Using a Canon EOS, Minolta Dynax or Olympus Micro 4/3 on BPM bellows

BPM Bellows were made way before 35mm autofocus and digital cameras came along with their newer more advanced electronic lens mounts. While Nikon and Pentax kept the same basic mount size and added electrical couplings, Canon, Minolta and Olympus changed completely so you wont find BPM adaptors for these cameras. That said many options have been reproduced in China and sell at low cost on eBay, and although the BPM system isn’t on their radar it is possible to cobble together an option that will allow your camers to fit BPM bellows.

Here are various options for the newer Canon, Minolta (also Sony) and Olympus (also Panasonic) camera mounts

How to attach a Canon EOS Lens to BPM Bellows:

You could buy a cheap Canon EOS fit accessory such as an extension tube or 2x converter (or even a broken EOS SLR body) and strip back to the mount which you can then stick to any BPM mount with superglue. A small extension tube would be ideal as there’s no glass to remove. Alternatively cut the centre out of a plastic Canon EOS rear lens cap and glue it to any BPM mount. Care obviously needs to be taken to A) centre it and B) make sure it’s stuck well enough to support the weight of the lens. If this is all too much bother you can buy a cheap lens that BPM made mounts for and attach that to the front with the necessary BPM lens mount. The beauty of the BPM system is any lens can be added to the front. It doesnt have to be camera brand specific.

How to attach a Canon EOS Body to BPM Bellows:

Same advice as above – using a mount from an existing EOS Canon item and glue to any BPM mount. If you got an extension tube or teleconverter, both sides can be utilised for body and lens fittings. Or there’s a Canon EOS T2 mount https://www.photographyattic.com/product-2984 that you can screw a BPM M42 screw mount adaptor to https://www.photographyattic.com/product-553. The T2 mount isnt exactly the same as M42 but it will screw in so far and be safe enough to use.


How to attach a Minolta Dynax / Sony Alpha Lens to BPM Bellows:

You could buy a cheap Minolta Dynax / Sony Alpha fit accessory such as an extension tube or 2x converter (or even a broken Minolta Dynax / Sony Alpha SLR body) and strip back to the mount which you can then stick to any BPM mount with superglue A small extension tube is ideal as there’s no glass to remove. Alternatively cut the centre out of a plastic Dynax/Alpha rear lens cap and glue it to any BPM mount. Care obviously needs to be taken to A) centre it and B) make sure it’s stuck well enough to support the weight of the lens. If this is all too much bother you can buy a cheap lens that BPM made mounts for and attach that to the front with the necessary BPM lens mount. The beauty of the BPM system is any lens can be added to the front. It doesnt have to be camera brand specific.

How to attach a Minolta Dynax / Sony Alpha body to BPM Bellows:

Same advice as before – using a mount from an existing Minolta Dynax / Sony Alpha item and glue to any BPM mount. If you got an extension tube or teleconverter, both sides could be used for body and lens fittings. Or there’s a Minolta Dynax T2 mount that you can screw a BPM M42 screw mount adaptor to https://www.photographyattic.com/product-553. The T2 mount isnt exactly the same as M42 but it will screw in so far and be safe enough to use. Or you can also buy a Minolta MD to Minolta AF adapter and use the BPM Minolta MD mount https://www.photographyattic.com/product-557 to attach the Minolta Dynax / Sony Alpha body BPM Bellows


How to attach an Olympus / Panasonic Micro 4/3 Lens to BPM Bellows:

You could buy a cheap Olympus / Panasonic Micro 4/3 fit accessory such as an extension tube or 2x converter (or even a broken Olympus / Panasonic Micro 4/3 body) and strip back to the mount which you can then stick to any BPM mount with superglue A small extension tube is ideal as there’s no glass to remove. Alternatively cut the centre out of a plastic Micro 4/3 rear lens cap and glue it to any BPM mount. Care obviously needs to be taken to A) centre it and B) make sure it’s stuck well enough to support the weight of the lens. If this is all too much bother you can buy a cheap lens that BPM made mounts for and attach that to the front with the necessary BPM lens mount. The beauty of the BPM system is any lens can be added to the front. It doesnt have to be camera brand specific.

Custom modified bellowsHow to attach an Olympus / Panasonic Micro 4/3 Body to BPM Bellows:

Same advice as before – using a mount from an existing Olympus / Panasonic Micro 4/3 item and glue to any BPM mount. If you got an extension tube, both sides could be used for body and lens fittings. Or there’s a micro 4/3 to T2 mount https://www.photographyattic.com/product-1826– that you can screw a BPM M42 screw mount adaptor to https://www.photographyattic.com/product-553. The T2 mount isnt exactly the same as M42 but it will screw in so far and be safe enough to use.

