Once again, a marriage of Contax and Yashica gear provides new opportunities for photography.
I had been trying to buy a Luminar Adapter for some time as people ask crazy prices for what is simply a disc with a C/Y mount on the rear and screw threaded hole on the front that takes standard microscope lenses.
The adapter actually came with a Contax Bellows and Focusing Rail at a price for the whole kit that was what others ask just for the adapter so I'm a happy bunny.
At the micro level, there's no benefit in a tilt/shift so you can use the Yashica Bellows to perfect effect; of course, the photo is not how the kit will be used as the Bellows will be attached vertically to a Macro Stand. I'll change the plate to a clear one and a light shone from underneath will be balanced by a light source from the sides of the Stand. Can't wait to try it out...
By using some of the lenses from the turret of one of my microscopes, the Luminar Adapter and bellows provides a macro facility that is up to 50x life size so the camera in effect becomes a low power microscope in its own right.
As I love shooting macro, this is the logical next step - it's more versatile than a microscope as it doesn't require a mains power supply for light; a few LEDs will do the trick and all that is needed is a remote shutter release as the Macro Stand provides stability. I do often use Yashica's superb Microscope Adapter but this has to be done indoors - again because of the need for a stable light source when working at up to 2000x magnification. Sadly I can't use a Yashica camera with the C/Y mount for this extreme magnification work because of vibration from the mirror so it's the Contax RTS Fundus that gets used with its mirror lock facility; however, it's quite heavy and can put a strain on the microscope eyepiece.
As for subjects for shooting, it can be almost anything from parts of a flower, an insect, a hair, crystals, a circuit board, etc., etc., etc. The fun thing with macro is shooting items that we are constantly used to seeing but when you get really close-up, the everyday becomes the exotic and often hard to recognise. It can be great fun and the images can prove very abstract, especially with uni-directional lighting.
Here are a couple of other approaches for those interested in this sort of thing. I don't have this problem because I mainly use Minolta gear and they made, over the years, three adapters for microscope (RMS -- Royal Microscope Society) threaded lenses, and I have two of them.
If you do a search on EBAY for "RMS ADAPTER", you will find dozens to choose from. I've seen them for Minolta, Canon, Nikon, Olympus and others. So there might be an RMS to C/Y adapter from time to time. Right now there are a few RMS to 42mm adapters. There are often others, such as RMS to 39mm, and even T. These adapters usually sell for $10-$25. If you can't find an RMS to C/Y adapter, you can probably get there with a little ingenuity. Get an RMS to 39mm or T or 42mm -- and then get an adapter for the adapter to get to the C/Y mount (for another $15). Any additional extension due to the adapter(s) will just be a small benefit.
I assume that there are adapters for 39mm to C/Y, T to C/Y, and 42mm to C/Y.
Well, the answer is simply that Yashica was in the process of switching from its proprietary Pentamatic bayonet mount to the universal M42 type when this Microscope Adapter was produced, so it was released in a Pentamatic box. I suppose it may have caused the occasional problem with an unwary customer but it was probably more cost-efficient than simply junking hundreds of boxes and delaying sales until the new ones became available.
As with most Yashica accessories of the early 1960s era, this is beautifully made and designed to last forever.