Canon FD Auto Bellows

Recently I had the chance to borrow a bunch of old Canon FD gear including a Canon Auto Bellows along with a two of specialty bellows lenses, the Canon 20mm f/3.5 and 35mm f/2.8

I’ll have more on this equipment in further posts, but for now I decided to run the 20mm lens through its paces. I pulled a slide-mounted flea from my collection and tossed together a makeshift setup; this consisted of a clear plastic base (to place the slide on) placed inside a white “box” to reflect the light from a flash unit pointed down into the contraption. Also as expected the viewfinder gets quite dark and I used a desk lamp to aid in focusing.

The hurdle in attaching the Canon FD bellows to my Canon EOS digital camera is that the two respective lens mounts are not compatible. In order to use the older equipment with my camera, I purchased a FD to EOS adapter. Adaptors like this – ones without optics –  do not allow for infinity focus, that is this adapter acts as a short extension tube and any lens attached cannot focus on an object more than a short distance away. However, this is not a problem when using macro lenses and the like where infinity focus is not needed.

So here are the results – one exposure taken at 1/125 sec and f/5.6 – some post work in Photoshop – just removing the background and lightening the image.

And here is a 100% crop of the image.

Any comments/suggestions/questions?

  1. Very nice shot Chris! Fleas are one of the three hexapod orders that I have yet to shoot! Rhodesia has produced a few Siphonaptera lately, so maybe I can knock off one of these orders sooner than later!

  2. Jonathan said:

    I have been unable to find out elsewhere – if I purchase a set of bellows, will they work with any FD-mount lenses, or just the specific ones designed for macrophotography?

    • Almost all FD lenses should fit on the bellows without an issue – I have tried a number of the basic FD lenses and they all attach just fine.

      • Jonathan said:

        Thanks, that’s very helpful. And I suppose it’s also a reasonable assumption that any lens that fits to the bellows will also “work” in an optical sense? I know not all lenses are designed for macro, but will they at least produce an image?

  3. most lenses should produce an image – due to the lens’s added distance from the focal plane your working distances may be thrown off but nothing abnormal for bellows work

    • Malcolm Ricketts said:

      If you want to twist your mind, reverse say a 50mm normal lens on the bellows. You might be surprised. Malcolm

  4. Jonathan said:

    Yeah, I’m familiar with the principles of extension tubes and bellows. It was just the fact that Canon sold specialised lenses for these bellows, and I wanted to make sure that normal FD lenses would also work with the bellows before I rushed out and bought some. Thanks! :)

  5. Bob said:

    My camera equipment is Nkon but I picked up a Canon Auto Bellows and I am now looking for an adaptor. Would yo happen to know if there is one available?

  6. HN said:

    Hi Chris. I’m very interested in this setup as I have the all the equipment including the 35mm f/2.8 macrophoto lens and the bellows but would like some guidance on hot to actually attach the lens as it doesn’t have the usual FD mount. Would you be able to point me to a source or email me your setup as to how it looks. thanks any help would be greatly apprecaited.

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