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08-29-2008, 07:00 PM   #1
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Which Lens for Bellows Use

So, I'll be using a screwmount variety auto-bellows with my K10d. The screwmount lenses I have are SuperTakumar 50/1.4, 135/3.5 and a 28/3.5 that needs work (it's stuck wide open). Which lens would you recommend using with the bellows and why?

08-29-2008, 07:05 PM   #2
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Well, I just got two 50mm f1.4 and a 55mm Takumars and hope to test them tomorrow. With my 28mm Takumar, the distance between the lens and subject is really small, so I wouldn't recommend it unless you have perfect control of the surroundings and a tripod. That being said, it makes for great images at just a 1:1 or so ratio, here's one of the first I took with the 28mm and bellows:



Will post test shots with the 50 and 55 takumars tomorrow.
08-29-2008, 07:11 PM   #3
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I can second the opinion that the 28mm does not work real well on the bellows. I was told that a wide angle will yield greater magnification, but the working distance is just too, too, close.

The traditional focal length for a bellows lens is 100mm. I use a Pentax-M 50/1.7 for most work.

Steve
08-29-2008, 08:16 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by geauxpez Quote
So, I'll be using a screwmount variety auto-bellows with my K10d. The screwmount lenses I have are SuperTakumar 50/1.4, 135/3.5 and a 28/3.5 that needs work (it's stuck wide open). Which lens would you recommend using with the bellows and why?
I'd recommend the 100mm Bellows lens myself.
This was shot with the LX on Kodachrome, bellows 100mm lens and AF80 ringlight.
Hoya blossoms are ~1/3 inch.


Last edited by Wheatfield; 02-05-2011 at 08:44 PM.
08-29-2008, 09:09 PM   #5
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The bellows (if like mine) only racks in to about 30~35mm extension at the smallest, so a 28mm lens would already put you over 1:1 and in most cases the extreme short distance between lens and subject would mean the protruding rails will be in your way anyway.




Pentax K20D
SMC Takumar 50/1.4




Pentax K20D
S-M-C Takumar 105/2.8




Pentax K20D
S-M-C Takumar 35/3.5




Pentax K20D
S-M-C Takumar 105/2.8


All of the above were handheld, by the way.

Use the mm scale on the bellows rail to figure out your extension, add it to the focal length, and adjust SR accordingly. For example: 105mm lens plus 45mm extension, set SR for 150mm. Works like a charm.

EDIT: Though it is probably obvious, I should have mentioned that all the shots were taken with a bellows unit.

Last edited by Mike Cash; 08-30-2008 at 06:26 AM.
08-29-2008, 09:23 PM   #6
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I've got a 50mm f4 Super Takumar Macro as well it turns out, love surprises in the mail

Be interesting to compare it with the regular 50mm f1.4 Takumar. I'll report back after I get some sleep.
08-30-2008, 04:38 AM   #7
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I'd love to see how the 50/1.4 compares to the 50macro. T ook some experimental photos using a questionable Spotmatic and the 135 and was pleasantly surprised with the results. Once I figure out how to post here, I will. (c:
08-30-2008, 05:36 PM   #8
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50 1.4 will work but is not recommended for flat subjects as at close focus will not offer a flat field of view - says so in the manual. Will be soft on the edges - good for flowers. 50 1.7 does not have that problem - neither does the 50mm f4 macro. Just FWIW.

08-30-2008, 07:33 PM   #9
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Didn't get a chance to do any meaningful comparisons today as it was a little too breezy on my balcony, will try again tomorrow morning. I did get this one in with my Takumar 50mm f1.4, 1/750th of a second @ f1.4 -- pretty indistinct at 1:1 magnification though:Name:  imgp4955-50mm-f1.4.jpg
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08-30-2008, 09:41 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jamonation Quote
Didn't get a chance to do any meaningful comparisons today as it was a little too breezy on my balcony...
May I suggest that cutting your flowers, taking them inside, and putting them in a vase will allow you to avoid the wind.

Steve
08-30-2008, 10:15 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by geauxpez Quote
So, I'll be using a screwmount variety auto-bellows with my K10d. The screwmount lenses I have are SuperTakumar 50/1.4, 135/3.5 and a 28/3.5 that needs work (it's stuck wide open). Which lens would you recommend using with the bellows and why?
If that's a SMC 28, you know there's a tiny pin that gets pushed in when you mount the lens... after which you can move the A/M switch and the lens will stop down?

I'm mentioning this just in case, as I thought one of my 50's was stuck wide open for months till I realized...
08-30-2008, 11:16 PM   #12
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I've tried a bellows with both a 35mm f2.0, and a 50mm f1.4 discovering that I'm closer to the plant than I'd like to be.

I've also tried a 200mm f2.8, and a 300mm f4, discovering that I'm further away from the plant than I like.

I haven't tried it yet, but I think that a 135mm would be just about right for my style of shooting.
08-31-2008, 02:17 AM   #13
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The 105/2.8 is a great lens for macro, Stu. The 135s aren't bad either.
08-31-2008, 04:17 AM   #14
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Nesster -- yeah, I've played with the pin and the auto/manual switch. I can get my other lenses to stop down, but no the 28. It was just shipped off to Eric with a Spotmatic that needs CLA yesterday.

Laker -- my experience thus far is probably similar to yours...the wider lenses just have me too close. I think the 135 would probably work well, or perhaps the 100/f4 macro.
08-31-2008, 01:40 PM   #15
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comparisons

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
May I suggest that cutting your flowers, taking them inside, and putting them in a vase will allow you to avoid the wind.
They're so much nicer growing outside on my balcony and going to seed -- need a crop for next year. I cut off some dead blooms and did a few comparisons though.

First impressions, the 50mm f1.4 and 50mm Super Macro are different focal lengths, regardless of what the lens says. Not sure if the macro is just a smaller field or what, but it made everything a little larger than the regular 50mm.

All lenses were mounted to my K10D and Asahi Pentax Bellows at a distance of 50mm and 55mm respectively depending on the lens' focal length, giving each a 1:1 ratio. The tripod and 3way mount were all locked but there's some play regardless, and the bellows rotates a little when changing lenses, so excuse the slight differences in the albeit not so interesting or well composed subject and framing.

Subjectively, the 55mm is my favourite, in terms of quality and slightly easier focusing since the distance to the subject is a little larger. Could be the SMC coating on it versus the non-smc 50mm lenses too.

50mm f4


50mm f8


50mm f11


50mm f16


50mm macro f4


50mm macro f8


50mm macro f11


50mm macro f16


55mm f4


55mm f8


55mm f11


55mm f16


Bonus image: 50mm f1.4


All the images are available mostly full size via Takumar 50-55mm Macros -- Test | jamon.ca There are 2 there of the 55mm at 2:1 magnification, but this post is long enough already.
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