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Thread: Ebony 45SU Wide Angle Bellows

  1. #1

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    Ebony 45SU Wide Angle Bellows

    After a 3 month wait, I finally got the wide angle bellows for my 45SU. Given the limited info available about the wide angle bellows, here are some basics for the next person who needs one. First, it is an accordion type, not a bag, like the Sinar. I prefer the bag, but I can see that it would not work as well on the Ebony as it would on a monorail. It is leather, which feels great. The Sinar bag feels like an inner tube, but is tough and water proof.

    The Ebony wide extends to about 225 mm, which lets me use my 180mm normal with plenty of movement and the ability to focus closely enough for everything but macro. You could use a 210 and probably stretch it a bit more, but you would be limited in close focusing and movements might be tight except at infinity.

    This is great for me, I am mostly a wide angle shooter. I would have to go back to the universal bellows for my 300mm, which is a pain, but not as great a pain as trying to use wide lenses on the universal bellows. If you just shoot landscapes, you would never care, but if you use extreme movements, even my 120 has problems with the universal bellows, and the 90 is just not very workable. With the wide, they both work great.

    I can either carry the universal bellows and the 300 with me, or could use my 270 telephoto with the bag bellows and never use the universal bellows at all. While I love the camera, it is not nearly as good with wide lenses as the Ebony literature indicates. The wide angle bellows solves that problem, and it gives the opportunity to use a longer lens with movements by moving back to the universal bellows. I am resigned to not finding a camera with a one size fits all bellows for extreme movements that is also rigid. Canham need not apply, as pretty as they are - the Ebony is about as flimsy a camera as I think I could stand. Of course if I were hiking and my back hurt, I would be less picky. (But that would only help if I got ride of my fast glass, which weighs more than camera.)

    So, a success all in all. I do not regret the 45SU for a second - I use the asymetric movements a more than I ever used back movements on my Sinar. It has really opened my eyes to more creative uses of movements.

  2. #2

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    Re: Ebony 45SU Wide Angle Bellows

    Thanks for the report Ed. I've been thinking about one for my SV45U. And I agree with you about the asymmetric rear movements.

    Cheers, Steve

  3. #3

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    Aug 2006
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    Re: Ebony 45SU Wide Angle Bellows

    Would it be possible to also add some images of the wide angle belows installed on your 45SU?

  4. #4

    Re: Ebony 45SU Wide Angle Bellows

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Richards View Post
    ..if you use extreme movements, even my 120 has problems with the universal bellows, and the 90 is just not very workable. With the wide, they both work great..
    I have the same complaint with the SV45U2 using the universal bellows. Is the 90mm you refer to the S-A XL or some other lens with a smaller rear element housing? I just received the "wide" bellows, which they assured me was going to solve the problem, but I was surprised to find it is an accordion type and not a bag bellows like I was expecting.
    Since I do not have the camera here, with me, it would be nice to have someone who is using it with the 90mm S-A XL tell me that it does, in fact, allow full movements when using that lens.

  5. #5

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    Re: Ebony 45SU Wide Angle Bellows

    I am using the 90mm f4.5 Nikon, which has a smaller rear element and a smaller image circle than the 90XL. The previous posts indicated that you cannot mount the 90XL without taking it apart and remounting the rear element after you put the front half on - the real element is too big to go through the hole in the lens board carrier. That lens allows such extreme movements that I am not sure if you get get full movement without the rear element hitting the top or bottom of the camera. I do not think the bellows being an accordian will matter than much for that lens, at least compared with the physical limits. The difference with the bellows is you have to make sure you do not have a pleat folded into the light path.

  6. #6

    Re: Ebony 45SU Wide Angle Bellows

    Ed,

    Thank you for the response. The outer rim of the 90mm S-A XL rear element housing can be removed, making it possible for the remainder to pass through without removing the entire rear element. However, the problem of the pleats obscuring part of the image is the reason I wanted a bag bellows. Just looking at the "wide angle" bellows, by itself, it appears that it will not solve the problem. I will just have to wait till I can actually try it on the camera to know, for sure, whether it works or not.

    Steve

  7. #7

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    Re: Ebony 45SU Wide Angle Bellows

    Time to update this a bit, since I have added some lenses since the original post. On the long end I have used a Sironar N 210mm with good results. You cannot do close ups, but you can focus within 5 feet with movements. At the wide end, I have used the 47mm XL, the 80mm SS, and the 72mm XL. All share the problem that the bellows can get between the rear lens element and the film on the sides. You really have to take the back off each time you move the lens and make sure the bellows is clear. Not ideal, but workable doing indoor work. A real pain out doors. Ebony needs a really wide angle bellows. Having shot a cathedral this weekend using the really wide lenses, I will go back to using my Sinar F2 with really wide lenses. More of a pain to carry, but you never have a problem with the wide bellows getting in the way. Still, you cannot beat the 45SU for carrying around in the field and for less extreme architecture. The 80mm, 110mm, and a 180 or 210 makes makes a great kit with the wide bellows. The universal bellows lets you add a 300 with plenty of movements. The problem with the universal bellows is that is asymmetric. If you do front falls or back rises, it cuts off the bottom of the image. You can cure this by rotating it 180 degrees before you use fall, but that is a pain, and if you do not rotate it back you screw all your rises.

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