Tag Archives: macro

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?

Macromax Mac-10 Z3000

That is a long name for this amazing camera. I almost passed this one by as I have never heard of the maker, so glad I didn’t. BUT the sticker on the front made me take a second look, 10cm macro. Seriously, that couldn’t be true, 10cm. What camera from the past or present has a 10cm minimum focal length. I thought it must be a translation error.

I had to try it. Once I got it home and took a closer, it was no mistake.

Once a CR123 battery was inserted I tried out the buttons. On the top is a macro button which then moves the lens and changes the settings. Inside the viewfinder are two guides for the different focal lengths. The “U” guide is really small. Holy moly this might just be a stunning camera. But who is “macromax” and where does this camera come from….and does it actually work.

There is very little on the net. A few other examples for sale in the past, with varying prices. The main manufacturer seems to be a company called Goko, which specialises in microscopes. On their historical products page they make this claim…

“These were the world-first and only camera series that provided 10-cm close-up shooting and 3x zoom in a single machine without attachments, which had not then been achieved by any SLR or compact camera….The Japanese Camera Industry Institute (JCII) selected our Z3000 as one of their Historical Japanese Cameras of 2000.”

Impressive, especially as it was over 15 years ago. This site has more technical details.

But did mine work? I decided to test the camera under a variety of condition. I knew of a statue in a dark pace that would make a great subject. It is in a building in a park, a totally opposite kind of environment. Off I trotted. Oh and I took it to Mount Fuji, because I can 🙂

Yes! This camera is AWESOME! It really does have macro at 10cm, I was practically touching that statue. It is just so sharp. If you ever see one of these buy it. Why are Goko not making cameras anymore??