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06-03-2014, 06:52 PM   #1
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Pentax has a long history of "thinking small"

I just purchased a Pentax Auto Bellows on eBay for a decent price. I was shocked at just how much smaller and lighter it was compared to my other bellows from the same "golden era" of film cameras. For example, compared to my Canon Auto Bellows FD, the Pentax Auto Bellows weighs nearly 1 pound less. Anyway, it got me thinking that Pentax has been "thinking small" for far longer than I had remembered. Food for thought. Enjoy!



06-03-2014, 06:56 PM   #2
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Having the bellows elevated is a good idea though. This ensures that the camera body doesn't come in contact with the rail, and that the knobs can easily be turned.

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06-03-2014, 07:17 PM   #3
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the K3 body fits just fine, although rotating it has to happen with the camera all the way back (unlike the Canon). I happen to use the Canon around my home. But if I'm traveling guess which one I first consider packing in my bag? :P

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06-03-2014, 07:31 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
Having the bellows elevated is a good idea though. This ensures that the camera body doesn't come in contact with the rail, and that the knobs can easily be turned.
DSLR bodies cannot be mounted or rotated into "portrait" mode on the Pentax Auto Bellows unless one adds a small extension tube between the body and the bellows mount. My K1000 body does not have this problem.

Another thing with elevating the bellows like that is that you have enough room to use a motor drive on the film body.

06-03-2014, 07:35 PM   #5
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ah yes, I forgot to add: on the Pentax Auto Bellows you will need a small extension to mount and rotate a modern digital camera.

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06-04-2014, 04:53 AM   #6
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...and I might add that even with the Canon, the K-3 battery grip doesn't clear the rail when used horizontally!! For me this is the key issue when it comes to bellows: I prefer to move the camera back and forth rather than the lens because I find it makes stacking better.

YMMV

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06-04-2014, 12:05 PM   #7
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I would agree. Pentax systems have always seemed to place an emphasis on being small. My father's ME Super is small. The Auto 110 was small. The Q is small. K mount lenses are typically smaller than the competition since the IS is done in the body.

06-04-2014, 02:07 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
I would agree. Pentax systems have always seemed to place an emphasis on being small. My father's ME Super is small. The Auto 110 was small. The Q is small. K mount lenses are typically smaller than the competition since the IS is done in the body.
But then....the Pentax 6 X 7 was absolutely huge !
06-05-2014, 08:30 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
But then....the Pentax 6 X 7 was absolutely huge !
Well, yes...but not so much for a 6X7 SLR. It was much better handling than an RB67.
06-12-2014, 12:55 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
DSLR bodies cannot be mounted or rotated into "portrait" mode on the Pentax Auto Bellows unless one adds a small extension tube between the body and the bellows mount.
I'm curious. What exactly does the extension tube do? Is the flash protrusion a problem?
06-12-2014, 02:03 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
I'm curious. What exactly does the extension tube do? Is the flash protrusion a problem?
The shape of the mount base on the camera bodies are different. The film bodies the lens release is a lever/button on the side and the base is rounded. DSLRs have corners - the lens release button makes one of the corners. These corners hit the foot of the rear standard of the bellows. The auto focus selector switch gets in the way if you try to mount the camera in portrait orientation. Adding an extension tubes lets the corners and button clear the foot of the bellows.

You can sort of make out how little clearance there is at the foot of the bellows standard.


Here is a K1000 film body. Compare it with a DSLR body and see how much narrower it is and lacking the large protruding corners. (ignore the arrow).
06-12-2014, 11:53 PM   #12
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I see. Well, I guess it's only a minor hassle and the whole setup is meant for macro anyway, so the extension tube doesn't cause any problems.
07-25-2014, 12:11 AM   #13
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How do you use an auto bellows with a DSLR if the bellows requires a manual cable?
07-25-2014, 02:45 AM   #14
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Use a cable release to stop down the lens. Then stop-down meter or take your exposure. Essentially the same procedure as using a M42 lens with auto/man switch. On the M, K or A Auto Bellows there is a knurled knob on the cable release socket that can be pressed and turned to lock that stops down the lens. You can use the double cable release or a single cable, there is just no mechanical cable release socket on the DSLR. However you could fabricate a mechanical to electrical release adapter. Canon used to make one or you can find DIY instructions on the Internets.
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