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Searching for a LEICA-R bellows 16880 or equivalent

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Hi there,

I'm new here, from Chile, and need some advice:

I have seen a LEICA bellows (16 880) on the Website of a danish photographer, called Thorsten von Overgaard.
I'd like to buy one and went on eBay, but these bellows seem to be sold out, perhaps because of the recommendation on that website (scroll down):

https://www.overgaard.dk/Leica-M-Type-240-aka-Leica-M10-digital-rangefinder-camera-page-33-The-Leica-R-Lenses-on-Leica-M240-Catwalk.html

I wouldn't want to put a blue NOVOFLEX bellows on my LEICA camera, so a new one doesn't do the trick for me.
I'm a bit old-fashioned and so for my esthetics a bellows has to be black . . .

Would somebody of you out there know, where I could possibly buy a 16880 bellows in MINT conditions?
Or which one would be a good alternative to that 16880?

What I need that bellows for is to be able to shoot photos in my house, while being confined through that epidemia.
I'd take similar photographs as this Overgaard chap, you can look at his at the website (see link above).

Very much looking forward to your posts,

Peter

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Posted (edited)

Adorama seems to have the only one......

Edited by jankap

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vor 14 Stunden schrieb PetersPhotoChannel:

. . .I wouldn't want to put a blue NOVOFLEX bellows on my LEICA camera, so a new one doesn't do the trick for me.
I'm a bit old-fashioned and so for my esthetics a bellows has to be black . . .

 

Hi Peter, I agree 100%. For me, the bellow must be black and the metal parts can be blue.

Regards, Stefan

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Leica Bellows 16880 look to me suspiciously like they were potentially made for Leica by someone like Novoflex - I might be wrong but the design is reminiscent of Novoflex products. Leica bellows 16860 was made by Leica I think (I had one) but is not actually all that solid in use! If you don't mind using discreet steps in magnification then an alternative is to use Leica 'extension tubes - 14581-1 + multiples of 14135 tubes + 14158-2. This gives a far sturdier system and is often a cheap option to bellows.

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I have recently been on exactly the same search. I also have been in communication with Martin Grahl of Novoflex. As I understand it there are 5 models of R Bellows as follows:

Novoflex R3 manual diaphragm model       ) For cameras R3 to R7 and 1, 2 or 3 cam lenses
Novoflex R3 Automatic diaphragm model  ) For cameras R3 to R7 and 2 or 3 cam lenses. R cam lenses are a question mark and may mount but not have auto-diaphragm
Leica 16860 query made by Novoflex          )  For cameras R3 to R7 and 2 or 3 cam lenses. R cam lenses are a question mark and may mount but not have auto-diaphragm

Any of the above must not be used with ROM cameras or ROM lenses

Novoflex BR-2        ) For R8 and 9 cameras but may work with earlier cameras, possibly other than auto diaphragm. Designed for 3 Cam, R Cam and ROM lenses
Leica 16880           ) Identical to the above and definitely made by Novoflex

All of the bellows will also work with the non-focus helicoid Novoflex R mount bellows lenses, the 40, 60 and 100mm Noflexar lenses. 

I have just bought a 16880/BR-2 from Italy. It has a chrome or stainless front mount rather than the black front mount of earlier bellows. 

Wilson

 

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Hi there,

and thank you all for your comments & help!

@jankap I looked for the bellows at Adorama and they actually have one, but it's rated "V" as to it's estate, so that one's not for me. Thank you for the hint anyway!

 @pgk You are right, the Bellows from LEICA were manufactured by NOVOFLEX.
I always thought that extension tubes render less IQ, that's why I had discarted them in the first place. But after all, the bellows extends too, and if the extension tubes come from LEICA, they should render well. I found the R extension tubes you mention in Argentina:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/LEICA-R-EXTENSION-TUBES-SET-14158-1-14158-2-14135-MACRO/183619620848?hash=item2ac0950ff0:g:VY4AAOSwOGlbXqoL

There's another offer on eBay: but this offer on eBay shows other numbers (14134-1, 14134-2 and 14135) than the ones you wrote:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Leica-Leitz-14134-1-14134-2-and-14135-extension-tubes-set-Macro-rings-R/114066178901?hash=item1a8edfc355:g:fnkAAOSwGj9eHeJr

You have been very helpful and I don't want to overstay the welcome with my macro problem, but if there'd be any input as to the difference of these two LEICA extension tube sets, it would be highly welcome. If not I'll go for the safe alternative with the set from Argentina.

