question regarding wide angle bellows : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

on a 6x9 front , 4x5 back arca swiss camera, i am using a wide angle bellows for my "universal" bellows with lenses ranging from 65 to 210. when utilizing the 210 for one to one magnification (table top for example and which i do not commonly do), i should use a "standard" bellows which i do not have. my question is: with the wide angle bellows and with the 210 lens doing landscapes/scenics, can i "make do" with this bellow or should i go to the expense of adding a "standard" bellow to accomplish this specific task considering the specific format?

your answers and explaination would be appreciated.

-- raymond a. bleesz (, April 07, 1998


If all your work is "grand vistas", its at optical infinity, so you need to be able to extend your bellows to the focal length of the lens (210mm) to achieve focus. However, you probably want a couple of inches leeway to allow for camera movements. If your wide angle bellows can extend to 10" or a little more, you can probably handle this type of work; if not, you may have some difficulties.

If your work is not limited to distant scenics--for example, if, like me, you shoot the type of things that Eliot Porter used to call "intimate landscapes"--you probably want a bellows that can handle greater extension.

Since you've already got the wide angle bellows, why not stick with it a while and see if it handles what you need. You'll know soon enough if its limiting your work.

-- Rob Rothman (, April 07, 1998.

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