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Alternative Bellows Macro

PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 7:03 pm
by LennyBloke
Failing miserably to capture beautifully sharp, detailed and close images like Derek does, so I'll stick to my strengths for now....

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:chin:

Alternative Bellows Macro

PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 10:41 pm
by Derek897
Hi John, Great to see some shots, :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
This looks like outdoors, with no flash, also looks like its wide open. On the right side of the bellows rail, just beside the tightening knob for the front of the bellows, is a little button, make sure it is pressed in and turned clockwise till it tightens, otherwise lens will be wide open regardless of what you have set the aperture at. At that magnification the slightest movement of subject or camera will produce unsharp images, shutter speed of 1/80th is fairly low. I use flash on all mine, even though the exif says no flash fired.
Just try a couple with your ringflash to see what happens, for me with my cheapo flash, its usually on 1/4 power, iso 200, shutter speed 1/200 and between f5.6 and f8
Your first shots are way better than my first attempts honestly.
I think you will find it will just click and youll have it, ( pardon the pun )

Looking forward to seeing more :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

Alternative Bellows Macro

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 7:36 am
by Derek897
The little button with the red ring in it is the one I'm talking about. If you look through the vf while pressing it in and letting it out, you should see the image lighten and darken as it stops down.
It should press in and turn clockwise to lock. If already in then turn anti clockwise to open to check it's working ok.

20180506_083555.jpg
20180506_083555.jpg (1.49 MiB) Viewed 325 times

Alternative Bellows Macro

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 11:26 am
by Derek897
I have just tried a couple of comparison shots, with flash with my standard settings and without flash, iso 800, f8 and 1/60th or 1/80th not sure which, hand held to see what theyre like.
on rear screen, the no flash shots are not great, will post them once i get time to edit.
We will get to the bottom of it :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

Alternative Bellows Macro

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 11:26 am
by Derek897
I have just tried a couple of comparison shots, with flash with my standard settings and without flash, iso 800, f8 and 1/60th or 1/80th not sure which, hand held to see what theyre like.
on rear screen, the no flash shots are not great, will post them once i get time to edit.
We will get to the bottom of it :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

BTW that 2nd shot is lovely :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

Alternative Bellows Macro

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 9:45 pm
by Derek897
Hi John, Hope you dont mind but i will post these here so you can see the results,
first shot with flash, my usual settings f8, iso 200, exp 1/200th flash on 1/4 power

Imageflash vs no flash by dr.shutter, on Flickr

2nd shot, no flash, iso 800, exp 1/100th f8

Imageno flash vs flash by dr.shutter, on Flickr

This was the best of a bad lot, as you can see i was already in trouble with shadows and highlights, faster exp would just have killed any detail in the center, :doh:
for what its worth, I cant use the bellows handheld without the flash. :oops: :oops:
Dont know if it helps at all.
Keep shooting it will work. :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

Alternative Bellows Macro

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 9:42 am
by LennyBloke
Thanks Derek - I did use the tips you suggested and I don't think any of those shots were at maximum aperture, it's just that the D.O.F. is so small and my calculation on shutter speed probably need upping.

Another 50 or so shots yesterday and nothing usable - I'll move over to using the ringflash shortly as I'm coming to the conclusion that handheld is almost impossible for me :wink:

Another thing that's an obstacle is the protrusion of the front of the bellows rail - it pokes into foliage that I'm trying to focus on causing bugs and insects to exit stage left rapidly :oops:

I switched back to a mcro lens with a shot tube later in the afternoon just to sanity check my abilities - and most of those were cr*p too - I did salvage a couple of winged insect shots...

(not Bellows shots - A*200 + 12mm tube):

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I'll keep trying though :thumb:

Your Bluebell shots are a good example of where one has superior technique/settings, but the lighting in the other has a much nicer effect (IMO) - do you agree :chin:

Alternative Bellows Macro

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 9:57 am
by Derek897
2 crackers. Far more exotic than anything I get shots of.
If the front of the bellows is protruding ahead of your lens, you could move everything forward. Bring the lens as far forward as it will go, then move the body forward too.
It's a fine line between getting the detail or natural lighting.
I can't see a way to get both (yet)

Re: Alternative Bellows Macro

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 5:58 pm
by LennyBloke
Derek897 wrote:2 crackers. Far more exotic than anything I get shots of.
If the front of the bellows is protruding ahead of your lens, you could move everything forward. Bring the lens as far forward as it will go, then move the body forward too.
It's a fine line between getting the detail or natural lighting.
I can't see a way to get both (yet)



Well I'm glad one of us has got a brain - I had convinced myself the camera body would be obstructed by the rail if I moved everything forward (based on the fact that you need a small extension tube to clear the body when mounting it), so I just accepted it as not possible :doh:

Now I've made the extremely complicated adjustment of moving it all forward :oops: I'm getting some slightly better results - thanks Derek (again) :thumb:

Alternative Bellows Macro

PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2018 9:29 pm
by Derek897
:thumb: :thumb: :thumb:

Alternative Bellows Macro

PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 9:53 am
by Derek897
Have you tried your dfa 100mm macro on it yet or just the 200mm.
I have tried the A 200mm f4, and it's grand, with limits, close focusing with bellows is about 5 ft. Too far away to get magnification, and lastly no filter thread so no flash.
I know your A* 200 is a macro lens so I presume you can get close with it.

Re: Alternative Bellows Macro

PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 10:04 am
by LennyBloke
Derek897 wrote:Have you tried your dfa 100mm macro on it yet or just the 200mm.
I have tried the A 200mm f4, and it's grand, with limits, close focusing with bellows is about 5 ft. Too far away to get magnification, and lastly no filter thread so no flash.
I know your A* 200 is a macro lens so I presume you can get close with it.



Nope - been concentrating on the 200/Macro simply to keep the greater camera to subject distance!

I'll give it a go at some point but I've a busy few weeks coming up :cheers:

Not sure what you mean by no filter thread for the A200/4.0 - do you not have an adapter ring in that size?

Alternative Bellows Macro

PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 10:26 am
by Derek897
I must have been having my own senior moment.
May have been looking at the hood. :doh:
Not sure how to get past the close focusing bit
Will have a think :)

Alternative Bellows Macro

PostPosted: Mon May 14, 2018 12:01 pm
by Derek897
Having just sorted a ring to fit the distance is an issue.
I think one you try the 100mm on it John you will see the detail you were looking for :thumb: