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Macro for Visoflex and M9

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Hi

 

I've been procrastinating for a very long time over getting something to work with my M9P for macro work - specifically taking shots of antique/vintage fountain pens I've restored for sale or show.

 

Technically I should be looking at a whole different camera (or digital Visoflex if I had a later M camera) but it would be great to get something working with the outfit I currently have.

 

To start with I have a Visoflex III and I have my M9P and a few lenses that suffice to say don't work well for close up.

 

I'd like to keep this simple and not break the back and I've figure out I'm probably looking at a v2 Elmar-V 65mm f3.5 which is a relatively 'meh' lens specifically built for the Visoflex and won't work directly on the M9 but apparently but does the job.  The Macro Elmar-M 90mm f4 has far too many zeros in the price even for a used one and it is indeed a nice lens.

 

Here is where I am:

 

1. Elmar-V 65/3.5 + 16464 universal focusing mount (OTZFO) + 16471 (OTPRO) ring extension

2. Tele-Elmar-M 135/4  + 16464 universal focusing mount (OTZFO) + 16471 (OTPRO) ring extension

 

Option 1 gives me infinity to 330mm (13") or 330mm - 270mm focusing distance with EF= 2x or 3.4x (apparently)

Option 2 gives me infinity to 980mm (38.5") or 980mm - 680mm focusing distance with EF = 1.4x or 2x (apparently)

 

I'm going to say the despite the Tele-Elmar being a significantly more useful lens outside macro work and with a significantly better optical formula its probably going to be a pain to use for my application use case.

 

I could look at getting the bellows adapter for the 135/4 but suspect this is just going to get a little unwieldy and out of hand.

 

Thoughts/experiences?

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I've done a lot of macro with the gear you already have:  M9, Viso III & the 65.  Perfectly acceptable results, will work fine for pens (am also a collector) - with good studio lighting @ f:16.

 

I didn't use extensions, just racked the bellows out...

 

Play with it, you'll see

 

Have fun!

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Interesting - so the bellows are something to consider vs the 16464 and these will mound nicely into my Gitzo ball-head tripod.

 

On that bases how does the 135/4 and the 65/3.5 compare on the bellows if thats where I'm heading...?

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Interesting - so the bellows are something to consider vs the 16464 and these will mound nicely into my Gitzo ball-head tripod.

 

On that bases how does the 135/4 and the 65/3.5 compare on the bellows if thats where I'm heading...?

It has been years since I used the 65 with bellows (eventually sold it), but I've used the 135 & bellows for many years. IMHO the 65 is certainly adequate for your purpose, albeit a little soft, but the 135 shines.

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Thanks for the feedback on the 135 :-)

 

With the 16556 bellows and 16558 ring, are we thinking the 135/4 is the better choice. The 65 Elmar with OTZFO and OTPRO is significantly more expensive than the 135 and bellows setup.

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I've done a lot of macro with the gear you already have:  M9, Viso III & the 65.  Perfectly acceptable results...

 

...I didn't use extensions, just racked the bellows out...

 

Play with it, you'll see

 

Have fun!

It's exactly my experience… apart M8 instead of M9...

 : bellows IS the way to go for… and it's not so costly to find.

And bellows (with proper adapters) gives you many more choices on lens: just as an oldstyle example, Summicron 50 DR (lenshead or complete, ungoggled) stands up fine towards the 65, and its aperture (seldom usable for the taking) allows to fine tune the focus point at best. Another interesting lens that I used with flowers is the V-Elmar 100 4,5 for enlarger : sharp as the Elmar 65 and with an excellent microcontrast (*).. I do remember well that, at M8 times, I often preferred to use the "chimney finder" on the Viso...an useful accessory that , also, can be sourced for not too much money.

And… when I changed M8 with M240 of course things changed significantly… but I don't say that Viso is "definitely out of usage"... expecially because the M240 EVF is not exactly at the top… of course I mostly use it.. is so simple to manage… but the clarity and wide area of the Viso is still highly appreciable.

