Hasselblad close-up bellows - any good? Better than tubes?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Jeff Bannow, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    Looking at either extension tubes or the bellows - the bellows seem to be the better way to go. Am I right or am I missing something here?

    Also, anyone have a chart showing proper meter reading adjustments for the various tubes and such?
     
  2. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I am sure QG will comment, but the problem with the bellows is that it's minimum extension is kind of long; 73 mm. At least according to http://www.hasselbladhistorical.eu/PDF/HasManuals/SquareBellows.pdf

    So it would be good if you are working very close with high magnifications. But not useful if you're working at moderate distances like within a foot/several cm's or so.

    Exposure adjustment info is also at Hasselbladhistorical.
     
  3. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    The minimum extension of the more common Hasselblad bellows units is 63.5 mm exactly. It ends at 202 mm.

    There is no question, really bellows or tubes.
    The bellows is used to get extension you cannot get with tubes.
    Yes, you can stack tubes. But it's not recommended to stack more than two. Three maximum. (every extra limk between amera and lens introduces extra play.) And unless your tubes are all long, stacking them will not get you what the bellows will deliver.

    So use a bellows when you need the extension it offers. Else stick with tubes.

    How much exposure compensation is needed depends on lens and extension, so is different for combinations of different lenses with the same tubes.
    The Calculator on Hasselblad Historical will produce all the numbers you want. Just put the length of the tube in the "total extension" box if you want to get the figures with the lens set to the infinity mark, in the "extra extension" box if you want to get the figures for when you also use the lens' full extension.
     
  4. segedi

    segedi Member

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    It really depends on what you are after, for macro work, I think bellows make the most sense. I bought 8mm and 16mm extension tubes to decrease the minimum focusing distance to create tighter portraits. Stacked, these really allow for some close focusing!

    Go to the Accessories (bottom right column) for info on tubes, bellows: http://www.hasselbladhistorical.eu/HW/HWVSys.aspx

    And access the calculator here for exposure compensation: http://www.hasselbladhistorical.eu/HT/HTCuC.aspx

    You can also search flickr.com for hasselblad and bellows or 8mm or 16mm (or higher) and you will get some nice examples of what the setups can do.

    PS: Since I don't have an "E" body, my extension tubes aren't the E versions - I found my pair pretty cheaply because they were the older style but were still in great condition.
     
  5. Jeff Bannow

    Jeff Bannow Member

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    Thanks everyone! Great info - looks like tubes will do it for now then.
     
  6. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    Also bear in mind that the 8mm tube is short enough that it has compatibility issues with some lenses and/or bodies. There's a chart out there that says what you should avoid the 8mm tube with, but I forget what it was. Look for a 16mm and a 32mm tube set.
     
  7. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    The 8 mm tube will not fit (directly) on focal plane shutter Hasselblad cameras (2000- and 200-series), but all other cameras (and on the 2000- and 200-series if it's not the only and not the first tube that goes on).
    The problem is that the collar on it and the shutter speed ring are in each other's way.
    The old style 10 mm tube has similar issue.

    There are no issues with any of tubes with any of the lenses, except the 135 mm bellows head lens.
     
  8. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    You can use the variable tube with the 135 lens also, not just the bellows, although that provides a rather limited focusing range.
     
  9. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    depends what you use it for--I got the bellows exclusively for the 135---i was thinking of using it outside---possible but forget it--way too much---you may want to try getting a 135 with the rare VARIABLE extension tube--i think I saw one on keh a while back---you want to carry it around, then go for the tubes----particularly for the short lenses, you have to use the tubes since the bellows starts so big---also--the bellows have slop (the auto bellows) that I don't like----I actually like the older style with the manual cocking up front--they're cheapter too---AND---bonus--you can take off the front portion to mount the hassy lenses to a regular lensboard if you want to experiment with them---i tried it and it aint' worth it, by the way....
     
  10. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    The variable tube was not so much meant as a variable extension tube as a focussing mount for the 135 mm lens.

    That's why it (like the bellows) starts at 63.5 mm (the amount needed to put the 135 mm lens at infinity focus).
    The close-focus limit of the 135 mm lens on the variable tube, i.e. at 85 mm extension, is 1.15 m, field of view 36 cm square, scale 1:6.4. So not really very close.

    The variable tube can of course be used with other lenses, but with the same drawback as the belows: minimum extension of 63.5 mm, plus the added drawback that the range of 21.5 mm does not do much (compare that to the range of the bellows: 138.5 mm.)
     
  11. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    I too.
    Mainly because the rails extend towards the back, underneath the camera.
    The rail of the automatic tube sticks out to the front, pushing against whatever it is you are trying to get close to.