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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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11-06-2008, 01:16 PM   #61
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QuoteOriginally posted by Urmas R. Quote
Olympus produced a while ago (film days) something called OM Telescopic Auto Tube 65-116.
I actually use the Olympus Telescopic tube on my Pentax. An adapter is easy enough to build although you forgo open aperture metering.

Pentax did produce the "Helicoid Extension Tube K"

cheers

Greg

11-07-2008, 11:00 AM   #62
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Deal Extreme has a K mount bellows for $45.88

DealExtreme: $45.88 LVSHI Camera Macro Bellow for Pentax (0.74X~2.86X)
11-08-2008, 03:04 AM   #63
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Thanks Greg,

For a while I have been thinking about getting a cheap, but well built old zoom lens, remove all the optics and put a coupling ring in front to attach any lens I wish. I think it should work as a telescopic extension tube, or what to you think? I wonder how would the metering work?

Urmas
11-08-2008, 06:09 AM   #64
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Better yet, get one of those Vivitar PKA macro extention 2X TC's and take the glass out. I think there was even a Paragor 3x version. So you'd have a variable extension tube with metering.

like this unit: PentaxForums.com Third-Party Pentax Lens Review Database - 2X Macro-Focusing Teleconvertor

11-08-2008, 06:16 AM   #65
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All manual verion eBay

This is the same as the PKM Vivitar. going dirt cheap. At this price well worth tearing apart.

2X Macro Focusing Teleconverter - Ricoh / Pentax PK EXC - eBay (item 280281412431 end time Nov-08-08 10:00:00 PST)
11-08-2008, 05:52 PM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by Urmas R. Quote
Thanks Greg,

I think it should work as a telescopic extension tube, or what to you think? I wonder how would the metering work?

Urmas
Metering would be stop down and, while I have no problem with that on my *istd (I've used it as a "digital back" for a box brownie and it metered fine) apparently it may be problematical for K series cameras (not sure about this)

Anyway I think Peter has come up with a good alternative.

cheers

Greg
01-28-2009, 06:03 PM   #67
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A macro tutorial with bellows

New here but was reading this and had to mention this
When using my old Miranda setup I used a reverse ring adapter (52mm in this case.) which went right onto the body of the camera and you could take any 52 mm filter size lens and mount it backwards. Wa La The result was a manual macro lens with great quality.
Just thought I'd mention it. I would bet that the same setup is available for the K mount body.
Dusty
01-28-2009, 07:05 PM   #68
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Dusty, You are right. With Pentax there is a reverse ring available at various resellers. The one I have is K mount on one side and 49mm filter thread on the other. There are quite a few possible lenses that can be used on a 49mm mount. Perfect for a 50mm lens reversed.

01-29-2009, 01:08 PM   #69
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I'd like to contribute to this thread.

This is overedited (stacked few layer copies of raw images and played with the levels and sharpened) test picture but I don't have a better one at the moment. I'll post some better ones tomorrow, haven't got the time to process my macro photos yet.

Frost on a balcony glass shot with K200D + 144mm off-brand bellows (from ebay ~30$) + 50mm Asahi smc m f/1.4
horsthelmut.kuvat.fi - random

And one unedited: horsthelmut.kuvat.fi - random
Cilck the pic if you want to see the full picture, interesting details.
Both taken without tripod as it didn't fit into the balcony...

Pictures cover about 3x4cm area. EDIT: I measured the area with that setting and it is only about 15mm wide. With 28mm lens and bellows extended to the maximum picture covers 5x3mm but that's not usable since the subject has to be too close, no way of lighting anything other than transparent objects.

Last edited by Horst-Helmut; 02-03-2009 at 01:12 AM. Reason: Scale corrections
02-03-2009, 01:15 AM   #70
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Better late than never, here are some shots of frost:

horsthelmut.kuvat.fi - random
horsthelmut.kuvat.fi - random
horsthelmut.kuvat.fi - random

Like it has been said, Bellows are fun.
02-03-2009, 09:48 AM   #71
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Those frost shots are really good. Nice work with the bellows. You should post them on the Picture of the week thread so everyone can see them.
02-21-2009, 02:37 AM   #72
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Belows-K10D problem

Hi everybody,
I have been using a Sigma 105 F2.8 Macro for a while and getting some interesting shoots. Trying to get a bit closer I got on ebay a
Lens Macro Fold Bellows for Pentax K-PK (D)SLR Camera . Weis-Link made.
I mounted on my K10D and attached the macro lens. The camera shows a F-- error in the outside and inside screen of the camera and shutter doesnīt respond. Also try the Pentax 18-55 on with the same results.
Anybody have an idea of what could go wrong?
Thanks in advance
Xavier
02-21-2009, 04:44 AM   #73
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Xavier. The setup is fine but as you said the bellows is PK. So that means it can not transmit any lens data to the camera body. So the camera has no idea that there is even anything mounted. So the aperture display shows F---. That's normal. Put the camera in Manual mode and set up the shot with the lens wide open. The 18-55 or any other DA lens is no good for this because there is no aperture ring and only works wide open.
Once the shot is composed and focused, stop the lens down and set the exposure, then take the shot.

The shutter doesn't respond because you have the camera in Auto Focus mode. Change it to Manual with the switch on the side of the body. What's happening is, the camera is looking for the AF sensors to tell it that the shot is in focus before releasing the shutter. A bellows (or extension tubes) drops the available light to the point that there isn't enough light or contrast coming in to allow the sensors to 'see' anything. Pentax's AF system works up to about f8 effectively, on a manual lens setup.

You might find this helpful which is in 3 parts when the series is complete:
Shooting Macros Section 1 - Equipment Enticing the Light




.
02-21-2009, 11:54 AM   #74
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Belows and K10 problems

Hi Peter,
So that is why! Really appreciate your input. I will come back to you with some feed back.
It is great to have professionals eager to give up their experience to new comers.
Thanks again
Xavier
02-21-2009, 12:14 PM - 1 Like   #75
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Hi everybody here my insect macro mania. I will appreciate constructive opinions.
Enjoy !.
What we give and offer is for us for ever. What we keep for for us and donīt share gets lost for ever.
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