@wlaidlaw I do have a LEICAFLEX SL2, an R3, a R6.2 and the new SL2, so I'm quite familiar with the compatibilities of the cam and ROM lens versions - had to be 😀

Here's the table with what camera goes with which mount version:

If nobody here is of the opinion, that bellows will render better IQ, then I'd go for the extension tubes and not hazzle with the bellows.

Very much looking forward to your comments,

Peter

 

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Posted (edited)

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Bellows or tubes can't render better or worse, that is all down to the lens (and other factors such as lighting and exposure).

The bellows are more versatile but tubes are convenient to carry about.

Depending what you want to do, another option is a close up lens which is like a filter that fits to the front of your lens. Leica Elpro close up lenses for R.

Edited by earleygallery

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Posted (edited)

The lens where apparently a bellows or extension is not a good idea, is the 100mm/f2.8 APO Macro-Elmarit R. For increased magnification, Leica specifically advise against use of either a bellows or extension tubes and say that the ELPRO 16545 close up attachment must be used instead. After having vanished for a month en route from New Zealand, my 100mm Macro-Elmarit-R has been tracked again, still sitting in Auckland, NZ airport but saying it is again being loaded on a plane, just like it was apparently on 2nd April but must subsequently have been unloaded. That lens if it ever arrives, comes complete with the ELPRO 16545 and the 12528 hood for it. I have acquired for very little money, a Noflexar 60mm R mount lens to use on my 16880 bellows. 

Wilson

Edited by wlaidlaw

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I was just about to answer to @earleygallery that I want to use my 100mm APO-ELMARIT-R for that purpose, when I saw your post saying that this might not be the right choice. Just now I was reading about the ELPRO 1:1 on Fred Mirandas Forum: https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/682060

I will buy this ELPRO in any case now, and go on until finding my bellows/extension tubes solution.

Peter

 

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The reason apparently that the 100 APO does not work well with extension tubes, according to Erwin Puts, is the internal focusing arrangement, where the two rear elements stay stationary and the front 6 elements focus by moving relative to them. This also has the odd effect that the lens is sharper/greater resolution at maximum aperture than it is at smaller apertures, as can be seen on the MTF diagrams. 

Wilson

 

100mm:f2.8 APO Macro Elmarit-R.pdf

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1 hour ago, wlaidlaw said:

The reason apparently that the 100 APO does not work well with extension tubes, according to Erwin Puts, is the internal focusing arrangement, where the two rear elements stay stationary and the front 6 elements focus by moving relative to them. This also has the odd effect that the lens is sharper/greater resolution at maximum aperture than it is at smaller apertures, as can be seen on the MTF diagrams. 

Internal focusing lenses are optimised to project the image at a fixed distance from the rear of the lens. Add extension (bellows or tubes) and the projected image moves away from its optimum position and image quality quickly suffers. The focal length of the lens often shifts during focusing too so the quoted focal length seems to be that at infinity. I seem to remember that most IF macro lenses become shorter as they focus closer but I have not looked into the 100 APO to check if this is the case.

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Well, thank you all very much.

Through this forum blog I have found two pieces of equipment - the one I searched for (well, extension tubes instead of a bellows) and an unexpected one:

The extension tubes (14581-1 + multiples of 14135 tubes + 14158-2 @pgk ):

And the ELPRO 1:1 for the 100mm APO-ELMARIT-MACRO-R

 

I found them both on eBay, photos are from the sellers, both are in a very good shape.

@earleygallery Leica Elpro close up lenses for R

I found them on eBay too. Will try the ELPRO that matches the 100mm Macro first, but keep the close up lenses in mind, if I want to get closer or attach them to another lens.

So thank you all very much again and take care

Peter 📸 🎞️ 📽️

 

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The Extension tube set can be extended by adding 14135 tubes as you say and this set-up is very rigid - you can also adapt lens clamps/feet to provide support - this system works very well indeed with the 60mm Macro-Elmarit which is a very fine optic - if you want one make sure that its focus mechanism is smooth and has no wear or damage though.

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The bellows which Paul has posted a link to above, from information advised to me by Martin Grahl of Novoflex, cannot mount ROM lenses or mount on an R8 or 9. He was not sure about R cam lenses as well but they may be OK if they will mount. Some of the later R cam lenses may have a collar which will foul the mount on the front of the bellows. See Martin's advice below. 

