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Have questions about the equipment used for macro- or micro- photography? Post those questions in this forum.

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rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Planapo wrote:That yellow jacket image at 3.4:1 looks good as it is but wouldn't this lens on bellows perform even better if it was reversed at magnifications significantly higher than 1:1?
In theory, yes. In practice the improvement might be so small it's not worth the effort. Only an experiment could tell for sure. I don't recall seeing one, but perhaps someplace in the archives?

--Rik

The BAT
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Post by The BAT »

Hi Guys,
The more that i read about the Nikon Bellows units, the less that i am liking them. It seems to me that nikon suggest quite strongly that they NOT be used with DSLR's and those that do try seem to have to try all diffrerent 'fixes' to get them attached and working.
Can someone suggest the actual best nikon bellows unit and the necessary items that are needed to connect my D70S directly to the bellows unit so that i can get a rig up and running? Someone suggested that i might be better off with one of the Olympus bellows units, but I have been unable to find a source of them and whether I use Olympus or Nikkor lenses out front and what adapter is necessary to connect the camera to the unit? Once again this is starting to sound like too much mucking around for the actual end result?
Opinions and info gratefully received.
Thanks again guys, you are really shortening my learning curve.

Bruce...

AndrewC
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Post by AndrewC »

Not sure what you mean by Nikon bellows having a problem and not working with DSLRs. Let me think, I attached my camera and lens and then took a picture. That was about it :)

The only issue I can think of is that if you have an old, dirty bellows you can pump dust out the back into your camera.

Your camera should fit straight on the camera end. If you have a big "pro" camera you might need a spacer between the camera and bellows. Something like a PK-11A.

A "normal" lens will fit on the other end. If you want to reverse lenses you need an adapter to step-up the filter threads and then go to the Nikon lens mount. If you are reversing an el-Nikkor 50mm f2.8 with a 40.5mm filter thread you need a 40.5-52mm step-up ring then Nikon BR2A or similar. There are other ways to reverse an enlarger lens to a bellows but this is simpler. An alternative would be Nikon_to_Tmount, Tmount filter thread reverser, then filter thread step-down.

so here is your shopping list:

1) Camera you have
2) PK-11A - but might not be necessary
3) Nikon PB-6 bellows
4) Nikon BR2A
5) 40.5mm to 52mm step-up adapter
6) El-Nikkor 50mm f/2.8

Then you'll need something to hold the camera and subject and allow for precise movements. Proxxon KT-70 is a good start or search eBay for linear slides.

Have fun,

Andrew

The BAT
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Post by The BAT »

Hi Andrew,
Thanks for the reply Buddy.
You have returned my faith to the Nikon product. I was getting worried by all the negative reports on the web, but I'm assuming that those reports come from people who have bought the wrong equipment for their needs and can't get the results that they want from the equipment that they have...
bruce...

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

Dunno what you've been hearing Bruce.
It's exactly as Andrew says.

The only wrinkle I can think of is about connections between the body and the lens for auto anything. You don't need any of them . With a PB-6 you can use a double cable release and get an auto diaphragm, but I don't bother.
I believe Oly bellows are Auto diaphragm, but only with an Oly camera.

There are Chinese equivalents of all of Andrew's list, even the bellows.
Item 2 , a tube, you can use your Kenko, if you need it.

If you're unsure, start with 4 and 5 and the tubes you have, so the 60 will be backwards on the front. The object will be in focus where the sensor would have been, so the so working distance is short, but reasonable.

On ebay you'll find
4) nikon to 52mm reverse macro adapter for under US$20
5) for about US$10
6) be a bit patient, around US$50. I'd send you one but the postage from the UK...!


If you have something like a short zoom at 20mm, reverse that on the front and you'll have higher magnifications. They aren't going to perform magnificently in that mode, but if you want a pic of a bee's knee, you can.


These are US$50 on ebay
http://img.auctiva.com/imgdata/1/0/7/2/ ... 8897_o.jpg
but they don't have a focussing rack so would need extra support.

This is a PB-4, which DOES have the rail, decent price too at about US$200
The focus rail has the "foot" here positioned at the back end. It racks along the lower two bars. So if you mount on that foot, you can move the whole camera/bellows/lens assembly to and fro, focussing without changing the magnification, which is set by the bellows extension.

http://www.tg004b3325.pwp.blueyonder.co ... llows2.jpg

I'd buy that if I were you, better hurry cos I'm tempted myself!

