PB-4 / PB-5 nikon bellows mounted to Nikon digital cameras. (Last time on the subject, honest.)

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Matt Clara, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. Matt Clara

    Matt Clara Guest

    Matt Clara, Mar 25, 2007
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  2. Matt Clara

    Toby Guest

    I have both the 4 and 5 and have been using both on a D200 without any
    problem for the last year.

    Toby, Mar 25, 2007
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  3. Matt Clara

    Matt Clara Guest

    Thanks Toby--where were you when we started the search!!!? ;-)
    All the same, it's good to have a couple experts weigh in on the subject, as
    Nikon says it's a no-no.
    Matt Clara, Mar 25, 2007
  4. Matt Clara

    Toby Guest

    Oh! If I had known that I might never have mounted them. But I've had
    absolutely zero problems. Just out of curiosity, why does Nikon say it is a
    no-no? BTW I've also been using K-rings, in case that interests you...

    Toby, Mar 26, 2007
  5. Matt Clara

    Toby Guest

    Actually come to think of it, I think I have to mount the bellows "sideways"
    (with the mounting collar rotated 90 degrees as if taking a vertical) to get
    it to clear the grip. I can't really remember, since I've had to do this for
    years anyway for mounting on the F4. But basically once it is mounted you
    can rotate it to the horizontal position, although you have to re-rotate it
    to dismount it...

    It would definitely damage the camera if I tried to mount or dismount it
    without that ;-)

    Toby, Mar 26, 2007
  6. Matt Clara

    Toby Guest

    Yes, as I had thought, it is necessary to rotate the collar on the bellows
    to mount and dismount it, and I will bet dollars to dimes that this is the
    only reason why Nikon says these bellows cannot be used with their dslrs.

    I've lived in Japan for more than 20 years and I know a bit about how their
    corporate cultures function: I'm sure that some junior engineer was assigned
    to determine which accessories and lenses were compatible with the D100 and
    D200. He noticed that the PB4 and PB5 could not be mounted without an extra
    step, and this translated to "not compatible". Only his little section
    happens to know the reason, so when you wrote to Nikon asking for
    clarification there was no way that some poor flunky in Nikon USA could
    possibly get in contact with some guy who probably doesn't speak English in
    some sub-sub department of some sub-department of some peripheral Nikon
    office in some far-flung prefecture far away from Tokyo. One step up from
    his is only some written document that states that those bellows are not
    compatible, and that's all anyone who digs is going to find out, unless he
    spends several days on the phone.


    Toby, Mar 27, 2007
  7. Matt Clara

    Paul Furman Guest

    Paul Furman, Mar 27, 2007
  8. Matt Clara

    Apteryx Guest

    You'd better not - you have to do the same thing to mount the PB6 on any
    Nikon DSLR, and that is one that Nikon says is OK to mount on them :)
    Apteryx, Mar 27, 2007
  9. Matt Clara

    Matt Clara Guest

    Yes, it's my guess Nikon is promoting sales of the PB-6, which is still
    available in stores.
    Matt Clara, Mar 27, 2007
  10. Matt Clara

    Toby Guest

    I also have the PB6, and I have used all three (4, 5 and 6) on the D200
    without any problems (quite often) for the past year.

    Toby, Mar 28, 2007
  11. Matt Clara

    Father Kodak Guest


    Sounds good. But, how do you maintain full functionality for a
    D-series lens in auto modes? Do you maintain auto focus, at least?

    And what about G-series lenses? :)

    I appreciate what you said in an earlier post about the corporate
    culture in Japan. It's not always that different here in the USA.

    By the way, if you drink in the same karaoke bars as the Nikon
    engineers, what are they "singing" about for a full-frame D SLR this
    year? :) :)

    Domu arrigato gozai mas'

    Father Kodak, Mar 29, 2007
  12. Matt Clara

    Apteryx Guest

    I meant, you'd better not make that bet. The need to rotate the collar to
    mount it past the extended viewfinder on all DSLRs can't be the reason they
    say not to mount the PB4 & 5, or they would have given the same warning for
    the PB6 which requires the same rotation.

    I have mounted and used a 35mm PC lens with the "wrong" serial number on a
    D70 without apparent harm to either. I am somewhat curious myself to know
    the real reasons for some of the incompatibility warnings they give so as to
    know exactly what dangers I should be looking out for when I do that.
    Apteryx, Mar 29, 2007
  13. Matt Clara

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    How much good would that do? Most lenses have a relatively
    small focus travel -- especially compared to the travel of the bellows
    itself. Only some of the old *real* macro lenses have enough travel to
    make some difference, and those which I have handled were not autofocus

    And once you get to near a 1:1 ratio, attempting to focus by
    moving the lens is an exercise in frustration. You move the lens to
    define the magnification ratio, and then move the camera and lens as a
    unit back and forth relative to the subject to find final focus.
    You put them aside The zoom lenses are probably poor choices for
    bellows mounting anyway -- unless you can make a spacer between the lens
    and the bellows which allows you to control the position of the
    stop-down lever in the back of the lens, as you are lacking all other
    control. (Unless some of the more recent bellows assemblies have
    provisions for moving the electrical connections, and the stop-down
    coupling through the bellows assembly.)

