Bag bellows sustained usage for up to 150mm (or even somewhat longer)
Hey guys, your advise/experience is needed.
I purchased recently bag bellows for my Shen 4x5, being tight on time just came to install them (2 weeks after they arrived from Badger). So far my lineup contain just two lenses: 90mm and 150mm which seems to cover about 90% of my shooting situations (so far, at least). The bag bellows came mainly to make easier on my 90mm lens usage which was pretty tight with regular bellows and barely alloed any movements once focused at infinity.
Now, after installing the bag bellows, it made a pleasure of 90mm lens usage, however, besides of that I hoped it will cover my 150mm lens at infinity, so that would avoid swapping the bellows at all.
So far (testing at home), it indeed seems to accomodate 150mm lens fine allowing troublefree focusing at infinity which is encouraging.
I would nevertheless be glad to hear your opinions and experiences in particular using Shen' bag bellows with wide range of lenses (at leat up to 150mm) on constant basis for landscape work.
Does it really provide an ultimate solution as long as longer then 150mm isn't needed ?
The drawback of bag bellows usage on permanent basis I noticed right now is that I cannot close the camera with my 150mm/5.6 Fujinon backward any more - like I used with regular bellows..
Thanks in advance, Alex
I us mine with everything up to 210mm w/o any problems. You just have to make sure they aren't sagging into the image area on the shorter lenses. I pull the back off and check after focusing.
Thanks. Up to 210mm and it retains full raneg focusing ? Wow, that is great.
My only gripe is that it doesn't allow the camera to be folded with my 150mm reversed inside (actually it cannot be folded even without a lens attached).
(actually it cannot be folded even without a lens attached).[/QUOTE]
That's not true. Maybe that's what someone who hasn't tried it told ya. I keep my bag bellows attached and the camera folds up nicely every time. just tuck the bellows towards the middle as you close it up. Not a problem.
I also use mine with both my 90 and 210mm lenses. It's just not worth the trouble to change the bellows every time I change lenses.
The main issue with using the bag bellows with the longer lens is that I don't get as much extension on the monorail. So if I'm taking a closeup shot then I switch to the standard bellows.
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That's not true. Maybe that's what someone who hasn't tried it told ya. I keep my bag bellows attached and the camera folds up nicely every time. just tuck the bellows towards the middle as you close it up. Not a problem.[/QUOTE]
Originally Posted by wildbill
Nobody has told me that, I just tried at home and wasn't able to do that (without lens). However, yesterday, being out for shooting I indeed was able to fold it inside and close the camera without any excessive force. Just need a bit more attention fold the bellows corners inside carefully.
Yes- you can leave the bag bellows on the Shen when closing it up, but personally I prefer not to, since it puts the durability of the bag bellows at risk. You can use it with a 210, as previously mentioned, but the 210 will lose some of its' close-focus range, and there is a good chance the bag, when stretched, will vignette the image, especially with movements applied. You can more easily get away with using the 150 with the bag, just so long as you are careful no part of the bag is sagging into the image circle.
This is valid point indeed.
I noticed I can use freely the bag with my 150mm lens while the bellows are at about their half length of their maximum stretch, but there seems to be still the risk of part of the bellows to sag in the image circle which requires an additional attention of the photographer prior to dragging the shutter. At a time can be annoying, but I found it to be less annoying then switching the regular and bag bellows on and off each time while swithcing the lenses from wide to normal and back (and in particular under time perssure of light-changing conditions)..
Having said said, I tend to agree not to have bag bellows on folded camera in storage to avoid unnecessary wear of the bag bellows. I aparently will develop a habit of switching to the bag bellows once going out for shooting and swithcing back to regular at the end of session putting camera in storage.
I know that my Linhof Technikardan 45S is a different camera and has different normal and bag bellows than your Shen. I have my Rodenstock f6.8 90mm Grandagon N MC on a Linhof recessed board (other knock offs may also work- I have one for my Rodenstock f6.8 75mm MC lens again with little problem in most instances- but for this lens it would more likely be an issue with the Shen than the Technikardan). But, for my needs I usually find that I can use the 90mm lens mounted on the recessed board without too major interference with the normal bellows unless I use a large amount of lens movement. If it becomes an issue, that is the time that I will use the bag bellows for the camera. Some of the Linhof Technika recessed board knock offs are not that expensive (at least on eBay). You may have to try this option or listen to others that have used a recessed board on the Shen.
Last edited by naturephoto1; 10-19-2006 at 11:41 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Rich- the big advantage of the bag bellows on the Shen is that you don't need recessed boards (which are a major PITA when trying to operate shutter controls on something in a Copal 1... incidentally, I have those two exact same lenses on flat boards to use on the Shen). If you have more than two wide-angles, the Shen's bag bellows pays for itself in recessed lensboard costs, and gives you more movements than you'd get with the recessed board. I suspect that the Shen's bellows are not as flexible as the Linhof's standard bellows, but that's to be expected when there's a $3000 difference in price.