What to do with a Minolta Macrobellows unit

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Soeren, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    I went to a fair yesterday and picked up a Minolta bellows for nest to nothing.
    My first intention was to convert it to fit my Nikon gear + use it for some simple lensdesigns now Im not so sure how.
    Should I try and fit a Nikon F- mount on it or are there others ways so I don't have to ruin the Minoltamount? Talking Minolta, tell me about that system. Where can I find info on it?
    Kind regards
    Søren
     
  2. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I don't know which Minolta bellows that you have. Minolta had a couple that I remember. The bellows is normally used for close up (macro or microphotography depending on the lens used).

    I think that you will have difficulty converting to your Nikon mount unless you spend a fair amount of money with a machine shop or have a friend who is a machinist.

    I would opt to buy a Minolta body on Ebay and get a lens to mount to the bellows. (I assume a Minolta MD mount here) The shorter the focal length of the lens, the greater the magnification. A focusing rail helps a lot since focusing is extremely critical at that degree of magnification. One other thing, plan on adding lots of light since light transmission is affected by magnification especially when using the small fstops that one uses to extract some modicum of depth of field.
     
  3. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Its the Autobellows I. with the focus rail.
    I was originally planning on salvaging some parts from an extension tube to do the job. Maybe I should think more adapter style, something like Nikon-Minolta and Minolta-Nikon. Years ago I was given a SRT101(I think) With broken meter, selftimer and shutter indicator that wont go beyond 1/500 sec.
    It came with a 55 or 58 f/1.4 with perfect clean glass and lots of build in tilt and shift. I don't think I like to collect yet another system so .....
    Kind regards
    Søren
     
  4. Jersey Vic

    Jersey Vic Member

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    The Minolta MD system came out in the early 80's and the Minolta x700 was the top of the line. The 50 1.4 is a beautiful lens. Other well regarded lenses-the macro 50mm, the 24mm and the portrait lenses.

    Autobellows 1 : http://www.rokkorfiles.com/Other Accessories.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 23, 2007
  5. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I would say that you have the things that you need. You won't need to have a workable meter. You certainly won't be making exposures as short as 1/500 second. You will be shooting with the lens open for a lot of time unless you add a lot of light...think in terms of 1-2000 watt seconds of light and possible multiple pops.

    The option to not using flash is obviously to use the camera on B or T. Figure the extension compensation, reciprocity failure and the lens you have should get you some decent magnification. Good luck macro is fun.
     
  6. jbbooks

    jbbooks Member

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    Well, the X-700 did have off the film flash metering and I cannot argue against that improvement. It was, after all, the reason I bought one, even though I already had a nearly new XD-11. However, while acknowledging that feature and its value, particularly when using the Minolta ring strobe unit for macro photography, I still think the XD-11 was the best camera Minolta ever made.
     
  7. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

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    The Minolta system is a great system and at times I was envious of my friend's gear. If you can pick up a decent body on eBay for cheap, do so.
     
  8. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Yeah, EBay is the best way to go on this one. I have a Bellows III and I have made some fun pictures with it. Get a camera with TTL metering like an XG-M or XE or XD, a newer one. Even an srT101 with a accurate needle meter would do the job. I have taken most of my images with my OE Rokkor-X 50mm 1.4 but as narrow as the bellows throws down the depth of focus, it really doesn't matter what lens you use, just bear in mind that the longer it is, you will have a hard time focusing as you lose a LOT of light in the viewfinder.
     
  9. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Søren, I use a Minolta Compact Bellows on my Nikons.

    At the rear, the adapters are Novoflex LEIMIN (female MD-to-male LTM) and Novoflex NIKLEI (female LTM-to-male F).

    At the front, since I use Luminars with a female RMS-to-male LTM adapter there's a Novoflex MINLEI-P (female LTM-to-male MD). There are also MINLEI and MINLEI-K. -K is for kurz, and the -P is orientable like, e.g., a T-2 mount adapter.

    If I want to use Nikon lenses on the Compact Bellows, I could put my female F-to-male T and female T-to-male MD adapters on the front.

    All of these adapters -- I also have female MD-to-male T and female T-to-male F -- except female T-to-male SLR are hard to find and usually expensive. I was very lucky to have got my Novoflex adapters as cheaply as I did, but it took couple of years. And I was extremely lucky to have found my reverse-T adapters.

    One of my neighbors also has a Minolta Compact Bellows that he's adapted to C/Y. He replaced the mounts with C/Y front and rear mounts. How, I'm not sure; when asked he mutters something about screw holes matching up. If I were going to go that way, I'd start with a cheap used Nikon E-2 ring and drill holes as needed. Much less expensive than adapters, and faster.

    Bellows that aren't made for whatever system on has standardized on are too expensive even when free. I knew that when I got my Compact Bellows.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Dan
     
  10. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Hi again (back from vacation :sad: )
    Thanks for all your replies. I think Ill keep the bellows in the cupboard and see what time brings whether it be a X700/500 or similar body or some genious way of adapting the thing.
    Kind regards
    Søren
     
  11. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    By the by, the photo in my gallery entitled Promise was made with my bellows unit.