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11-09-2011, 05:06 PM   #16
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Why enlarger lens and bellows

QuoteOriginally posted by Azzy Quote
....
My main priority is , I will be using it to take shots of anything from insects to some random object around the house.
One of the main reasons I specified the el-nikkor 50:2.8 on bellows is that it meets your criteria to get as much magnification with highest IQ possible while essentially all the individual lens solutions are limited to 1:2 or at best 1:1 magnifications "at the highest IQ possible."

Others have touted the Lester A Dine 1:1, saying you won't do better...and this may well be true up to 1:1 mag. I've never seen a head to head comparison with it and the el-nikkor, I do know that the el-nikkor is widely touted for IQ. Here is a test recently posted here by Nass:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/164564-pentax-...ml#post1705105

As I said earlier, I doubt you'll get much higher IQ over a wide magnification range regardless of cost. See Yeatzee's macro work on the forum.

The main shortcoming with getting optimal out-of-the-box use of the bellows/enlarger lens is that the auto-flash system won't work & you'll have to use manual flash - which is also the case for many of the macro lenses posted in this thread.

This can be solved by a few simple DIY approaches.

If you really intend to do some publication quality macro work at magnifications above 1:1 you might as well buy focusing rails, external flash, etc now.

Otherwise, for superb macros intended for electronic display spend your money on a Pentax DA 55-300mm lens and Raynox DCR 150 close-up adapter. It'll do what you want over a huge, zoom-able magnification range & all your automatic functions will work - focus & flash in particular. Later on you can go crazy on more esoteric macro systems if you get bit by the macro bug.


Last edited by newarts; 11-09-2011 at 05:51 PM.
11-09-2011, 05:33 PM   #17
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newarts covered this well. I'll just add a couple points. Most enlarger lenses (ELs) longer than 80mm fitted onto most M42 or PK bellows will focus to infinity and so can be used for general work as well as macros. Longer ELs may need tubes also to reach infinity, and more for macro focus. I find the most usable range for general+macro shooting is 90-160mm.

ELs shorter than 80mm won't reach infinity but are good for much close work. I'll often put a 75mm EL on tubes or bellows for portraiture. This and shorter lenses (50mm and 75mm are fairly common, 35mm a bit less so) can reach considerable magnification on bellows alone, and more on tubes too.

Magnification has the formula M= (TE-FL)/FL where TE is total extension and FL is focal length. So a 50mm EL on a bellows extended to 150mm has (150-50)/50= 2:1 magnification. With a 35mm EL it's (150-35)/35= ~3.3:1.

Bellows allow focus; tubes alone don't. If I want a series of shots from a fixed distance, I'll use tubes for their fixed focus. If I want any kind of flexibility in focus, I'll use bellows and maybe tubes too. Most Els are M39, then M42, then other thread sizes, so I use M42 bellows and various adapters (including cutting holes in cheap M42 body caps).

My Japan-made Bellowscope cost me US$21 shipped; a German-made bellows cost US$30. A used Japan-made PK bellows cost US$35. I mostly use the PK bellows for weird large lenses stuck into PK body caps. And it's good to have many sets of cheap M42 and PK bellows, which are useful for more than macros. Ask me about it and I'll probably spill some secrets.
11-09-2011, 07:06 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
______________________________________________

Besides budget, the basic decision points are 1) How close do you want to work?

preferably not too close since we're dealing with bugs/insects here

and 2) How easy do you want it to be? For easy exposure, especially with flash, you want an A-type or AF lens. For close (studio) work, you want a 35mm or a Fifty; for further (field) work, you want a Hundred or longer.
TTL flash is a must for now, I don't have any experience in strobist at the moment so I'd like to keep it as simple as possible

A great short lens: A50/2.8 macro. A great longer lens: A100/2.8 macro, but that's beyond your budget. Otherwise, a variety of A-type and AF macros in 90-100-105mm are available. Others will push their favorites here; I have no recommendations.

To get more magnification with any of these, add A-type extension. As I mention in the CHEAP MACRO article, the cheapest option is to get a couple (or more) A-type 2X TCs and remove the glass. They will retain complete exposure and aperture control.

Flash is a tricky component and I have no recommendations. Others will push their favorites, which may include customized mounts and light-channels and whatever. I get by with my P-TTL Pentax AF360 and a TTL ringflash.
what kind of ring flash?
______________________________________________

So, my recommendations for your desires and budget.