"Leica R lenses with a ROM-contact bar should be useable on later bellows with Leica R-mount. The contact bar on these lenses sits flush with the bayonet (see here: https://www.grainlab.com/images/product_images/original_images/leitz_14-50_1b.jpg) What could prevent certain lenses from being used, is the rear protective plastic shroud. This could foul the mechanism that controls aperture simulation. What could also prevent these lenses from being used on older NOVOFLEX Leica R bellows, is the centering diameter that got added by Leica to the bayonet at some point in time. (it is a tiny phase on the bayonets diameter which will prevent the use of newer lenses on older bellows -since the lens does not sink into the bayonet far enough, in order to be mounted successfully)"

Wilson 

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@wlaidlaw

If the implementation of a bellows can lead to damages, then it's not worth it for me. I don't need a bellows for a specific task, I just wanted to have some new toy to play with, in order to survive the lock down with something interesting to do.

If bellows are so complicated I rather stick to my 100mm APO-ELMARIT-R Macro and my "new" ELPRO 1:1 and with the extension tubes, and see what I can do with them.
If I produce something worth publishing with that new hardware, I'll post it here.

Peter

 

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1 hour ago, PetersPhotoChannel said:

@wlaidlaw

If the implementation of a bellows can lead to damages, then it's not worth it for me. I don't need a bellows for a specific task, I just wanted to have some new toy to play with, in order to survive the lock down with something interesting to do.

If bellows are so complicated I rather stick to my 100mm APO-ELMARIT-R Macro and my "new" ELPRO 1:1 and with the extension tubes, and see what I can do with them.
If I produce something worth publishing with that new hardware, I'll post it here.

Peter

 

Peter, the later 16880 Leica Focusing Bellows R BR2 (and Novoflex equivalent) are perfectly safe for ROM lenses. Indeed it is listed as an accessory in the Leica R9 catalogue:

Variable extension for stepless changes in the reproduction ratio. Integrated focusing carriage. The automatic iris diaphragm function of the lens is preserved, so that the aperture priority automatic exposure control mode as well as the manual control of shutter speed and aperture can be used. All Leica R lenses from 50mm to 180mm as well as the special LEICA PHOTAR lenses can be used on the Focussing Bellows. Order No. 16 880.

Whether or not you actually need it, given that you will have the 100 Macro + its dedicated Elpro is another matter! Personally, I would only buy these bellows if I was interested in hard-core micro photography using the Photar adapter and Photar lenses.

 

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35 minutes ago, masjah said:

I would only buy these bellows if I was interested in hard-core micro photography using the Photar adapter and Photar lenses.

Photars are specialist lenses and using them on bellows is far from easy in my experience. The lens I found most useful was the 60mm Macro-Elmarit which works well even at full bellows extension. Its also relatively cheap as Leica lenses go. I now use an M bellows fitted to a Sony A7II with a variety of lenses. Its worth remembering that a bellows is a bellows is a bellows. I'm tempted to make a back to fit various cameras for a Tailboard Gandolfi which gives vast and stable adjustment and with ingenuity can be used with many, many lenses. Depends what you want to do really. On an R and for simplicity the 100APA/ELPRO will be hard to beat, for relative ease of use for higher magnification the 60/Bellows or 60/Extension Tubes would be my choice.

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The Novoflex 60mm Noflexar lenses are considerably cheaper than the 60 Macro R and available in a number of mounts including Leica R. I paid £69 for one earlier this week. I have lots of adapters including weird ones like M lens to LTM, LTM lens to R  mount and M lens to R mount, so will be able to use various reprographics and enlarger lenses from Leica, Schneider, Rollei and Rodenstock that I have, on the 16880 bellows. 

Wilson

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@masjah Thank you for your info 🙂

Currently there's no 16880 bellows for sale on eBay.
But there are plenty of 16860 bellows for sale, which apparently were sold to go with the LEICA R3 to R7 cameras.
Any one here would have experience with those or know why they are so much cheaper?

As to 3cam or ROM that would not bother me as I have bought every lens with both versions. It's that I started with R-cameras and then bought the SL2. And then I wanted the SL2 to recognize the mounted lenses automatically, so I bought a second set with ROM. For all, except my 280mm f4, which I only have in the ROM version, and the 400mm f6.8, which I only have as a 3cam.

As I had read that LEICA was mounting ROM contacts on 3cam lenses I also bought a second 21mm f4, but then found out that LEICA has no more ROM contacts and that they never had any for this lens. Wish I had already been a member back then, sure somebody would have warned me . . . 🙂

 

 

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