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03-19-2015, 12:43 PM   #1
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Novoflex bellows

I had the good luck to acquire this Novoflex bellows:

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This was part of an eBay lot of various items from a dental macro set. I didn't realize until I got my hands on it that this is a true auto-aperture bellows, no double cable release required as with the Pentax auto bellows units. Note the two additional rails running between the main rails:

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These are to connect the aperture coupling (for uncrippled K mount cameras) and the diaphragm actuator between the two bellows standards. One rotates as you change the aperture ring, and the other rotates when you click the shutter release. Seems like a very clever design.

Additionally, this is a very compact and lightweight bellows and should work well for handheld work. The maximum extension (about 130mm) is just right for 1:1 macro with the Pentax Bellows 1:4 100 lens, which I also picked up with this set. It's an elegant little unit!

03-19-2015, 12:51 PM   #2
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Yeah... I think that is just piece of sh#&, You could send it to me. It is good paperweght.

I'm little jealous to You, I like to have that kind of too.
I hope it serves You well.


LeGu
03-19-2015, 02:22 PM   #3
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Damn , Auto-Aperture !
Sweeeeeet !

Should be some fun to use , I have bellows , but no auto aperture , a true PITA to use in the field .. I think I lasted half a day with mine , then put the bellows back in the box and have never felt the need to re-visit .

Such is life ...
03-19-2015, 02:48 PM   #4
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There is one for 80 euros on ebay Novoflex Automatic Bellows for Pentax K | eBay

03-19-2015, 02:55 PM   #5
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Without an uncrippled mount how does it help? Don't you still need to do stopped down metering or is it more like green button M lens use?
03-19-2015, 04:46 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeGuillotine Quote
You could send it to me. It is good paperweght.
Haha, no, I need more paperweights.

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Without an uncrippled mount how does it help? Don't you still need to do stopped down metering or is it more like green button M lens use?
It helps in that the aperture stays open until you shoot, and that you can use the green button for stop-down metering. Quicker and easier than with a typical bellows or non-auto tube, where you have to stop down the lens to meter or shoot, and then deal with a dim image in the viewfinder. And I may just give this a spin on one of my film bodies.
03-19-2015, 04:58 PM   #7
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Just like using a M lens ...
I would assume a flash will be incorporated ?
03-19-2015, 05:35 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by old4570 Quote
Just like using a M lens ...
I would assume a flash will be incorporated ?
Yes, exactly the same as using an M lens. For handheld macro I generally use flash.

03-20-2015, 03:16 AM   #9
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The Minolta Auto Bellows I uses a similar design. It is possible the bellows was made by Novoflex. It has an auto-stop down lever but no aperture setting linkage. Neither does it have a DOF/stop-down button. The early bellows lenses contemporary with the AB-I had a DOF preview button on them, but you can easily move the linkage on the bellows with a finger for DOF preview or stop-down metering.

The disadvantages of this system are
  • Fixed back standard - at shorter extensions the rails of the bellows can keep you from getting close enough to the subject to focus with shorter focal length lenses
  • The rear mount doesn't rotate - you have to turn the entire rig if you want to change the framing between landscape and portrait.

Since there is no cable socket I need to improvise a way to lock the stop-down lever in the closed position when using the AB-I with a glassless adapter. I don't bother as I can use my Minolta Auto-Bellows III (with adapter) and lock down the DOF using the button on the bellows or with a cable release.

BTW: one of the AB-I I bought was part of a dental rig. It came with a 100mm f/4 bellows lens, bellow, a custom mounting plate with magnification scale and a pistol grip. It did not have the flash and bracket. The flash for these units were usually just a two-AA cell point flash.
03-20-2015, 06:28 AM   #10
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Herbert Keppler stated
"There are a number of photographers who use the bellows units and Bellows Takumars as their all-in-one flexible camera unit for all photography" (The Pentax Way, 9th ed page 205)

I wonder if any of the old timers here did this or saw such users.
03-20-2015, 06:32 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
The disadvantages of this system are
Fixed back standard - at shorter extensions the rails of the bellows can keep you from getting close enough to the subject to focus with shorter focal length lenses
The rear mount doesn't rotate - you have to turn the entire rig if you want to change the framing between landscape and portrait.
Yes, the fixed rear standard is a drawback -- in addition to the reasons you mention, you also lose focusing by moving the rear standard. I like to do this for focus stacks. Such is the price of having this aperture linkage. I'm certainly keeping my Pentax bellows too.

---------- Post added 2015-03-20 at 09:34 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by wombat2go Quote
"There are a number of photographers who use the bellows units and Bellows Takumars as their all-in-one flexible camera unit for all photography" (The Pentax Way, 9th ed page 205)
Hmm, I wonder which bellows? I don't think I can get infinity focus with the Bellows Takumar (or K) with any bellows I have.
03-20-2015, 06:56 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
mm, I wonder which bellows? I don't think I can get infinity focus with the Bellows Takumar (or K) with any bellows I have.
An old Takumar catalog here says for the SMC Bellows-Takumar 100mm f/4
"...from life size to infinity."

The -M lens catalog says for the SMC Pentax Bellows 100mm f/4
"This compact and lightweight lens and a Pentax Bellows unit III is all you need to be prepared for all types of nature studies. (blurb) .... uninterrupted focussing from infinity to greater than life size."

---------- Post added 03-20-15 at 10:06 AM ----------

Here is my Pentax Bellows M with an M43 and an Omegaron 1/4.5 90mm.This will focus to infinity ( with plenty to spare, as shown)
https://app.box.com/s/fdee986cccb6ea2d08cd

But the lens had flare outdoors and I did not continue to use it. Perhaps a hood would help.
Here is a photo taken by that rig (but not a distance photo) The sun caused a loss of contrast.
https://app.box.com/s/4c292908ac70de4769af
03-20-2015, 08:07 AM   #13
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Aha, the Bellows Unit III and the Bellows Unit (both K-mount) have a minimum extension of 32mm. Look like they would be similar in overall size to the Novoflex. Stop-down only, however.
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