Bellows overview

Bellows use the same working principle as internal linkextension rings, they just enlarge the distance between lens and film, without any optical elements. Because of the greater extension, the distance to the subject can be reduced and greater imaging scales can be achieved. The infinity focus possiblity gets lost, however. The image on the film gets larger, but also darker, because not all light is hitting the file that came through the lens.

Different from extension rings, bellows can be adjusted continuously, not only in steps. The achievable extensions and thus the achievable image scales are much larger as with extension rings. On the other side, bellows are much larger, heavier and much more delicate than an extension ring set and therefore not as easy to take with you all the time.

The extremely limited depth-of-field with macro shots made with bellows, combined with the unavoidable loss of light due to the extension, make hand-held use of bellows practically impossible. Bellows should always be used with a tripod to get satisfying results.

All original Konica bellows do not provide a possibility for fully automatic AE exposure. None of the Konica bellows has a coupling for the largest aperture or a direct aperture actuator lever. As there is no coupling for the largest aperture, the built-in light meter can only be used in stopped-down mode. On all Konica bellows – with the exception of the internal linkAuto Bellows AR – the aperture must be closed manually prior to exposure. You can avoid this if you use the internal linkAuto Ring and Double Cable Release, which was a separate accessory. With the Auto Ring, at least the automated closing of aperture prior to exposure is possible.

All Konica bellows are quite rare and difficult to get, but there are some other possibilities. Third-party manufacturers like Novoflex or Admiral made bellows for the Konica system as well. From Novoflex, there were bellows available which could be used with many Systems – Konica among them – that have couplings for aperture lever and widest aperture, thus allowing for use of automatic AE exposure. As bellows do not contain any optics, no deterioration of image quality has to be reckoned with compared to oringinal Konica accessories. A further possibility is the use of M42 lenses with M42 bellows and the internal linkPraktica Lens Mount Adapter. M42 bellows can be found easily.

Konica offered some different bellows over time. For some of these bellows, additional accessories were available, i. e. for duplicating slides.

Bellows accessories
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