New Bellows

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by bill schwab, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser

    Messages:
    3,751
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2003
    Location:
    Meeshagin
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I came across this company Gortite while doing a Web search on camera bellows manufacturers. I don't find any reference to them in the forums. Has anyone used them? Any other suppliers someone can direct me to?

    http://www.gortite.com/camera_bellows.htm

    Thanks in advance,

    Bill
     
  2. smieglitz

    smieglitz Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,941
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2002
    Location:
    Kalamazoo, M
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Bill,

    I purchased a large bellows several years ago from Camera Bellows, Ltd. in England. They are probably the premier source. I was very pleased with the product and price. That company also makes the Lee Filter Sytem IIRC. Googling either should turn them up.

    Domestic suppliers include Turner Bellows and Western Bellows. I've read reports of varying satisfaction with their product.

    Joe
     
  3. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,341
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2005
    Location:
    Dearborn,Mic
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Camera Bellows has done work for me over the past 20 years, and has been exquisite every time. They have done very demanding work for friends cameras as well: just great. Great service, nice folks... and they probably made the bellows on your camera in the first place !

    Turner and Western have generally been clueless, shabby and expensive.
     
  4. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser

    Messages:
    3,751
    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2003
    Location:
    Meeshagin
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thank you very much Don and Joe! I will look into CB, Ltd.

    Much appreciated.

    Bill
     
  5. pelerin

    pelerin Member

    Messages:
    343
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Western Bellows

    Hey,
    I have a Korona banquet camera that was refit with a bellows from Western Bellows. It has proven to be a durable high quality product. They do have a rep for being slow but googling the other vendors will show that they have their share of complaints vis-a-vis customer service. As always, YMMV but this is not the only nice one I have experience with that was fabricated by them.
    Celac.
     
  6. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

    Messages:
    2,512
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
    Location:
    Omaha, Nebra
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've had several bellows made by Turner Bellows in Rochester and found the product and service to be excellent. They have a turn around of about 30 days. It is best to send them the old frames so they can attach the bellows for you. the material is a neoprene impregnated material, folds and compresses without a problem. The last one I ordered was for an 11x14 camera with 38" of extension and cost $325.

    If you want leather, I don't think there is anyone left but Camera Bellows in England. Very nice but substantially more expensive.

    Gortite manufactures bellows and way covers for industrial applications. They use a fairly stiff neoprene that is not really suitable for view camera applications.

    I have never heard anything bad about Western Bellows other then turn around time. they were more expensive then Turner. At one time I think they worked with leather bellows.
     
  7. eddie gunks

    eddie gunks Member

    Messages:
    1,159
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Location:
    Saugerties,
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    another vote for turner bellows. did a great job. super friendly and helpful. got mine back in 2-3 weeks.

    eddie
     
  8. Nathan Smith

    Nathan Smith Member

    Messages:
    479
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Western Bellows made a beautiful bellows for my Eastman 2D 5x7, but they were indeed slow in getting it back to me. Can't complain about the quality though I'm glad I wasn't in a big hurry.

    Nathan
     
  9. Paddy

    Paddy Member

    Messages:
    338
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, B
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've made inquires to all of the above companies; Western Bellows seemed knowledgable and friendly, but I ended up having Bromwell Marketing do the job, since I was having some other work done at the same time. http://www.bromwellmarketing.com/prices/acc.htm
    As it turns out, they sent my 4x5 Super Technika over to Camera Bellows to have the job done, and it received a factory replacement from them. A very nice job indeed. So much so, that I'm also going to have CB do the re&re on my 8x10 Ansco. My only complaint is that at times, they've been a wee bit slow on the correspondence