Replacement bellows at reasonable prices...

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by paul ron, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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    Check out this guy he can make leather bellows for just about any camera, LF MF collectors as well. He made a vinal/cloth Speedx-Special R bellows for me that is exactly like the original, perfect fit. The leather version was a bit too thick so we opted for the original vinal replacement instead.

    His web site is... www2.hawaii.edu/~mkapono/bellows.htm


    .
     
  2. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Thanks, Paul, I just bought an 11x14 which will need some new bellows down the road. Can you tell us how much you paid for your new bellows?
     
  3. Ted Harris

    Ted Harris Subscriber

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    Yes, love to see some prices so that we can compare them to those of Western Bellows and the English Company (Leather Bellows or English Bellows ... halfheimers setting in ths pm).
     
  4. paul ron

    paul ron Member

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  5. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

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    It's www.camerabellows.com -- I have nothing but praise for them. They have nearly every pattern in the world on file, and can put a finished bellows in your hands within two weeks in Europe or the US. And they were the least expensive as well when I last shoppped for bellows. The bellows they built for my 5x7 Norma are superb. Not leather! But for a working bellows, superb.
     
  6. Kapono

    Kapono Member

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    Aloha:

    My name is Mark Kapono and I fabricate and fold custom and replacement camera bellows for a variety of makes of cameras. I am new to this forum, and with some goading from an acquaintance, a repair tech in NYC, I joined up in order to participate in the discussion regarding replacement camera bellows.

    At present I am fabricating bellows of a synthetic impregnated substrate in black, over cloth lining that is dead to bellows flare. I am extremely satisfied with the performance and service life of these materials. Recently I have begun to offer this service to vintage camera enthusiasts, shooters, and collectors.

    For information regarding the services that I offer, some information may be found at the URL mentioned in a previous post, http://www2.hawaii.edu/~mkapono/bellows.htm . I have recently updated that page showing some previous and current endeavors.

    I look forward to following up on this thread!

    Me ka mahalo,

    Mark K. Kapono
    Hilo, HI
     
  7. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Welcome, I went to your site and the bellows there look really great. I wish you only the best of luck.

    Curt
     
  8. Ted Harris

    Ted Harris Subscriber

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    Mark, your bellows look great. How about an idea on prices. For example, a replacement bellows for a Toyo 45AII?

    Thanks
     
  9. Kapono

    Kapono Member

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    Aloha Ted:

    I am very reluctant to offer pricing information on the bulletin boards. My practice is to provide an individual price quote for a potential client's consideration. From there the client and I can decide whether or not to proceed with the work.

    From considerate research of the current market for replacement camera bellows, I feel that my pricing is very reasonable. When I was first introduced to folding camera bellows years ago, I thought the only cameras that needed a bellows to be replaced were the ones owned by a gentleman for whom I built them for. He had a passion for his cameras and old world craftmanship, i.e. leather, linen, Archette paper, and a hot pot of hide glue. I never knew that the few bellows folders out there are now commanding a high price for their product. Not having to dabble in an industrial product line I can keep my overhead, and therefor pricing, lower than most, and still offer a quality product.

    Me ka mahalo,
    Mark
     
  10. Buster6X6

    Buster6X6 Member

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    Hi Mark
    Welcome to the best forum on the net by far .Your bellows look great.It would be nice to give us some prices of common cameras in use LF as well as folders.

    Thanks in advance Greg

    PS: you were faster then me . Sorry
     
  11. Ted Harris

    Ted Harris Subscriber

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    Mark,

    I quite undrstand your reluctance as it relates to older cameras that are far from any standard. OTOH, I think you will find that a lot (perhaps evenmost of your potential) customers are using modern 4x5, 5x7 and 8x10 cameras that are made in quantity (e.g. Toyo, Canham, Wista, Wisner, Ebony, Horseman, etc.) with readily available dimensional information. My question was aimed at this segment of the market, a segment that is well srved today by both Camera Bellows and Western Bellows, so that those who are intererested could make a quick decision on your product v. that of the competition. OTOH, that may not be relevant if you are more interested in servicing the needs of those using older and more exotic cameras and/or those with special bellows needs. For example, IIRC, a new bellows from MAC for the Toyo field cameras is $125 (don't recall if that is just the bellows or bellows and installation ... but I thought it would be useful if you could give that sort of ballpark info if this is a part of the market that you are intereste in servicing.
     
  12. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Aloha and welcome to APUG, Mark.

    My wife grew up in Honolulu, so we visit the islands regularly to see the family. We usually like to spend time on Moloka'i, but maybe next time we'll make it down to the Big Island. It's always good to find more large format types out there.
     
  13. Kapono

    Kapono Member

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    Aloha Ted:

    You make some very valid points, several of which I have already been considering. As I have only recently returned to offer this service for folks, and my previous experience was in camera restoration work, I am somewhat limited as to what modern cameras are out there. Although I may know of a camera by name, I have not taken a good look at all of them.

    However, I guess a real concern of mine is that of being a new member to the forum, and of not wanting to appear to be just cashing in on this forum. I am very prompt with an email response to any inquiry. My pricing scheme is pretty simple though still requires a manual calculation based on a few dimensions. Of course, there is nothing preventing someone from requesting a quote via a form I have at my webpage and then posting their findings here.

    A client of mine just completed his restoration project of an Asanuma King No. 1, incorporating a bellows just hot off my bench, and posted a photo and comment over at the APUG LF Camera & Accessories (http://www.apug.org/forums/forum44/37123-new-bellows-mark-k-kapono-replacement-camera-bellows.html). I invite you to check him out.

    A hui hou,
    Mark
     
  14. ragc

    ragc Member

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    I am the customer Mark refers to in the post above. I will tell you that my bellows were made by Mr. Kapono for $105.00. They are 18 folds, 8"x8" to around 3"x4", tapered, with full extension around 22". Their quality is superior and their fit is perfect. I am very satisfied with the price, delivery time and service I received and would like to encourage anyone to inquire by e-mail on his website, as he was able to quote the price I paid just based on my filling his initial form and sending him some images of the camera.

    Now, having mentioned the price, Mark is opening up his service to individual customers and may see fit to raise prices as demand increases. That is for him to decide and for you to negotiate. The price I paid should in no way restrict whatever price he wants to quote anybody else. I am sure he will be reasonable.
     
  15. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    That's a very reasonable price for a bellows of that size.
     
  16. Buster6X6

    Buster6X6 Member

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    Thats why Dave Parkers business took of as he had a great product (Satinsnow GG) for a very reasonable price. I hope Mark can do the same in his bellows business. It is nice to know somebody that you can trust if you need that kind of service.

    Greg
     
  17. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

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    I got a quote from Mark on a bellows for my 8x20. I e-mailed him my frame sizes and he got back to me right away. For my 8x20 the qoute was $365.00-$390.00 plus shipping. He is sending me a sample of the material and the fold for me to take a look at. The bellows is the only thing left for me to do and then my 8x20 will be ready to go. Should have the sample in a day or two. Price seems reasonable and Mark is very good with his communication. From what I've read his quality is great.

    Jim