* For maximum magnification: Any affordable(?) 28-35-50-55mm A-type or AF macro lens; 2-4 deglassed 2x TCs.
* For farther work and lotsa mag: Any affordable 90-100-105mm A-type or AF macro lens; 4-6 deglassed 2x TCs.
* Whatever flash is most recommended. I'm agnostic here. And a tripod. Don't forget the tripod. And a funny hat.

.,.,.,.,.,.,
11-09-2011, 07:09 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
One of the main reasons I specified the el-nikkor 50:2.8 on bellows is that it meets your criteria to get as much magnification with highest IQ possible while essentially all the individual lens solutions are limited to 1:2 or at best 1:1 magnifications "at the highest IQ possible."

Others have touted the Lester A Dine 1:1, saying you won't do better...and this may well be true up to 1:1 mag. I've never seen a head to head comparison with it and the el-nikkor, I do know that the el-nikkor is widely touted for IQ. Here is a test recently posted here by Nass:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/164564-pentax-...ml#post1705105

As I said earlier, I doubt you'll get much higher IQ over a wide magnification range regardless of cost. See Yeatzee's macro work on the forum.

The main shortcoming with getting optimal out-of-the-box use of the bellows/enlarger lens is that the auto-flash system won't work & you'll have to use manual flash - which is also the case for many of the macro lenses posted in this thread.

This can be solved by a few simple DIY approaches.

If you really intend to do some publication quality macro work at magnifications above 1:1 you might as well buy focusing rails, external flash, etc now.

Otherwise, for superb macros intended for electronic display spend your money on a Pentax DA 55-300mm lens and Raynox DCR 150 close-up adapter. It'll do what you want over a huge, zoom-able magnification range & all your automatic functions will work - focus & flash in particular. Later on you can go crazy on more esoteric macro systems if you get bit by the macro bug.
Is there any advantage on putting the raynox diopter on a dedicated macro lens (say 100mm pentax / 105 sigma, etc) over 55-300mm ?
After reading all these I think that's the system I will use to dip my toe into macro photography

11-09-2011, 08:42 PM   #20
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Thanks to everyone for your responses, I think I understand better now.

QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
My Japan-made Bellowscope cost me US$21 shipped; a German-made bellows cost US$30. A used Japan-made PK bellows cost US$35.
I'm assuming you're referring to used equipment on ebay, but those seem like great prices compared to what I've been seeing there.

Right now I have a set of extension tubes on the way that I'm going to play with using my M50 1.7. We'll see how it goes.
11-09-2011, 09:06 PM   #21
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Can I use this TC and still obtain TTL ?
: Super Alinbar Auto Tele Converter 2X for Pentax-K Cameras(New old stock) | eBay
11-09-2011, 09:18 PM   #22
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Wish I had you guys back when I started macro hahaha would have saved me so much work.

To the op: Listen to these guys, they know what's up
11-10-2011, 04:07 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Azzy Quote
what kind of ring flash?
My Phoenix RL-59P cost all of US$40 used. Since it's TTL with fixed power output, a bit of chimping is involved to get the right mix of aperture and distance in X mode.

QuoteOriginally posted by Azzy Quote
Is there any advantage on putting the raynox diopter on a dedicated macro lens (say 100mm pentax / 105 sigma, etc) over 55-300mm ?
That question deserves a test. I mount my +8dpt Raynox DCR-250 on my M42 Vivitar-Komine 90/2.8 macro and extend that fully. Without the Raynox it goes to 1:1. With the Raynox it goes to 2:1. Now I whip out my A-type Tamron 60-300. At 60mm it reaches about 1:1.75 at infinity focus; it vignettes at close focus. At 300mm it reaches about 2.25:1 at infinity focus, and a non-vignetted 3:1 at close focus. My target is a ruler so I can be pretty sure of those numbers.

So the answer is: with a +diopter adapter, you get most magnification with longer lenses at close focus.

