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07-31-2017, 10:17 PM - 8 Likes   #1
K David's Avatar

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Tilt-shift-swing Macro bellows from OTS parts

So I made a tilt-shift-swing macro bellows over the weekend with commercially available over the shelf (COTS) components. The nice thing about it being COTS is that it's replaceable or upgradeable to add more movements. Because 2.5" of movements may not be enough...)

Anyway, in addition to being for macros, I built it to do pictorial photography and focal-place-control portraits with simple lenses. I gave it a shot today with a plano-convex lens that creates some pretty glowy images. To control that, I threw on a microscope aperture that stops down to 1mm, which allowed me to get the lens pretty sharp, but there was too much of a breeze for any of the sharp photos not to have motion blur. Anyway, there's something about a single piece of uncoated glass that conveys some amazing color.

Here are photos of the rig and some of the pictorial photo samples I took today.

Yes, that is a lens made of step-up and step-down rings mis-fitted onto an M42 aperture and that M42 aperture is on a PK adapter. Yeah, that actually does work pretty well.

Looking through the lens (the glass is in front of the aperture) at the aperture. It would be possible to mount some lenses behind the aperture, but I digress.

I thought that the tubular bellows would vignette badly and limit movement, but the movements have to be FAR more extreme than in useful for the lenses I've tested (the single-element 100mm lens and the Pentax-D FA 100mm macro) to vignette. On APS-C, this would likely not vignette at all with most lenses.

Here you can see the image vignetting. That's at about 90% of the movement capacity on the front standard.
Top view of the above shot. This is far more movement than is healthy for anythign except an advanced yogi.

Side view of the above two shots.

Super-glowy single-element lens pictorial photo, no movement, wide open.

Same shot with some tilt and swing applied.

Swung way out to the edge of the image circle with some bellows vignetting.

Stopped down a bit and shifted to maximum camera movement.

Tilted and shifted to capture the very edge of the image circle. At this magnification, the lens covers an area about the size of an LF negative.

If there's interest, I'll post a parts list. All in, this cost around $220 and the parts came from three sources -- Servo City and two eBay sellers. The bellows needed a slight mod so that the 6-32 screws could fit through it (the holes in the bellows were sized for 4-32 screws.) So after drilling the mounting holes out to 7/16 (I think), the screws fit well. The base COULD be made smaller but I over-sized the width for stability and weight to counter balance the K-1's weight. I wouldn't suggest going much narrower. Also, focus is a bit odd since the tripod mount is on the front standard, but I got used to it in a couple of re-focuses. The only technical limitation with this design is that the camera is mounted in portrait orientation. To rectify that, the bellows would need a second tripod mount where the affixing screw is right now. In my mind, portrait orientation isn't the end of the world as the means to achieve portrait orientation with this design would be exceedingly cumbersome.

08-01-2017, 01:15 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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You, sir, are crazy. In a very good way!
08-01-2017, 02:43 AM - 1 Like   #3
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This is very cool!
08-01-2017, 04:07 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Unbelievable rig May I ask for pictures taken with D-FA 100mm Macro, please?

08-01-2017, 04:48 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Great work, I love those shots.
08-01-2017, 07:31 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Your genius is showng!!
08-01-2017, 09:10 AM   #7
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Very nicely done. Of course you can always pick up a tilt-shift bellows. The one to get is the Hama T2/Spiratone/Kenlock which has the same movements as a large format view camera. I have the Minolta Auto Bellows III and the movement is limited to only one axis on the front standard. Meaning you have to rotate the entire bellows if you want movement on the other axis/plane. Shift is limited to about 1/2 inch but I can get up to 45 degrees on the tilt. With the older 100mm Macro bellows lens I do not get vignetting or cutoff on APS-C using a glassless Minolta to K-mount adapter. For full-frame one would need use the later model 100mm Bellows lens (cone shaped design) which has a larger image circle to cover the tilt/shift.

You can read about the Kenlock bellows here:

Tilt-shift bellows
08-01-2017, 04:28 PM   #8
K David's Avatar

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QuoteOriginally posted by pentageek Quote
May I ask for pictures taken with D-FA 100mm Macro, please?
I will take some with it and some others this weekend. I did a live view-only test with the DFA.

12-29-2017, 11:39 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by K David Quote
If there's interest, I'll post a parts list.
I know I'm late to the party, but a parts list would be great. I don't have access to metal-working or woodworking equipment, so something modular out of pre-existing bits is great.

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