Author Topic: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm  (Read 1687 times)

Bill De Jager

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Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2020, 21:23:44 »
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.

This is one of the interesting lenses I've accumulated and not put to use yet, at least not until today. 

Plum blossoms with Nikkor-Q 13.5cm f/4 by Bill de Jager, on Flickr

The lens was extended to provide roughly 1:1 magnification by using a cobbled-together set of helicoids, an extension tube, and adapters.  This allowed me to avoid using a cumbersome bellows handheld, or hauling out a tripod.  The aperture setting on the lens was f/8.  The image was cropped by about 1/3 due to vignetting from the extension tubes.  As with the previous image I posted, increased saturation and sharpening were applied in modest amounts.

Here's the setup:

Nikkor-Q 13,5 f4 on extension by Bill de Jager, on Flickr

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2020, 01:12:50 »
An impressive rig, for sure there. I think we are to be thankful for the "IBIS" feature of our FF Z bodies :) I must admit in-camera stabilisation is a feature I sometimes miss with the DX bodies such as the Z50. Or my shaky hands exacerbate the problems created by a small, light-weight camera.

I like your plum image as it also nicely illustrates the points I made earlier regarding the pleasant appearance of photos by the 135  Bellows. Not only is the bokeh superb, but the slightly muted pastel-like colours can, judiciously applied, enhance the outcome as well.

Bill De Jager

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Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2020, 01:54:34 »
Thank you, Birna.  It was lot of fun doing this and I was very pleased with the resulting image quality considering the age of the lens.  I very seldom use this amount of magnification and I'd forgotten how little DOF there is even stopped down.  However, focus stacking would not have been possible in this case due to gentle breezes.  There's also the matter that, due to the amount of extension, the effective f-stop was much higher than what was shown on the aperture ring.

Here is a crop showing actual pixels.  I think diffraction may be taking a toll here.


Center Crop of Plum Flower
by Bill de Jager, on Flickr

My wife saw the rig and immediately recognized that I had assembled "camera Legos".  :D  The M42 helicoids I'd purchased a couple of years ago came in handy, but I just remembered that I do in fact have an original Pentax M42 extension ring set I could have used instead of the second helicoid.  Next time.
 

the solitaire

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Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2020, 04:35:49 »
Thank you for the many helpful replies. The Bellows Nikkor 13,5cm f4 looks to be exactly like the thing I am looking for. Thank you Fons for the link as well.
Buddy

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2020, 08:33:25 »
Bill, f/8 at approx. 1:1 translates to an effective aperture around f/16. Thus, as you indicated, dipping into diffraction territory. However, focus stacking with a lens set to f/5.6, or using a flash, might produced sharper images. Post-processing sharpening might also improve results.

I think this lens will do even better if the scale gets closer to 1:5 - 1:10. The Micro-Nikkor 55/3.5 had a similar optimisation.

the solitaire

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Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2020, 16:12:20 »
The 135 f4 bellows Nikkor is no longer on the website.
The reason:

Hello Herr Buddy Jonkers,

Thanks for the purchase. The set is still available for you.
Total can be banked to account as specified below.
Parcels are shipped weekly on thursdays with FedEx. Tracking info
follows automatically by email,

Best regards,
Maarten Kleywegt
MK Optics / Fotohandel Delfshaven

With that, I am looking forward to add an interesting lens to my arsenal. Thanks to your expert advise, example photos and linking to Maarten Kleywegts shop.

In order to show how grateful I am for your input and opinions, I will make sure to post some photos made with the setup as soon as I can :)
Buddy

John Geerts

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Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2020, 21:26:40 »
Great. Looking forward for the results  ;)

Bent Hjarbo

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Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #22 on: March 06, 2020, 23:54:50 »
That was a very good outcome, congratulations.
Looking forward to see some of your pictures when the lens has arrived.

the solitaire

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Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2020, 10:19:00 »
Birna, a question on your reply. You mentioned the Novoflex bellows attachment. Is there a reason to go for the Novoflex rather then a Nikon bellows? From what I saw, the Nikon bellows costs about half of the Novoflex when bought used.
Buddy

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2020, 15:00:20 »
The Novoflex bellows is much smaller and made of plastic-covered material thus stands up to *real* weather. The version I prefer is the one with a built-in rail below the ordinary bellows unit.

The PB-4 would be the nearest equivalent in the Nikon line-up, but it is three times bigger at least. And much heavier. Build and workmanship are superior, but that is of less importance in the field as long as the gear works. The Novoflex by virtue of its petite size can be squeezed into tight places impossible to reach with a bigger bellows.

The bellows draw is longer on the PB-4, but either bellows will allow infinity focus and work in the near range up to approx. 1:2 (and larger, with the PB-4).

A final point concerns adaptation to the camera. The PB-4 is bulky and not entirely comfortable with today's camera sculpted contour, thus for nearly all camera models one has to add some extension to the rear of the bellows. I frequently use the very study E/E2 rings. Only the Df will attach directly without extra extension.

By contrast, as the Novoflex is so small, one often can get the camera attached directly to the bellows rear mount. In some cases the rear mount needs to be rotated 90 degrees to mount the camera, but this rotation is a built-in feature anyway thus no hassle as such.

The main drawback of the Novoflex, for me, is that the controls are designed for right-hand people. I'm left-handed and often lock the bellows instead of focusing it, as the bellows movement knobs are on the right and the locking buttons on the left side.


rosko

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Francis Devrainne

the solitaire

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Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2020, 18:09:22 »
Thank you. That is again very comprehensive and useful information.

Goes to show that there is no substition for hands-on experience, for which I thank you for sharing that here.

I would have a PK-11 to mount a PB-4 on, but the other benefits of the Novoflex do indeed make it the obvious choice. Might be a while before I can find and afford one though, but until then I have a set of Nikon extension rings to use.

I have PK-11, PK-12, PK-13 (twice) and PN-11 (twice)
Buddy

pluton

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Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2020, 19:16:41 »
FYI: My D800's attach directly to the PB-4 bellows without extension, using the 90º rotation feature of the PB-4.
Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2020, 19:52:06 »
Any single-digit "pro" Nikon will not fit due to the battery compartment. If memory serves that is, which is becoming less certain as time marches on :)

the solitaire

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Re: Lenses for a macro bellows setup with focal length of 135-150mm
« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2020, 22:33:48 »
FYI: My D800's attach directly to the PB-4 bellows without extension, using the 90º rotation feature of the PB-4.

That is good to know. It does increase the list of options.
Buddy