QuoteOriginally posted by Enkephalin Quote
I'm assuming you're referring to used equipment on ebay, but those seem like great prices compared to what I've been seeing there.
The Bellowscope came with a Steinheil 105/4.5; together they were US$41 shipped. The other bellows were just straight-up auctions of used gear. With some luck and perseverance, deals are still available. Don't be rushed. My rules for auctions are: 1) Bid low. 2) Bid often. 3) Lose 99% of them. 4) Don't worry, another will appear shortly. These aren't rare. There is no shortage.

QuoteQuote:
Right now I have a set of extension tubes on the way that I'm going to play with using my M50 1.7. We'll see how it goes.
And that's an excellent way to start. The next cheap step would be to get a 49mm-PK mount reversal ring (maybe US$6) and reverse your M50 on cheap PK tubes. You'll have to work close, like under ~45mm, but you'll get very crisp sharp images.

QuoteOriginally posted by Azzy Quote
TTL, yes. PTTL, no. That's an old-style 'auto' TC, with mechanical linkage only, no A-type contacts. It's common as dirt and shouldn't sell for more than US$10. The seller is trolling for suckers.


Last edited by RioRico; 11-10-2011 at 04:14 AM.
11-10-2011, 04:31 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Azzy Quote
Is there any advantage on putting the raynox diopter on a dedicated macro lens (say 100mm pentax / 105 sigma, etc) over 55-300mm ?
After reading all these I think that's the system I will use to dip my toe into macro photography
The Raynox on the 100WR will have a little bit more mag compared to on the 55-300 zoom. Otherwise there's likely little difference.
11-10-2011, 10:02 AM   #25
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I found this about focusing using bellows vs extension tubes and now it's even clearer:

QuoteQuote:
You can set the lens at infinity or any other distance; this doesn't matter much since the lens will move very slightly in comparison to the long length added by the bellows. You will focus by adjusting either the length of the bellows (there are adjustment screws on it for that purpose), or by adjusting the distance to the subject to photograph. Since the latter adjustment is very hard to do properly, bellows are better than extension rings, since those cannot be adjusted in length.
Source: Photography techniques: Macro photography
11-10-2011, 10:41 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
My Phoenix RL-59P cost all of US$40 used. Since it's TTL with fixed power output, a bit of chimping is involved to get the right mix of aperture and distance in X mode.


That question deserves a test. I mount my +8dpt Raynox DCR-250 on my M42 Vivitar-Komine 90/2.8 macro and extend that fully. Without the Raynox it goes to 1:1. With the Raynox it goes to 2:1. Now I whip out my A-type Tamron 60-300. At 60mm it reaches about 1:1.75 at infinity focus; it vignettes at close focus. At 300mm it reaches about 2.25:1 at infinity focus, and a non-vignetted 3:1 at close focus. My target is a ruler so I can be pretty sure of those numbers.

So the answer is: with a +diopter adapter, you get most magnification with longer lenses at close focus.


The Bellowscope came with a Steinheil 105/4.5; together they were US$41 shipped. The other bellows were just straight-up auctions of used gear. With some luck and perseverance, deals are still available. Don't be rushed. My rules for auctions are: 1) Bid low. 2) Bid often. 3) Lose 99% of them. 4) Don't worry, another will appear shortly. These aren't rare. There is no shortage.


And that's an excellent way to start. The next cheap step would be to get a 49mm-PK mount reversal ring (maybe US$6) and reverse your M50 on cheap PK tubes. You'll have to work close, like under ~45mm, but you'll get very crisp sharp images.


TTL, yes. PTTL, no. That's an old-style 'auto' TC, with mechanical linkage only, no A-type contacts. It's common as dirt and shouldn't sell for more than US$10. The seller is trolling for suckers.
After all this I'm really leaning toward getting a 90-100mm macro with a 2x TC instead of the raynox (the working distance on raynox kinda put me off)
But I couldn't find too much info about deglassing TC from your thread.
From some searching on the forum I assume you have to remove the glass components and use it as pretty much a pseudo Extension Tube ?
Or if I put say 2x TC on a 100mm macro it would become 200mm macro with 2:1 mag and same min focusing distance ? Does it affect the amount of light coming in ?
As far as looking for a TC that can provide P TTL support I should find one that has A contact ? i.e : Jessop 2X Auto Teleconverter, Pentax PK-A fit, with case, fits digital | eBay ?

