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A macro tutorial with bellows
Posted By: Peter Zack, 04-07-2008, 09:03 AM

Bored yesterday (weathers getting nicer here but everything is brown and muddy). So I dug out the bellows with the intention of selling the kit. Started to take some sample shots to show the magnifications of the lenses. Might keep this setup which consists of a 150mm M42 bellows, Helios 58mm, Focal 35mm, a Tele Lentar 105mm f2.8 (which requires a T- mount) and an Accura Anastigmat f4.5, 150mm. The 105 on the bellows has a collar that allows a pair of small flashes to be mounted, made by Spiratone. The 105 and 150mm are dedicated macro lenses with a ton of blades which keeps the highlights pretty smooth. Only issue with these lenses can be some CA if you really pixel peep. It just depends on the subject.

Kit:


150 with full bellows extension


150 again full bellows


58mm with full extension


105mm with full bellows extension. 100% crop of the last picture. Holds up pretty well.


105mm with full extension.


So I thought some of you that are interested in macro shooting might find this interesting. It's not that expensive to do, as all these lenses sell at reasonable prices. The Helios 58mm was $15.00 right here on the forums. The bellows was less than $50 I think. All the different lengths give a number of options. It can be hand held quite easily (thanks t SR) as well but best with a tripod. The 150mm is the best lens for this IMO. It gives about 15-16 inches of working distance and that lets lots of light around the subject. Plus you don't scare off the bugs as easily.

I didn't shoot the 35mm Focal because that is such a close focus lens at about 2x the magnification of the 58mm on a bellows at 150mm. (around 4.28x life sized). But for super close up shooting the shorter lens gets you right there. To calculate the magnification, just divide the extension by the focal length of the lens. So the 150mm here will give a 1:1. The 58mm will give 2.58 times life sized. You have to use stop down metering and I find about 3 stops of underexposure from the meter reading seems to be about right. The 105 has oil on the blades but this is one case where it doesn't matter. You focus wide open and then stop down manually to meter the shot and fire away.

Anyone having any questions, I'd be happy to respond. Others should add macro thoughts/shots here as well.

Last edited by Peter Zack; 04-16-2008 at 06:23 AM.
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04-16-2008, 07:13 AM   #31
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thank you very much.

04-16-2008, 09:06 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
this thread has prompted me to seek out a bellows, this is really cool. Ive toyed with the idea before and I'm still on the verge of purchasing the DA 35mm macro ltd but getting a good cheap bellows seems like it would be really fun. Ive noticed that the number of K mount bellows available is far less than the m42 but should I seek out a K? Ive come across 3 sets two m42 and an Auto bellows M obviously K mount and Im leaning towards that but is it worth the extra price? I already own a pentax m42 to K adapter so mounting the bellows isn't a problem. any suggestions?
The M42 bellows are much cheaper then K-mount. The advantage of the K-mount is that you can easily mount your lenses. K-mount to M42 adapters are not available, so mounting K-mount lenses on M42 bellows is a problem. The best bellows have a built-in focusing rail, so that after you determine the magnification you can easily move the entire assembly on the tripod to focus. I have a nice Minolta bellows, which I converted to K-mount at the camera end. I removed the Minolta bayonet and glued an M42 adapter on with Gorilla glue. I don't think that it will ever come off. The lens end still uses cheap Minolta manual lenes. It works great, but has no focusing rail.

Dave

Last edited by Big Dave; 08-10-2008 at 03:44 PM.
04-16-2008, 07:15 PM   #33
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I missed this the first time around but thansk for the lessons and the photos to show the setup. i was looking for some thing like this.
04-17-2008, 04:21 AM   #34
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Steve, You use the Minolta lens reversed? Is that some sort of TC or extension tube on the front of the bellows betwween the lens and the bellows?

04-17-2008, 09:16 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Steve, You use the Minolta lens reversed? Is that some sort of TC or extension tube on the front of the bellows betwween the lens and the bellows?
Hi Peter,
Steve?
The extention tube between the reversed 50mm lens came with a Minolta macro lens. I got the bellows, reverse ring and extention tube off feabay in a package deal. I had the 50mm 1.7 from a Craigeslist deal. I can fill the fram with the words "in god we trust" on a US dime. It works well and was very inexpensive. The tube gives me a little extra magnification. I actually prefere my Pentax bellows with the 100mm, but I dont have a reverse ring for it.

Dave
04-17-2008, 09:23 AM   #36
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opps, Sorry Dave. typo. You must use a transparent Dime to shine some light through!
Cool idea.
04-17-2008, 01:36 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
opps, Sorry Dave. typo. You must use a transparent Dime to shine some light through!
Cool idea.
Steve uses a Pentax lens reversed on his bellows sometimes too. Works better for flat subjects.
04-17-2008, 08:37 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
opps, Sorry Dave. typo. You must use a transparent Dime to shine some light through!
Cool idea.
Peter,
Here is a FF shot of the words on the dime

Dave


Last edited by Big Dave; 08-10-2008 at 03:44 PM.
04-20-2008, 11:06 AM   #39
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well I purchased a bellows. a pentax auto bellows M it came with an M 50mm 1.7 the only thing missing is the double cable release but I got all of this for just shy of $64.00 with shipping just waiting for it to arrive. what do y'all think, good deal? I think so since the lens alone is worth more than that. Ill see what shape the lens is in when I get it but I'm a sucker for having a complete set so having the original boxes and manuals is really cool to me.

Asahi Pentax Lens Auto Bellows Slide Copier M Set - eBay (item 190214436361 end time Apr-20-08 06:02:02 PDT)
04-20-2008, 12:34 PM   #40
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séamuis, that's a sweet deal. FYI I had a slide copier just like the one you ordered with this kit and sold it just a few weeks ago for $28.50 plus shipping on Ebay. So broken down you culd actually make money on this setup if you don't like the results. You don't need the cable release, that was for film cameras. Just focus the lens wide open and stop it down to get the exposure and take the shot.

Should work great. That's a perfect lens for this setup. If you are really happy with it, then look for a cheap, K Mount 135mm to give you greater working distance. I see them sell for $20-30 all the time, (Ricoh, Chinon, Sears, JC Penny etc).
04-20-2008, 12:42 PM   #41
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I thought it was. I actually already own an M 50m 1.7 as well as an A so I will probably turn around sell this M 50mm. as for the cable release I know its useless for digital and I already have several asahi pentax cable releases for my film cameras, I just really like having a complete set.
04-25-2008, 09:20 AM   #42
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séamuis, once you sell the lens, you will probably end up paying around $20.00 or maybe less. Pretty good for an excellent Macro setup. I've seen the cable realeases around a fair amount. I'm sure you can 'complete the set' over the next few months. Maybe post a WTB
04-25-2008, 12:05 PM   #43
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thanks, I just might do that.
05-15-2008, 01:22 PM   #44
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séamuis, I just thought I'd give this thread a bump for anyone new and ask if you got your bellows yet? Have you tried it out?
05-15-2008, 01:45 PM   #45
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Just a short post to say thanks for this thread. It was very helpful to me in my macro endeavors. I purchased a bellows and focusing rail from ebay and they arrived in great working condition. This coming weekend should be beautiful as we visit the Jasper Arkansas area to do a little hiking and I can break in this new equipment as well.
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