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11-04-2021, 02:22 PM   #1
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Question on Pentax Auto Bellows K?

I think I was here some time back with this same question, but in just now pulling out my set of used Pentax bellows (Auto K as mentioned in title) it raises the question about what attaches to the camera. Being used, the bellows didn't come with all the parts, and all I have on the camera end is a circular seat with one small pin screw to secure something. It looks like whatever attaches to the camera (with a male K mount) would not support a camera and would pull out of that seat pretty easily?

Does anyone out there have one of these who can fill me in on what normally goes in this seat to connect to the camera (also the proper name for it if available - in case I need to go searching for one)?

I could fabricate a plastic ring with the male K-mount using a 3D printer, but I would have nightmares of it pulling out and my K-1 hitting the floor though this might work if I use an extended main rail and mount both the bellows rail and the camera to it.

Thanks.

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Last edited by Bob 256; 11-04-2021 at 02:32 PM.
11-04-2021, 02:52 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob 256 Quote
it raises the question about what attaches to the camera.
There is a rotatable adapter (aka Camera Body Connector Ring) with a male K-mount on one side that attaches to the camera first. The bellows slips on to that. I am pretty sure that the adapter is specific to that model bellows. PF member @oneil is an expert on Pentax bellows. His e-book on the Pentax Bellows is an amazing reference and is available for download from the Extreme Macro site's download page:

Link to downloads page...
Extreme Macro Downloads

Direct link to the PDF...
http://extreme-macro.co.uk/bellows/The_Pentax_Bellows.pdf


Steve
11-04-2021, 03:08 PM   #3
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Screw and Pin on Pentax Bellows

The screw in question is a Set-Screw that secures the lens mount to the rear mount of the bellows. My unit has a M-42 Screw mount. I don't know if a rear K-mount rear mount was made after the switch but it should be easy to fabricate.
11-04-2021, 03:56 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bob 256 Quote
I think I was here some time back with this same question, but in just now pulling out my set of used Pentax bellows (Auto K as mentioned in title) it raises the question about what attaches to the camera. Being used, the bellows didn't come with all the parts, and all I have on the camera end is a circular seat with one small pin screw to secure something. It looks like whatever attaches to the camera (with a male K mount) would not support a camera and would pull out of that seat pretty easily?

Does anyone out there have one of these who can fill me in on what normally goes in this seat to connect to the camera (also the proper name for it if available - in case I need to go searching for one)?

I could fabricate a plastic ring with the male K-mount using a 3D printer, but I would have nightmares of it pulling out and my K-1 hitting the floor though this might work if I use an extended main rail and mount both the bellows rail and the camera to it.

Thanks.
QuoteOriginally posted by Texas-expat Quote
The screw in question is a Set-Screw that secures the lens mount to the rear mount of the bellows. My unit has a M-42 Screw mount. I don't know if a rear K-mount rear mount was made after the switch but it should be easy to fabricate.
Mine is also m42 - which works very well for the purpose. The removable ring is very secure but you are not going to hang the bellows and lens off the camera but the camera and lens off the bellows - makes a lot of difference.

You can use the m42 bellows with an m42 extension tube and an m42 adapter to put it on your body. Then use an EOS-m42 and K to EOS adapter and you can make your K mount lenses mount onto the bellows if you want.

However since your's is K mount this isn't relevant... But you'll need to fabricate that part or find a beat up unit to rob parts from. That part is CRUCIAL.

11-04-2021, 07:48 PM   #5
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I posted photos of the adapter for the Auto Bellows-A and Auto Bellows (M42) here: Photos are hosted on my inactive Photobucket accounts so they may blackout if the bandwidth goes over the allotment.

Camera adapter for a Pentax bellows - Page 2 - PentaxForums.com
11-04-2021, 07:52 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
I posted photos of the adapter for the Auto Bellows-A and Auto Bellows (M42) here: Photos are hosted on my inactive Photobucket accounts so they may blackout if the bandwidth goes over the allotment.

Camera adapter for a Pentax bellows - Page 2 - PentaxForums.com
Are they interchangeable?
11-04-2021, 07:56 PM   #7
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Within the K-mount bellows models, most likely. Between the K-mount and M42, no - different diameters.

11-04-2021, 09:53 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
I posted photos of the adapter for the Auto Bellows-A and Auto Bellows (M42) here: Photos are hosted on my inactive Photobucket accounts so they may blackout if the bandwidth goes over the allotment.