(There's a PB-6 at US$800, ouch!)

There currently aren't any Chinese bellows listed with a rail.
You might see BPM bellows from time to time, for which a rail is available s/h.

DaveW
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Post by DaveW »

With Nikon cameras (auto cameras both film and digital) having electrical contacts between the lens and camera some of Nikon's narrow extension and reversing rings were modified by milling out parts of the metal to avoid accidental shorting of the contacts.

These new rings were marked with an "A" for auto, e.g. BR2A to replace the old BR2 ring and PK11A to replace the old PK11. Evidently the longer tubes do not need this as they remained unaltered and can be used. To quote:-

"The BR-2 was later updated in the autofocus era so that its male F-bayonet would not interfere with the AF contacts in the body."

For some reason most Nikon bellows rear standards were never modified so Nikon recommend using one of the "A" rings between the camera and bellows to avoid any problems, or one of the longer extension tubes.

Also usually most Nikon bellows were originally designed for the old conventional flat fronted film cameras without the projecting hand grip of more modern ones, so when you try and rotate these to fix them the hand grip fouls the rear bellows standard, therefore a small extension tube is recommended to allow extra clearance.

Having said that, I have read where people have used auto cameras direct on all the bellows with no shorting problems, so perhaps it is a "belt and braces" recommendation on Nikon's part to remove all possibility of contacts being shorted and them receiving claims for damaged equipment? See:-

http://support.nikontech.com/app/answer ... l/a_id/900

Nikon's link above could also just be to sell their latest bellows. See:-

http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive ... 00045.html

For the Nikon bellows versions see:-

http://www.mir.com.my/michaeliu/cameras ... bellow.htm

I bought my set of Nikon PB-6 bellows off EBAY secondhand, far cheaper than buying Nikon bellows new. As with macro lenses, many people buy bellows then hardly use them so later unload them secondhand much cheaper in pristine condition on EBAY

For the BR-2A reversal ring and PK11A, the two modified rings for auto cameras, see:-

http://www.nikonians.org/html/resources ... cro_5.html

The point is Bruce are many of the independent bellows as safe to use with cameras having electrical contacts? Obviously most modern ones should be or they would be getting claims for damaged cameras and be out of business. But it may be a problem with some old secondhand bellows made in the film camera days before electrical contacts on cameras became the norm, however a simple Nikon auto ring between the bellows and camera should remove any doubts..

Hope that helps clear up a bit of your confusion?

DaveW
Last edited by DaveW on Sun Sep 06, 2009 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

I had no idea I couldn't use a D700 on a PB4, so I've been doing it. It is a bit easier to get your fingers in to press the release button if you put a tube between camera and bellows though.

There's an implication in Dave's link that there could be a fouling of contacts. Looking and measuring best I can, there's nothing.

I do have a BR2, it came with the PB4, and yes it's very tight on an AF body. As far as I know it only rubs on the end of the screwdriver AF drive, so not a really big deal, but I have a BR-2A which is undercut. I also have a Chinese version, which is also undercut.

A pair of thoise "Spacers" for the PB6 recently went for a particularly high price. They're to stop big bottomed cameras or those with battery packs added on, hitting the bellows. There's no such option on the PB-4. If you use an extension tube it clears of course, but you can't rack the rails back under the camera. Not something which has bothered me so far.

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Post by NikonUser »

ChrisR wrote: It is a bit easier to get your fingers in to press the release button if you put a tube between camera and bellows though.
Invest in Nikon's remote control cable!
NU.
student of entomology
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” I suppose you are an entomologist ? “
” Not quite so ambitious as that, sir. I should like to put my eyes on the individual entitled to that name.
No man can be truly called an entomologist,
sir; the subject is too vast for any single human intelligence to grasp.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr
The Poet at the Breakfast Table.

Nikon camera, lenses and objectives
Olympus microscope and objectives

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

Er, I meant the lens-release button :)

The BAT
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Post by The BAT »

Thanks for all the help fellas. I really appreciate all your info/efforts as I'm sure this has all been covered elsewhere before, but as i've stated, a search for info on the bellows and use of the same, turns up a lot of unwanted/unnecessary/untruthful crapola.
Just wait until istart worrying about the lighting. . . . :wink: :lol:

Bruce...

