Can I adapt my Canon Auto bellows for Nikon Equipment?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by greglyon, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. Hi there,
    Maybe one of you fine photo.netters has done something like this

    As I was going through some old photo equipment to sell I came
    across my old Canon FD Auto Bellows and slide adapter. Since most
    all of my Canon gear was stolen several years ago I thought it a
    perfect item to get rid of, but then I started to think...and
    thinking lead to LOTS of questions, so here goes:

    How feasible is it to adapt the Canon auto bellows to my nikon

    Are there Nikon F to Canon FD AND Canon FD to Nikon F adapters out

    If so, would they be more economical than just selling my FD stuff
    and buying a PB-6 Bellows?

    Looks like I can sell my Canon stuff for ~150 and the PB-6 costs
    $230 new. Are there other expenses I'm missing here??? I can't
    tell from B&Hs ad if I need to buy the dual cable separately (or at

    Finally, I've never used the PB-6, does it have features that the FD
    Bellows lacks? They look pretty similar in photos...

    Thanks In advance,
  2. The PB-6 is a fully manual bellows so you probably have it backwards (FD auto bellows has features the PB-6 lacks). Aperture is set manually on the lens with the aperture ring. There is no meter coupling. You use traditional stop down manual metering methods. The PB-6 requires a PK-11a extension ring to fit on some bodies/meters because the meter interferes with direct mounting the bellows. The dual cable release is one way of stopping down the lens for the exposure but it doesn't buy you much.

    Adapters exist, but the FD-F usually have a lens element you don't want (lens comensates for different mount to film plane distances to prevent loss of infinity focus).

    BEWARE: many Nikon body models aren't appropriate for use with any bellow systems.
  3. Thanks for the info Craig. Could you explain further your BEWARE statement? Is there danger to the camera bodies? Or is it just the clearance issue with the slide rail?

    I guess if I want to do this it'd be a matter of rigging something in the way of mounts, I would not want to use a mount that included another lens.

    Anyone else have ideas?
  4. Several ways.

    First, I was lucky enough to find two "reverse T mounts" at camera shows a few years ago. Mine are Nikon mount, but I've seen them in Canon mount. I use them on the rear of my Nikon PB-4 bellows, then a Canon, Oly, Minolta, Pentax, etc. T-mount to put any brand of cameras on my Nikon bellows. If you can track down a Canon reverse T, you can do the same thing.

    Another way is to find the Canon equivelant of a Nikon BR-3. The BR-3 mounts on the rear of any lens (or the bellows) and gives you a set of 52mm filter rings. It's typically used for putting filters on the rear of reversed lenses. From the BR-3, you then screw in a lens reversing adapter for whatever camera system you wish, and you're in.
  5. Thanks Joseph,
    I found a reverse t-mount out there! Haven't decided if I should buy it yet though...

    I suppose it quickly becomes an economic question...e.g. How much to spend on adapters VS selling the canon bellows and buying nikon bellows.

    It also occurs to me that If i were to acquire an appropriate Canon FD Lens to put on the front of the thing that I could retain the auto-diaphragm, but now it's getting into more money. Once upon a time (when I was single and employed!) I would have bought a variety of solutions to this problem just for fun. But now, maybe I should go back to plan A and just sell the darn thing. I've been much more of an extention tube user in the past few years anyway.

    Decisions, decisions. Any other ideas out there?

  6. Greg, can you do me a favor. If you don't buy that reverse T, please let me know who's selling it.

    Aside from that, I'm out of ideas. I like a bellows, even in the field, because I can adjust the magnification (and it doesn't hurt that the Nikon PB-4 has some limited swings and tilts).
  7. Sure, Joseph, it was Go for it if you want to! I'm pretty indecisive about this whole thing. When I start adding up the cost of all these t-mounts I'd have to get I don't know if it's worth it. Isn't this what I would need:
    Nikon T + Canon Reverse T to attach Body to bellows
    Canon T + Nikon Reverse T To attach Bellows to lens
    Just for grins I've been following a few auctions for some Canon FD Macro lenses, it seems like I might get a 50mm macro for similar price to two T-mounts. Heck, maybe I'll follow through after all. While I'd rather mount a 100mm lens on the front, the cost for the FD 100s is substantially higher than the 50s. Greg.
  8. If you're handy at all and if you are not planning to subject your setup to a lot of abuse, simply take a body cap from a Nikon, cut a hole in the middle and attach it to the bellows somehow. Dismounting the existing mount and using superglue comes to mind...
  9. Harris, I was thinking the same thing. I picked up a $5 teleconverter in Canon mount from the clearance bin, Just gotta find on in nikon mount and I should be able to create my own custom Nikon-Canon and Canon-Nikon adapters.

    Fun fun fun!

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