 

(*) I suspect that some more modern lenses of the same range could be even more satisfying (Focotar II 100, or Rodagon… can be that someday I'll take one… they have all the std. LTM thread… no problem to be mounted on bellows) 

Edited by luigi bertolotti

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I think I’m pretty much sold on the bellows, but what would be fantastic is if anyone has some sample shots to share feom some of the lenses we’ve been talking about perhaps starting with a 65 vs 135 though some of the more exotic ones are beginning to sound interesting especially if they can be had for a budget price. I’ve tried searching for some samples but of course there is no EXIF data :-(

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“for my application use case.” Don’t know what you mean by that but I do not think there’s anything handier and at the same time high IQ than the 135 head on Visoflex iii adapters and/or bellows. This is it, you’ve reached the maximum if the M9P is your departure. Forget the 65, it’s too soft, also the most recent versions. The 135 is astoundingly good at close distance but also stopped down even to 32

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Hi Otto, what I mean by my application use case is for taking shots of antique/vintage fountain pens I've restored for sale or show vs. Staring into the eyeballs of spiders though that would be pretty cool.

 

I used to own a Canon 180/2.8 macro a few years back so I think the 135 will work well without too much foreshortening.

 

Thanks for the reply, from the 65 samples I’ve seen it does seem to render a little on the fuzzy side; I think those were the words Erwin Putts used in his lens compendium for that lens.

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Just looking at the bellows II on the forum wiki and it appears you also need a 17472 adapter for the 135 Elmar but not for the 65 or 90. Interesting, I’m wondering if that has anything to do With preventing the rear of the lens projecting into the Visoflex mirror.

 

This is the trouble with putting together shopping lists... and then there is the 16557 hood which I’m wondering would fit the Elmar 135 or for that matter be something I *really* need.

 

A relatively complicated system to figure out.

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Bellows ordered :-)

 

Just need to find a nice 135 Tele-Elmar and an OTSRO / 16472 extension tube which I apparently need as well for attaching to the bellows.

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The Visoflex System is not very complicated if you look at the charts published at many places.

 

Here is the chart for using the bellows II: 

 

https://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-wiki.en/index.php/Bellows_II_1977_Chart_(in_German)

 

 

Here the chart for using lenses and lens-heads on the Viso without bellows:

 

https://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-wiki.en/index.php/Visoflex_II_%2B_III_1960s_Chart

 

Since you already have the 16464 (OTZFO) + 16471 (OTPRO) the lens head for the 1:2.8/90mm Elmarit would be the obvious addition to your collection. I think it is the best lens for the Viso - with or without bellows. The 12575 hood which you can also use for 135mm lenses is also easy to get. 

 

 

 

 

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Interesting - the chart you have suggests just the 16558 ring but the one from the Leica forum wiki suggests I need the extension tube I mentioned above.

 

https://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-wiki.en/index.php/Bellows_II

 

Just to be clear I just have the M9P, Visoflex III and the bellows for now - no lens or extension accessories for the Visoflex.

 

Based on the technical chart for the bellows, the 90 looks pretty versatile but wasn’t 100% sure which lens version I’m looking for here. The 135 would be a good addition to my 35 and 75 lenses as well and is also affordable.

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There is one warning I forgot to mention: this set makes your sensor quite prone to dust. Somehow the mirror movements seem to push dust into the camerahouse. At least that’s my experience and theory. Dust tends to be more visible in macroshots because you work with smaller apertures too.

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Yes I’d read this somewhere about dust which is a pain. I do gently vacuum the camera from time to time when the dust hasn’t stuck to the sensor but it does eventually settle requiring a swab or visit to the Leica Store.

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I use Visoflex for decades now.

 

Today, I wanted to "be in your place" (for pen photos, I never took pictures of pens seriously).

 

So with 135mm lens (Tele-Elmar that I own also), it is not necessary to be at long distance from the subject.

In natural habit and shy creatures, this is THE lens for comfortable use.

 

I mounted on Visoflex III some trials for "pen photos".

 

My best "comfortable set" is M + Visoflex III + 16464 variable "ring" + Elmarit 2.8/90mm optical cell.

With this I can frame the whole pen and when full extended a bit more than "half-pen" ( Duofold ! )

 

I'll post some photos later.

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Here some "results from the set-up"


Please forgive lack of d.o.f. (quick hand held)


 


.



 


 


..


 



 


 


...


 



 


At back for "fun" balinese calendar on Lontar


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Hardware used for above


 


.


 



 


Hard (older) way


 


Visoflex III + prism + OTZFO+ Elmarit 2.8/90mm lens head


 


 



..


 



 


Simpler (new way)


with Visoflex (typ 020) plus old Visoflex III as 41mm spacer ring


right Tele-Elmar 4/135 lens head


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