BTW, the EBay shopping thing is not very successful down here in Oz. I have found too many people think of it as a dumping ground for sh*t/trash and hoping to catch out some poor soul with shonky gear.

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Post by Aynia »

Hi Bruce -

Your underwater photos are amazing. Really beautiful. :D

DaveW
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Post by DaveW »

This is Nikon's "official" answer:-

http://support.nikontech.com/app/answer ... /a_id/4618

Some say the clearance problem only seemed to exist with certain cameras:-

http://photo.net/nikon-camera-forum/005XDi

Nikon as you see says the problem is the electrical contacts, whilst others agree with Chris and say it is possible damage to the "screwdriver drive" on Nikon DSLR models with in body motors provided to use the older "screwdriver drive" non in lens motored lenses, other than obviously the D40 and D60 series that do not have the in body motor and can only use later Nikon lenses with USM in lens motors.

http://goto.glocalnet.net/savazzi.net/p ... onbr2a.htm

Here's another quote:-

"The BR-2 is suitable for manual focus Nikon bodies. The BR-2A has a
slightly thinner locking flange which gives greater clearance to the
electronic contacts in the Nikon AF mount.

Some people use the BR-2 on their AF Nikon bodies without problems,
however Nikon don't recommend this because you would risk damage to
the contacts, which are expensive to repair.

If you're buying a new reversing ring, just buy the BR-2A which will
fit any Nikon camera body from 1959 onwards without problems."


Also the modification evidently applies to the auto double cable release rings BR-4 and BR-6 See:-

http://photo.net/attachments/bboard/007 ... 092484.jpg

No doubt this is the same modification as on the BR-2A and PK-11A rings. But I still cannot understand, as they have the same mounts, why it was not necessary to bring out "A" versions of Nikon's other extension tubes as these are considered safe, only the narrow Nikon rings?

The confusion on the issue is caused because most of Nikon's employees don't seem to know what the danger to the contacts was, but just simply repeat "use the "A" versions" for cameras with electrical contacts. No photo journalist seems to have been able to contact the Nikon technician that made the original decision to modify these rings, or why the other ones did not need modifying, to get the definitive answer.

I have scoured the Web for a few years now trying to find it myself, but there must have been an original reason to change the mounts to the "A" versions so it's safest to use one on a camera with electrical contacts, though you may seemingly get away with the older versions OK.

DaveW

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Post by AndrewC »

Regarding "A" versions of extension rings, as a Japanese engineer once said to me when I tried to understand why their process ran at 7 when the spec said 5-6, "ah, very good question, there is only one answer to mysteries like this, historical" and there you have it.

Personally , on the following Nikon bodies N90s, F5, D100, D2H & D200 I've not noticed it make the slightest bit of difference.

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Post by Chris S. »

Bruce,

Marvelous stuff, your underwater work.

My experience agrees with others--my D200 and D700 work very nicely on the Nikon PB6 bellows, and on an older off-brand bellows, with no electrical problems. I do need to use a spacer because these bodies would otherwise bump the rear end of the bellows mount, but (as has already been said) a cheap Kenko extension tube serves nicely.

Where I would disagree with some is on the suitability of your D70s for dry-land macro work. If my impression is correct, the D70s lacks mirror lockup and a 10-pin connection for an electronic release cable. Please correct me if I'm wrong--I've not had this camera in hand. I'm sure the D70s DOES allow locking the mirror up for sensor cleaning--which has caused some confusion on the Web, being different from MLU used during actual shooting.

If you plan to shoot exclusively with flash, MLU won't be as important, but for available light macro, I consider MLU and an electronic release essential. I also use MLU/electronic release with flash, as I know some others at this forum also do.

As far as I'm aware, none of Nikon's non-pro/non-prosumer-intended bodies have MLU and a 10-pin connection. (This is a pet peeve of mine--I'd love to carry one of the smaller bodies on hikes, but I value MLU and electronic release too much.) But that doesn't mean you need the latest and greatest--some of the older pro and prosumer bodies can be had pretty cheaply (my D200 is great for macro, and goes for a song), and most (or perhaps all) have MLU and accept a 10-pin cable release.

Best,

--Chris

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

D70s lacks mirror lockup
I googled specifically for that, and saw the answer that it has, but you're probably right, only for cleaning!

I have a BR something Auto ring, which I noticed won't go on a body. I was just wanting a ring that thick...

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