Bellows Repair Needed

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by ravenheadphoto, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. ravenheadphoto

    ravenheadphoto Member

    Messages:
    18
    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    Location:
    Denton, Texa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have a pre-war Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B. It's in very good shape and I'm anxious to take it out for some exercise in the sun. However, there is a tear in the bellows on the left hand side where it meets the front standard. The tear is about 2 cm long, and there appears to be about 1 or 2 mm of bellows still between the tear and the edge of the metal. A fellow on a Zeiss Ikon forum to which I belong said he had some repair instructions involving gaffer's tape that he would pass along, but I have been unable to reach him again, and as it has been about five months since he made the offer I am not expecting to hear from him again.

    Does anyone have some suggestions, instructions, and/or tips for doing this repair myself? I'm only semi-handy with tools, and I don't have anything specialized like lens spanners. A patch job with the bellows in place is what I'm looking to do at this point.

    As a side note, I do have a parts camera of the same model as mine that has a good bellows. However, everywhere I checked for swapping them out either turned me down, warned me that they have never done a bellows replacement before, or else wanted to do a bunch of other stuff, too.
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,095
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Don't use gaffer tape it's messy.

    There's a stall holder at the UK camera fairs I go to with a box of replacement bellows, actually he's the organiser. These will all be ex Custom (formerly Camera) Bellows so OEM and they are inexpensive.

    The bellows are held in place by the shtter usually so removing the lens/shutter assembly remove the bellows from the front, they are glued in place at the rear so getting them off without damage will be tricky.

    Personall I'd get some invisible mend cloth sold for repairing suits etc, very thin with a self adhesive backing and repair from the inside then a layer on the outside then use black acrylic paint to touch up the outside. I've restored badly damaged bellows that way, the make I used to buy is no longer made but it was light-tight which was a big bonus.

    Ian
     
  3. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,958
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Location:
    Ogden, Utah
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you have an old film changing bag laying around you can use some of that for a patch, put it inside with some glue that stays flexible. Maybe not rubber cement, it's high-sulpher, i worry the chemicals in it will degrade the leather bellows, but then again, the bellows are leather. Maybe find some good leather/meterial glue?

    OR, if you have a dead 35mm slr camera laying around, or can find one at a thrift store for $5 or so, you can rip it apart and use the cloth shutter material to make a patch. This also leaves you with a nice pile of cool screws and other parts.

    LOTS cheaper and easier than replacing the bellows, although that is the best long-term solution. Then again, I fixed a small ikonta a bellows that way a mere 20 years ago and it's still holding up.
     
  4. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    12,212
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The classic means for cementing leather is contact adhesive: a rubber solution in volatile organic solvents.
    It bears some similarity to rubber cement but is aimed at lasting fixation. Typical use is to appply to both parts, let dry until merely sticky and then add both parts under pressure. Its greatest advantage obove most other cements is its flexibility.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,095
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, contact adhesive (also called Impact adhesive) is ideal, I use it for bellows repairs as well as when I make new bellows and shutter curtains.

    In the UK/Turkey I use Evostik Impact adhesive, I think a US equivalent is Pliobond. Older versions are solvent based but newer types use a water base to deter glue sniffers.

    Usually it never fully hardens and retains flexibility and it's possible to detach bellows with care. I know Custom (Camera) Bellows use similar adhesives I had ethem make some Bag bellows for a large monrail camera back in the 70's. Older glues tended to be hide based.

    Ian
     
  6. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    12,212
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You can soften it by use of apt solvent.
     
  7. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

    Messages:
    9,092
    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Location:
    Ryde, Isle o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    An alternative to contact adhesive is 3M467 sheet adhesive.


    Steve.
     
  8. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,210
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Location:
    Connecticut,
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    I have one of this ikon's too, my bellows is great but the advance knob is broken off and seized.

    But if his bellows are anything like my Kodak foldies, they are so brittle every time I open them I get bellows particle dust on both the lens AND the film itself, a few images were so bad once it was very frustrating. So I have the same question, how can you make new bellows? (I don't live in the UK so I can't hit up this flea market mentioned either... :sad:


    ~Stone

    Canon: AE-1, 1V | Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Mamiya: RZ67 Pro II, 7 II

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  9. AgX

    AgX Member

    Messages:
    12,212
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  10. StoneNYC

    StoneNYC Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,210
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Location:
    Connecticut,
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    So awesome! Thanks AgX! Seem you know everything!


    ~Stone

    http://www.stonenyc.com

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  11. ravenheadphoto

    ravenheadphoto Member

    Messages:
    18
    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    Location:
    Denton, Texa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks for the great advice, everyone! As it happened, I had an old Mamiya Sekor 35mm SLR laying around that was unsuitable for repair, so it gave one of its shutter curtains to the cause.

    Now, after the repair has been made, I still have one corner at the top where there is a small light leak. I have seen references to using acrylic paint to patch little holes; is there a particular brand or type to use? And what is the best way to go about applying it?

    Thanks so much again!
    Ken
     
  12. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

    Messages:
    1,428
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Location:
    The Armpit o
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  13. ravenheadphoto

    ravenheadphoto Member

    Messages:
    18
    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    Location:
    Denton, Texa
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks for that, Christopher! I already have this tube of contact cement from doing the repair; will any brand of cement work, so you think? Or is there something particular about Sobo?
     
  14. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Member

    Messages:
    1,428
    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2011
    Location:
    The Armpit o
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I would stick with PVA stuff... From the recommendations I've received it's the best stuff. The other things could possibly have chemicals that can eat through the bellows I think.
     
  15. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

    Messages:
    1,925
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Location:
    Maryland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I fixed an old polaroid with liquid electrical tape, my 8x10 is next on that list.