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Can anyone explain 1:1 macro reproduction
Hi Everyone,.

I would be most grateful if someone could explain to me what 1:1 reproduction means in terms of macro photography..

I know it means lifesize, but does this mean when printed on 6x4 paper , 7x5 paper or what..

Say I took a photo of a butterfly which measured 3in by 2in in real life - please talk me through what this would mean..

Sorry to be a bit dense.

Most appeciative of explanation.

Regards.

Chris..

Comments (20)

The 'Life-size' bit refers to the image as it's formed on the sensor/film..

So for your 2"x 3" butterfly, to photograph it at 1:1 reproduction you'd need a sensor or film negative measuring 2"x 3"..

Hope this helps,.

Steve..

Comment #1

Zzzz wrote:.

Hi Everyone,.

I would be most grateful if someone could explain to me what 1:1reproduction means in terms of macro photography..

I know it means lifesize, but does this mean when printed on 6x4paper , 7x5 paper or what..

Say I took a photo of a butterfly which measured 3in by 2in in reallife - please talk me through what this would mean..

It means you might only get about 1/4 of the butterfly into your picture..

In the old days, 1:1 mean the image was true size on the film. A subject one inch of subject would measure one inch on the film image, same true size on the film. It does not matter what size film, and it does not matter what size print you may ultimately make, it is about size of the image on the film, or on the sensor today..

In contrast to 1:1, if you take a picture of a 18 inch dog, that image of a dog may only be 1/2 inch tall on the film (might be 1 inch film or might be 4 inch film, which does not matter), which is ratio 1/2 to 18 or 1:36, nowhere near life size on the film..

Today, it means the image on the digital sensor is life size, and this sort of loses something now because we cannot take the sensor out and look at it like we could look at the developed film. But the sensor has dimensions, same as the film had dimensions. Making up hypothetical numbers here (every case will be different), but if the sensor is 1 inch tall and is also 2000 pixels tall, then a half inch inch tall subject at 1:1 will fill that half of that inch sensor and half of those 2000 pixels...

Comment #2

It means that the image of an object projected on the cameras sensor is the same size as the object it self..

In other words, if I wanted to take a 1:1 maco of my self, I would need a 6' 3" tall sensor..

Tom..

Comment #3

I understand people using entire objects for examples in order to show that you would need a super sized sensor to capture 1:1 in some instances. But I think that can also confuse people and make them think that they can't still capture something 1:1 from a larger object..

You can still peform 1:1 macro photography on something larger than the size of your sensor. You will of course only capture a portion of the object though. In the example of a person, you may be able to get 1:1 close up capture of an eye or a tooth (often used in dentistry)..

But the concept is still that whatever falls on the film/sensor plane is the same size as that portion of the object in real life...

Comment #4

Tnordahl wrote:.

In other words, if I wanted to take a 1:1 maco of my self, I wouldneed a 6' 3" tall sensor..

And a similarly huge (long) lens to have that much field width at 1:1.  ..

Comment #5

WFulton wrote:.

Tnordahl wrote:.

In other words, if I wanted to take a 1:1 maco of my self, I wouldneed a 6' 3" tall sensor..

And a similarly huge (long) lens to have that much field width at1:1.  .

Actually, you'd only need half the field width of that needed at infinity. At least, that's the case with fixed f-length lenses, so you might be able to manage with a shorter lens than you think..... about half the f-length, in fact. .

This is because any lens producing a 1:1 image (same size as life) is, of necessity, extended to a distance from the sensor equalling 2f (twice the focal length, whatever that happens to be), and, at the 2f distance, the cone shaped bundle of rays from the lens can expand sufficiently to cover twice the angle .....

... or twice the linear length of sensor..

Sometimes this is very helpful. It means, for instance, that a lens designed only for APSc sized sensors when used at infinity, will probably cover a FULL full-frame perfectly well when focused ultra close.Regards,Baz..

Comment #6

It's probably easier to explain in practical terms. For example, I use 5D, it's a FF camera, so the size of my sensor is 24x36mm. Lifesize (1:1) magnification means that if I photograph an object of such dimensions, it's image will exactly fill the frame..

Http://lordofthelens.smugmug.com/..

Comment #7

Hi Again,.

Thanks to you all for all that comprehensive explanation. Perhaps it would be easier for me if someone could explain how my camera (Panasonic FZ30) - 8MP at 4:3 ratio, or 7MP at 3:2 and can focus at 1cm, fares against a dslr with macro lens capable of 1:1 reproduction..

I seem to pretty much fill the frame with most butterflies..

Thanks in advance for your continued assistance.

Regards.

Chris..

Comment #8

Digital compacts are very good for macro, because, as you have discovered, they can focus much closer than a D-SLR (without a dedicated macro lens). I think his is because they have very short focal lengths..

Certainly for macro photography on a bugdet, a compact will beat a D-SLR with kit lens, although the SLR will be better when equipped with macro lenses, a set of extension tubes, macro flash etc etc..

Mt Sony DSC-M1 even has a 'magnifying glass' mode and I swear it can almost focus on something touching the lens!Steve..

Comment #9

Dont really understand this statement:.

"Certainly for macro photography on a bugdet, a compact will beat a D-SLR with kit lens, although the SLR will be better when equipped with macro lenses, a set of extension tubes, macro flash etc etc.".

This is a dead bumblebee who has been collecting dust for a while and shot Q&D to make a point. Oly E500 14-45mm kit lens (not macro) and extension ring. Of camera flash (not macro)Three exposures merged in a freebie application to increas DOF.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

And this is a zoomed in detail of the wing from the same photo..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

This is my opinion of "macro on a budget".

Being shot at 36mm focal range, it's also pretty close to 1:1.

Tom..

Comment #10

I would be most grateful if someone could explain to me what 1:1reproduction means in terms of macro photography..

Others have defined this well as 1:1 on the sensor, not the final display..

I know it means lifesize, but does this mean when printed on 6x4paper , 7x5 paper or what..

Prints are a constant source of confusion in the science & technology world because one is never sure how the publisher has magnified or reduced the image, so one's original 1:1 image may be in the magazine at 1:2..

The usual technical publication solution is to embed a length reference in the image so it also gets resized during subsequent processing (a 1mm long bar for example.).

Why bother to make the 1:1 distinction at all? One possible reason is that some optics relationships are different when the image size is larger than the actual object size. In particular, the Depth of Field relations are different for Macro photography/microscopy compared to far-field photography..

Certainly the skills and equipment involved in Macro photography differ from far-field work...

Comment #11

Tom,.

Thanks for backing up my statement..

As Tom has demonstrated, 700 worth of digital SLR may outperform my 250 DSC-M2 at macro-type photography, but not by much..

Steve..

Comment #12

54 x 40 mm coverage size at wide macro setting. Not sure what size sensor it uses...

Comment #13

Steve Ives wrote:.

Tom,.

Thanks for backing up my statement..

As Tom has demonstrated, 700 worth of digital SLR may outperform my250 DSC-M2 at macro-type photography, but not by much..

I looked at the review of your camera at Steves digicam. Most impressive..

I'm including the following to show the full capability of my 700$ shoestring solution..

Its the fine print on a Norwegian 100 kroner bill. The text is so small you cannot even read it with a magnifying glass. The three shots mounted together are to see the effect of sharpening. Top +2, middle 0, bottom -2.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

The advantage with my solution is that I also get an excellent dslr with two great kit lenses..

Tom.

Also with E-500, 14-45mm kit lens and off camera flash..

Comment #14

Zzzz wrote:.

Hi Again,.

Thanks to you all for all that comprehensive explanation. Perhaps itwould be easier for me if someone could explain how my camera(Panasonic FZ30) - 8MP at 4:3 ratio, or 7MP at 3:2 and can focus at1cm, fares against a dslr with macro lens capable of 1:1 reproduction..

Your Panny will fare quite well for taking macro photo's at least in a general sense. Maybe not quite down to 1:1 but plenty close..

One place where a dedicated macro system usually does have a benefit is in being able to set a specific magnification ratio (1:1 or other) so that ratio can be used repeatedly over time. That can be important when there's a need to measure/keep track of the relative size of objects across a number if images. Another is that it's often possible to attain greater working distances between the front of your lens and the subject when shooting macros..

