From: Paul Furman on
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?

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:
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1139/1396372967_f682af0555.jpg?v=0

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.

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?

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..

Here's an interesting modification allowing a lens to get closer to the
sensor for infinity focus by mounting it on the inside of the mount.
http://homepage2.nifty.com/akiyanroom/redbook-e/collection/blue.html

An off-the-shelf setup for this kind of work is a Novoflex Balpro TS but
that costs $1,300. One neat feature is it mounts on the lens, not on the
body which should make movements more intuitive (and more precise for
panorama shifting though that's not much of an issue with today's
stitching software). Another nice thing is it looks quite a bit more
compact than a PB-4 although I wonder how sturdy it is. The Balpro has
movements in front & back too. A sawed down PB-4 would be a much more
manageable size. In fact if it could be mounted on a simpler old 2-rail
bellows that would be even smaller and the focusing rack isn't needed
for infinity work:
http://www.pacificrimcamera.com/images/103798.jpg
http://www.pacificrimcamera.com/pp/nikon/bellows.htm

The other option is a Zork setup but that gets real expensive when you
put all the parts together:
http://www.zoerk.com/Zoerk%20info/product_guide_current.pdf
$550 MFS tilt
(includes:
$330 Tilt tube for
$229 Mini Makro Mount adjustable 'extension tube' for focusing)
$139 additional set of tubes
$50 35mm adapter
$600 shift adapter
$95 Tripod socket for mounting lens instead of body
$89 L-bracket for maintaining nodal point
$1,300 total.

This has a nice 30 degree tilt and parallax free shift for pano's and
it's super compact but I think only really works at infinity with large
format, or medium format without the shift adapter and I assume a heavy
lens would just flop over by it's own weight on the tilt mechanism.

Here's a detailed summary of pretty much all the options:
http://www.stitchpix.com/options.html

This quote from there is funny:
"Once upon a time in the far, far away land of Finland there was
develop�d a system quite similar to the Cambo Ultima 35 but a lot
cheaper and more innovative and yea! it was slain by mysterious and
arcane forces of darkness and thus it was smote and lain low these many
years hence."
...perhaps refers to this: http://www.naturfotograf.com/28pc.html
btw that looks a lot like the Novoflex but a bit smaller... it's not
something that can be found any more and if you did find it the price
would be silly.
From: Frank Arthur on

"Paul Furman" <paul-@-edgehill.net> wrote in message
news:CZY4j.5304$C24.1732(a)newssvr17.news.prodigy.net...
>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?
>
> 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:
> http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1139/1396372967_f682af0555.jpg?v=0
>
> 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.
>
> 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?
>
> 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..
>
> Here's an interesting modification allowing a lens to get closer to
> the sensor for infinity focus by mounting it on the inside of the
> mount.
> http://homepage2.nifty.com/akiyanroom/redbook-e/collection/blue.html
>
> An off-the-shelf setup for this kind of work is a Novoflex Balpro TS
> but that costs $1,300. One neat feature is it mounts on the lens,
> not on the body which should make movements more intuitive (and more
> precise for panorama shifting though that's not much of an issue
> with today's stitching software). Another nice thing is it looks
> quite a bit more compact than a PB-4 although I wonder how sturdy it
> is. The Balpro has movements in front & back too. A sawed down PB-4
> would be a much more manageable size. In fact if it could be mounted
> on a simpler old 2-rail bellows that would be even smaller and the
> focusing rack isn't needed for infinity work:
> http://www.pacificrimcamera.com/images/103798.jpg
> http://www.pacificrimcamera.com/pp/nikon/bellows.htm
>
> The other option is a Zork setup but that gets real expensive when
> you put all the parts together:
> http://www.zoerk.com/Zoerk%20info/product_guide_current.pdf
> $550 MFS tilt
> (includes:
> $330 Tilt tube for
> $229 Mini Makro Mount adjustable 'extension tube' for focusing)
> $139 additional set of tubes
> $50 35mm adapter
> $600 shift adapter
> $95 Tripod socket for mounting lens instead of body
> $89 L-bracket for maintaining nodal point
> $1,300 total.
>
> This has a nice 30 degree tilt and parallax free shift for pano's
> and it's super compact but I think only really works at infinity
> with large format, or medium format without the shift adapter and I
> assume a heavy lens would just flop over by it's own weight on the
> tilt mechanism.
>
> Here's a detailed summary of pretty much all the options:
> http://www.stitchpix.com/options.html
>
> This quote from there is funny:
> "Once upon a time in the far, far away land of Finland there was
> develop�d a system quite similar to the Cambo Ultima 35 but a lot
> cheaper and more innovative and yea! it was slain by mysterious and
> arcane forces of darkness and thus it was smote and lain low these
> many years hence."
> ..perhaps refers to this: http://www.naturfotograf.com/28pc.html
> btw that looks a lot like the Novoflex but a bit smaller... it's not
> something that can be found any more and if you did find it the
> price would be silly.

