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PB-6 Bellows - Architecture and Landscape Photography

Kirt Cathey , Jul 05, 2008; 01:25 a.m.

Is anybody using the PB-6 bellows for architecture photography out there? Need a quick howto on techniques that could be used with the bellows to take close-ups of large structures. Have hooked up a 16mm lens to the bellows but can only focus on things extremely close to the element. A few pointers or a link that explains the PB-6 for something other than macro or micro photography would be greatly appreciated.

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Ellis Vener , Jul 05, 2008; 03:13 a.m.

you'll need a long focal length lens that is not a telephoto design. The PB-s really is just meant for macro work and the swing and shift movement for controlling depth of field at macro distances not for architectural work.

Zaakiy Siddiqui , Jul 05, 2008; 03:46 a.m.

If you want quality perspective shift, I haven't done that so I'm not in a position to give advice.

However if a software fix will suffice, then you could use Photoshop or DxO Optics.

Ellis Vener , Jul 05, 2008; 04:23 a.m.

Response to PB-6 Bellows - Architecture and Landscape Photography: correction

" The PB-6 really is just meant for macro work and the swing and shift movement for controlling depth of field at macro distances not for architectural work."

if you want shift and possibly swing or tilt for architecture you need a PC- Nikkor: One of the new 24, 45 or 85 PC-E lenses or an older 28mm f/2.5, 35mm f/2.8 or 85mm Tilt Shift Micro Nikkors. Or you can look at the Zork adapters for medium format lenses etc lenses mounted on a Nikon body.

Bjorn Rorslett , Jul 05, 2008; 04:31 a.m.

You would need an enlarger-type lens of 105mm or longer, or any of the Bellows-Nikkors (105, 135 mm) to "get out of" the close-up range with this bellows device. But even then, any of the PC/PC-E Nikkors will give vastly more opportunities for architecture work.

If very low geometric distortion is important, I'd recommend the 45/2.8 PC-E or the 85 PC-E or 85 PC-Nikkor. If you shoot with a DX-format camera, the 24 PC-E should provide you with excellent quality for the line of work you are interested in.

Oskar Ojala , Jul 05, 2008; 04:58 a.m.

Like others said, the PB-6 is not really a good choice for architecture: it's mostly useful getting really close to the subject and I believe the PB-6 doesn't offer tilt or shift. A magnification of 1:2 is not terribly useful in architecture. Consider an tilt/shift lens instead, it's both easier to use and has useful features for architecture.

François P. Weill , Jul 05, 2008; 07:20 a.m.

Hello,

May I suggest you try to secure a PB-4 bellows, which has shift and tilt and to mount a lens with a very wide circle of sharpness (probably not a Nikkor but a view camera lens).

FPW

Edward Ingold , Jul 05, 2008; 08:05 a.m.

A PB-4 bellows has certain adjustments, but the limitations described by Ellis still apply. If you need simple perspective and DOF control, then on of the PC lenses is a good starting place. Nikon makes three (24, 45 and 85mm) and Canon also has several. If you want view camera flexibility, then use a view camera. Besides cut film, view cameras can be used with roll film adapaters, Hasselblad film backs or even a variety of medium (and large) format digital backs.

Kent Staubus , Jul 05, 2008; 09:44 a.m.

The Nikons 28mm and 35mm have shift only, no tilt. I have the 28mm PC and use it for architecture. I really perfer using my 4x5 field camera though, as I have vastly greater movements. The Nikon bellows are for macro use, as others have mentioned.

Kent in SD

Alex Lofquist , Jul 05, 2008; 02:48 p.m.

John Shaw's book "Closeups in Nature" (ISBN:0-8174-4052-6) will cover almost everything you would want to know about the use of bellows. I don't know what you would consider as a "close-up" of a "large structure". though. Perhaps the 24mm f/3.5 shift lens would work. If it were very important to me, I'd spend $2K on the new 24mm tilt/shift Nikkor.


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