Bellows and Close Up photography

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by nancy s., Nov 25, 2006.

  1. I am finding I realy enjoy close up photography and have been considering
    getting a set of PB 6 bellows.

    However, I have questions. What are the differences between the PB 6 and the
    PB 5 or 4??? Will the PB 6 bellows work on the F3 HP or the FM? Will they
    work (mount) on the fuji S2?

    What is a good lens for close up work? I have a 35-70 manual zoom and a 50
    and the Tamron 28-75 Di zoom.

    I am not looking at micrscopic work.. just closer than I can get with
    extension rings (I borrowed these once).

  2. It always takes me a few minutes rattling around this other site to locate this page:

    That's a pretty concise explanation (with photos) of the differences between PB4/5/6.

    Starting with what you have, the 50mm is probably your best bellows lens.

    You may need to use an extension tube as a spacer with your S2; there may be inadequate clearance to the bulging battery compartment.

    For many folks, their first equipment purchase related to close up photography is a dedicated macro lens in the 90-105mm range. Many of these allow easy shooting down to the 'life size' range, where you are filling the frame with an object 24x36mm (on film) or 16x24mm (on a Nikon DSLR).
  3. Here is a good link on various Nikon bellow & acc. Your 50mm with a reverse ring BR2A (Plus optional BR6 ring) is properly your best option with what you got at hand.
  4. If you're not going to shoot above 1:1, forget the bellows. Buy a used 105/2.8 MicroNikkor and don't look back. If the MicroNikkor is too expensive for you, buy a 100/3.5 Phoenix/Vivitar and don't look back.
  5. Have to say that bellows are pretty specialized. Most people are better off with a good Macro lens like the Micro Nikkors. It's a large jump in complexity when you go to a bellows, with lens reversal the norm, no auto coupling of anything, and very limited magnification ranges without using several lenses. I sold my PB-5 back about 1974 because I never used it. Just lately I've had specific closeup needs, and picked up another one, used. In all that time, I never missed it, using extension tubes or the Micro Nikkor instead. The PB-5 will work fine on any film Nikon AFAIK, but to mount a D200 or other camera with large protrusions, you need to rotate the mount ring 90 degrees, mount the camera, then rotate it back, or use an extension between the camera and bellows. F3 and FM should be no problem. I'd never put a zoom on a bellows, only a good prime, and that will usually require a reversion ring if you're over 1:1.
  6. I have been using lenses with a "macro" and I want to do more. A few years ago I got to be part of a bellows thing and it took amazing close up photos. The Macro lenses don't do enough for me.. so I am venturing into this area.

    I will check the links and Thanks for the heads up on the S2.
  7. Nancy, real macro lenses like the 105/2.8 MicroNikkor are not in the same league as lenses with "macro." If you base your judgement of real macro lenses on "macro" zooms and ignore advice from people who know what they're doing you deserve the regret you'll soon feel.

    FYI, I have a PB-4, also a Zenit bellows in LTM, and a Minolta Compact Bellows. The latter two are adapted to attach to Nikon SLR bodies. I used the PB-4 just yesterday. Bellows are best used on copystands or on tripod with focusing rail.

    I have a variety of real macro lenses from microscope manufacturers, all intended for shooting at magnifications above 1:1. They include three Zeiss Luminars and two Reichert Neupolars. And I use my 55/2.8 MicroNikkor AIS above 1:1 reversed too.

    For work below 1:1 on a Nikon SLR body, my MicroNikkors (55/2.8, 105/2.8, 200/4, all AIS) are IT.

    If you want to learn by trial and error, be my guest. Its your time and your money. But you'd save time and money by paying attention to what those who do, do.


  8. Thank you.
    Did not mean to sound like I knew the answers.
  9. Conrad, Just to add to what you say about mounting a D200, I use an extension tube on my PB-6 bellows to give a little more clearance. My D200 will mount perfectly once I do that. Thought I would mention this solution if anyone else has the same problem.
  10. I just started messing around with this cool macro action! I've been playing with an 80-200 2.8D Nikkor attached to my D70 and hand holding my 50 1.8D Nikkor reversed in front of the 80-200. It achieves huge magnification but there is quite a bit of light spilling in between the two lenses, also depth of field in nearly non-existent.

    From what I've read so far, it sounds like the PB6 is probably what I need. Here's my question: What do I need to make this work with my D70? It looks like a spacer are where it's at- any preferred model for a cheapskate? I assume the communication between the lens and the body will cease to exist so is there any reason to go with new stuff- seems like the older models would work just as well? Any compatibility issues with newer AF-D lenses and older mounts/spacers/reverse rings? Also, for mounting my 50 or my 28 in reverse (both 52mm filter threads) what reverse ring model am I looking for (what size are the threads on the bellows?) It seems like generic brand stuff would be fine for this application- anyone have experience with this?

    Whew, lots of questions! thanks in advance
  11. Todd's link, while quite informative, doesn't spell it out plain enough.

    Avoid the PB-5. PB-4 and PB-6 have lower rails (focus racks). The lack of the focus rack on PB-5 is a royal pain. The best way to focus a bellows by moving the camera, lens, and bellows together as one unit, toward and away from the subject. With PB-5, all you can do is rack the camera toward the bellows, which changes magnification as you focus.

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