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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Getting Closer....

The results I got a few weeks ago from using the NOOKY inspired me to try to get even closer to the subjects while still using my Leica III (F). After some googling and general browsing I found something that may prove to be an interesting option - Leica Close-Up filters.

My friend eBay was kind enough to sell me an ELPIK (#2 magnification) and ELPET (#3 magnification) for the agreeable sum of $0.99. It cost more than that to have them shipped from the Czech Republic where the seller was located but they finally arrived - and in great condition:

Now, anyone who knows anything about rangefinders will by now raise the question "How does one use close-up filters on a camera where you don't look through the lens?".
Leica came up with a quite brilliant and simple solution - that also can double as a deadly weapon for pets and plants around you - the BEOOY!

Photographer with a BEOOY adapter and a #2 or #3 supplementary front lens
© Leitz Auxiliary Reproduction Devices, 1939

Assuming the cat was not impaled on the extended focusing legs the result would look like this:
Unharmed cat
© Leitz Auxiliary Reproduction Devices, 1939

The 'setting device' BEOOY, shown two photos up, screws onto the lens and helps determine the correct distance and perspective when using one of the close-up filters. Depending on what filter you use - you adjust the legs and then 'frame' your subject by the four legs and move the camera until the legs touches the subject (or in the case of a cat - until it's 'close enough').

Another photo showing how framing and distance settings are accomplished using the BEOOY below:

A far less dangerous use of the BEOOY
Photo © Leitz Auxiliary Reproduction Devices, 1932

The BEOOY is a slightly different device compared to the other Leitz close-up devices from that time (BELUN, BESUM, BEINS BEKUR and BEHOO) in that there is no extension ring mounted between the camera body and lens. It is not able to go quite as close as the other devices - but it's more compact, allows for more rapid mounting and was - in the 1930's - the cheaper option for those that wanted to get closer to their subjects:

1939 price-list:
BELUN: $10.80
BESUM: $10.80
BEINS: $9.00
BEHOO: $15.00
BEKUR: $12.00

BEOOY: $7.80

It may not sound like a big price difference but $7.80 is about $120 in 2006-money and with an average yearly salary in 1939 of $1,368 that eight bucks could sure mean a lot (by the way - a Hershey bar was $0.05).

So, I got the close-up filters and now I'm on the look-out for the pet-piercing clamp-on legs before I can put them to use and post some sample photos here.

Note I: There was also a #1 close-up filter produced named "ELPRO"
Note II: Leitz also sold a close-up adapter named BEVOR that as far as I can tell is identical to the BEOOY. If anyone have any information about any differences between the two please do let me know.

(For more in-depth information about how to use the BEOOY see the pages below):


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow some great information here

November 14, 2006 2:11 AM  

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