The camera and lens have to be used in manual with each of the options above, as there is no way to have electronic coupling with the BPM Bellows system.
If you have trouble finding what you need to use BPM bellows please get in touch and we will try and help.


Cross polarising technique

The cross polarising techniques is a simple one to create. Just place a polarising filter in front of the lens and photograph a stiff plastic object in front of an LCD computer screen.  To illustrate the tip I attached a Hoyarex Linear Polarising filter* to the front of a digital camera.  Hoyarex polariser

I then positioned a plastic cereal container in front of my computer monitor (make sure the background is neutral grey and not a screen saver ) and mounted the camera on a tripod. You can hand hold if there’s enough light to get a camera shake free photo.
cross polarising technique

When you rotate the polariser you will see a rainbow of colour with the background colour of the monitor.

polarised cereal container

As you rotate the colours will become stronger and the background will go black.

polarised cereal container

I repeated the technique using a plastic wine glass

polarised wine glass

polarised wine glass

polarised wine glass stem

* Any polarising filter can be used – linear or circular . We have a selection for sale here in both screw in and system filters. Polarising filters for sale. The system filters are more practical as you can use one filter with a variety of lenses with different filter threads. Just get the filter, a holder, and a range of adaptor rings for the holder to attach to different lenses.


Using a reversing ring

A reversing ring reverses an interchangeable lens on the camera body. One side has a camera body mount, the other side has a diameter the same size as the lens’ filter thread you intend to reverse.  A “Nikon AI to 55mm reversing ring” for example would allow a Nikon lens with a 55mm thread to be reversed on a Nikon body with an AI mount.

Reversing a lens makes it perform like a macro lens at a fraction of the cost.

To show the difference I mounted an Olympus 50mm Zuiko on an Olympus Micro 4/3 camera.

Olympus lens forward facing

I then attached a reverse ring to the front of the lens

Olympus lens with reversing ring

and turned it around to fit to the camera backwards.

Olympus lens reversed

I took a photo of breakfast cereal inside a plastic container with the lens in both the forward position

Forward lens photo

and the reversed position.

Photo taken with Olympus lens reversed

The lens was set to its closest setting of 0.45m for both photos. As you can see reversing the lens with a lens reverse ring allows much closer photographs to be taken.

I then took a series of photos with the lens reversed to show the type of photos you can take. Most of these are with the lens at maximum aperture so it gives a more creative effect with minimal sharp zone and lots of nice blurry backgrounds, like what you would achieve using a Lens baby .

close up of OM-10 exposure dial
Close up of OM-10 exposure dial with shallow depth of field.
Backlit photo of pens caps taken into the light to give the dreamy low contrast result.
Leica camera control taken at f1.8 to ensure shallow focus.
Takumar lens front taken with lens stopped down to f/5.6 to ensure a decent level of sharpness.
Glass chess piece
A glass chess piece with others in the background to give nice bokeh.

As you can see reversing a lens is a creative way to add options to your camera kit for low cost.

We have a number of reversing rings for sale at photographyattic.com check out this tag page. Lens reversing ring


Cant find the right BPM camera mount?

BPM bellows with its interchangeable mount system is all well and good, but what if you cant find the right mount for your camera body? BPM haven’t made mounts for well over two decades, so the modern camera mounts are impossible to find. And some of the older mounts, such as Yashica/Contax, Rollei 35SL and Olympus Pen, are as rare as rocking horse poo.

You could possibly find a factory with a moulding facility to create some, but that would be costly, or you could gain access to a 3D printer and make a mount, but in both cases you would need an accurate 3d technical drawing to ensure the mounts fit correctly. Thankfully there is a solution and it’s not too expensive.

Some lenses sold between the 70 and 90s had an interchangeable mount. This system known as the T2 system, which also attached to the rear of some accessories, such as slide duplicators, had a T2 mount that screws on to the rear side of the lens or accessory and provides the necessary fitting for your camera body. The thread of a T2 mount is similar to that of an M42 camera thread found on Zenit, early Pentax and Praktica bodies, but is just slightly different. A T2 mount will screw onto an M42 thread but it wont go all the way so you just get a few turns – enough to make it a secure fit and the reason for this tip.

If you buy a BPM Pentax / Edixa screw thread mount with a male thread you can screw this into a T2 mount to attach to the bellows so your camera body can be attached. T2 mounts were made in a wide range of fittings and due to the fact many of the original 80s accessories have been reproduced by Chinese manufacturers, they have made mounts for newer camera bodies. So it’s very likely the fitting you want is available, and easily accessible from suppliers on eBay if your local dealer doesn’t stock them. We even have a few here at PhotographyAttic if you follow this link: T2 Mounts for sale


How to tell which Rollei Bayonet filter mount

There is much confusion when trying to fathom which vintage filter to buy for a Twin Lens Reflex camera that has a bayonet mount such as a Rolleiflex or Yashicamat. The reason is there are three sizes. Rollei Bayonet I Rollei Bayonet II and Rollei Bayonet III. The Bayonet I is sometimes described without the I because there wasn’t a Bayonet II or Bayonet III when it was introduced.

