June 17, 2017

Macro Bellows for Canon EF Mount Review

Overview Bellows for Canon EF w/ rail and EF-S 17-85 IS USM

Until all texts and implementation examples are duly completed, this page is meant as a reference showing illustrations of the parts comprising the Macro Bellows for Canon EF Mount.
Enjoy some eye candy!

The bellows


Manufacturer Specification:
Model:Canon EF
Length:15.90 cm (6.26")
Width w/ Knobs:10.90 cm (4.29")
Height:10.60 cm (4.17")
Min Lens Distance:  3.50 cm (1.38")
Max Lens Distance:14.25 cm (5.61")
Mounting Holes:1 x 1/4"-20
Safety Stop Screws:---
Weight:380 gr (13.4 oz)
Color:Black hard coat 
Material:Aluminum
Made in :China


Bellows EF rear view w/ caps contracted - extended
Macro Bellows EF rear view with optional Canon caps from contracted to extended stage.

Bellows EF front view w/ caps contracted - extended
Macro Bellows EF front view with optional Canon caps from contracted  to extended stage.

Bellows EF w/ out caps rear - front - bottom view
Macro Bellows EF with caps removed showing rear body mount, front lens mount and bottom base with 1/4"-20 screw.

Bellows EF front lens mount detail
Macro Bellows EF front metal lens mount and release knob on side

Bellows EF rear body mount detail
Macro Bellows EF rear metal body mount.

Bellows EF rack and pinion mechanism detail
Macro Bellows EF rack and pinion mechanism on left slide bar

Attaching a Hejnar Arca Compatible Rail



Manufacturer Specification:
Model:A03-70
Length:17.78 cm (7.0")
Width:4.27 cm (1.68")
Height:3.25 cm (1.28")
Tapped Holes:1/4"-20 & 3/8"-16
Safety Stop Screws:2 x M3
Weight:220 gr (7.7 oz)
Color:Black hard coat anodized
Material:C.N.C. machined 6061-T6 Aluminium
Made in :USA

Hejnar A03-70 Arca double dovetail MPR top
Hejnar Photo A03-70 Multi Purpose Rail with double Arca dovetail

Hejnar A03-70 MPR bottom view
Hejnar Photo A03-70 Multi Purpose Rail bottom view

Bellows EF modification on front foot
Macro Bellows EF modification on front foot drilling a guide hole

Bellows EF tapping mounting hole on front foot
Tapping 1/4"-20 mounting hole on Macro Bellows EF front foot

Bellows EF mounting hole tapped
Macro Bellows EF mounting hole tapped 1/4"-20

Bellows EF existing mounting hole detail
Macro Bellows EF existing1/4"-20 mounting socket on thumb screw

Bellows EF preparation of Hejnar A03-70 MPR
Hejnar A03-70 MPR with 2 x 1/4"-20 mounting screws and a couple of felt gaskets aside Macro Bellows EF

Bellows EF w/ Hejnar A03-70 MPR mounted
Hejnar A03-70 MPR attached on bottom of Macro Bellows EF
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Mounting an O Shape Macro Flash Bracket

A flash bracket is a sine qua non part, when talking about a macro rig!
In this case the Hejnar A03-70 Arca Style multipurpose rail is ideal for this specific Macro Bellows both for having a double dovetail and for its length, since the remaining part that protrudes on the front allows for the attachment of any kind of flash bracket, which is equipped with an Arca QR clamp.
For this purpose I have built an O-Shape Macro flash bracket, able to clamp on the rail front as shown below.


Bellows EF w/ Hejnar MPR and O shape bracket aside
Macro Bellows EF with Hejnar A03-70 MPR attached aligned to accept O-shape flash bracket

Bellows EF w/ Hejnar MPR and O shape bracket attached
Macro Bellows EF with Hejnar A03-70 MPR and O-shape flash bracket attached on front upper dovetail of MPR
For more information about the structure and installation of the macro flash bracket you may check my article Create a Versatile O-Shape Macro Flash Bracket

Mounting a Lens

Bellows EF w/ Hejnar MPR and EF-S 17-85 IS USM aside
Macro Bellows EF with Hejnar A03-70 MPR and EF-S 17-85 IS USM sitting next

Bellows EF w/ Hejnar MPR and EF-S 17-85 IS USM mounted
Macro Bellows EF with Hejnar a03-70 MPR and EF-S 17-85 IS USM mounted normally


Using the Bellows

My setup requires the reverse mounting of the lens on a macro bellows which will result at approximately 7.5 X magnification, but this means a very-very shallow depth of field and a very-very narrow actual aperture. In this case the versatile Hejnar PHOTO MS-3_8 Macro Stage proved an indispensable component for the precise positioning in order to take multiple shots in different depths and then photo stacked.

Bellows EF w/ EF-S 17-85 IS USM reverse mounted
Macro Bellows EF equipped with Hejnar A3-07 7" Arca-Swiss® compatible MPR, then clamped on the top QR clamp of the Hejnar MS-3_8 Macro focusing stage.
Some more details about reverse mounting the lens may be found in Reverse Mount Lens Adapter Rings for Canon EF Mount while for the setup may be found in my articles Hejnar PHOTO MS-3_8 Linear Motion Macro Focusing Stage Review and Create a Transportable Super Macro Rig

Pros
Very low price compared to OEM brand bellows.
Rigidity greatly enhance with the addition of bottom Multi Purpose Rail

Cons
Somewhat unstable if used as it comes, i.e. without added bottom Multi Purpose Rail
Lack of contacts permits Manual use of lenses only.

Conclusion
If you are looking for an inexpensive alternative to the very high priced high magnification ratio  Macro lenses, then this Macro Bellows for Canon EF mount is worth trying. The quality of the bellows itself is very good and did not show any deterioration after some years of use by now.
Nonetheless, at these high magnifications, manual focusing with photo stacking is a must, so you won't miss the Auto Focus and Aperture setting of your lenses.

I hope you found the article and ideas useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos & Photosynths: © 2013-2017 S.C.Vlachos

Price & Availability:
The specific Macro Bellows model described in this article sells under different brand names between US$ 45.00 and 50.00 or between GBP 38.00 and 45.00 or between EUR 49.00 and 82.00.
Macro Bellows are available from Amazon and at similar prices the specific model can also be purchased from eBay

Additional Rear Lens Cover and a Camera Body Cap sets are also available from Amazon and of course from eBay.

Furthermore, the Hejnar A30-70 Multipurpose Rail costs about US$ 45.00 and is available from the Hejnar Photo online store.

If you are interested in the Hejnar product, do check the Recommended Sellers page for the current valid Hejnar Photo discount coupon before ordering.

Referenced Articles:

Canon EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Reference
Canon EF-S 17-85 mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM Lens Reference
Mini Flash Holder Ball Head Reference
Create a Versatile O-Shape Macro Flash Bracket
Reverse Mount Lens Adapter Rings for Canon EF
Reverse Mount Lens Adapter Rings for Canon EF Mount Review
Hejnar Photo MS-3_8 Linear Motion Macro Focusing Rail Review
Hejnar PHOTO MS-3_8 Linear Motion Macro Focusing Stage Review
Create a Transportable Super Macro Rig
Create a Transportable Super Macro Rig







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Macro Extension Tube Set for Canon EF Mount
Macro Extension Tube Set for Canon EF Mount

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