Good bellows tape

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by 2F/2F, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I have some small holes to cover. Is gaffer tape good for this? I have been told that it is not a very light tight tape, but it looks like it to me.
     
  2. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    I'd be very leery about it. Adhesives turn to gummygooslime after awhile, even if it is light tight. I would suggest getting a tube of E6000, which is made by eclectic products in Eugene, OR and comes in black (also clear, but who needs that?). I use it to fix everything photographic. I use it for camera building projects, too.

    If the holes aren't small, though, it wouldn't work, although I think you could glue some black stuff on with it. Much better than tape.

    Just a tiny bit of E6000 applied by the end of a toothpick ought to do it. It is somewhat flexible; kind of a rubber stuff, although I suppose it's not real rubber. I use it to fix the Patterson developing tanks when the students break them. After they are fixed, they are better than new because the E6000 is resilient; the tanks bounce better when dropped.

    Oh yes (added) it is not going to be in MOST hardware stores but some have it. If you have trouble finding it, email eclectic and they'll tell you who has it in your region.
     
  3. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    E-6000 could replace gaffer tape !
     
  4. elekm

    elekm Member

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    Gaffer's tape is excellent. Put down a thin layer of contact cement before applying the gaffer's tape. It will provide for an excellent bond but also one that is very pliable.

    Don't use duct tape. Use gaffer's tape. It's a very expensive tape.
     
  5. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    I'm trying to get more people to use E6000 so they will keep making it. I used to use Duro Liquid Rubber, which disappeared. For some time there didn't seem to be anything that would work until I discovered E6k.

    Sure, gaffer tape is great. I've been using it since 1969 (as seldom as possible due to the expense). Yes, it is vastly superior to duct tape; not the same thing at all despite superficial appearances. It is so expensive that I avoid buying it whenever possible but if you need to hang lights (which is what it is made for) nothing else will do. Do you want to pay for a whole roll just to get enough for a few pieces, then have these rags attached to your bellows!? Bellows usually develop pinholes on the corners of the folds where you'd have to make origami things to do the job. What a mess, folding it on corner! What is it going to do to the way the bellows compress when you fold it up?

    I'm just being difficult. I'm like that. But anyway, I really wouldn't use gaffer tape on my bellows. Maybe it's just me.

    L.
     
  6. Philippe-Georges

    Philippe-Georges Member

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    What exactly is gaffer tape, and what is the difference between that and duct tape?
    We, non anglophones, sometimes get confused by your words...

    Philippe
     
  7. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Don't worry. I have no intention of using duct tape for anything ever. It is the most miserable tape. I have done all sorts of stuff with gaffer tape, however, and it is not that expensive. I think $30 worth of various sizes has lasted me almost three years, and I'm not about to run out any time soon. It has never got gummy or flappy on me.

    These are holes starting to form on all the outside corners of a bellows that was described as "in like new condition". Still trying to decide whether it can be a quick and easy fix, or if I should complain to the seller. I want to keep the camera, so complaining would pretty much be pointless.

    I will look into E-6000.
     
  8. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I found some very thin strong and light-tight black material in a haberdashers, it's used for repairing tears in clothes & has a very strong self adhesive backing.

    I had some bellows that were badly damaged and it was very easy to patch the holes from the inside of the bellows then used a black flexible acrylic paint on the outside. E-6000 sounds like it would work the same.

    Ian
     
  9. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    For pinholes and small tears I use artists black acrylic paint. I build up layers as needed. The paint stay elastic and doesn't impact the folding of the bellows.
     
  10. PHOTOTONE

    PHOTOTONE Member

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    There is a tape called Photographers Tape. It is made by 3m and is black and completely opaque. It is a paper tape like masking tape, but a better adhesive. I have successfully used this tape for years to cover light leaks. While probably not as permanent as a cloth tape, it holds up well for me.
     
  11. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    Philippe,

    Gaffer's tape is, at least in my experience, black and somewhat like cloth in texture, with an adhesive that is less likely to get left behind when the tape is removed. It is about the same thickness as duct tape and is often used by stage workers or other people who set up a lot of equipment temporarily. It is quite strong, like duct tape, but does not make nearly as much mess as duct tape.

    - Randy
     
  12. Barry S

    Barry S Subscriber

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    For bellows pinholes-- I use Golden heavy body carbon black acrylic paint. It does a great job with pinholes and is really easy to work with. I've even used it to repair rips using masking tape as a temporary sandwich. Gaffer's tape is handy, but it's designed to have a short term adhesive to release well. For some temporary fixes, it would be ok.
     
  13. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    Gaffer's tape comes in black and white. It is a cloth tape with a very good adhesive that doesn't get gunky like duct tape. It's strong, tears cleanly, and doesn't leave much, if any, residue. Also, it tends not to harm surfaces it's used on. It's used by commercial photography studios, movie houses and theater groups. It's expensive. It's too thick and impermanent, though, for anything but emergency use on bellows.
     
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  15. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Subscriber

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    Gaffer's tape is cloth tape (black, in my experience) used by "gaffers" (lighting tech's) to tape down cords and equipment on scene- either in the theater or in movie production. It has the great advantage of being removable from most surfaces without damage to the finish.