Well wouldn’t it be easy if all filters were marked with Bay-1, Bay-2 or Bay-3? Life’s not that simple!

To make things confusing manufacturers often left off these simple markings on their filters. And to make things even more confusing they added measurements in mm so a Bay-1 filter may be marked 28.5mm, which doesn’t seem to relate to its diameter. And to add icing to the confusion these filters were often renamed B30 or B-30.

So to help here’s our interpretation of the system and an easy way to check if the filter you have found on ebay or in the junk shop, flea market, antique centre, camera shop is the one you need.

Bayonet 1
Also known as: Bay I / B30 / B-30
Outer measurement: 37mm
Inside diameter: 30mm
Sometimes marked: 28.5mm
Fits: Rolleicord and Rolleiflex (with f/3.5 Tessar / Xenar), Yashica EM, Yashicamat, Yashicamat-124, YashicaMat-124G Minolta Autocord


Bayonet 2
Also known as: Bay II
Outer measurement: 41mm
Inside diameter: 34mm
Sometimes marked: 34 or 36mm
Fits: Rolleiflex (with f/3.5 Xenotar and f/3.5 Planar)


Bayonet 3
Also known as: Bay III
Outer measurement: 46mm
Inside diameter: 38mm
Sometimes marked 38mm
Fits: Rolleiflex (with f/2.8 Xenotar or Planar)

Hope this helps clear things up…and if you know different i’m sure you will let us know 🙂

At the time of writing PhotographyAttic has a range of filters for sale in these mounts
Hoya B30 Yellow K2
B30 Pale Green
B30 Pale yellow
B30 Yellow
B30 Yellow Green
Bay II Skylight
Bayonet III Yellow Green
Aico B30 +2 close up lens set
Aico B30 +2 close up lens
Astron Aico B30 +2 close up lens set
Rollei Rolleinar Lens Set 2 28.5mm
Photax B-30 Close up no 3
Unbranded B-30 Close up no 3

You can also buy a Cokin adaptor and use A-series filters. We have the Cokin A to Rollei Bayonet II adaptor here


Tilt Shift Bellows

Large format photographers using cameras with bellows have always had the luxury of being able to adjust the lens and/or sensor plane so they are not parallel. This technique is performed to alter the plane of focus. While a conventionally parallel set-up provides front to back sharpness from a focus point parallel to the sensor, the adjusted lens, swung or tilted, places the focus plane at a different angle. This is a very useful technique for landscape photography, allowing sharp focus from close range to infinity, even at wide open apertures. But it’s also incredibly useful for macro photography. With this in mind Photography Attic has taken a set of BPM camera bellows and modified them to create a versatile set of custom bellows with tilt, swing and also shift options.

Custom modified bellows

The bellows lens and camera platforms are individually mounted on a pair of small ball & socket heads which can be attached to a straight bracket like the one you would use with a flash gun. You can then slide the ball and socket along the flash bracket to extend the bellows increase magnification. And then tilt the front or rear panel to create the new plane of focus.

Custom bellows with tilt

Here’s an example of the tilted bellows in action. A small 25mm pocket watch has been photographed at an angle. Rather than head on and parallel to the camera lens. The lens was then tilted on the camera bellows set up and as a result the widest aperture of f/2.8 can be used with full front to back sharpness. As a comparison a second shot was taken with the lens set conventionally parallel to the film plane. Notice how the sharpness falls off to the rear.

close up with normal bellows

close up subject taken with tilted bellows

Another option is to use the swing feature. Here the lens is angled in a clockwise or anti clockwise direction to provide sharer front to back focus on an upright subject.
Custom bellows with swing

You can also adjust to provide a combination of both tilt and swing when the subject is not horizontal or vertical.

This process is technically known as the Scheimpflug Principle. If you would like to lean more check out the wikipedia page here: Scheimpflug Principle

You can buy a set of modified bellows with tilt shift here:Custom Tilt Shift Bellows You will also need to buy a bracket to mount them on.


Rare Leica M3 to be auctioned in November

An extremely rare and very early double-stroke, black paint Leica M3 will go under the hammer in a sale of Photographica by Chiswick Auctions on Thursday 14th November, 2019.

This camera was delivered to the Magnum Photo Agency in Paris in 1958. Factory records show only 90 of these pre-series cameras were sent before the first official batch of black M3 rangefinders in 1959. It’s not known how many others are still in existence.