    Certainly the old Nikon Bellows-II (which will also fit on the
    D70 with the same caveat about rotating the orientation of the mount
    prior to assembling to the camera). (The corner of the rear standard
    still bears on the underside of the pop-up flash housing, but not enough
    to prevent mounting or to damage anything.) A little careful filing or
    grinding would clear that totally, but then it would need to be
    re-painted with wrinkle-finish black enamel -- and to get the same
    finish, it should be baked, which would mean removing the actual

    DoN. Nichols, Mar 30, 2007
  14. Matt Clara

    Toby Guest

    I appreciate your concern--I probably wouldn't have mounted the bellows in
    the first place had I known that it was not "allowed". Sometimes ignorance
    is bliss--and I understand that you meant that the rotation of the bellows
    could not be the reason that it was blacklisted. I have been using the PB4 &
    5 happily for years, and just recently picked up the PB6 for $50 with the
    double cable release (couldn't resist at that price) but have not used it
    much, so I didn't remember that it too needed to be rotated.


    After your post, I had a very close look at the mounts of both the PB5 and
    6. They are identical. I even measure them with my digital vernier calipers.
    Absolutely the same: no extra bulges or flanges or slots or channels. I
    mounted both on the D200--the viewfinder clearance is very slightly less (~1
    mm) on the older model, but both clear it without a problem. I checked the
    clearance of the body at the mount. Likewise no problem. I've checked my CPU
    contacts for damage on the camera body, or signs of wear on the inside of
    the mount. All is pristine. Unless there is something very unobvious that I
    am missing, there is absolutely no problem using the older bellows with the
    D200, at least.

    To answer Father Kodak, I use the bellows always in manual mode. G lenses,
    unfortunately, cannot be used because there is no way to control the
    aperture. AF likewise--no connection to the focusing mechanism. Nor does one
    get any function (D calculation or EXIF data) that needs to be transmitted
    via the CPU contacts. I use the bellows mostly, anyway, with non-Nikon
    lenses--a couple of Olympus extreme macro lenses, a short barrel
    turn-of-the-last-century 135mm view camera lens. Most of my other non-DX
    lenses are manual focus Nikkors anyway, so I don't miss what I never had...

    Toby, Apr 2, 2007
  15. Matt Clara

    Bob S Guest

    How do you mount the Olympus lenses to the Nikon bellows?

    Bob S
    Bob S, Jul 14, 2007
  16. Matt Clara

    Pete D Guest

    Pete D, Jul 15, 2007
  17. With a bellows it isn't as difficult... because none of
    the linkages (either mechanical or electrical) are
    expected to work anyway.

    Hence a T adapter on the front of the bellows means that
    any T-mount lense can be mounted. And that means any
    lense for which a reverse T adapter can be found can
    also be mounted.

    And for something like that 134mm view camera lense,
    it's fairly easy to manufacture something that mates a T
    adapter to such a lense, assuming that the right
    step-up/step-down rings can't be found.

    I typically use enlarging lenses on a PB-4 bellows.
    But also have Pentax screw mount and a T-mount bellows
    too, all of which get used with Nikon cameras. My box
    of adapters is not small... :)
    Floyd L. Davidson, Jul 15, 2007
  18. Matt Clara

    Toby Guest

    The old Oly macros have RMS mounts--the same as microscope objectives. I
    searched and found some RMS to Nikon adapters, but there were quite
    expensive. Luckily the two lenses came in plastic cases with metal bottom
    plates into which the lenses screwed. I "sacrificed" one of the two cases by
    taking out the metal plate and glued it to a Nikon body cap that had the
    center cut out. Actually I also got a metal adapter to mount the lenses to
    an Olympus bayonet, but I was too lazy to look for an Olympus to Nikon

    Toby, Jul 15, 2007
  19. Matt Clara

    Bob S Guest

    I don't feel like looking through 2,260,000 pages of junk at the
    moment, but I suspect that not one of them said this:

    "The old Oly macros have RMS mounts--the same as microscope
    objectives. I searched and found some RMS to Nikon adapters, but there
    were quite expensive. Luckily the two lenses came in plastic cases
    with metal bottom plates into which the lenses screwed. I "sacrificed"
    one of the two cases by taking out the metal plate and glued it to a
    Nikon body cap that had the center cut out. Actually I also got a
    metal adapter to mount the lenses to an Olympus bayonet, but I was too
    lazy to look for an Olympus to Nikon adapter.

    If I want to know what Google says I will ask Google; if I want to
    know what Toby says I will ask Toby; if I want to know what you say I
    will ask you.

    Bob S
    Bob S, Jul 23, 2007
  20. Matt Clara

    Bob S Guest

    Thank you, I have done similar things. I once reverse-mounted an old
    movie camera lens by drilling an appropriate large hole in a metal
    plate that fit into a T-mount adapter. Jam the old lens in the hole
    and it is still there.

    Bob S
    Bob S, Jul 23, 2007
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