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Thread: Use of Bellows For Flower Photography etc.

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    Use of Bellows For Flower Photography etc.

    I have photographed many flowers using a 200mm Nikon macro lens, but now that I have the Mamiya 645DF, I have been considering the Mamiya Auto Bellows for flower photography mostly in the studio. I am unsure of whether bellows would be useful because I have no experience with using bellows...and don't really understand it's advantages (if any). I realize bellows would be bulky. I have Mamiya extension rings and a Mamiya 120mm macro lens. Are there any substantial advantages or disadvantages with respect to depth of field using bellows? While I might do some extreme macros...that is not my primary interest at this time. What if anything would bellows bring to my table? Charles

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    Re: Use of Bellows For Flower Photography etc.

    The main difference with bellows is that the "Extension" is continually variable.
    With Tubes, it is a fixed extension. And a bit easier to move around.
    You may not need a tripod with tubes.
    With Bellows, you will need a tripod.
    Use manual or aperture priority metering with bellows. Usually they don't have any communication to the camera. NO AF either,
    Tubes may allow AF, depending on what contacts it has.

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    Re: Use of Bellows For Flower Photography etc.

    A bellows will also give you a wider choice of lenses, especially lenses that work well at high magnifications. Like enlarger lenses.

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    Re: Use of Bellows For Flower Photography etc.

    If you use a bellows with both front and back standards geared (ie., movable) then you can focus by moving the image plane (camera) this allows you to focus without changing the size of the subject,...a very useful ability for any fine close up or macro work.

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    Re: Use of Bellows For Flower Photography etc.

    Thanks to all who responded to my questions relating to the use of bellows with a Phase One 645DF and P65 back. I am still a little reluctant about whether the use of bellows would bring anything new to flower photrography that is not covered as well with the use of the Mamiya 120mm macro lens and/or the use of extension rings. I had understood that use of bellows could result in increase depth of field at smaller f stops, but I have not found anyone who is using bellows for flower photography or who has really addressed the specific questions I have raised. If anyone has additional thoughts or comments please add them to this series of posts. Thanks

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    Re: Use of Bellows For Flower Photography etc.

    The only way that a bellows unit can give you increased depth of field at a particular aperture is if it has the ability for lens 'movements',...by inclining the lens standard you can shift the plane of sharp focus to be more amenable to the subject and thus cover more of the subject. Not sure which MF bellows now have movements for the lens and camera standards but there used to be several such models by different makers. You could try the Novoflex site as they are the most likely independant maker.

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