But, if you're not working in a lab and just want somoe nice close-up shots of butterflys, etc. the FZ30 will do very well..

'Here, look at the monkey. Look at the silly monkey!'.

Tom Younghttp://www.pbase.com/tyoung/..

Comment #15

Tom,.

I was being slightly tongue-in-cheek..

Yes, your D-SLR is better than my DSC-M2, as you would expect it to be for nearly 3 times the price..

However, Chris asked "how my camera (Panasonic FZ30) - 8MP at 4:3 ratio, or 7MP at 3:2 and can focus at 1cm, fares against a dslr with macro lens capable of 1:1 reproduction." and the answer is "pretty good. not as good, but pretty good"..

For some people, $400 is in budget whilst $1,000 isn't..

Generally speaking, macro (or close-up) photography is cheaper for compact camera owners than for D-SLR owners with kit lenses, as the latter will need extension tubes or close-up filters or a macro lens. Yes, the results will be better, but if you want to play with macro photography and think that your old compact isn't up to the job and that you need a D-SLR, think again..

My M2 also (for it's price) holds it's own remarkably well against my EOS-1D Mk II with the 24-105 f4 L and a set of extension tubes..

Not as good, but not bad.Steve..

Comment #16

"Three exposures merged in a freebie application to increas DOF".

What is the name of the freebie software?..

Comment #17

I know Im pretty much repeating what has been said above but as someone who is not an expert in this area, Id like to say this out loud to make sure Ive got it right. And perhaps also (if Ive got it right) it will help other non-experts to understand..

(For example) The Nikon 105mm macro lens offers a maximum reproduction ratio of 1:1..

This lens is not a DX lens, it is designed for use with both DX and FF/FX sensors (not that that is particularly relevant here, I think, just noting it)..

OK - so - If the reproduction ratio describes the size of the subject on the sensor, this means that (for example):.

The subject is 36mm in length. The 105mm lens will reproduce this subject at 1:1 - 36mm - on the sensor. This means that on a full frame sensor (like a D3 for example), the subject will fit within the (36mm) width of the sensor..

Put the 105 on a DX camera (like a D80 for example), and the subject will now not fit on the sensor (within the frame) because the DX sensor is only 23.6mm wide..

Therefore, the 105mm lens will give you a 1:1 reproduction of the subject, regardless of whether the sensor is FX/FF or DX. But depending on the size of the subject, you may not be able to fully frame it on the smaller sensor..

In summary - the reproduction ratio of the lens determines whether you will be able to shoot the subject life size (or how close to life size you can get). The size of the sensor is not important EXCEPT where the subject is larger than the physical sensor and you therefore cannot fully frame the subject in the sensor, and you have to back off to less than life size reproduction..

Larger sensors (or film format) allow you to shoot larger subjects at 1:1. Smaller sensors constrain you to smaller subjects..

Correct?.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window..

Comment #18

Arrowman wrote:.

Larger sensors (or film format) allow you to shoot larger subjects at1:1. Smaller sensors constrain you to smaller subjects..

Correct?.

Yes, at least if that means getting the entire object into the frame at once. At 1:1 mag, the lens is "projecting" the object onto the sensor at it's actual size, regardless of what size the sensor happens to be..

With film, having a 1:1 ratio was exceedingly handy for sizing objects. Just hold a ruler to your slide or negative and you knew exactly how "big"/"small" the object in the photo happened to be. Take that slide/negative and enlarge it 10x or by any known magnification factor and again, the scale of the actual object relative to the print was easily maintained..

With digital, we're not generally taking a ruler to our sensors (well, not most of us anyway) so we're typically going to have to get our calculators out in order to determine and maintain scale (at least in so far as knowing the scale of the photo actually matters). As such, knowing that an image was captured at 1:1 doesn't tend to have quite the same intrinsic value that it once did. Bit it's still a nice benchmark for comparing macro lens capabilities..

'Here, look at the monkey. Look at the silly monkey!'.

Tom Younghttp://www.pbase.com/tyoung/..

Comment #19

Hi Again,.

Thanks for your excellent information and advise on this subject, it has been most informative..

Regards.

Chris..

Comment #20

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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