Subject: Nuforce uDac5 (since measured and highlighted in this RMAA article).
Mea culpa: Because I'm lazy, I recycled the lighting and ALL the settings from used in capturing my wife's iPhone 7: RMAA: Apple iPhone 7 24-bit.
Sharper and more contrasty at high magnifications, well-designed macro lenses rock the close-up. Or, at least that’s the typical apologetic. For the most part, it is true. The closer you get to, and the more you magnify a subject, the better corrected the optic has to be for macro work.
I use two lenses in my commercial work: Sinaron digital 80/4 enlarging lens (in LTM mount), and the Sinaron digital macro 70º 1:5,6 f=120. The latter I use because it covers 4x5 large format whilst maintaining sharpness and contrast near that of a good macro lens designed for 35mm cameras. The former I use because in its native LTM mount, it is fast, accurate, and returns eminently repeatable results. It is also about as sharp as the 120mm.
Being a geek, I’ve got another favourite 120, the Schneider - KREUZNACH Symmar-S 5,6/120 MC, which, dating the Sinaron, is, at normal distances, contrasty, and nearly as sharp. Closing the shooting distance and raising the reproduction ratio to anything beyond 1:5, reveal its weaknesses. Interestingly, almost every enlarging lens I have used keeps pace with typical macro lenses. The below stacked examples were taken at 1:2 magnifications.
The below stacked examples were taken at 1:1 magnifications.
NOTE: In each of the above images images on the left were taken by the Sinaron, images on the right taken by the Schneider.
Camera: Linhof M679cs
Capture device(s): Hasselblad CFV-50 and CFV-50c
In a pinch a normal-magnification lens can perform. This is especially true if your macro lens isn’t optimised to take beyond 1:1, in which case, a normal lens may perform beyond that. I expect that a number of clients would be happy with the results from the Schneider. In general, however, non-macro lenses in high-magnification advertising photography may disadvantage the photographer. This is because they are less contrasty and sharp at high magnifications. Unfortunately, both of the above lenses must be mounted in #0 shutters, the mechanical versions of which are no longer manufactured, and the electronic of which, are unwieldy and insanely expensive. My studio uses press shutters in size #0 and #1, the latter of which I now dedicate to enlarger lenses, which I later will throw into comparative mixes.