On Tilt/Shift, Bellows, and Photographing Models

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by toastydeath, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. toastydeath

    toastydeath TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    0
    I did a decent amount of searching and couldn't find the information I was looking for - so if someone can point me to a thread or website where this is discussed, i'd be appriciative.

    Quick overview of what I'm doing and what I use.

    I photograph models (the people kind) in a improvised studio environment, and don't really take pictures outside beyond what I can see from windows. I shoot with a Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6 on a Nikon d50. I have no other lenses or equippment, unless you count the lights i've built/shambled together. Thus far, I shoot in a near pitch black room with all the lighting set up how I want it. I'm very new at this, but I enjoy the technical challenges it presents, and I enjoy the outcome when I get it right.

    I'm looking to add tilt/shift nonsense into this already convoluted setup. I found the one f/2.8, 35mm russian tilt/shift lens that will do what I want, but then, I stumbled across bellows. From my research, I know they're used mostly for macro photography. If I keep the bellows at minimal extension, will I be able to preseve some semblance of focus and viewing angle out to, at a maximum, 15-20 feet? The only thing that gives me any hope are the DIY "bellows lens" attachments people have made, and the one flexible lens (I forget who makes it). These appear to get the right kind of viewing angle and distance I need, but I want to run this by people far more experienced than I.

    My basic question boils down to this:

    What kind of limitations will choosing bellows over a T/S lens bestow on me, in the areas of focus and angle of view? Does anyone see any advantages to bellows that might not be apparent?

    I'm looking, specfically, at the Nikon PB-4 bellows, if I can find it in the future.
     
  2. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,646
    Likes Received:
    6
    Technically you can use a bellows lens to make all the tilts/shifts/swings you want and even more than the canon/nikon 35mm shift lenses. But you have to keep in mind that you're limited by the light cutoff by:


    1) The lens image circle
    2) the plastic housing in the camera

    technically, you can just mount a 50mm meidum format lens on a bellows and play with it to your heart's content. But because your camera cuts off light in the places you don't want it to, you're gonna run into limitations.

    In the end, the large format cameras are the king of the tilt/shift stuff.

    The above reply might not make any sense beacuse I'm seriously buzzed right now.

    Good luck
     
  3. toastydeath

    toastydeath TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    0
    Haha, thank you for your speedy, if inebriated, reply.

    First, I'm not familiar with the concept of image circle. So I'll go read up on that, and of course any comments here are more than welcome.

    Second, I know the bellows I'm looking at take 35mm f-mount lenses - I'm trying not to shell out any more money than I have to at the moment. So that means I'd be mounting my 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6 on the end of it, instead of going any other route. I basically leave my camera on 28mm and just move back and forth, though. I do not touch the zoom.

    I do a lot of photographs where the light is only in certain places on the photo, and pitch black elsewhere. So light falloff might be acceptable or even desireable - care to elaborate on what would specifically happen across the image as I increased perspective control?
     
  4. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,646
    Likes Received:
    6
    Image circle:
    A given lens will only project an image over a certain area. Nikkor lenses cover the 35mm format, which has an image circle of about 50mm. Medium format lenses cover about 90mm circle. And large format lenses cover as much as 14 inches and even more.

    This is the picture I found:
    [ame]http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000BK393Y.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg[/ame]

    If you move the lens too much to the left or to the right, you'll get light cutoff because there's plastic obstruction in the camera body in the light path. There's nothing you can do about it. It makes the 35mm cameras unsuitable in regards to tilt/shift lenses.

    It's kinda unfortunate.
     
  5. toastydeath

    toastydeath TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm also hearing that the bellows add, without considering any tilt/shift, 42-50mm to the focal length. That would make it completely unusable for what I'm trying to do. And after that, it will add another 18mm if I move it out a bit to shift or tilt it. That puts me at about 70mm, which is far too close for anything I'm trying to do.

    I guess I will have to start saving for either the Hartblei 45mm "Super Rotator" or the Arsat 35mm tilt/shift.
     
  6. W.Smith

    W.Smith TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    0
  7. fmw

    fmw No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,598
    Likes Received:
    137
    The main thing a bellows does is extend the lens away from the lens mount for macro and micro photography. In other words it will make it possible to focus on close subjects but not at infinity or on subjects that fill the frame several feet away from you.
     
  8. toastydeath

    toastydeath TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have considered a lensbaby, and don't like the extreme effects it seems to produce. I'm looking for subtle and natural tilt/shift (emphasis on shift).

    On the subject of bellows again, mounting large format lenses to a bellows was mentioned to get more of a view camera capability. What kind of numbers/setup/specific equippment could I investigate in that direction, at least as a starting point?
     
  9. DocFrankenstein

    DocFrankenstein Clinically Insane?

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,646
    Likes Received:
    6
    That's not gonna happen IMO.

    The camera mount will simply obstruct the light path and you won't be able to get a large format lens wide enough for a 35mm camera.

    I think the widest are 35mm:
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...790&is=USA&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation

    I don't know if it will work as intended or if you'll come up with a way to mount it. It's a pretty big lens.

    Why not just pick up a view camera for 300 bucks off some old timer and play around with it?
     
  10. toastydeath

    toastydeath TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    0
    It may be weird, but I'm not interested in film photography. I'd much rather drop the bellows concept and just grab a tilt shift lens for what I want to do.
     
  11. W.Smith

    W.Smith TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages:
    440
    Likes Received:
    0
    'Grab'? Well, OK, if you've got the dough, and it seems you're pretty much settled on the idea, then of course go for it.

    The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
     
  12. toastydeath

    toastydeath TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2006
    Messages:
    100
    Likes Received:
    0
    To be fair to me, I did investigate doing it through a set of used bellows and my current lens for a hundred bucks or so, rather than spending the money on a tilt shift. And I'm not going to spend 1300 or more on a lens - the super rotator is 600, and works. Mabye not for everyone, but it fits my needs.

    Mabye other people have plenty of time and wish to spend money on developing and buying film, and the expensive process of making mistakes on that film. I'd much rather see my results immediately, and make all the adjustments I need to get the photo I want so I make fewer mistakes on the rest of my photos for that set.

    My time is worth more to me than the up front money saved on going with a view camera.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
bellows tilt shift
,
diy bellows
,
diy bellows macro
,
diy macro bellow for tilt shift
,

diy macro bellows

,
diy tilt bellows
,
diy tilt shift bellow
,

diy tilt shift bellows

,
nikon tilt shift bellows
,

tilt shift bellows