Author Topic: Macro lens for photographing vacuum tubes  (Read 2898 times)

mxbianco

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Re: Macro lens for photographing vacuum tubes
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2023, 16:16:54 »
Thank you for the reply. That sounds like a very good idea - I didn't know the 40mm wouldn't be fully compatible with the D3 till a while ago. Glad to have learned this :) The minimum focus distance is listed at 18.5 centimeters, some 4 centimeters longer than my current 35mm from Pentax. That should work, I think.

Please remember that a μNikkor 60mm (both AF-D and AF-S) reaches 1:1 reproduction ratio, that is at the minimum focussing distance you'll be photographing an area 36x24 mm² (VERY small), so you'll probably be taking your pics at a distance of at least 30 cm, or farther away. The extra focal length (60mm vs 35 mm) more than compensates for those 4 cm extra reach you have with the Pentax.

The 55mm/3.5 μNikkor (suggested by Hugh) by itself reaches 1:2 reproduction ratio, but you could add a rather inexpensive PK-13 extension tube (27.5 mm extension) allowing 1:1 reproduction ratio. There are also lots of inexpensive chinese extension tubes (they frequently come in a group of three,  12-20-36 mm, allowing 1:1 ratio and beyond).

The 1:1 reproduction ratio can be useful for other projects, such as duplicating your slides and negatives, so I would consider that feature in my candidates' list.

Ciao from Massimo
Since evolution has given us TWO ears and ONE mouth, we are supposed (me included) to be doing more listening than talking.

Jack Dahlgren

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Re: Macro lens for photographing vacuum tubes
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2023, 16:04:13 »
I’d say that you probably don’t need autofocus. It can get confused with the reflections on the glass where you probably want to capture the plates and filaments. You most likely will want a tripod so that you can get longer exposures with more depth of field. Handholding for more than a 10th of a second is likely to induce blur so this will be important if you are shooting in low light conditions.

kasperbergholt

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Re: Macro lens for photographing vacuum tubes
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2023, 17:21:57 »
The 40mm Micro is directly compatible with D3, but the image circle of the lens won't cover the full sensor of D3.  If you would use D3, AF(-D) 60mm f2.8 Micro (designed for the full frame format) would be more appropriate.  It is still a cost-effective choice.
Thank you for the reply, Akira. I've ordered the Nikon 60mm AF-S based on the feedback in forum here, which has been great :) If I could go back in time, I'd consider the ZEISS Milvus 2/50M manual focus, even though I like shooting with autofocus lenses.
-- Kasper Bergholt

kasperbergholt

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Re: Macro lens for photographing vacuum tubes
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2023, 17:26:11 »
It can get confused with the reflections on the glass where you probably want to capture the plates and filaments. You most likely will want a tripod so that you can get longer exposures with more depth of field. Handholding for more than a 10th of a second is likely to induce blur so this will be important if you are shooting in low light conditions.

Good points! But the 60mm 2.8 can be operated with manual focus, right?
-- Kasper Bergholt

kasperbergholt

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Re: Macro lens for photographing vacuum tubes
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2023, 17:40:02 »
Hi Kasper I like the sound of your project, literally
 
Away from the optics chosen, it sounds like you'll take at least some shots whilst the tubes are warmed up & in action.

I'm wondering if trying a few shot in Infra Red might be interesting
(artistically, if not for the main Wikipedia articles)

Although maybe there'd be so much heat overall this would muddy the results?

Meanwhile I love playing Laptevinmeri / Laptev Sea by Pan Sonic as an occasional bass treat

Hi Colin - thank you! Last thing first - that's a nice crisp electronica track, I'm listening through headphones now but will stream in hq, if I can find it on Tidal or Qobuz, later on the Leben setup.

Good idea regardring infrafred, I'll find a tutorial on this.

My original plan was not to take pictures of the tubes when warmed up because there won't be sufficiently good angles in the amp, I think. I'll get a tube tester in some months time, which would make it possible to angle, focus, etc. more freely. So that's on the to do list now :)

Thanks again :)

Got my first image for the main list of approved by the editors vacuum tubes on Wikipedia of the page the other day (the image in the top), so the project is in motion even though the first photos are far from perfect :)
-- Kasper Bergholt

ColinM

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Re: Macro lens for photographing vacuum tubes
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2023, 20:14:44 »
Hi Colin - thank you! Last thing first - that's a nice crisp electronica track, I'm listening through headphones now but will stream in hq, if I can find it on Tidal or Qobuz, later on the Leben setup.

