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Bellows with Focusing Rail
Minolta camera with circa 1970 automatic bellows and focusing rail. In 1970 Minolta was the first company to offer automatic bellows. This allowed the lens to be at maximum aperture for viewing and focusing and then automatically close down to the set aperture when the shutter button is pressed. This is extremely beneficial for dealing with the light loss caused by bellows while composing and focusing.
In this photo the 58mm lens has been attached with a reversing ring which disables the automatic feature. The advantage to the reversing ring is to optimize the optical properties of a standard lens for macro shots.
The bellows allows the lens to focus on objects very close to the lens for high magnification.
+ The bellows does not cause such a radical reduction in the Depth Of Field as close-up attachments do.
- The down side to bellows is the high cost and the loss of light.
Whenever the lens gets closer to the subject than it is to the focal plane of the camera, focusing and magnification behave in abnormal ways. Focusing is best performed by physically moving the camera. The lower set of rails shown in this photo between the tripod and the rails for the bellows are focusing rails. Simply turning a knob on the far side of the assembly moves everything on top of the tripod for precise focus.
I am making an adapter to mate the Minolta bellows to my Nikon cameras.
Artist with ear, the sequel.
New camera, same dork as ever.
The end of an era, I suppose. After bouncing around in my pockets every single day for 2 years, my trusty old Lomo LC-A has finally given up the ghost with the shutter stuck open, like a sightless, dead eye. I suppose I could try to have it repaired again (and I probably will, but where's the drama in that?) but, to be totally honest, I've been kind of wanting something about the same size with a little more control over focus and depth of field. Hence the Olympus XA. An aperture priority rangefinder about the same size as an LC-A. Lovely! The same? No, of course not. But way shiny!
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