Author Topic: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm  (Read 2179 times)

the solitaire

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 613
When I spend too much time in the car, I start thinking about things like photography.

One of these thoughts went a bit like this:

I really like the 55mm f3,5 micro Nikkor, but one of the main limiting factors for me is the short focal length.
Ideally I'd use a micro lens with a focal length between 100 and 150mm.

Of course there are plenty of very usable 105mm micro Nikkors doing just that but....

Could there be a way to do something less usual and for instance get similar good results from a 135mm f5,6 EL Nikkor on a bellows?
Buddy

Bill De Jager

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 455
Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2020, 02:07:08 »
Enlarging lenses can be a cheap way to get macro capability, but on the other hand a used 105mm Ai/AIS macro may not cost much more depending on which enlarging lens you're comparing it to.  For enlarging lenses, don't forget the additional cost for a BR2A reverse mounting adapter if you're using a Nikon bellows.

Enlarging lenses are optimized for flat-field reproduction and for operating at a magnification range you're use them with in an enlarger.  They're not optimized for focus - to - out-of-focus transitions or bokeh.  On the other hand, if you're going to focus stack then they might be a reasonable choice, though focus stacking will need to be manual.

Here's an example with the El-Nikkor 135mm f/5.6.  The lens was reverse mounted to better approximate the correct magnification range.  The working distance was wonderful, but the aesthetics are not as good as other lenses I've recently been using to photograph these flowers. 


El-Nikkor 135mm
by Bill de Jager, on Flickr

the solitaire

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 613
Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2020, 21:35:29 »
Thank you for the reply Bill.

Thing is, I do shoot quite  afew close-ups. Not exactly 1:1 magnification. More like 1:2 to 1:4.

I find the 105mm a bit short. The field of view is too wide still, but the 200 is too long by quite a margin. Something in between would be ideal, like 135mm.

Since I did not find lenses with a sharpness and contrast like the 55mm micro Nikkor or 60mm micro Nikkor and the focal length providing the desired field of view, I'm exploring options really.

Something else that appeals going that route is that I can add scheimpflug corrections when using a DIY bellows setup.

Another lens I have been thinking about is the 135mm f3,5 Nikkor-Q for the Bronica S2, but I have no clue on how that lens would perform on the D800. That lens owuld also require building a bellows to fit it on an F mount
Buddy

Birna Rørslett

  • Global Moderator
  • **
  • Posts: 2560
  • A lesser fierce bear of the North
Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2020, 22:22:25 »
The venerable Bellows-Nikkor 135mm f/4 Q springs to mind. Put it on a field-capable short Novoflex bellows with focusing rail and you are good to go, with magnifications to 1:2 or better depending on what version of lens and what system is attached to the rear of the bellows device. It goes to infinity if you wish to use it for landscapes.

The Bellows 135/4 has a silky-smooth bokeh thanks to the many aperture blades keeping the aperture circular at any setting. Specular highlights are rendered circular.

There are two main versions, the first being the original for the rangefinder Nikon (S-mount), the other basically is the same optics mounted in a long sleeve to allow it to couple directly to the F mount.

The lens is not hard to source on eBay or similar arenas.

Bent Hjarbo

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 1560
  • Hvidovre, Denmark
    • Hjarbos hjemmeside
Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2020, 23:19:46 »
But may be a bit pricey  :)

Birna Rørslett

  • Global Moderator
  • **
  • Posts: 2560
  • A lesser fierce bear of the North
Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2020, 00:22:39 »
I've seen them down to approx. USD 100. I have both RF and F mount versions and the RF was the cheapest :).

The optics of the 135/3.5 Nikkor-Q is similar, but not identical. The objective itself can be extracted from the lens casing and put on a bellows.

Getting a Sigma 150/2.8 is of course the easy way out if the focal range 135-150mm is of main interest. It will be much easier to use in the field than any device based upon bellows. Image quality should surpass the old bellows solutions as well.

Thomas Stellwag

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 875
Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2020, 00:54:55 »
the Apo Rodagon  5.6   150mm  might be as well a candidate for you
I even used a f9 apo from them and results were good on bellows
there are so many good and not expensive lenses if you search for Schneider and Rodenstock enlarger series
Thomas Stellwag

Bill De Jager

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 455
Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2020, 02:18:40 »
I love my Sigma 180/2.8 macro, but it wasn't cheap even used.  Great image quality and ergonomics, though.

Frank Fremerey

  • engineering art
  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 11705
  • Bonn, Germany
Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2020, 07:23:48 »
not cheap although used only and with a bit of luck you might find the Apo Macro ED large format series of Nikkors interesting. I love my 5.6/120 and have heared great things about the 210mm too
You are out there. You and your camera. You can shoot or not shoot as you please. Discover the world, Your world. Show it to us. Or we might never see it.

Me: https://youpic.com/photographer/frankfremerey/


Bent Hjarbo

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 1560
  • Hvidovre, Denmark
    • Hjarbos hjemmeside
Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2020, 10:22:12 »
Interesting shop :)

Fons Baerken

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 7193
    • https://www.flickr.com/photos/fonsbaerken/
Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2020, 11:51:14 »
Yes, Maarten Kleijwegt, the owner, great service in his shop.

Birna Rørslett

  • Global Moderator
  • **
  • Posts: 2560
  • A lesser fierce bear of the North
Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2020, 12:40:50 »
We, ie. the NG Crew, have been to his shop many times. Indeed a fascinating place and I usually exit the premises with addition(s) to my lens arsenal!! Last time I got a superb Panagor 21mm f/4 which, as I had hoped, turned out to be a great UV lens.

The advertised Bellows-Nikkor is the less rare of the two, viz. the RF version, complete with the dedicated rare adapter for RF-F. I'd say the asking price is very acceptable for a nice copy of this kit.

Bent Hjarbo

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 1560
  • Hvidovre, Denmark
    • Hjarbos hjemmeside
Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2020, 15:36:55 »
Yes eBay prices seem much higher.

Birna Rørslett

  • Global Moderator
  • **
  • Posts: 2560
  • A lesser fierce bear of the North
Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2020, 19:10:31 »
Yes eBay prices seem much higher.

Always wondered who the potential buyers of these overpriced items are ... and the advertising hooks are often pretty overinflated as well. For example, using "ultra rare" designation of a lens that exists in the thousands of samples.