Playing with Macro Bellows
I know, I should ask these questions before I started, anyhow......
I decided to have a play with a bellows set I bought from here on my Minolta XE-1 today for the first time and I want to make sure I am doing the right thing.
OK, I found that the 50mm lens I had would give me focal distances too close to the subject, so I used a 80-205 F3.8 Zoom. Apart from lens quality, would I have any issues using such a lens? I found for focussing, I had much better control.
Secondly, I read a lot around the traps about exposure compensations, based on the extension. If I were to stop down the lens and use the meter reading from the camera while stopped down, would this be sufficient to get a close enough reading? Or am I missing something else?
Image quality will not be very impressive, but a zoom would work, yes.
But it will not keep focus while zooming.
And it will be rather long, possibly getting in the way of what you want to take a picture off.
If the bellows are non-automatic (i.e. do not convey aperture data to the metering electronics inside the camera) stop down metering should be good, yes.
But it depends a bit on the camera, and how it deals with a lack of input from the lens.
I think that would work on the XE-1. You would need to engage the stop down preview and manually stop down the lens.
I was going to test it with my XE-1 but some idiot left it switched on so I have a flat battery!
EDIT: According to the manual available here: http://www.butkus.org/chinon/minolta...nolta_ex-1.htm it will do stop down metering.
OK, in reality, the proof is going to be in the viewing. I'll be interested to see how I go.
Hah! I found that mine had been left on today as well (I think it would have been on for about a month)! Luckily, it was still working fine.
Originally Posted by Steve Smith
Getting back to the subject and just out of interest sake, what lens would be good to use?
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That 50 mm lens would be a good choice (most 'standard' lenses are of a double Gauss type design, which performs very well in the close up range, on either side of the 1:1 'mark') , but compared to the minimum amount of extension you get using bellows, 50 mm can be a bit short.
A fixed focal length lens in the 80 - 100 mm range would give you a more usable range, but most already are of a design that holds up less well in the close-up range.
If you are going to shop around and get some new (or new-to-you-used) stuff, a longish macro lens would be the thing to look for.
Or (less expensive) you could use that 50 mm you already have and get some extension tubes for when the bellows is too long.