Mamiya C3 Bellows Replacement?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Stephanie Brim, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    So I dug out my Mamiya C3 and I'm getting it ready for use. I had to do *this* when some kids decided that it would be fun to rip the bellows:

    mamiyabeforecleanup.jpg

    Duct tape on top of some light blocking fabric. Completely serviceable, but I'd like to have the thing CLA'd and the bellows replaced if possible before I start using it again.

    Who can do it? I've been almost three years away, so I have no idea. All I know is that I still have 8 rolls of film I want to shoot, fixer that still works, an almost full container of HC-110, and a lead on an enlarger close enough to me to actually go get. I'm ready to give it a go again. :smile:
     
  2. Marc B.

    Marc B. Member

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    I tried to find some bellows for Mamiya 'C-series' cameras several years ago.
    Not much luck...affordably anyway.
    Ended up acquiring junk cameras for parts...cannibalizing the bellows from them.
    It's the cheapest way to go, now days...for repairing Mamiya TLR cameras.

    Do note...there are actually three bellows on Mamiya TLR's.
    There is the outer bellows you see. That bellows covers two, separate, inner bellows.
    One inner bellows for the taking lens, and another for the viewing lens.

    The inner, taking-lens bellows is well protected...sitting below the viewing bellows,
    nestled between the side rail racks, and above the bottom rail.

    Any minor light leak in the upper, viewing-lens chamber is of little consequence.

    If your light seals on the rear film back/door look okay...run a roll of film through the camera.
    You may find out you're not having any problems from the bellows.

    Marc
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 21, 2012
  3. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I apologise if you know this already, but inside the rectangular bellows is another bellows which is square and connects the taking lens to the film gate. Even if the outer bellows were not there, the inner bellows would still be light tight.

    Therefore, as long as you have patched it up enough to be able to use the viewfinder, you should have no problems.

    I have a scrap C3 (or C33) in a drawer at work. If I can work out how to remove the bellows from the body you can have it. As I'm in England, it would not be worth posting the whole thing.

    EDIT: I didn't know this:

    I thought it was just two sets.


    Steve.
     
  4. Paul Goutiere

    Paul Goutiere Subscriber

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    The Rolleiflex has no bellows.

    A nice Rolleiflex 2.8F could set you back as little as $1,500.00. After a proper CLA and a Maxwell screen you could have a very nice camera for about $2000.00 ( give or take ).

    Hang the C3 in the kid's bedroom as a reminder not to mess with Mom's cameras.

    Remove the price of the nice 2.8F from the kid's university fund.:D
     
  5. Gerry M

    Gerry M Subscriber

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    Hi Steph,
    Welcome back, it's been awhile. Best of luck with your re-entry.
    Gerry
     
  6. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    Hahahahahahahaha no. I just had my gallbladder evicted. I don't have the money for the CLA, really, much less the Rollei. But I actually *like* this monster of a camera. It's a beater and I love it.

    As to the fix, I did send an email to the people at camerarepair.com, but I don't know what they'll be able to do. If they can't fix the bellows, I can deal. Doesn't impact use in any way.
     
  7. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    Thank you. It's nice to be back, actually.

    Oooh, funny thing. I need to tell PE about. I use TF-4 fixer because, well, *all* the cool kids do. :cool: I had an opened 1 litre bottle of concentrate from about 3 years ago that I decided to test. The fixer is still perfectly fine. Cleared the film in about 30 seconds. I am over the moon. So anyone out there who worries about the shelf life of their TF-4...probably shouldn't. I mean, this wasn't even properly stored with no air in the bottle. I think the stuff will outlive me at this point. I have no qualms about using my HC-110 after this, though I should probably test both that and the Rodinal to make sure.
     
  8. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The fact that the bellows is actually of three part construction may mean that you don't have to do anything with it - unless the rip goes right through into the inner bellows.

    You may want to replace it with prettier tape though.

    PS - welcome back
     
  9. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    The duct tape lends a professional look, don't you think? And this?

    lovelyc3.jpg

    Just makes it even more special.

    (I'm actually going to replace the waist level. However, I'm keeping this one for the heck of it.)
     
  10. Marc B.

    Marc B. Member

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  11. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    I'm going to bookmark that. camerarepair.com quoted me $320 for the CLA of the lens and the replacing of the bellows. Since the bellows are still light tight, I'm not spending that. The lens cleaned up well and is working snappily and the body is a bit beat up but still in good enough shape. I'm just going to leave it alone for now and I'll order the other bellows if I start getting issues of failure.
     
  12. Jojje

    Jojje Member

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  13. Denis P.

    Denis P. Member

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    Stephanie, welcome back :smile:

    As an aside, regarding your experience with the longevity of chemicals: you mentioned you need to test Rodinal... IMHO, it will most likely outlive you :smile:
    Rodinal is one developer that really keeps forever. It may cristalyze a bit and become dark, but it will still work, even after several years. You may test it, just to be sure, but in my experience, it really does last for years :smile:
    Regards,
    Denis
     
  14. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    I have the one 500ml bottle, almost full, of the real thing. I also have a partial bottle of HC-110 that I'm pretty sure is the same way, but I'm shooting the first roll, cutting it in half, and developing it separately, half in HC-110 and half in Rodinal. Better safe than sorry.

    I'm basically kind of worried, though, that if I plan to work with Rodinal I'll end up not liking the newer stuff when this bottle is gone. :/ I do have some decanted off in baby food jars, too, but that's another test.
     
  15. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    FWIW, Flutot's or Paul Ebel should be able to CLA the lens for less than a C note. They won't need the body at all.
    I know they only work on leaf shutters, the question is does a Mamiya lens/shutter qualify?

    I use black artists acrylic to mens pinholes, it remains slightly flexible too.

    If you want yet another project you should be able to find a bellows pattern online. :surprised:)
     
  16. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    At the moment I only have time for one project, and the Speed Graphic is going to be it. Husband has okayed me buying the leather and working on that in my spare time, but right now I'm just going to get it operational so I can burn through the 4x5 film I have and have some fun with some weird lenses. Since the Mamiya works well, I'll wait on the CLA until it actually seems to need it, but I keep forgetting about Flutots. I want to send the Ilex shutter I've got to them, and then also find some cells to go in the Copal 1 I'm sitting on.
     
  17. Len Robertson

    Len Robertson Member

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    If you didn't see it, over on the LF forum I posted a link to a downloadable Speed service manual. I may also have a stray back spring or two. Do you still have one spring to measure for the size you need?

    Keep it up with the ugly cameras. They are the best. Pretty ones have no soul!

    Len