Long Lens for a Short Bellows - What do you do?
For those of you who have a camera with a short bellows.. what do you do for a long lens?
Do you use an extention lens board?
Do you use a telephoto lens?
Do you use something else entirely?
I'd like to hear what people actually have experience with, as opposed to what they have read about.
Last edited by darinwc; 11-11-2013 at 03:49 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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Originally Posted by darinwc
“The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”
I sold the camera and got a chamonix, which takes any lens from my 65 to 450mm easily. Top hat lens boards throw your tilt axis off and depending on the camera design-can put a lot of stress on the front standard, tele lenses don't have nearly the coverage I need.
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My default answer is "use a shorter lens", or failing that, "use a different camera". I've never found all that much use for really long lenses in LF; all the cameras I have can deal with a reasonable portrait/short-tele focal length, and it's not like I'm trying for field shots of distant birds with the 5x7. If I'm really racking out a large format camera, it's usually for macro purposes, not because of the length of the lens.
Maybe the complementary question is: What do you use long lenses *for*?
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Darin, the first approach that I reduced to practice was for lenses in barrel. Mount the lens in front of a shutter, if necessary put extension tubes between lens and shutter. There are limits to what can be done and, as has already been pointed out, doing this makes using swings difficult. I haven't done this with lenses in shutter, see clearly how it could be done.
The second approach I reduced to practice was a tandem camera. Two 2x3 Graphics mounted front-to-back on a rail, with a coupler between them to keep the dark in. That rig works with lenses up to 480 mm. The 480 is front-mounted, requires a short extension tube ...
The third approach is for a monorail camera, won't work with a flatbed. An intermediate standard with an intermediate bellows or extension tube. I've done both.
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If anything, the standard bellows on my Toyo/Omega 45D is too long (probably because I've only got a 65mm SA, a 90mm SA, and a 135mm Xenar). To that end, I've got recessed boards and I'm going to buy a bag bellows when I find one cheap enough that fits.
I also wouldn't mind doing portraits, and have played around with a 180 Symmar-S, but there's no trouble there with a bag because most go out to 250mm or so, still more than enough.
But I still wouldn't mind longer, so I've just bought a 270mm Tele-Arton, allegedly 150mm flange-distance at infinity, so that should also have no troubles using the (eventual) bag bellows at portrait-distances.
Still, I'm not going to throw out my current bellows, so if I ever need longer I've got it as backup if I get a non-tele 400mm+ lens. And if I ever need a 400mm or something at macro distances, i'll cross that bridge when i come to it...
An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.
I own a Tachihara wooden field camera with 13" of bellows draw. I wanted to use a 300mm for indoor portraiture so I bought a Sinar P monorail. Each camera works great for it's intended purpose.
I made a top-hat lensboard for my 300mm Nikkor M on field cameras with only 12" of bellows draw. It saves me camera weight and works fairly well as long as I don't try to focus too close (min. focus is about 8 feet). Also, it is a pain to use front swings/tilts although it is doable to a certain extent (till the top-hat board starts to vignette.
As 12 inches is almost exactly 300mm, this is not much of an extension. It is just enough to make the lens usable for general work (not too close up) in the field. If you need to put a lens on your camera that is significantly longer than the bellows length and you expect to be using it regularly, I'd either spring for a telephoto if that would meet your needs (however, they are heavy, have little coverage and are a PITA with front movements) or just get a different camera altogether.
I have a 4x5 with 16" of bellows, and an 8x10 with 30" of bellows; the 8x10 has a 4x5 reducing back. The longest lens I use is 16 1/2", so one way or another I always have enough bellows.
Originally Posted by darinwc
Telephotos are problematic if you need movements - they usually have just enough coverage for their intended format, and since the node is displaced forward movements become very complicated. Not to mention the (typically) poorer performance.
i use a telephoto lens that the bellows will accommodate
and the lens that is toolong, i use on a different camera ..
( speed graphic + 15" optar instead of 370 converted symmar )
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