Bellows and Rails

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

Moderators: Pau, rjlittlefield, ChrisR, Chris S.

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

Photoshop does have a half-decent stacker. As you already have it, there are lots of tutorials and examples on the internet, and it'll show you some of what can go wrong, I recommend you try it. It's called "Blend" - you'll find it easily enough.
FOr field work, one item not so far mentioned in this thread is the humble "close-up" lens. To try the idea, you can buy sets of them cheaply on ebay, even for your 70 - 200 zoom. The effect of say a 3 dioptre close-up on a long lens is dramatic. When set to infinity, it'll be focusing at 1/3rd of a metre, which is great for things like butterflies.
Of course the aperture is unaffected, the meter works, and the AF will work, more or less - try it.
Better close-ups like the Canon and Nikon doublets, and Raynox versions, are more expensive, but surprisingly good results can be had.
Do spend some time searching on the keywords - there's lots here, and all over the net.

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Harold Gough wrote:
rjlittlefield wrote: When you're working with live specimens it usually works best to focus wide open and stop down at the instant of exposure. This is the strong point of the MP-E 65 -- it's the only lens that covers the 1-5X range with auto diaphragm.
In this context, perhaps: OM users have other options!
I would be interested to hear more. I am familiar with the Olympus dual-cable auto bellows since I own a couple of them (bellows and cables to match). They would work fine with my old film cameras, but not with any of my digital cameras. That's because the digitals have moved away from the mechanical plunger shutter release. They no longer provide any place to screw in a mechanical cable, only a jack to plug in an electronic remote. Do the new OM digitals still support mechanical cable releases, or is there some interface box that turns cable release into electronic remote, or are you talking about some other capability altogether?

--Rik

DaveW
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Post by DaveW »

Don't know about Olympus or Canon Rik, but Nikon do a mechanical/electrical AR-10 double cable release, though it was two pin for older electrical cameras but can be used with the later 10 pin socket cameras using the MC-25 adapter lead.

"Using the a double cable release

The PB-6 belows features a cable release socket in the front standard which will stop the lens down to the selected aperture when the attached cable release is pressed. Using one of Nikon's double cable releases the AR-7 or AR-10, it is possible to trigger the cameras shutter and stop the lens aperture down simultaneously.

The AR-7 is designed for use with older film cameras such as the FM3a, FM2, and F3 series.

The AR-10 was designed for use with cameras with a 2 pin electronic release such as the F301, F501, F801, F3+MD-4 and F4 series, however it can also be used with cameras with a 10 pin connection using the MC-25 2-pin to 10 pin adapter."


For more info on the MC-25 see:-

http://nikoneurope-en.custhelp.com/app/ ... a_id/16406

If using lenses reversed on camera or bellows, the BR-6 ring can be used with the double cable release to stop down the diaphragm:-

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/ha ... macro2.htm

DaveW

ChrisR
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Post by ChrisR »

Rik , I do have the feeling that if you thought the capability would be useful, you would by now have managed to engineer a plunger-operated switch!

I tried a bellows and double cable release, handlheld, in the great outdoors, and after a considerable number of exposures, decided to explore other means.
I think it was three. :wink:

One piece of Olympus kit I was impressed with enough to buy ($90 s/h) is the 65-110 sliding tube. With an Oly (film) body and Oly macro, a useful combo I would have thought. But I believe the digital ones can't link through? #-o
Even used manually, it's nice.
One day I'll adapt one to give an auto diaphragm on a Nikon, it'll be April 1st, 2083.

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

ChrisR wrote:Rik , I do have the feeling that if you thought the capability would be useful, you would by now have managed to engineer a plunger-operated switch!
Make that "useful enough", and you might be right. I've shot with bellows in the field since 1966 or so, but I've never much liked the process so I do it as little as possible. I think my last two postings of that type were over 3 years ago, some little spiders and some frost spikes. Once upon a time, I did spend a few minutes figuring out how to modify an Olympus auto bellows to mimic a Canon RS60-E3 remote switch: single cable drives bellows, bellows drives camera. As you say, it's just a switch. But it never seemed worth the trouble to implement so I didn't.

For that matter, it's never seemed worth buying an MP-E 65, so I haven't done that either.

However, I'm always curious to know what cute devices and capabilities other people know about that I don't. And since I don't know anything about Olympus cameras except what I've read, that leaves a pretty wide field.