If you can find one HAMA made a bellows to fit the Nikon. I am
currently using mine on my D80. It is similar to the Hasselblad
Flexbody and has all the swings, tilts and shifts of many
Sinar type view cameras.


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

>> "Once upon a time in the far, far away land of Finland there was
>> develop�d a system quite similar to the Cambo Ultima 35 but a lot
>> cheaper and more innovative and yea! it was slain by mysterious and
>> arcane forces of darkness and thus it was smote and lain low these
>> many years hence."
>> ..perhaps refers to this: http://www.naturfotograf.com/28pc.html
>> btw that looks a lot like the Novoflex but a bit smaller... it's not
>> something that can be found any more and if you did find it the
>> price would be silly.
>
> If you can find one HAMA made a bellows to fit the Nikon. I am
> currently using mine on my D80. It is similar to the Hasselblad
> Flexbody and has all the swings, tilts and shifts of many
> Sinar type view cameras.

Hmm, pretty compact for medium format:
http://www.owenphotographicrepairs.com/bendybladg.htm
The one in the naturfotograf.com link above is the Hama... it's so tiny,
that would be nice but it does not exist. The Novoflex seems comparable:
<http://www.photographyblog.com/index.php/weblog/comments/novoflex_announces_balpro_t_s_tilt_shift_bellows/?

I even looked at a DIY solution:
http://www.velmex.com/manual_combining_unislides.html
http://www.deltron.com/catalog/specifications/?cat_id=194
http://www.velmex.com/in_stock_a15.asp
but those aren't cheap either & probably more precise than is needed
(slow). Add a turntable in the xy & another in the z direction & it
would probably be $2,000 before connecting to a camera & lens.
From: Paul Furman on
Matt Clara wrote:
> On Dec 3, 2:41 pm, Paul Furman <pa...@-edgehill.net> wrote:
>> 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?
>>
>
> No: http://www.mattclara.com/misc/nikonbellows/index.html

Ah, thanks I forgot about that page. Great explanation of the issues of
mounting non-Ai lenses also!
From: Toby on

"Paul Furman" <paul-@-edgehill.net> schrieb im Newsbeitrag
news:CZY4j.5304$C24.1732(a)newssvr17.news.prodigy.net...
>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?

I've never used one and it hasn't hurt anything as far as I can tell.

>
> 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:
>
All the end stops come off. You'll need an optical wrench with points to do
it right, but small needlenose pliers might work.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1139/1396372967_f682af0555.jpg?v=0

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

>
> 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.

There are no stops, but there is a fair amount of drag so it could be held
in place manually.
>
> 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?

They are friction locks, and yes, they are quite secure if you tighten them
enough. Mostly you just use your thumb and push them one way or the other.
>
> 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..

I don't remember and I am not near my unit. If you are really interested
remind me to look when I get back to Tokyo mid-December.
>
> Here's an interesting modification allowing a lens to get closer to the
> sensor for infinity focus by mounting it on the inside of the mount.
> http://homepage2.nifty.com/akiyanroom/redbook-e/collection/blue.html


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.

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. 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.

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...

Toby