Novoflex bellows + Fujifilm GF63mm or Pentax SMC 120mm macro?

Hi everyone,

I’m going through the process of setting up a little system to do some scanning and deciding between buying a set of Novoflex Auto Bellows and using it with one of these lenses:

  • Fujifilm GF30mm f3.5
  • Fujifilm GF63mm f2.8 (I suppose this one as it has the simplest optical design?)
  • Fujifilm GF110mm f2
    Buying an old SMC Pentax-A 645 120mm f4 macro + GFX adapter

I guess the bellows look good to me as I could potentially photograph 35mm negs at a slight magnification and get the most out of a GFX sensor, but I’m hesitant as I understand that standard lenses are not really optimised for this kind of work (even though it won’t be a huge bellows extension). These GF lenses blow my mind when they are used for what they are designed for, but I’m not sure what’s gonna happen if I use them on a bellows system.

I’ve heard the Pentax 120mm f4 is a bit of a legend and 1:1 on a GFX sensor is probably enough for 35mm negs anyway, so I’m not too concerned about cropping away some pixels.

What would you do? GF63mm + bellows OR 120mm f4 + GFX adapter? At the end of the day the cost will probably be about the same. Anyone have any examples of either set up?

All tips appreciated :slight_smile:

Welcome to the forum @mbpm

I’d try to check Fuiji’s original manuals for text hinting at the use of extension tubes and/or reversal of the lens for macro work. If you find no such hints, search the Internet for descriptions of how to capture macro shots with a GFX (100?)

There is some information on here already, for example:

Without any knowledge of Fuji MF I’d still say that it would be extraordinary if reversing Fuji standard lenses would work well for what is a very demanding task, flat field, high resolution to the corners etc.

Just thinking about the numbers, if say you have the 50MP GFX then full capture of 35mm format leaves you with 45MP from a 44mm x 29mm section. If you decide to crop in and just capture at 1:1 to use 36 x 24 mm of the sensor then you get 30MP. If you do the latter then any of the manual lenses recommended on here for full frame capture should work just as well provided you can fit them via a suitable adapter but your high end camera deserves a high end lens I would have thought, the 75mm Apo-Rodagon D 1x gets a lot of praise on here and I imagine that should be fine for the full 44mm x 29mm capture even though you’ll be going slightly beyond 1:1. However your camera is physically quite large so it might be less easy, or at least quite expensive, to fit on to suitable bellows etc.

A few “rules of thumb”: (1) the longer the focal length of the lens, the further will be the distance from sensor to media to fill the sensor. (2) the magnification range is largely determined by the available distance between lens and sensor, so longer bellows provides for more magnification of the media; (3) the most important technical characteristics of the lenses you use are flatness of field, MTF data and the size of the image circle relative to the diameter of the media you are digitizing. Detailed explanations of these factors are available on a number of websites - do a search for your particular requirements and you will find lots of detailed information.

When looking at the bellows option, Novoflex is amongst the best I’m aware of. I’m using one for my set-up. They manufacture quite a number of adapters for fitting cameras at one end and the lens at the other, but before buying it’s important to verify that your equipment will attach easily with one or more of their adapters.

Perhaps I should mention that with your camera, a 1:1 magnification will provide for quite big enlargements - most likely challenging the resolution of the original media; however it may be also good to have a greater than 1:1 magnification ratio in case you’ll want to make extensive full frame crops of particular negatives, or photograph them full-frame in sections and then stitch the sections for creating image files capable of truly immense enlargement at high resolution. Depends on your needs.

Thanks @Mark_Segal, @Harry and @Digitizer,

I’ve been diving into this a little and am actually heading down the road of using an old Durst M 707 enlarger head as a scanning base and finding an appropriate repro lens for the task. The Apo-Rodagon D 1x is a nice contender, I’m also looking at a Makro Symmar.

My fist attempts will be with 35mm film and the standard Rodagon 80mm f4 that I use for printing. Maybe that will be enough for seeing if I’m happy with digitising negatives with the GFX.

Thanks again!

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