm (1.6 Dioptre)
Close-up Lens No. 6T IC 62mm (3.0 Dioptre)
In general the higher the number of the close-up lens, and the longer the focal length of the lens in use, the greater the reproduction ratio. Lenses may also be used in combination. All these close up lenses feature Nikon integrated coating.

Auto Extension Rings PK and PN

Key advantage is their compact size and light weight, Auto Extension Rings slide on or off your camera in seconds for a wide range of reproduction ratios. There are 4 various current types available. PK-11A, PK-12, PK-13 and PN-11. These rings can be used singly or in combination to vary the reproduction ratio of lenses from 20 to 300mm. They are mounted between the camera body and the lens. As a rule, the effect becomes stronger the shorter the focal length of the lens in use, and the longer the focal length of the extension ring. Through-the-lens exposure control automatically compensates for lens extension. Manual and aperture-priority auto-exposure control modes are possible. Manual focus only.

PK-11.jpg PK-12.jpg PK-13.jpg PN-11.jpg
Note: Extension Ring PK-11A (8mm); PK-12 (14mm); PK-13 (27.6mm); (PK-13 when used with manual focus 55mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor, 1:1.6 to 1:1 are possible, while the PN-11 will go life size 1:1 with the manual focus 105mm Micro Nikkor f2.8 and f4)

These extension rings will provide an easy way to compose, focus and meter at the brightest, fullest aperture position without having to manually stop down the lens before shooting. These rings also allow automatic exposure control. Extension Ring such as PN-11, the longest extension in singular use, when used in conjunction with a 105mm f4 or f2.8 version of the manual focus Micro-Nikkor lenses will convert the 1:2 maximum reproduction ratio of the prime lens into 1:1 life size magnification.

Depends very much on your photographic requirement, with each of these groups of accessories, various degrees of magnification ratios can be achieved. You may use the guide below as a reference to choose the most appropriate setup for your close up photography.











Close-up attachment lenses:

1:27X - 1:2.6X

AUTO Extension Rings

1:6.5X - 1.1X

PB-6 (normal mounting):

1:l.lX - 4.0X

PB-6 (reverse mounting):

1.1X - 3.9X

PB-6 + PB-6E:(reverse mounting)

1.8X - 8.4X

Note: 'X' means multiple. Different magnification ratio is achieved when used in conjunction with different lenses. The highest magnification ratio achievable with a Nikkor lens is a 20mm in inverse mounting position (use in combination with a Bellow), of which 23X magnification is possible.

One of the most interesting accessory Olympus has for their Macro system that I wish Nikon would provide us with, is this variable Macro tube (it works like a zoom ring but it is an extension ring).It can substitute a set of rings like the PK/PN ring that Nikon has. I think medium format Hasselblad also has a similar extension ring for their 120mm Macro-planar. Check Nikon SB-21A/B and the new SB-29 Macro Ringlight with the Olympus Ring flash -->>


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Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon F3 Macro Photography - Part II
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