Novoflex Auto Bellows review: Powerful macro magnification with precision and full electronic communication

The Novoflex Auto Macro Bellows might look screamingly retro but it’s bang up to date for digital photography, with up to 7.0x magnification with a 35mm lens.

Novoflex Auto Macro Bellows
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

The Novoflex Auto Bellows solves a problem for me. If I want more than 1.0x macro magnification, it delivers, and without even using a macro lens – pretty much any lens will do. I like that it enables full electronic communication between the camera and lens at either end of the bellows, and it’s beautifully well made. However, it’s a bit fiddly in use and working distances can be uncomfortably close.


  • +

    Up to 7x macro magnification

  • +

    Full camera/lens communication

  • +

    Well engineered, smartly finished

  • +

    Wide range of dedicated mount options


  • -

    Working distance can be tiny

  • -

    More fiddly than using a macro lens

  • -

    Expensive to buy

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I’m sure I’ve got an old bellows camera in the attic somewhere buy I’ve not seen it for years and it’s from an era that very much predates my entry into the wonderful world of photography. Macro bellows are something rather different. Mount a camera body at one end and a lens at the other, and you can increase the magnification of any standard lens by extending the distance between the lens and camera. It’s like using extension tubes but fully and seamlessly adjustable. 

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Mount optionsCanon EF, RF, Nikon F, Z, Sony E, Fujifilm X, Leica L, Micro Four Thirds
Typical magnification1.0x to 7.0x
Min. extension29mm / 1.125”
Max. extension116mm / 4.56”
Height x width x depth10.3x13x10.3cm / 4.06x5.12x4.06”
Weight0.77kg / 1.7lbs
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FeaturesAs a macro bellows kit, the Novoflex has all the features you could want and more.★★★★★
DesignIt’s expertly designed and beautifully engineered, typical of high-end Novoflex products.★★★★★
PerformanceImage quality is dependent on your camera and lens, but short working distances can be tricky.★★★★
ValueIt’s expensive to buy, even compared with some of the best dedicated macro lenses on the market.★★★★
AstrHori 25mm F2.8 Macro 2.0x-5.0x

The AstrHori 25mm F2.8 Macro 2.0x-5.0x is a fully manual, dedicated macro lens for shooting at short distances only, no bellows required. It delivers up to 5.0x macro magnification and is available in Canon RF, Fuji X, Leica L, Nikon Z and Sony E mount options.

Laowa 90mm F2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO

The Laowa 90mm F2.8 2x Ultra Macro APO is a fully manual lens, so you need adjust the aperture as well as the focus distance via control rings on the lens itself. Even so, it delivers excellent image quality at up to 2.0x macro magnification and is available in Canon RF, Leica L, Nikon Z, Sony FE mount options.

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.