Bellows Misery

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by bmac, Jun 17, 2004.

  1. bmac

    bmac Member

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    So there I am the other day, admiring my new (old) 8x10 Deardorff and start thinking to myself. Wouldn't it be neat to get a 4x5 version too. I hop on to my favorite auction site and there aren't any real dorff's in my price range, but there is a pretty nice looking knock off one, and it was ending in like 20 minutes.

    I bid, and sit back and watch. At the last minute someone outbids me. At this point my Irish / Sicilian blood starts pumping... I get in a friggin bidding war over a chinese knock off camera :D !

    I win it for more than I should have paid, paypal the guy, and get it in my hands 4 days later...

    Tonight, while patching a few pinholes in a camera I am selling, I decide to check out the fake dorff.

    The good news... no pinholes, and the bellows looks nice. The bad news, While shining the light through the bellows, you can basically see the entire flashlight through it! The fabric isn't light tight at all! haha!

    Enough of my sob story.. how do I fix it?

    Option A) Coat the entire bellows with B&S Bellows Sealer. This will work, but it doesn't look very pretty when you coat the entire outside. Functional, but not fashionable!

    Option B) Cover the camera with my darkcloth while shooting film. Again, it works, but isn't the ideal situation in the wind.

    Option C)? Can I just use flat black spray paint, and spray several coats on the inside of the bellows fabric until it is light tight?

    What do you think?
    Brian
    a recovering ebay impulse buyer :smile:

    Other than that, the camera is pretty good for a chinese knock off!
     
  2. Deniz

    Deniz Member

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    The Ideal answer would be to return the camera and get your money back and also install a program to limit your access to Ebay.

    Other ideas,
    Go to the fabric store and find a light tight thin fabric and coat the bellows with it.

    Get some light tight black paper and glue it on the bellows when its racked out all the way(may cause pin holes)

    Get new bellows done for it.

    The problem with spray paint is it may and will crack and chip causing light leaks.

    you can even use an old black cotton t-shirt to cover the bellows.

    good luck and stay away from that website!!!
     
  3. Tom Duffy

    Tom Duffy Member

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    "Quality alone withstands the test of time"
     
  4. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    For a new bellows Turner Bellows does a fine job and for 8x10 it would be around $225.


    One other option is to remove the bellows. Stretch it out a far as possible with out damaging it and then line the inside with an opaque material that is light and flexible. Use a spray contact adhesive and spray from the bottom up. Use two peices of material and have a small overlap. You will need to let the adheisive set up for 30 seconds to 1 minute (specifics on the can) and then as you press the material in place keep moving your hand around applying pressure for a couple of minutes. 3M makes a very good all purpose contact adhiesive.

    Wait untill it dries completely and then compress it down and put some weight on it for a few hours. The adhiesive needs to be dry. If you compress it to soon some of the adhiesive may pass through the material and stick a fold together.

    I have not done this my self but I think it would work.
     
  5. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    Recon black silk would have to be the best to cover it with Brian. Very durable, flexible and light tight for its weight. Know anywhere you lay you hands on some quickly?
     
  6. bmac

    bmac Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2004
  7. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Member

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    The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

    I have not reached that point yet :wink: Although my Wife has a different opinion....

    Jim
     
  8. John McCallum

    John McCallum Member

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    Yup - recon that might even be as good.
     
  9. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    lol! :smile: