5X Macro


Bud is about 3mm across, perhaps a touch more. 6 sec (Elan 7N metered it at 15 sec, DSLR metered at 8 sec), f16, ISO320


My week #5 roll is appropriately about shots made with a 5X macro setup. They are once again made with the Canon Elan 7N (aka EOS 33V), but this time hooked up to Canon FL/FD mount macro gear that I have been using with my DSLR. For (too) much detail about this setup see my simultaneously published post here which also includes some DSLR shots taken of the same subjects when I swapped camera bodies. The photos shown here are on expired Fuji Superia X-Tra 400. I made them to test the setup on the 7N for things like how well it meters in these conditions, and generally how this high magnification (~5X) macro works on film. Looks to me like it works just fine.

It would be easy enough to use this gear without an external meter, and without a DSLR to set it all up. An eye-piece magnifier would be handy, were there one, but it’s possible to get by without. Bracketing is necessary, and more fooling around with different 7N metering modes may help determine an efficient bracketing/metering combo.  I would think at least +/- 1.0 EV and depending on film type maybe 2.0 EV, or 4 brackets at 1.0 EV intervals, which burns a lot of film, quickly. The 7N will shoot 3 brackets automatically, though with mirror lockup, you have to trigger each shot independently. A remote trigger for the shutter would speed things up, but is not necessary using the 10 second self timer. Hand held metering is possible, but the effective f-stops would need to be figured out for each magnification and chosen f-stop. I generally shoot at f16 with this equipment (for depth of field, though it softens the images a bit); at 5X magnification the effective stop is f-96. My spot meter has an f-90 setting, so it is possible to use it for this purpose.

Speaking of film type, it would be fun to shoot some fine-grained black and white macro abstracts with this rig. Probably I will do that some time – abstracts are a favourite at the moment – they come naturally at high magnifications.




Shows 5Dii DSLR mounted, shot with Elan 7N and EF 50/1.4 lens. See linked post for the 5Dii shots.



f3.5, program mode – exposure time not noted (accidental shot, but useful for depth of field testing)



This part of a bulb shoot is about 11mm across in total, but showing 7 or 8mm of it. 5 sec , f16, ISO320



L-R: Canon FD 50mm f3.5 Macro Lens (reversed), Canon Macrophoto Coupler, Canon Life Size Adapter, Canon FL Bellows (fully extended),  and, out of view, FD-EOS adapter. Shot with Elan 7N and EF 50/1.4.






13 thoughts on “5X Macro

  1. Wonderful macro shots. I have never tried it with film, largely for fear of the amount I may end up wasting. You show that with a methodical approach there is no need to fear it!


    • Thanks Richard. I probably would never have tried this without having done a fair bit with the DSLR, and having a full-frame DSLR body to hand so that I could start off with for the set up. It really helped build my confidence. I wish I could nail the exposure so that single exposures on film were done with more certainty. A bit more experimentation could sort that out so I have a work flow that doesn’t waste too much film. Likewise, a forgiving film, like Ilford XP2, might be an excellent solution to that problem.


  2. This appeared in my reader at just the right time; house-bound, a go at some macro seemed a good idea so I had a go with my macro Yashica on an Olympus Pen digital. Just posted then found yours. Really interesting.


    • Hi grumpy! Nice textile shot of yours, macro is great during housebound situations.

      If you look at this post (http://wp.me/p1R4lY-3Vj) on my blog you will find some results of using this rig on a micro 4/3 set up, for even greater magnification. I bought it to use with the EOS mount, but while waiting for an adapter used it on my son’s camera that already had an Canon FD adapter.


    • Thanks Alex – it was a serendipitous acquisition. I found the bellows unit (with slide enlarger attachment) in an antique store going out of business for something like $25 – I did not have a clue about how to use it or if it was a good one, but it seemed well made and I knew I could adapt it. Within a day or two I had found the macro lens normally used with the bellows and reversal ring in a store that specialises in old cameras. A bit of research made me realise what I had also seen at the antique store was in fact an extension tube for this lens, so I picked it up for $6. I went from ignorance about this kind of macro to a full kit (other than EOS-FD adapter) for just over $100 in a few days.
      I am pleased that it works well with film too. While there seems little point in using it with film for many purposes, I do like the way these film shots look compared to the digital ones (shown on my other post at my blog) – the digital is just too clean.


  3. Reblogged this on burnt embers and commented:

    This 52Rolls.net of mine summarizes my previous post here at burntembers.com.
    Check out 52rolls.net for a wide variety of photographers all shooting at least one roll/pack/sheet of film a week and posting about it. There are some excellent photographs taken on everything from large format to half-frame sized film with pinhole and lensed camera. There are lots of experiments as people come to terms with their gear, their film, developing or ideas they wish to convey.


  4. I really like macro done with film, especially the colour and surface texture in the last photo. I have a set of extension tunes I use now and then but usually work hand held as I never seem to have the patience for a tripod in small formats.


    • Thanks Peter. I have looked at some of your macro shots. I sometimes use the reversed lens from this set on my DSLR hand held at about 2X but I have to take quite a few shots to get some in focus so that strategy would not work with film. I have a 100mm macro canon autofocus that is a very nice lens and which I usually use hand held. It is a 1:1 macro and I will try it on this camera.

      Liked by 1 person

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