
Quick & Easy Bellows Compensation with a Calculator
The easy way is to program a pocket calculator and take it with you. If you have trouble programming it there are many high school or college students who’d do it for you in a minute. You likely know at least one such person who’d do it for you.
Once that’s done you carry a metric rollup tape measure or a dressmaker’s tape (they have metric versions very cheap at any fabric shop). Here’s all you do.
1. Compose and focus
2. Measure the distance E from film plane to diaphragm in millimeters (this isn’t fussy)
3. Enter f, E, and press the execution key to display the answer in f stops
What could be simpler?
The equation is
x = 2*ln(E/f)/ln2
where x = number of additional f stops for the bellows extension, E = bellows extension measured from the film plane to the diaphragm, and f = focal length of your lens.
It isn’t rocket science and you really don’t need to know any math to use it.