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Macro - Need help selecting equipment

 
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phero66



Joined: 31 Oct 2006
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 1:55 am    Post subject: Macro - Need help selecting equipment Reply with quote

I need some help selecting a good lens/bellows match for my camera. It seems like many of you here have been into photography for so many years that you must have boxes full of useful stuff. I don’t have much except the camera body (Canon 5D). I intend to do stacks.

The lenses I’m looking at:
Rodenstock 50mm f/2.8 APO-Rodagon N
Schneider 40/2.8 APO-Componon HM Enlarging Lens
CANON 35mm F2.8 MACRO BELLOWS LENS

Bellows:
Don’t know what will work, except the FD Auto bellows for the Canon (and an adaptor to EOS?)

Focusing Rail:
Milling Table?
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DaveW



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 1702
Location: Nottingham, UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't know much about Canon being a Nikon user but I believe you can often get adapters to be able to use many makes of bellows on both Canon and Nikon cameras.

Just done a Google search and come up with the following links that may be of interest:-

http://www.canonfd.com/abindex.htm

Looked on EBAY and found:-

http://search.ebay.com/Canon-bellows_W0QQfromZR40

If you are going to mount your bellows on a milling table or focusing slide you don't need the more expensive bellows with a focusing slide built in, but if you want to also use them for use on a tripod this is handy.

I presume with appropriate adapters you could also gang bellows to get extra extension. Possibly ganging a few sets of cheap bellows may give you more extension for the money than a shorter set of more expensive ones.

There are some adapter rings here for Canon, but you might need to gang several rings to get the combination you want, or need a special made:-

http://search.ebay.com/search/search.dll?sofocus=bs&sbrftog=1&from=R10&satitle=Canon+adapter+rings&sacat=-1%26catref%3DC6&sargn=-1%26saslc%3D2&sadis=200&fpos=NG3+6EJ&ftrt=1&ftrv=1&saprclo=&saprchi=&fsop=1%26fsoo%3D1&coaction=compare&copagenum=1&coentrypage=search

DaveW
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rjlittlefield
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17605
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 10:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John,

My camera is Canon 300D. I have two completely different kinds of bellows -- Pentax screw thead (M42) and Olympus (bayonet). I do not have a Canon bellows and have no experience with them. I have an assortment of mechanical adapters to make everything fit together. Some of the adapters are commercial, some are custom.

Most of my work recently has been with the Olympus bellows. That's primarily because I've become very fond of Olympus bellows macro lenses, and the Olympus bellows is what they naturally fit on. Also, the Olympus bellows have the unusual nice feature that both front and rear mounts can slide on the rail. That can avoid having a lot of rail protruding in front of the lens, when working at minimum extension. The rear of the Olympus bellows is easy to fit adapters to, but a bit of machining is required. That would be a problem without suitable tools & skills.

If you want stuff you can just buy and plug together, I'd suggest going the M42 route. M42 bellows are common and inexpensive on eBay, and the better of them have a focusing slide built in (e.g., this one offered for $35 buy-it-now). $10-15 will get you a commercial adapter designed to fit M42 lenses to your Canon camera (preserving infinity focus, yet!). The same adapter works fine with the bellows. $5-15 will get you a reversing ring, M42 to 49 or 52 mm, and you can step down from there to whatever your lens needs.

In terms of image quality, everything depends on the lens. The bellows is just a convenient black hole.

I have no direct experience with any of the lenses that you mention, but they all seem like good bets. The Schneider in particular is often mentioned as being excellent.

For stacking focus, you can easily get started with just the focusing rail built into the bellows. At high magnification, that will become too coarse and you'll need to switch to something that's either screw-driven (like the milling table) or uses a geared-down rack (like a microscope stage). Other options & issues are discussed in these topics: one and two. Browsing through other posts in the technical and equipment forums will probably prompt other thoughts & questions.

--Rik
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DaveW



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 1702
Location: Nottingham, UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rik,

"Also, the Olympus bellows have the unusual nice feature that both front and rear mounts can slide on the rail. That can avoid having a lot of rail protruding in front of the lens, when working at minimum extension."

Both Canon and Nikon bellows have this same feature. In fact just looking at the Canon bellows in my previous link and the Nikon PB6 bellows I have, apart from minor differences they both could have come out of the same factory! Either one is copying the other or these major camera firms do get a specialist maker to provide some of the specialist equipment and just rebadge it!

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/hardwares/classics/nikonf3ver2/macro/macro2.htm

A question for myself. I presume it is possible to use Helicon Focus to do minimal stacks, say two or three images? I ask as when photographing my plants in their pots I often cannot quite get both the back and front flowers in focus on the plant at around quarter life size. I presume two or three images would rectify that, if you can stack so few OK? No doubt simply using the lenses focusing helical would be enough without needing to put on my focusing rail?

DaveW
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rjlittlefield
Site Admin


Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 17605
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaveW wrote:
...both front and rear mounts can slide on the rail...
Both Canon and Nikon bellows have this same feature.
Nice to know -- thanks for the info.

Quote:
A question for myself. I presume it is possible to use Helicon Focus to do minimal stacks, say two or three images?
Yes, this works great.

--Rik
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phero66



Joined: 31 Oct 2006
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 8:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for all the advice. The bellows/lens setups seem easier then I first thought now. I have a bit more reading to do before I can ask more questions though Smile Thanks!
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