I don't know if many different versions of this track exist
I listen to it on Tidal, but there isn't a MQ version

I only came across it after seeing a YouTube video of someone using it to demo some nice gear.
They also had a screen showing the current the amp was delivering in real time.
The surge in current each time the bass kicks in was immense.
Even on my modest setup, it can be a profound experience.

image for the main list of approved on Wikipedia
That's a promising start Kasper.
As someone who played with electronics since I was a kid, seeing this this still interests me

mxbianco

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Re: Macro lens for photographing vacuum tubes
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2023, 06:20:25 »
Good points! But the 60mm 2.8 can be operated with manual focus, right?

By all means: you have a large (30mm wide) MF ring on the lens, and a window with the actual distance displayed. You  also have an MA/M switch on the side of the lens, enabling to toggle AF to MF and vice versa without delving into the menus. I'm describing the AFS version (the one I have), filter size: 62mm, hood is the HB-42.

Please note that the focussing ring enables you to override the AF, a very useful feature if you configure your camera this way:
-Disable Half-press AF
-Enable AF on AF-ON button
-When you focus, do a pre-focus with the AF-ON button, then do a fine tune MF with the MF ring, and then shoot. No way for AF to try to kick in and disturb your manual focus correction!


Ciao from Massimo
Since evolution has given us TWO ears and ONE mouth, we are supposed (me included) to be doing more listening than talking.

kasperbergholt

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Re: Macro lens for photographing vacuum tubes
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2023, 10:25:28 »
By all means: you have a large (30mm wide) MF ring on the lens, and a window with the actual distance displayed. You  also have an MA/M switch on the side of the lens, enabling to toggle AF to MF and vice versa without delving into the menus. I'm describing the AFS version (the one I have), filter size: 62mm, hood is the HB-42.

Please note that the focussing ring enables you to override the AF, a very useful feature if you configure your camera this way:
-Disable Half-press AF
-Enable AF on AF-ON button
-When you focus, do a pre-focus with the AF-ON button, then do a fine tune MF with the MF ring, and then shoot. No way for AF to try to kick in and disturb your manual focus correction!
Ciao from Massimo

Thank you for the reply - and the how to guide to achieve the best results. It's appreciated :)
-- Kasper Bergholt

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Macro lens for photographing vacuum tubes
« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2023, 10:29:00 »
For what it's worth, I *never* used my AFD 60mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor with AF. In fact, once I got the lens, I taped down and locked the infamous A/M collar to avoid any future break-up of that ring. It has seen 15+ years of heavy use without any issues from ring deterioration.

While manual focusing with the 60 is not quite as smooth as the older MF 55/3.5 version, it is more than sufficient to get the focus placed where I wanted. Plus for most applications the lens + camera is on a Stackshot rail any way.

Øivind Tøien

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Re: Macro lens for photographing vacuum tubes
« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2023, 12:30:57 »

I found a beginning crack in the A/M ring on my AFD 60mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor many years ago, and it too has been taped down ever since and not causing any problems.
Øivind Tøien

Erik Lund

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Re: Macro lens for photographing vacuum tubes
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2023, 11:54:13 »
Next stem in this project is a suitable vary to reliably light these with out too many distracting highlights and or reflections.
Black background and 'flags' will be needed ;)
Erik Lund

kasperbergholt

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Re: Macro lens for photographing vacuum tubes
« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2023, 14:14:20 »
Next stem in this project is a suitable vary to reliably light these with out too many distracting highlights and or reflections. Black background and 'flags' will be needed ;)

Agree! When I get a tube tester sometime down the road, that would make it possible to do some good static setups with the tubes glowing too.
-- Kasper Bergholt

kasperbergholt

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Re: Macro lens for photographing vacuum tubes
« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2023, 17:43:11 »
Here are my two first attempts with the 60mm 2.8 of two vintage 6X5GT tubes (50's production).





I guess the second is technically the best, but I think I prefer the first.

The tubes are structurally the same but from different brands (RCA & Tung-Sol).

In terms of focusing distance the 60mm works fine both with manual & auto focus.

Thanks again for all the feedback!
-- Kasper Bergholt

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Macro lens for photographing vacuum tubes
« Reply #28 on: May 25, 2023, 21:24:36 »
OK, the lens side of the challenge apparently is solved. Now there is a need to improve the product photography. Erik already hinted about that aspect earlier. You need to control the light onto the subject, meaning reflectors, (soft boxes), flags to prevent highlights blowing out etc. etc.

Focus stacking is a refinement for the final stage, but first get the setup fine-tuned.

ColinM

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Re: Macro lens for photographing vacuum tubes
« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2023, 22:21:11 »
Hi Kasper, I don't know how your project is going but I thought I'd share this with you
(may also be of interest to Akira).


It's a preamp for a bass guitar, made in Japan by Beyond Bass, using a 12AU7 tube