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03-02-2024, 11:31 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Adapted Nikkor 50mm f/2.8 Enlarger Lens

Used an M42-PK helicoid and an M39 - M42 ring. Seems it will be quite good for macro, once I figure out the lighting.

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03-02-2024, 11:40 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Enlarger lenses make really good macro lenses since they are pretty much flat field macro lenses.
One does need some way of focusing them though. A bellows is an ideal solution, a helicoid extension tube combined with fixed tubes can be workable.
03-02-2024, 12:42 PM - 1 Like   #3
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the Nikkor EL 50 is a great lens
In the helicoid or bellows is brilliant
03-02-2024, 04:17 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jawats Quote
Used an M42-PK helicoid and an M39 - M42 ring. Seems it will be quite good for macro, once I figure out the lighting.
The El-Nikkor 50mm F2.8 is regarded as one of the better enlarger lens for macro use. You should have a lot of fun with it. Its good for up to 4X magnification.

Allan Walls has a good video on its use over on his informative YouTube channel - you might want to check it out.



03-03-2024, 12:53 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Enlarger lenses make really good macro lenses since they are pretty much flat field macro lenses.
One does need some way of focusing them though. A bellows is an ideal solution, a helicoid extension tube combined with fixed tubes can be workable.
I'll try this with my extension tubes.

---------- Post added 03-03-24 at 12:55 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by titrisol Quote
the Nikkor EL 50 is a great lens
In the helicoid or bellows is brilliant
Fantastic! I look forward to trying it out on both.

---------- Post added 03-03-24 at 12:56 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by fwwidall Quote
The El-Nikkor 50mm F2.8 is regarded as one of the better enlarger lens for macro use. You should have a lot of fun with it. Its good for up to 4X magnification.

Allan Walls has a good video on its use over on his informative YouTube channel - you might want to check it out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4V0piuv_-70
Thank you for that link!
03-03-2024, 01:21 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jawats Quote
I'll try this with my extension tubes.

---------- Post added 03-03-24 at 12:55 PM ----------



Fantastic! I look forward to trying it out on both.

---------- Post added 03-03-24 at 12:56 PM ----------



Thank you for that link!
I use a variety of enlarging lenses on a bellows for macro/ micro photography. At present I have Nikkor lenses in 50mm, 63mm, 80mm and 105mm as well as Fuji 50mm and 80mm lenses. All of them are superb performers.
They can often be acquired for next to nothing at swap meets or second hand camera counters since darkroom work has waned so much over the past couple of decades.

My own journey with this very interesting genre of photography started with close up lenses. I also tried reversing rings that mounted the lens directly on the camera and then as I started getting more glass rings that would mount one lens reversed on another one.
Along the way I bought extension tubes and one day I found a Pentax helicoid tube in a dump bin at my local pusher's store.

The advantage of the ability to move the lens in very small increments compared to the rather gross extensions available in extension tubes cannot be overstated, and that helicoid tube ended up pushing me away from it and I started collecting bellows.

Is the plural of bellows bellows, more bellows, belleese or something else? These are the kind of important questions that keep me awake at night.

Anyway, at last count I have 4 of the things.

Also, if you aren't using a bellows, a macro focusing rail is a really handy thing to have as it allows the camera to be moved in very small increments. A bellows will have this built in.

Last edited by Wheatfield; 03-03-2024 at 03:22 PM.
03-03-2024, 03:44 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I use a variety of enlarging lenses on a bellows for macro/ micro photography. At present I have Nikkor lenses in 50mm, 63mm, 80mm and 105mm as well as Fuji 50mm and 80mm lenses. All of them are superb performers.
They can often be acquired for next to nothing at swap meets or second hand camera counters since darkroom work has waned so much over the past couple of decades.

My own journey with this very interesting genre of photography started with close up lenses. I also tried reversing rings that mounted the lens directly on the camera and then as I started getting more glass rings that would mount one lens reversed on another one.
Along the way I bought extension tubes and one day I found a Pentax helicoid tube in a dump bin at my local pusher's store.

The advantage of the ability to move the lens in very small increments compared to the rather gross extensions available in extension tubes cannot be overstated, and that helicoid tube ended up pushing me away from it and I started collecting bellows.

Is the plural of bellows bellows, more bellows, belleese or something else? These are the kind of important questions that keep me awake at night.

Anyway, at last count I have 4 of the things.

Also, if you aren't using a bellows, a macro focusing rail is a really handy thing to have as it allows the camera to be moved in very small increments. A bellows will have this built in.
Excellent! I have an old set of Vivitar bellows than I use with my K-1, and will try it with this for macro. Thank you!

03-03-2024, 04:01 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jawats Quote
Excellent! I have an old set of Vivitar bellows than I use with my K-1, and will try it with this for macro. Thank you!
You are welcome.
FWIW, the photo below was shot with the K1 and a Fuji 80mm enlarging lens. This is a focus stack, a technique I find invaluable for close focus work as it allows the lens to be at it's best aperture rather than having to stop down into the diffraction zone for DOF. There are a few soft areas because I didn't do enough exposures.
The flowers are about 7mm across

03-03-2024, 04:18 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
You are welcome.
FWIW, the photo below was shot with the K1 and a Fuji 80mm enlarging lens. This is a focus stack, a technique I find invaluable for close focus work as it allows the lens to be at it's best aperture rather than having to stop down into the diffraction zone for DOF. There are a few soft areas because I didn't do enough exposures.
The flowers are about 7mm across
I have a couple other enlarger lenses...one Wollensak and...something else (I can't locate in my storage right now). One is 135mm.
03-03-2024, 06:33 PM - 1 Like   #10
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I think you'll find that your Nikkor 50mm is going to do a lot of what you want. One of the things I noticed with older enlarger lenses made for large format (your 135 would have been made for 4x5) is that sometimes they weren't as good as the lenses made for smaller formats because they were never worked all that hard.
But don't let this stop you from trying!!!
One of my favourite lenses of all time is an old 300mm large format barrel lens that couldn't produce a very sharp image but was perfect for pictures that involved naked ladies.
This is the nice thing about lenses. Every one of them has a subject. It's up to us to find what it's good at doing.
03-08-2024, 04:40 PM - 1 Like   #11
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The less common 63mm EL-Nikkor is excellent and often used for macro work.

I tried the 63mm f/2.8 EL-Nikkor lens and it soon became my standard for making 5x7 and 8x10 prints from 35mm negatives.
IMO the slightly longer focal length allows for a more comfortable working height of the enlarger head in the normal range.

Chris

Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 03-10-2024 at 10:04 AM.
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