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07-15-2010, 04:41 PM   #31
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Bellows with Enlarging Lenses - Very Share and Inexpensive

I use M42 Bellows with enlarging lenses. The enlarging lenses are M39 and I use a $5 eBay M39 to M42 adapter from China.

I have written an article on enlarging lenses and bellows, along with several images.

It can be found at this link and discusses lenses to use and the adapter ring.

http://sites.google.com/site/inexpensivemacrophotography/

By the way, Jools, I noticed you are in SW Wisconsin. I grew up in Freeport, Il, just south of the boarder.

07-16-2010, 11:16 AM   #32
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Stover98074, I'd seen your article elsewhere on another macro discussion.
Some good stuff there and was one of the better and informative reads about the use of enlarging lenses. Thanks.

Yeah have driven by Freeport on my way down the state. Nice area.
07-20-2010, 01:40 PM   #33
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A couple of things have been left out of this discussion.

Many find that standard lenses work better on bellows WHEN REVERSED. So I may put a 52mm-PK reversal mount on my Enna 135/3.5 before mounting that on my cheap PK bellows. Just be sure the lens doesn't have deep insets at either end. Reversing lenses on an M42 bellows is trickier, due to a shortage of 42mm-anything adapter rings.

Many enlarger lenses have 39mm (M39/L39/LTM) threads; some are M42; some are... whatever. (Luckily, almost any optical material can be jammed into a bellows.) M39-M42 adapter rings are cheap, plentiful, and variable in quality. Some from Belarus are CHEAP CRAP but I use them anyway. That enlarger glass is flat-field is nice if you're shooting flat subjects, irrelevant otherwise -- but they ARE optimized for working close, so they're excellent for macros.

Longer enlarger lenses can be heavy, in the realm of 300g, which is awkward when sitting at the end of a foot or two of bellows and tubes. I've just been shooting my Wollensack Raptar 162/4.5 (280g, US$7) on my 120mm PK bellows and another 45mm of tubes, handheld. Camera not included, that weighs 860g and fully extends to 21cm. And going beyond 1:1 requires another 10mm of tubes, with the lens hanging on at the far end. I could skip that extra extension if I used my Ilex Solar Anastigmat 140/4.5 (260g, US$7). BTW I'm using the rig now for general shooting, not macro. Really nice rendition and sharpness, eh?

Still, combinations of a long lens + bellows + tubes can be quite handy. As I've mentioned several times, back when I used an Olympus Pen-FT (half-frame 35mm SLR), I'd mount a Spiratone 400mm tube onto bellows and tubes, supported by a shoulder-stock camera mount, to shoot closeups of rattlesnakes at a safe distance. Fast film and bright sun were needed. And listening for rattles...

With a bellows-lens or enlarger lens on a bellows, you can shoot from infinity to ultra-close. But bellows and tubes have their limits. Extensions eat light -- the formula is, E = A x (M+1), where E is effective aperture, A is marked aperture, and M is magnification. So any lens with a nominal (maked) setting of f/11, at 1:1 (magnification=1) has an effective aperture of (11 x (1+1)) = f/22. At 2:1 it's f/33.

And long lenses require long, unstable, unweildy extensions, to achive notable magnifications. For greater magnification, lens-stacking is best. But that's another subject. I must go now, it's time to clean the birdcage.
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