The majority were delivered to Sweden along with individual deliveries to Paris, New York and Germany. The serial number records it as the 15th black paint M3 camera to have been produced, and the second earliest example to be offered at auction. (The earliest example, the second of the batch, sold in 2014 for £320,000 in Hong Kong). This model has a conservative estimate of £60,000-£80,000, but, due to its popularity and rarity, it is expected to achieve much more.


All about 2x Teleconverters

A teleconverter, also known as an extender, is a camera accessory that attaches between the lens and body of an interchangeable lens camera. They were made for 35mm and medium format cameras and are hard, if not impossible, to find for micro 4/3rd. That said this article is using one on a micro 4/3rds fitted with a Pentax K adaptor.

Whats does a teleconverter do?
A teleconverter increases the focal length of a lens by the number of x. The most common is 2x but models have also been made in 1.4x, 1.5x and 3x. With a 2x teleconverter your 300mm telephoto lens becomes 600mm.

What are the advantages of a teleconverter?
The main advantage is size and cost. A teleconverter and one lens takes up much less space than two lenses And it’s much cheaper to buy a teleconverter than a second lens.
Another advantage is the closest focusing distance of the lens doesn’t change when a teleconverter is attached so the magnification is doubled with a 2x from the same distance.

What are the disadvantages of a teleconverter?
The teleconverter adds a few more layers of glass for the light to travel through so there’s chance the image quality will be degraded. This is more noticeable on cheaper models where contrast can suffer as well as added distortion and reduced sharpness.

The teleconverter reduces the amount of light reaching the film/sensor by the same factor as the magnification. So a 2x converter loses two stops of light and a 3x converter loses three stops of light.

Can you use more than one teleconverter?
Its possible to add several teleconverters in a stack. Sharpness decreasing and light loss increasing with each one added. In this article Stacking five 2x teleconverters Petapixel stacked five teleconverters onto a 300mm lens to get a huge 9600mm telephoto.

A couple of test photos with a teleconverter
Below are examples of two subjects taken with the illustrated combination above – an Olympus OMD EM5 MkII with a 50mm f/1.4 Pentax lens and a budget priced Ozeck 2x teleconverter. The left photos are without the 2x teleconverter and the right hand ones are with the teleconverter. The map is taken at the closest setting of the lens, and the city view is with the lens at infinity. The bottom pair are highly cropped pics from the city scene. You can click on the four top pics to see the full size version.

For those viewing on a mobile device 1, 3 and 5 are without teleconverter and 2, 4, 6 are with teleconverter

As you can see the converter loses contrast, but sharpness is not as bad as many people have made out over the years, and a converter is certainly a good idea if your budget is tight.

We have a selection of second-hand teleconverters here at PhotographyAttic – used teleconverters 


Camera Rifle Grips

rifle gripThere’s a video doing the rounds at the moment titled Leon The Professional. It’s being shared by photographers who’re impressed by the featured photographer’s home made “shooting” accessory.  The gent in question has adapted a wooden rifle stock to the bottom of his camera to create a comfortable hand holding gadget for long lens shooting …in this case bird photography.

Photographers who’ve been around before the digital age will remember this type of gadget is not new.

Back in the 70s they appeared in a kit from Russia called the PhotoSniper.

This was a Zenit camera with a chunky 300mm telephoto and a very realistic rifle grip below. Supplied in a metal box style case, at a very good bargain subsided price. But was seen as specialist gear as heavy and cumbersome for the majority of photographers.
Way before this in the 1950s-60s Novoflex had added a handle grip to the base of their long lenses in a gadget called the Pistol Grip Follow Focus. Available in 400mm, 600mm and 640mm with a 560mm joining the range in the 70s.  This gadget focused the lens when the trigger was squeezed…later models had a push pull action to focus. Lots of imnformation about the Novoflex system here NOVOFLEX accessory system for Exakta Varex at Photo but More

In the 70s-80s thanks to the popularity of the SLR and rise of camera accessory brands several budget Japanese/German products appeared from the likes of Rowi, Hama and Kaiser that could be attached to the base of your 35mm SLR to convert into a rifle grip. The Kaiser Kamera – Schulterstativ 6005 Rifle Grip was one such example.

These were light weight and had a cable release attached to the trigger to make rifle shooting simple. Camera Retailers Jessops and Dixons also sold rifle triggers for under £20.

And throughout the history of the 35mm camera, manufacturers have produced trigger grips that attach to the base of the camera to provide alternative and more comfortable ways of holding and firing the shutter.  These are just a simple hand grip shaped handle which are much lighter and far less bulky than the rifle grip.

 

 


Cokin filters revisited

There’s a really interesting article about photographer John Duder going back and experimenting with filters he never got around to using in the 80s over on ePHOTOzine: Experimenting With Filters From the Eighties I Have Never Used – Come Check Out The Results
Also interesting that we’ve got many of the filters he used here on PhotographyAttic. check out our Cokin A-Series section and the Cokin P-Series