Contax RTS III with Macro attachment


As I have said, I am running out of new to me cameras to try so will be moving towards projects and themes. So hello macro photography, my first trial set-up. This is another set up that was been loaned to me by a reader. It has taken me a while to get round to trying it out but on one fading summer day try it I did.

This is the set up.

For my first try I picked a few things from my garden and used the black garden table as a backdrop.

The selection of subjects.

I haven’t tried this kind of thing before, but I already knew there would be a light drop off due to the length of the bellows. I had no idea how much, so I did a quick search and found lots of really technical details with, shock horror…MATH! I can’t find the actual website I used at the time, but this one explains everything very well. This site also has a disc compensation device you can make.

No worries really, my only real issue was the fading light. I had to use a low aperture which meant the already shallow depth of field even smaller. My other issue was the fact I was using film so no chimping to check I was doing it ok. I would really love a Contax to Nikon or Minolta adapter to try it all on digital. I will look around my “stuff box” it is amazing what I shove in there.

Anyway after working out the correct exposure I got to shooting. The depth of field was incredibly shallow as I had to use a f5.6 to gain a speed of 1/125th. I know I was using a tripod, but it was still a bit windy so I needed that speed to avoid any movement. I will try it again on a much sunnier day, when England decides to stop this incessant raining.

Here are my results.

I like them. I want to try it again with a much smaller aperture and a faster film to see the difference. Have you tried this kind of set up? Any advice?

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7 comments

  1. Some quite interesting results you got 😉

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  2. Hello. It looks like you enjoyed your first foray into macro. It really is like another world. For what it’s worth something I’ve found to help with the available light is a humble piece of paper. This is what I have observed https://arhphotographic.wordpress.com/2019/05/22/the-best-things-in-life-are-free-part-1/

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  3. Some lovely shots:)

    As regards tips for Macro, here are my tips:
    1.To avoid that whole Maths thing, ditch the bellows/extension rings & buy a proper Macro lens.
    2.Always use a cable release(less movement of the camera increases chance of keeping focus tight)
    3.Use a fast film(ISO 400+)
    4.Use spot metering mode on your camera if it’s available
    5.Use an old waterproof as a ground sheet(stops your clothes getting wet/dirty/torn

    Regards,

    P.S. Love the blog!

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    • Thanks for the advice I will try the cable release as I was given one of those too. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to try a lens…unless I sell a camera to fund it. The bellows was a gift to try with the contax RTS. In a perfect world I would have a fancy macro lens for my Nikon full frame. For now I will keep on experimenting.

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