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08-20-2014, 12:50 PM   #1
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Pentax Auto Bellows A Mystery

I recently acquired an Auto Bellows A set with slide copier. It was complete with boxes, instruction manuals, dual cable release and scale. The only thing missing were the film strip holders but I can probably fabricate something.

It seems the only differences I can see between the K and M Auto Bellows is the deletion of the scale for 55mm lenses and removing the magnification markings from the scale. They could have put markings for both the 55mm and 50mm lenses one scale actually - with different colors or offsetting one or the other. No big deal, you just have to refer to the tables or do the math or mark the scale yourself. But back to the differences. The lens mounting (front) standard has a metal stud and a screw hole a little ways beneath. These are only on the same side with the lens release lever. There is no mention of what these are or are for in the instruction manual even though they appear in the pictures. I haven't seen this stud or hole in the pictures for the K, M or Screw mount bellows. Nor have I seen them in any photos of these model bellows, only the A model.

It would seem some sort of accessory was planned. Either it was never released or just very uncommon.

Any ideas what it could be? Are there any catalogs or product brochures that might show what it was for?



08-20-2014, 01:23 PM   #2
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Is that threaded hole for a cable release?
08-20-2014, 01:33 PM   #3
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No, too small for a cable release. There's a knob/button on the foot of the front standard by the positioning knob that is threaded for cable release. This stops down the lens. You can push the button in and twist it to lock it for stop-down metering.
08-20-2014, 01:40 PM   #4
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Ahh, I see.

08-20-2014, 03:11 PM   #5
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It looks like you may be able to download a free copy of the manual for this unit here: PENTAX Auto Bellows Slide Copier A manual – Manual Free Download
and possibly here: PENTAX AUTO BELLOWS-A MANUAL Pdf Download.


The second source allows you to access the manual on-line but it appears that the document was Xeroxed and the photos leave something to be desired.


I hope 1 or the other might work for you.
08-20-2014, 03:22 PM   #6
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I have the original manuals. You can see the hole and stud in the pictures but they are not labeled in parts diagram nor is there any mention of their function.

I'm guessing it is for a bracket for something. It can't be anything substantial given the size of the stud and hole. The stud or nipple would fit in a hole/socket on the bracket and a set screw would lock it in place.

May be a cable holder for a ring flash or something? What new features cam along with the "A'" system? TTL or Off-The-Film flash metering? I can't imagine why that would spawn some sort of add-on to the bellows.
08-20-2014, 03:51 PM   #7
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Sorry I didn't pay sufficiently close attention to your original post.
I did find this link here: Die Cast Pro - Asahi Pentax Auto Bellows II but I don't think I see anything in the illustrations that look like they would work unless it was a mounting for the measuring guide (in which case it should appear on the top and not the side of the mount.

08-20-2014, 04:41 PM   #8
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The earlier "Pentax Auto Bellows M" here has exactly the same stud and threaded hole.
The -M and -A "Pentax lenses and Accessories" catalogs here show them in photos of the bellows, but no mention of them.
No mention by Herbert Keppler either.
I would not recommend to undo the 6 K mount screws to investigate, because there are mechanics in there for the lens release and the dual cable stop down.
I can visualize bits and pieces flying out.
08-20-2014, 05:24 PM   #9
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It is not beyond the realm of possibility the tapped hole was used in the assembly process, such as for a bracket mount, and just left there.
08-20-2014, 05:44 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by wombat2go Quote
The earlier "Pentax Auto Bellows M" here has exactly the same stud and threaded hole.
The -M and -A "Pentax lenses and Accessories" catalogs here show them in photos of the bellows, but no mention of them.
No mention by Herbert Keppler either.
You are correct, I just looked more closely at the manual for the M and the hole and stud are there in some pictures. They may have recycled some photos from the K manual. Some of the pictures in the A manual lack them too.

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
It is not beyond the realm of possibility the tapped hole was used in the assembly process, such as for a bracket mount, and just left there.
Yes, quite possible. I suppose unless some piece of literature turns up showing what these structures are for we will never know for sure.
08-22-2014, 09:04 AM   #11
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You know, I could swear that mounting looks familiar: if not a focusing/magnification scale, possibly a shoe mount for a remote sensor or part of a ringlight thing? (Makes me wonder if such things might come with a special kit for scientific/medical work hence not appearing in the main manual. ) ust can't recall clearly.
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