Camera adapter for a Pentax bellows - Page 2 - PentaxForums.com
Based on the comments from the previous thread on this topic and this current thread, it would appear that the simplest route to a functional bellow set is to simply buy one. Used Photo Pro (Roberts Camera) has a Pentax Auto Bellows (M42, X-style) for $71.75 USD in Excellent condition, but missing the dual cable release.

Used Pentax Auto Bellows for M42 Screw Mount in 'Excellent' condition

The M42 camera connector may be adapted to Pentax-K using either the genuine adapter if retention of true extension by the scaled is desired or a flanged type if a little extra extension is not an issue. The lens board on the front standard need remain M42, but given the number of excellent options that will fit, that should not be a problem.

Samy's Camera has a Auto Bellows K or Auto Bellows A both at $150 USD, though I would inquire about condition and completeness of kit.

Pentax | Auto Bellows K-Set - Pre-Owned | Used
Pentax | Auto Bellows Pentax-A Set - Pre-Owned | Used

eBay has several as do multiple other outlets.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 11-04-2021 at 09:59 PM.
11-05-2021, 08:23 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The M42 camera connector may be adapted to Pentax-K using either the genuine adapter if retention of true extension by the scaled is desired or a flanged type if a little extra extension is not an issue. The lens board on the front standard need remain M42, but given the number of excellent options that will fit, that should not be a problem.
The pentaprism overhang can be a problem with the m42 bellows on current dslr bodies. You can remove the ring that mounts to the bellows and mount it that way but it is much easier to use a flanged m42 adapter and a short m42 extension tube to make this work.

Edit: this isn’t very clear. What I mean is that the bellows won’t allow you to turn it to remove it from the adapter unless you remove the bellows ring and turn that separately. The extension tube allows you to clear the pentaprism.

Last edited by UncleVanya; 11-05-2021 at 08:29 AM.
11-05-2021, 08:46 AM   #10
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Thanks much for everyone who contributed. I really liked the links stevebrot provided (the one to the bellows handbook showed the missing ring clearly). I was unaware of the bellows handbook and appreciate knowing it exists (the "Extreme Macro" site is one anyone interested in macro shooting should visit - WOW! - thanks stevebrot).

I think at this point, I'll look into fabricating a ring with internal threads to match a T thread for which I have an extension tube. That should place the K-1 camera prism clear of the rear of the bellows. The bellows I have is in real good shape with the exception of that missing ring and I think I can get one made for a reasonable cost. I might look into having a 3D metal print made depending on a cost estimate since I can work up the CAD pretty easily for one.

It appears that there's an outer lip which with a good seat fit, stabilizes the ring so the only way it can fall out is by sliding which is prevented by the single pin screw in a groove in the ring periphery. I couldn't discern that from just the bellows but with the resources you all posted, it was much clearer what the ring did.

Thanks again all.

Last edited by Bob 256; 11-05-2021 at 09:08 AM.
11-05-2021, 11:10 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
The pentaprism overhang can be a problem with the m42 bellows on current dslr bodies. You can remove the ring that mounts to the bellows and mount it that way but it is much easier to use a flanged m42 adapter and a short m42 extension tube to make this work.

Edit: this isn’t very clear. What I mean is that the bellows won’t allow you to turn it to remove it from the adapter unless you remove the bellows ring and turn that separately. The extension tube allows you to clear the pentaprism.
Good point. I was thinking of slipping the bellows free from the camera body connector ring before attempting removal of the mount portion itself.


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11-05-2021, 03:45 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Are they interchangeable?
According the O'Neill's Pentax Bellows eBook:

QuoteQuote:
The “Bellows-to-Camera Mounting Ring” cannot always be interchanged between units as the holes in the rear plate are different. Of the screw mount (M42) units; the Bellows II (early Production), the Bellows II (late production) and the Auto Bellows are all different. Of the K mount units; the Auto Bellows K (early production), the Auto Bellows K (late production), the Bellows Unit K, the Auto Bellows M and the Auto Bellows A are all the same.
11-05-2021, 07:16 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
According the O'Neill's Pentax Bellows eBook:
That quote is from pp 58,59 of O'Neill's Pentax Bellows e-book in a section titled "Custom Fabricated Bellows-to-Camera Adaptors" intended to address this very issue of missing adaptors. I was unaware that section was in the book until your comment above. Thanks!

Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 11-05-2021 at 07:26 PM. Reason: accuracy
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