D100 and a bellows?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Tim Smith, Oct 29, 2003.

  1. Tim Smith

    Tim Smith Guest

    A while ago I bought a used Nikon PB-4 bellows for eventual possible
    use with my F100. Now I'm planning to use it next month, and would
    like to get a lens that can focus to infinity with the bellows. The
    main one that can be used for Nikon film cameras is the (discontinued)
    105mm f/4 short mount. Still available used--but pricely!--in a few

    Now, if I eventually get a D100, can I use it with the PB-4 bellows
    and the 105mm f/4, in the same way that you can use the F100? Preset
    diaphragm, I gather, but TTL metering should work OK, except that I
    would have effectively a ~160mm short mount, due to the 1.5x factor of
    the D100?

    While not strictly a digital question, can anyone recommend other good
    quality lenses that will focus to infinity with the PB-4?
    Tim Smith, Oct 29, 2003
    1. Advertisements

  2. Tim Smith

    Vin Guest


    I dont recall any of the Nikon Bellows having any electrical
    couplings in them. This means that on a D100, you will not
    get any metering whether flash or exposure.

    I dont think there has been any short mount lenses made in
    recent times, so even if there were CPU compatible Bellows,
    you wouldn't be able to use those lenses.

    If you are doing still life in a studio, then you can just
    play around with the histogram or even review the pictures
    until you get the correct exposure.

    Vin, Oct 29, 2003
    1. Advertisements

  3. Tim Smith

    Tim Smith Guest

    Actually, I just discovered that the PB-4 bellows will not mount on
    the F100 without a short extension tube (PK-11A?), as the bellows will
    not clear the handgrip on the F100 body as you try to mount it.

    I assume that the D100 would have the same restriction, as it appears
    to have a similar body shape, with the handgrip.

    So this makes the "focus to infinity" issue moot, at least with the
    D100 and F100s. Hmm, may be I'll get that FM3A I've been thinking of,
    and stay with film for my macro work. (Actually, I wanted to use the
    PB-4 more for its shift and swing capabilities more than for real
    close up work. So it's a pity that it won't work digitally.)
    Tim Smith, Oct 29, 2003
  4. Tim Smith

    Vin Guest

    If you are looking at Macros with a Shift and Tilt, why
    not have a look at the Nikkor Micro 85 ? (I think thats
    what its called). I believe its a manual focus that
    has a cpu and will still go from infinity to 1:1.

    Vin, Oct 29, 2003
  5. Tim Smith

    Crownfield Guest

    bellows and digital cameras:

    be very careful about dust
    getting into the bellows and then the camera.

    time spent getting the dust out of the bellows
    will not be spent trying to clean the camera sensor.
    Crownfield, Oct 29, 2003
  6. Tim Smith

    Tim Smith Guest

    I mostly do nature photography, but not extreme close-up. I had wanted
    to try out the bellows for its shift and swing capabilities, to enable
    apparent increase of depth-of-field (Scheimpflug principal). The PB-4
    bellows has a lens swing, and lateral shift capability (it would be a
    vertical shift only on vertical format shots), not as good as a view
    camera (though I have very little experience with view cameras). Of
    course, you have to have a lens that with wide-enough coverage to
    enable use of the shifts and swings. The old 105mm f/4 short-mount
    apparently does, but most modern lenses wouldn't.

    With the 8mm extension tube needed to get the PB-4 to mount on a D100,
    and the 45mm or so of minimum bellows extension, you'd be working at
    greater than 1:1 minimum with a focusing 50mm or 60mm lens. Not good
    for what I want to do.

    I'll do some calculations to see what focusing range I'd get with the
    required extension tube and the short-mount (non-focusing) 105mm lens.
    But I need to have some idea what ratios I will be dealing with before
    laying out $500 to $600 for a used lens.
    Tim Smith, Oct 29, 2003
  7. Tim Smith

    Tim Smith Guest

    Good point. For typical field conditions you'd probably almost need a
    dedicated camera+bellows+lens set up.
    Tim Smith, Oct 29, 2003
  8. Tim Smith

    DSphotog Guest

    Hi Tim,

    Without knowing your exact requirements it's hard to make specific

    However, I do own and use a Nikon D100 and the PB 6 bellows. This bellows
    does not have and shift or swing facility.

    FYI any lenses designed for 35 mm will have some room for shift, swing or
    tilt due to the smaller sensor size and the built in crop factor (1.5x with

    re: Short mount lenses. While I'm not absolutely positive about this, I
    believe any quality enlarging lens will provide this feature. You might want
    to rent one to try this out before buying though. Right now, really good
    slightly used enlarging lenses are going for a song. (BTW 50mm covers 35mm,
    80-100mm is for 21/4x format, 150mm works for 4x5 and 250-300 will cover
    8x10.) I think these would cover any situation you might encounter.

    One of the posters did mention the difficulty mounting the bellows to the
    D100. This is correct. You have to use a short extension tube to be able to
    mount it. PK 11A, 12 and 13 do not mount on the D100, however the PN-11 does
    and works just fine.

    I think that for swings and tilts and infinity focus, you are pretty much
    out of luck.

    If it were me I'd opt for the 60, 105 or 200 Micro and Kenko's auto
    extension tubes to maintain (I think) metering and deal with depth of field
    by trying to get the film plane as close to parallel with the subject plane
    as possible and stop down as much as needed.

    If you can live without the infinity focus, you can make this combo work
    with the shifts etc. if you can deal with a handheld meter, calculations and
    a bit of trial and error using the LCD preview and the histogram. Of course
    there is no waste of film or storage space as you can immediately delete any
    bad exposures.

    Hope this helps.


    D. Smith
    DSphotog, Oct 29, 2003
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.