Nikon PB5 Bellows Unit+ PS5

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by kenneth_cooke, Aug 13, 2011.

  1. I have just purchased the above so as I can copy some of my extensive library of Kodachrome ll transparencies and make them into black and white negatives. The PB5 instruction manual is only in Japanese and the PS5 has not got a manual. I understand the basics as far as setting up both units are concerned but here are a few questions which would be most helpful. To start with I coupled my newly acquired F3HP body to the PB5 and my 50mm f1.4 at the other end. Should I be working at infinity using the PB5 like one would use an enlarger? I the attached the PS5 to the opposite end put as slide into the hold and attached the PS5 bellows to my 50mm f1.4. I then mounted my lightbox to the back. This is incredibly well thought out equipment and superbly engineered but when I switch on my lightbox I cannot get the image on the slide to focus. I cannot see what I am doing wrong. I even tried focusing through my DW3 Waist level finder but I cannot get sharp focus.
    Before telling me that I could have done it another way more easily had I bought this or that. This is my preferred route as I am totally committed to a digital free environment wherever possible and any help you can offer down the route I have chosen will be most appreciated.
  2. Is the lens mounted in reverse on the bellows?
  3. The PB5/PS5 system was a striped down version of the PB4/PS4 without the front standard tilt and the trays for roll film.
    I suspect your problem is the distance from the slide holder to the lens. Assuming you are attempting to get a 1:1 ratio for slide duplication, the 'depth of field' is very narrow especially with a 'two dimensional' object.
    With the bellows in it's most compressed position, try mounting the camera, bellows and lens and point it at a light source like a window. With the finder removed hold a slide up to the lens and slowly move it and you will get an idea of the correct distance from the lens. Minimum magnification is 0.83 and 0.60 (reversed) for a 50mm lens so either will work. Generally, reversing the lens gives a flatter field.
  4. The PB-4 bellows and the copier attachment worked perfectly with the 105/4 Bellows-Nikkor. So, presumably the same holds for the PB-5/PS-5.
  5. The 50/1.4 is not a macro lens and not appropriate for slide dupes. For close up work, it must be reversed mounted on the bellows PB-5 using a BR-2A ring and mounted on the PS-5 using the BR-6 ring. Crank out the PB-5 and collapse the PS-5. Lens must be at infinity. Lens must be stopped down to f/8 for best sharpness. You may not get the flat field attainable with a true macro lens like 55/3.5 or 55/2.8. I use the PB-4, PS-4, and 55/3.5, forward mounted. I focus and compose with the lens wide open, then, I close it to f/8 for taking; excellent results.
  6. I doubt that reversing the 50/1.4 will make much difference to the IQ. At 1:1 the subject and image conjugates are identical, so reversing should make no odds. Also, the focus scale position of the lens is unimportant unless you're trying to squeeze the last percentage point of magnification from the lens and bellows combo.
    Kenneth, you really need a proper macro lens for this job, or failing that, get a good enlarging lens such as a 50mm Rodagon or Componon-S and a Leica thread to Nikon adapter ring. Enlarging lenses are dirt cheap on the 2nd-hand market these days and computed for close-focus. But then the old 55mm f/3.5 and f/2.8 Micro-Nikkors don't cost a lot either.
    In addition, the illustration of the bellows and slide-copier setup are totally misleading. You will NOT be able to focus on the slide with the amount of bellows extension shown. The distance between the lens and the slide needs to be greater than the extension of the main bellows, and not the other way round as shown. In fact it looks as if the amount of bellows allowed on the slide copying attachment is totally inadequate for 1:1 copying.
  7. "In addition, the illustration of the bellows and slide-copier setup are totally misleading. You will NOT be able to focus on the slide with the amount of bellows extension shown."
    The illustration shows the Bellows-Nikkor 105 with the slide copier. The setup is, contrary to your claim, the correct one.
  8. Bjorn, to get 1:1 reproduction there should be about the same amount of distance between the lens and the subject, and the lens and the camera back. That's not what's shown on the linked web page. In fact I really find it difficult to believe (from that picture) that there's over 105mm distance between the lens and the slide. So unless the lens has a very peculiar nodal arrangement, there's no way it's going to be in focus.
    To get a 1:1 RR with a non-telephoto 105mm lens you need about 420mm between subject and focal plane, so does the PS-5 have over 200mm of bellows? It doesn't look like it to me.
  9. I can only vouch for the corresponding setup with PB-4 and PS-4, which does indeed works exactly as depicted. Feel free to have your own beliefs. This is a non-brainer as Nikon themselves designed the combination for slide copying in this fashion, using the specially designed 105/4 Bellows-Nikkor.
  10. So, out of curiosity Bjorn, what's the front focus of the 105mm Bellows-Nikkor at 1:1? Seems to me if it's much less than 210mm then the lens must be a severely reversed telephoto design. I know it has a bit of a strange optical configuration, but that much so?
    Anyway, none of this really helps the OP who's trying to use a slightly retrofocus design of 50mm lens, and my comment about the relative lengths of the bellows was aimed at that setup.
  11. A quick test shows the distance you ask for is 10-11 cm at 1:1. The slide attachment is long gone, though, being recycled for better purposes (it's more than 10 years ago since I last used film).
  12. On OPs question, with my PB4/PS4 set-up (should be same for PB5-PS4), you need to dial in about 5.5mm more of extension for a 50/1.4 AF (1:1). Lock both the front and back standard with the lock screw. You can then focus by moving the PS-4 back and fore. Don't try to focus by moving the front or back standards. As you already tried, it won't work. Since you will be using film, measure, tape and try a roll before copying everything.
    BTW: The 105/4 micro nikkor works fine on a PB4-PS4 combo. It does need a PN11 on the back side of the bellow to ensure the PS4 is longe enough.
  13. I am beginning to wonder if the exercise is worth pursuing. I can remember many years ago I had a Asahi Pentax SV with, I think a 55mm 1.2 to which I attached a bellows unit and quite successfully made copies of Kodachromes. In those days one had to send originals to National Geographic so I can remember making copies.
    I recently tried to produce copy negs with my enlarger which was fine apart from the slide popping hence I decided to go down this route.
    I might well return the PS5 and just keep the PB5 for macro/ close up work. You will assume that my livelihood does not depend on this I was just trying another form o artistic expression and I most certainly appreciate tour comments Thank you
  14. I have made a conscious decision and have duly returned bellows and slide copier back to Grays of Westminster from where it came. As usual this company was totally helpful and once they receive the parcel I will either take a refund or I am considering a Nikkor 55mm f2.8 Macro Lens. I say considering as I have a beautiful 50mm f1.4 Lens which also came from Grays recently. I accept Grays can be a little top end price wise but the product they sell is always in beautiful condition be it modern or vintage and everything carries a 12 month guarantee. So they will do for me. Thank you anyway those who have participated in this thread
  15. Les, Thank you for going to so much trouble. I feel quite guilty having returned mine now but the nice lady at Grays of Westminster suggested as I am not planning to pursue the slide copying process I might like to consider a macro lens of which they have various so maybe you might like to joint in a new thread on recommendations of macro lenses
  16. I remember that the PB-5 + PS-5 combination was designed with a 55 mm macro lens in mind. I have used it with a crop sensor digital, which requires ideally around 80 mm of focal length to get the slide into focus and full frame (55 gives a crop, which indicates that 55 would be good on full frame).
  17. I almost forgot with all of this Nikon activity I came across a copy made by Leitz ref. 16511 and from what I have read it performs very well. E enclose a copy print of one. If anyone has one of these lurking somewhere I would be more than happy to liberate it from them

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