From: Paul Furman on
Toby wrote:
> Paul Furman schrieb:
>> I have a few questions for anyone who has a PB-4 or is familiar. And some
>> discussion below.

Thanks for the detailed answers! :-)

> That looks totally stupid. Why not just not extend the bellows as far?

The reason is for discrete shooting in public and convenience: for
infinity focusing, there is no need for a long rail, that's only for
macro. I figure around 1-1/2 inches of movement is enough for general
photography. Extension tubes could be added for macro work or an
unaltered PB-4.

> I have an old brass barrel 135mm lens that works fine on the front. If you
> go with a 150 (or probably 105) enlarging lens you wouldn't need to go
> through such contortions, plus you would have wider coverage for extreme
> swings.

Zoerk sells their system with these medium format enlarging lenses:
$850 80mm f/4 APO Rodagon (modified) ($655 at B&H)
$650 90mm f/4.5 Schneider APO Componon ($630 at Adorama)
$350 80mm f/4.5 Schneider Componon S (modified)
$350 90mm f/4.5 APO Rogonar S

With some modifications on a PB-4 to mount closer, a 35mm shift lens can
be used to get wide angle although the lens needs to have the mount
removed. On an APS DSLR those lenses will tilt & shift more than full
frame 35mm. With the finest setup, a DSLR can be shifted behind a tilted
large format lens and stitched into the same image that a view camera
would capture, although with more DOF. This requires full independent
front & back tilts & shifts, I think only the huge $4,000 Cambo will do

> Personally I have been quite underwhelmed by the capabilities of the PB-4.
> You don't have anywhere near the kind of movements that a view camera has:
> the back rail is fixed and the front simply slides from side to side and
> does horizontal swings.

Yes those are some of the things I'd like to change. The Hassleblad
flexbody link I posted was modified for these reasons. It's also
possible to simply mount a DSLR on the back of a cheap old LF view
camera but you are again stuck with only telephoto large format lenses:

> Mounting vertically you do have the option of
> dropping the front but that is of limited use in controlling plane of focus
> because the back is fixed. Obviously Nikon knew this as well, since the PB-6
> went back to fixed rails. I suppose that with the lensbaby craze it is of
> some limited usefulness, but in that case you are better off with a
> lensbaby.

I tried a lensbaby, they are fun but they suck. I'm exploring better
optics but the movements suck with a handheld lensbaby approach and
that's why I'm looking at this idea. The PB-4 is good but yes it's
limited and that's why I'm interested in maybe putting the front tilt
mechanism on the back also. Vertical tilt would be nice, and vertical
adjustment. Even better if the lens remained fixed and the body did most
of the movements like the Novoflex.

> Be aware that the D200 body can only be mounted and dismounted with the
> bellows in portrait orientation. No big deal really, but a bit of a pain...
From: Paul Furman on
Just copying these answers to the DSLR group...

Max Perl wrote in
> Paul Furman skrev:
>> I have a few questions for anyone who has a PB-4 or is familiar. And some
>> discussion below.
>> 1. Do I need an extension ring to mount on a D200?
> Not 100% sure......but without the batterypack I would guess that it
> can be mounted without en extension ring.
>> 2. Does at least one of the end caps on the 4 rails come off? I saw one
>> modified to shorten it and am also curious if two female PB-4 mounts could
>> be attached, switching out the actual mounts for more flexibility in
>> tilting & shifting. Shortened modification:
> You can remove both end caps by unscrewing 4 "end screws". There are
> two tiny holes in each.
>> 3. When rotating from landscape to portrait, can you stop anywhere
>> between? I'm guessing it's just a matter of possibly being too loose so
>> that things wouldn't stay put but if there's enough tension this might be
>> workable.
> My PB-4 has tension enough to hold a Nikkormat FTn in between........
>> 4 the adjustments for tilt & shift are levers on the front, how do these
>> work? Does the lever just loosen it and you push it with your hand or
>> something else? Are these pretty secure for a heavy lens if the unit is
>> set at 90 degrees to get vertical movement?
> push the levers......and then you push by hand the tilt and
> lever for each.....and when you is very locked :-)
>> 5. What does the small 'thing' on the front lens mount do? It looks like
>> maybe a place to attach an aperture diaphragm... if there was more
>> mechanisms inside..
> Small thing? is the push unlock the lens like you
> have
> on the camera body. There is not buttom to close down the diagram.
> The PB-4 is a fantastic piece of machinery..... much nicer than e.g. a
> Hasselblad bellows.....and much cheaper.....