    I have used it to fix bellows before but I would either use bookbinder's tape (thinner) or liquid electrician's tape (rubber) in the future. The gaffers tape is a bit thick and sort of moves around some in hot weather.

    Oops... Peter beat me to it. So did Randy!
     
  16. Philippe-Georges

    Philippe-Georges Member

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    Thank you all for the answers!
    So, gaffer tape is the 'good' one for temporarily work and the duct tape is like more permanent. But how to make the difference if they come both in black and cloth like? This is how one can find them in the do it you self market's, like the Pattex ore 3M brands.

    Philippe
     
  17. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    Philippe,

    If you want Gaffer's tape, you will need to go to an "industrial strength" photo equipment dealer, somebody who sells lighting equipment. It isn't going to be found in the "do it yourself" marketplace.

    Don't even think of duct tape. Really, it is nasty stuff. Whiteymorange's suggestion of bookbinder's tape is better, a good acrylic black paint or E6000 would be good. I don't know about liquid electrician's tape, but it sounds sort of like E6000. That would probably be good, too. I wouldn't use 3m photo tape for anything permanent that will need to flex repeatedly. It lasts a long time if it's just stuck down, but I doubt it would hold up well if it was bent time after time, as it would be on a bellows.

    Good luck.
     
  18. raucousimages

    raucousimages Member

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    Try a theaterical supply company for better prices and larger rolls than a photo store. Gaffer's tape comes in a rainbow of colors for color coding wires and cables. I mark lots of things like meters and loupes with bright yellow so I don't leave them behind on a job, it is easy to not see a small black object but yellow stands out. You can tell it from duct tape because it is a cloth tape, not a plastic tape with threads in it like duct tape. If you need somthing even stronger look for military "hundered mile an hour" or "six hundered mile an hour" tapes. It can be used to fix holes in aircraft durring combat.
     
  19. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    I've used liquid electrician's tape on bellows pinholes and seams. It works great. Plus it stays pliable. Its been on a bellows of mine for two years now and still holding fine. Great stuff for bellows repair.
     
  20. B&Jdude

    B&Jdude Member

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    I'm with leicam5, above, who asked about it . . . Just what the heck is "gaffer's" tape. I understand that a gaffer is an electrician on a stage or movie set, and that they have some special tape that they use to work with stage lighting and such, but apparently you can't waltz into your friendly neighborhood hardware store and ask for it. All you will get is an odd look and "What the Hell is that?"

    Somebody who has some of that tape send me your address, I'll mail you a couple of bucks, and you can send me about a foot of the stuff so I can at last see it for myself.
     
  21. bowzart

    bowzart Member

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    I'd bet you could order it through B&H.
     
  22. B&Jdude

    B&Jdude Member

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    Thanks, bowzart.

    I did try to find it in the B&H catalogue, but their mere 2 page "index" for a 466 page tome makes it virtually impossible to find anything. I went to some theatrical supply websites that had it for sale, but I would have to spend anywhere from $50 to $80 to buy it, as I would have to buy a whole box of a dozen or so rolls (I doubt if I would use even one full roll during the remainder of my life).

    Anyhoo, Peter De Smidt is sending me a sample piece so I will know what this stuff is that I am looking for. Also, I will call B&H in the phone (with the hope that I will be able to talk to a real human) and see if they have it available in single roll quantity.

    EuGene Smith
     
  23. Frank Szabo

    Frank Szabo Member

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    I'd recommend using some 'Liquid Electrical Tape' or some stuff called 'PlastiDip' (comes in many colors).

    Fully extend the bellows and paint on the bad spots - MAKE SURE THE STUFF IS DRY BEFORE YOU COLLAPSE THE BELLOWS OR YOU'LL BE CUTTING THE BELLOWS FOLDS APART.

    The newer the material, the thinner it will be - you'll probably need more than one coating.

    Both, I believe, are a neoprene suspension (if memory serves me correctly, MEK is the solvent). If you go this route, make sure the solvent within doesn't do more damage than what you already have as MEK is pretty hot stuff. No problem with leather, but the naugy hides will probably be melted on contact as it's a plastic.
     
  24. RobertP

    RobertP Member

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    Go to ebay and type in Gaffers Tape. You can order all you want from there.
     
  25. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    First, "gaffer" is a term used for the person who manages the lights on a movie set. (TV and broadcast set too I suppose).

    Gaffers tape is a strong fabric tape. It's primary advantage is that, unless left on for a long time, it does not leave any adhesive residue. I've seen it in black and in white 2 inch wide rolls.

    It's typically about double the cost of good duct tape and 3-4 times the cost of cheap duct tape.

    Here's more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaffer_tape
     
  26. Early Riser

    Early Riser Subscriber

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    I would not use gaffers tape or duct tape on a bellows. The adhesive in gaffers tape over time dries out and becomes hard and crinkly and will start to separate from the tape while staying attached to your bellows. Ultimately it will ruin your bellows. If I were you I contact camera bellows company in the UK or a camera repair place and ask them about a better and more permanent solution.