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Thread: Use of plus lenses to shorten bellows draw.

  1. #1

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    Use of plus lenses to shorten bellows draw.

    If you haven't signed up for Kats Ikeda's Pencil of Rays newsletter you are missing some valuable insights into lens design and choice that will surely improve your work.

    I have mentioned my use of plus lenses several times in discussions here. I wrote to Kats about the practice and he responded promptly.

    "Dear Kats,

    I have enjoyed greatly your reports.

    For years I have used a mild plus lens in front of a normal lens to reduce the bellows draw when making a portrait. I have good quality B+W +.5 and +1.0 Diopter lenses that I use with my 250mm Fujinon W and my 450mm M Nikkor. Results have been excellent. Nikon at one time included a plus lens with their big telephoto zoom lens to shorten the close focus distance. What is your opinion of this practice?"

    "Hi Neal,

    Thank you for your interest in my website.

    Yes, the diopter was used for this purpose. Lens makers used to add these kinds of lenses to give more for the users. It works similarly to a macro lens you may find for the iPhone, for example. As a customer, I am indifferent on this practice, but as I lens designer I find it an interesting design problem on how to design an extra lens to achieve the functional performance when you can't change the other parts of the lens."

  2. #2
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Use of plus lenses to shorten bellows draw.

    I read Kats

    I have a bunch of diopters I don't use
    Tin Can

  3. #3

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    Re: Use of plus lenses to shorten bellows draw.

    Forcing the lens to serve the camera's needs instead of lens forcing the camera to properly supporting the lens.

    This is what is often done for fixed box camera with fixed lenses with limited focusing movement.
    Simply does not apply to a proper view camera that can support virtually any lens.. Like this... again.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Sinar long bellows.jpg 
Views:	73 
Size:	100.8 KB 
ID:	221206


    Repeating again, image goals, lens/optics required to achieve these goals, camera is forced to meet these supporting requirements.


    Bernice

  4. #4
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Use of plus lenses to shorten bellows draw.

    Is that a real shot or advertising gimmick

    Reminds me of pretzel LF bellows advertising impossible uses

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    Forcing the lens to serve the camera's needs instead of lens forcing the camera to properly supporting the lens.

    This is what is often done for fixed box camera with fixed lenses with limited focusing movement.
    Simply does not apply to a proper view camera that can support virtually any lens.. Like this... again.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Sinar long bellows.jpg 
Views:	73 
Size:	100.8 KB 
ID:	221206


    Repeating again, image goals, lens/optics required to achieve these goals, camera is forced to meet these supporting requirements.


    Bernice
    Tin Can

  5. #5

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    Re: Use of plus lenses to shorten bellows draw.

    Not sure, in "theory" that shot could be done. In reality a Sinar can be configured this way if needed.. which is the pointed illustration.


    Bernice

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    Is that a real shot or advertising gimmick
    Reminds me of pretzel LF bellows advertising impossible uses

  6. #6

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    Re: Use of plus lenses to shorten bellows draw.

    I have used + & - lenses when using singular lenses on some of my odd cameras, and they do work, but outer area definition can suffer... Stopping down all the way can even out the effect a little, but obviously better with the proper FL... Still, some of these are still in the bottom of my kits if ever needed... And these new FL's need exposure calibration for the new stops...

    Kodak used to make these, and in some of their photo guides was a (slightly crude) calculator for the new f-stops and FL's

    The effect worked better for the longer (-) conversions... Wide was more moderate, but could help to get a little more edges if one's back was to a wall somewhere (at the expense of overall definition)...

    Steve K

  7. #7
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Use of plus lenses to shorten bellows draw.

    For fun, I once put together a double Horseman, using two 700mm Horseman sticks with their coupler plate

    Of course not a SINAR

    I do have enough to make a SINAR like that

    but no need

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    Not sure, in "theory" that shot could be done. In reality a Sinar can be configured this way if needed.. which is the pointed illustration.


    Bernice
    Tin Can

  8. #8
    Maris Rusis's Avatar
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    Re: Use of plus lenses to shorten bellows draw.

    Here is an example of a scene where there was only one place to stand but the the lens I had with me delivered too narrow a field of view:


    Carnarvon Gorge, Moss Garden
    Gelatin-silver photograph on Agfa Classic photographic paper, image size 24.7cm X 19.3cm, from a 8x10 Tmax 400 negative exposed in a
    Tachihara 810HD field view camera fitted with a Fujinon-W 300mm f5.6 lens and a #1 close-up lens for a wider field of view.
    Photography:first utterance. Sir John Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society. "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..".

  9. #9
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Use of plus lenses to shorten bellows draw.

    Very few 'attaboys' these days

    I will try mine out

    Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by Maris Rusis View Post
    Here is an example of a scene where there was only one place to stand but the the lens I had with me delivered too narrow a field of view:


    Carnarvon Gorge, Moss Garden
    Gelatin-silver photograph on Agfa Classic photographic paper, image size 24.7cm X 19.3cm, from a 8x10 Tmax 400 negative exposed in a
    Tachihara 810HD field view camera fitted with a Fujinon-W 300mm f5.6 lens and a #1 close-up lens for a wider field of view.
    Tin Can

  10. #10

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    Re: Use of plus lenses to shorten bellows draw.

    I am trying to understand what is going on here and why it rates an "attaboy". The camera was set up and focused to photograph the waterfall and pool but the 300mm lens was too long for the desired composition. So then, a plus lens was added added without refocusing, and voila, now we see the visualized composition, but now probably nothing closer than about 12-24 inches is in focus. When any lens is focused closer, the image circle increases, and it has here. Since there is nothing on the plane on which the lens is focused this is not immediately apparent. I'd like to see a branch or flower sticking up into the foreground on the plane of focus, wherever that was.

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