Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
07-15-2010, 04:41 PM   #31
Senior Member
stover98074's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Seattle
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 153
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.

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
Veteran Member
Jools's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: SW Wisconsin by way of Venezuela
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,386
Original Poster
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
Veteran Member
RioRico's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Limbo, California
Posts: 11,264
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.

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
100mm, 150mm, k-mount, lens, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale - Sold: Bellows and 150mm bellows lens Peter Zack Sold Items 6 02-25-2010 05:04 PM
Good macros in the 90-150mm range? macdaddy Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 12 03-25-2009 03:12 PM
100mm range Macro lenses - Cant Decide! PentaxScott Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 37 01-11-2009 10:53 AM
100mm F4 Macro bellows lens keithlester Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 7 02-08-2007 08:30 AM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:01 PM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]