--Rik

AndrewC
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Post by AndrewC »

Just something else to be aware of are focussing helicoids:

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... K:MEWAX:IT

Think of it as a solid bellows.
rgds, Andrew

"Is that an accurate dictionary ? Charlie Eppes

g4lab
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Post by g4lab »

Somewhere I have a gadget like that that Leica built only instead of 42mm it was 39mm Leica screw mount (and enlarger usually) thread.

dmillard
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Post by dmillard »

g4lab wrote:Somewhere I have a gadget like that that Leica built only instead of 42mm it was 39mm Leica screw mount (and enlarger usually) thread.
A Leitz COOMI - they come in black or chrome, with a graduated length from 40mm to 61mm. Pentax also made helicoid extension tubes, going from approx. 17mm to 31mm, in both M42 and Pentax K mounts.

David

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Post by PaulFurman »

I use a Nikon E2 short extension ring similar to the BR6 mentioned above mostly for G lenses that lack an aperture ring to function on a bellows. It is a pre-Ai accessory which has not damaged any of my newer equipment as some pre-Ai lenses can. It has a female thread for a plunger to close down the aperture and I got some nuts & bolts from the hardware store to operate it. I made a little tab with markings to give a rough clue how far it's being stopped down. Also makes a nice lens shade/protector when reversing lenses.

DaveW
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Post by DaveW »

I had just posted this in another thread, but it is perhaps apt to post it here also. A bit out of date now as it mentions the D100, but applies to all later Nikon DSLR's:-

http://www.photochart.com/newsarticle_2 ... Nikon.html

Many users claim the earlier bellows can be used with DSLR's, so why Nikon claims they can't is uncertain since all were originally designed for film cameras, unless the PB-6 clears the contacts on later electronic cameras, both digital and film better?

DaveW

thartl
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Post by thartl »

rjlittlefield wrote:
ChrisR wrote:Rik , I do have the feeling that if you thought the capability would be useful, you would by now have managed to engineer a plunger-operated switch!
Make that "useful enough", and you might be right. I've shot with bellows in the field since 1966 or so, but I've never much liked the process so I do it as little as possible. I think my last two postings of that type were over 3 years ago, some little spiders and some frost spikes. Once upon a time, I did spend a few minutes figuring out how to modify an Olympus auto bellows to mimic a Canon RS60-E3 remote switch: single cable drives bellows, bellows drives camera. As you say, it's just a switch. But it never seemed worth the trouble to implement so I didn't.

For that matter, it's never seemed worth buying an MP-E 65, so I haven't done that either.

However, I'm always curious to know what cute devices and capabilities other people know about that I don't. And since I don't know anything about Olympus cameras except what I've read, that leaves a pretty wide field.

--Rik
Its interesting to hear you say that the MP-E 65 isn't worth buying. I felt this when you thought it might be a good one for me. My fear is of spending 1,000 bucks on a lens and adding some rail slides to it, and not being able to focus well. Who knows, maybe after shooting tubes and maybe bellows I will decide the MP-E 65 is worth it?

thartl
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Post by thartl »

On top of this - researching stacking. Is it best to stack the images and then do any post processing (ie exposure compensation, shadows, saturation etc etc?) Or is it best to apply the same post processing to all images and then stack? At what point does stacking become "necessary" or "unnecessary?" How good are the stacking software tools? (I mean - I have tried HDR rather unsuccessfully a total of 2 times - could I try more, sure, but just saying that sometimes it is SUPER tough.)

AndrewC
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Post by AndrewC »

thartl wrote:On top of this - researching stacking. Is it best to stack the images and then do any post processing (ie exposure compensation, shadows, saturation etc etc?) Or is it best to apply the same post processing to all images and then stack? At what point does stacking become "necessary" or "unnecessary?" How good are the stacking software tools? (I mean - I have tried HDR rather unsuccessfully a total of 2 times - could I try more, sure, but just saying that sometimes it is SUPER tough.)
Myself, I currently stack then post process but I don't think it matters too much which way round you do it.

I used to shoot NEF files for stacking and would apply the same tweaking to all frames during conversion. However, I was using so much disk space I now shoot stacks as high quality jpgs, stack, then optimise.

When is stacking necessary ? When you need more dof. As a baseline, once you get to >1x magnification I think stacking becomes useful, at >5x it is almost essential. I've also stacked landscapes so there isn't really a rule.

What software did you use for HDR ? Photomatix is very easy to use and gives great results.

Zerene stacker is very easy to use.
rgds, Andrew

"Is that an accurate dictionary ? Charlie Eppes

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