Which bellows?

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JohnDownie
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Which bellows?

Post by JohnDownie »

Hello all,

I looking for a m42 bellows for, among other lenses, a Canon 35mm Macrophoto lens.

What would be the top rcommendations?

Thanks so much,

John

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

I like bellows whose rear standard can be shifted, in order to do sensor-shift stitching from a lens with a wider field of view. For that, a Nikon PB4 bellows is good.Used in reverse, any brand of camera can be mounted to it. However if you are using the MP35 for low-m work, the flange distance will probably not be big enough.

Here is one iteration of my set-up:
Image

Pau
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Post by Pau »

For M42x1 mount the Pentax Auto Bellows is very nice.
Pau

JohnDownie
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Post by JohnDownie »

Lou Jost wrote:I like bellows whose rear standard can be shifted, in order to do sensor-shift stitching from a lens with a wider field of view. For that, a Nikon PB4 bellows is good.Used in reverse, any brand of camera can be mounted to it. However if you are using the MP35 for low-m work, the flange distance will probably not be big enough.

Here is one iteration of my set-up:
Image
Very nice.

I have been struggling to figure out and find all the bits required to reverse the bellows.

Can you give some guidance?

Also, how much un-vignetted shift can you achieve, with the set up shown?

Thanks so much,

John

dickb
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Post by dickb »

As always, there is no single best answer. It depends on what is most important to you. There are some small bellows that are very lightweight and have a conveniently short minimum extension, useful if you want to get to low magnifications with the MP35. If you are looking for the best in a studio setup for high magnifications, a sturdy two rail or x rail bellows with a rear standard that can move is more practical. I've used the earlier Asahi Pentax Bellows, heavy and sturdy 2 rail design and an old but stable Ihagee x rail. The newer Pentax Auto Bellows with x rail looks a lot like the Canon FD bellows I have used, a great combination of sturdiness and not too much weight.

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

+1 for the Pentax bellows - the one where you can move both standards.
Here's one, at too high a price:
ebay 254172149321

The PB4 is very "long" at minimum. To reverse it you need something like a BR3 and a reverse macro adapter, which makes it longer again.

Vivitar also made some good models such as this one - this has more "bits" than you need 264285991980
Chris R

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

Chris is right about the longish minimum space required by the reversed set-up. It is no problem for long lenses but would be a problem with the little Canon lens.

John, my current version of the above setup reduces the distance slightly. On the side designed for the lens (the side that shifts), use a Nikon reversing ring, a 55-52mm step-down ring here used as a female-female 52mm coupler, and then another Nikon reversing ring. There are thinner non-nikon reversing rings, which could shorten this distance even more. On the side of the bellows designed for the camera, Fotodiox makes a nikon-52mm aperture controller for a reversed lens. This is thinner than the Nikon version. A Nikon reversng ring goes on that.

This solution is brand-agnostic; the outer Nikon reversing ring can be replaced by any brand of reversing ring.

I don't recall the exact amount of shift, sorry. Not huge.

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

I think it's 11mm each way - though that assumes no clipping of the frame when you do it.
Chris R

JohnDownie
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I wonder about a short bellows first.

Post by JohnDownie »

I hadn’t thought about the minimum collapsed length issue.

Maybe I should look at extension tubes or a helicoid first, to get comfortable with the lower magnifications.

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

There are also some shifting extension tube adapters. If you are using this on a Micro-Four-thirds camera, the Fotodiox blue-ring shift adapter which you can see in my photo is a great solution. (Used on the bellows, it gives me the ability to shift in the axis perpendicular to the bellows shift.)

What is your camera brand?

ray_parkhurst
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Re: I wonder about a short bellows first.

Post by ray_parkhurst »

JohnDownie wrote:I hadn’t thought about the minimum collapsed length issue.

Maybe I should look at extension tubes or a helicoid first, to get comfortable with the lower magnifications.
A problem with extension tubes / helicoid is that you end up having to mount the camera using its 1/4" mount. I have found this to be a much less rigid method than most bellows mounts. Apparently there are camera-specific brackets which increase the rigidity of direct camera mounting, so if you go that way you might want to check into these.

I use the Pentax AB but indeed it is not as short as I'd like. My experience with the 35MP is I could only get down to 2.4x magnification on the Pentax using a Canon camera. If you're using a mirrorless you likely can achieve much lower magnification as long as you use a short ("macro") adapter.

Another option is the Vivitar Bellows. It has shorter extension than the Pentax, even with the long-ish standard camera adapters. I have made my own adapters for the Vivitar that can push the minimum extension even shorter. I am not sure how low the mag would go with Canon using the 35MP but I would estimate 1.5x. The modification does require some machining though.

If you're using mirrorless though you should be in great shape with the Pentax.

JohnDownie
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Post by JohnDownie »

The camera is a Sigma Quattro. APS, mirrorless, but has an slr flange focal distance.

JohnDownie
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Post by JohnDownie »

I have ordered an SA-mount adapter for a 90mm Elmar lens head, with a foot, to see if I can put together a reasonably rigid short set up.

kaleun96
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Post by kaleun96 »

Coincidentally I had just spent the past few days searching for a bellows as well. I also settled on the Pentax Auto Bellows, which i got in near-new condition for 60GBP.

I considered the Pentax Bellows II (late model) as well but it's a bit smaller than the Auto Bellows and I'd prefer the longer length.

I liked the look of the Novoflex bellows as well, they were my second option. But the rear part that connects to the camera can't be moved (at least on the ones I was looking at) and I struggled to find one that had M42 at both ends. Most had Leica or Novoflex mounts on the rear and and M39 on the front. Turns out adapters for bellows can cost as much as the bellows itself too so I would say it's best to get one that has threaded mounts or a mount suited for your camera.

ray_parkhurst
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Post by ray_parkhurst »

kaleun96 wrote:Coincidentally I had just spent the past few days searching for a bellows as well. I also settled on the Pentax Auto Bellows, which i got in near-new condition for 60GBP.

I considered the Pentax Bellows II (late model) as well but it's a bit smaller than the Auto Bellows and I'd prefer the longer length.

I liked the look of the Novoflex bellows as well, they were my second option. But the rear part that connects to the camera can't be moved (at least on the ones I was looking at) and I struggled to find one that had M42 at both ends. Most had Leica or Novoflex mounts on the rear and and M39 on the front. Turns out adapters for bellows can cost as much as the bellows itself too so I would say it's best to get one that has threaded mounts or a mount suited for your camera.
All the M42 Novoflex bellows I have come across allow full rotation of the camera, 360-deg, for mounting. Once mounted, some are fixed, some allow 90-deg rotation, and some allow full rotation. Just depends on the model, but for M42 mounts they must give a full rotation capability for mounting since it's not a precise (breech type) mount, so could tighten at any rotation angle.

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