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
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.
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
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)
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
There’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.
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
A stepping ring is an adaptor that screws into the front of your lens to change the filter thread size. The idea is you can make one filter fit a number of lenses with different filter thread sizes by attaching a stepping ring in between the filter and the lens.
Their are always two numbers on a stepping ring. The filter thread size of the lens, and the filter thread size of the filter. They always start with the lens filter thread size first. You use a step up ring to attach a larger filter on to a lens with a smaller filter thread size And you step down to use a smaller filter on a lens with a larger thread.
So a 49-58mm stepping ring is a step up ring and will let you screw a 58mm filter onto a lens with a 49mm thread (see pic above). While a 67-55mm stepping ring is a step down ring and will let you screw a 55mm filter onto a lens with a 67mm thread.
Generally its better to use step up filters on wide angle lenses to avoid vignetting where the smaller filter encroaches into the edges of the frame. A step down filter is better used on telephoto lenses.
Here at PhotographyAttic we have a wide range of stepping rings from a number of brands. And we’ve reduced the price so most unbranded ones are £2.00 and ones with brand name are £3.00. Buy here: Stepping Rings for sale
Extension tubes are tubes without any optical elements that you place between the camera and lens of an interchangeable lens camera. They extend the lens so it can focus closer, giving the lens macro capabilities. Some have full automatic couplings so the camera can continue to be used in all its auto and program exposure and focus modes. Some lower priced ones have no couplings, so the camera needs to be used in manual.
Tubes are often sold in sets of three. The set illustrated above has 13mm, 21mm and 31mm extensions, and these can be attached in any combination giving a total of seven different extensions:
- 34mm (13mm+21mm)
- 44mm (13mm+31mm)
- 52mm (21mm+31mm)
- 65mm (13mm+21mm+31mm)
Here a set of three tubes can be seen attached to a Nikon digital SLR camera.
This photograph of a British one pound coin was taken using a nikon camera with a 55mm lens set to infinity and an extension tube added. The smaller coin on the left is with the 13mm and the coin on the right is with the three tubes attached giving 65mm extension. The lens was at f/2.8 to show how shallow depth of field is. When using tubes you either need to use a very small aperture or shoot the subject parallel to the CCD or film plane. Here the coin was at an angle so only a shallow strip across the centre is sharp.
Advantages of using Extension Tubes
Low cost macro
No optical degradation
Disadvantages of using Extension Tubes
Limited magnification variations
Fiddly changing between magnifications
Taking lens off increases risk of dust intrusion
We have a selection of extension tubes in different camera fittings
This seems like an interesting gadget to put on a Nikon SLR and convert the Laowa 12mm into a shift lens. ideal for architecture photographers.
The converter is designed exclusively for Sony FE lens mount and fits on cameras with a Nikon AI mount. It has a 1.4x magnification so the 12mm lens becomes an effective 17mm focal length and has a 1-stop aperture loss
With the 360g converter in place you get a +/- 10mm Shift
Combined cost of the 12mm and shift converter is about £1170.
You can find more info from the UK distributor here Laowa lenses