Thank you
11-10-2011, 12:46 PM   #27
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Just get a few macro lenses

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Vivitar S1 Kiron 70~210 3.5 - 1:2.0
Panagor 90 2.8 - 1:1
Vivitar S1 Cosina 28~110 2.8 - 1:2.5

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Vivitar S1 Kiron 105 2.5 - 1:1
Vivitar 55 2.8 - 1:1
Vivitar CF 28 2.8
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11-10-2011, 01:29 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Azzy Quote
After all this I'm really leaning toward getting a 90-100mm macro with a 2x TC instead of the raynox (the working distance on raynox kinda put me off)
With any high-mag work, you're very close, like at 2x the lens system's focal length for 1:1 or greater magnification. If you're at 1:1 with a 100mm lens (no Raynox involved, just extension) your working distance is 200mm from the lens' optical center. [CORRECTED] That's just optics. The advantage of a Raynox or other +dioptre adapter is that you don't lose light. TCs and extension eat light. The light loss with a TC is its power in f-stops: a f/2.8 lens on 1.4x TC becomes f/4, or a 2x TC becomes f/5.6. With extension, you lose M+1 f-stops, so 1:1 eats 2 stops and 3:1 east 4 stops. The Raynox may even transmit a bit more light -- we see a slight gain, maybe in the range of 5-10%. YMMV.

QuoteQuote:
But I couldn't find too much info about deglassing TC from your thread.
From some searching on the forum I assume you have to remove the glass components and use it as pretty much a pseudo Extension Tube ?
Exactly right. We deglass A-type TC's because they cost rather less than A-type tubes. The adventurous tool-user might disassemble an A-type TC, and remove the mounting plates from any bellows (doesn't even have to be PK or M42), and replace those plates with the mount pieces from the TC, and run wires between the contacts. Voila! An A-type bellows! I'll work on that project next time I have US$50 for the parts.

QuoteQuote:
Or if I put say 2x TC on a 100mm macro it would become 200mm macro with 2:1 mag and same min focusing distance ? Does it affect the amount of light coming in ?
#1: For a non-macro lens, yes. For a macro lens, the MFD doubles. A non-reversed lens cannot focus closer than its focal length.

#2: Light is cut by 2 f-stops. So at 100/2.8 lens with MFD=20cm, with a 2x TC, becomes a 200/5.6mm lens with MFD=40cm. <== corrected

QuoteQuote:
As far as looking for a TC that can provide P TTL support I should find one that has A contact ? i.e : Jessop 2X Auto Teleconverter, Pentax PK-A fit, with case, fits digital | eBay ?
Yes, that will do it! And that is a decent price.

Last edited by RioRico; 11-10-2011 at 04:49 PM.
11-10-2011, 02:13 PM   #29
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Your Tamron zoom

QuoteOriginally posted by newarts Quote
You will get bleary-eyed and extremely confused after reading all the options available for low cost, high image quality macros; there are simply too many choices that are darned good......

The end of the spectrum where easy of use is heavily weighed will be a Raynox DCR 150 close-up lens on a long focal length zoom lens.
I see you have a Tamron 70-300mm zoom. If it is an automatic lens then you'll have a hard time beating a Raynox 150 on it for superb macros of natural subjects up to at least 2x. All you need do is clip the raynox onto the lens & shoot; auto-flash will work.

You have said you'd like to use high magnification - be aware that magnifications in excess of 1:1 are very hard to shoot hand-held.

A recurring hint is that you'd like to have a 100mm macro lens... that's fine too - just get a suitable "A" type or autofocus 1:1 lens.
11-10-2011, 02:40 PM   #30
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Typo correction

QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
With any high-mag work, you're very close, like at the lens system's focal length for 1:1 or greater magnification. If you're at 1:1 with a 100mm lens (no Raynox involved, just extension) your working distance is 100mm from the lens' optical center.....
.

At 1:1 mag the working distance is 2X focal length - in this case, 200mm.

QuoteQuote:
We deglass A-type TC's because they cost rather less than A-type tubes.
Be aware that TC's are often only about 20mm thick so a de-glassed TC won't increase the magnification of a long focal length lens by much.

A standard 2X TC behind your Tamron zoom should give about 1:1 magnification.

Finally, the working distance for a Raynox 150 on a 300mm lens focused at infinity (1.4x) isn't bad; about 214mm ~ 8.3" a little more than a 100mm macro lens at 1:1
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