Replacing RB67 Bellows - how to?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by dpt2014, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. dpt2014

    dpt2014 Member

    Messages:
    59
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I managed to puncture the bellows in my RB67 today. Picked it up without realizing the bellows was not fully retracted and puncture it with my finger. Doh! Oh well, it was showing heavy signs of use and cracking, anyway.

    I've found a replacement on eBay and it's $75. I've read about cheaper ones, but can't find any. I'm in no rush so I will keep searching for a cheaper solution. Any suggestions?

    But I've searched here and Google and cannot find a DIY guide to replace the bellows. Can anyway point me to a DIY or explain in detail how to do it? I've read it's rather simple to do, but no one ever actually says how it's done (not that I've seen, anyway).
     
  2. M Carter

    M Carter Member

    Messages:
    843
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I was just wondering about this myself (though my bellows seems fine, I'm re-foaming this week and will be using the RB for a big personal project soon). The guy who sells bellows on eBay says he sends instructions upon purchase; you might see if he'll send it to you, tell him you need to see if you can do it before you buy.

    You might also try John Goodman - he sells foam repair kits for the RB and his instructions are amazingly detailed. Very nice guy and he may know how to do it. JGood21967(at)aol(dot)com

    The photos I've seen of the bellows show a plate with screw holes; I just set my shutter to T and flipped the mirror up - I can't see anything inside the body that seems right - mystified a bit myself.
     
  3. dpt2014

    dpt2014 Member

    Messages:
    59
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi M Carter, thanks for your response. The auction I am watching does not mention sending instructions - would you mind linking me to the auction with instructions offered?

    I know about John Goodman's light seal kits, but I didn't think to ask about bellows replacements. Worth a shot, thanks!
     
  4. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

    Messages:
    4,252
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2009
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  5. paul ron

    paul ron Member

    Messages:
    1,680
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Buy a junker ugly body off KEH for $20 n take the bellows off that instead of paying so much for it. Also you may even find a working body on KEH for $50.. still cheaper than flea bay.

    now a question.. why not patch the bellows you have on there?

    E-mail me I can tell you exactly how to remove n replace the bellows.

    .
     
  6. M Carter

    M Carter Member

    Messages:
    843
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Why not post it here? It will be googled for years to come and you will go down in web-history.
     
  7. paul ron

    paul ron Member

    Messages:
    1,680
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I'm already in web history and so many times I've posted how tos no one ever reads. Even though I've posted so many how tos I still get e-mails asking the same questions anyway...

    I'll post it here as well later. It;s really easy to do.
     
  8. fmajor

    fmajor Member

    Messages:
    259
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Colorado
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks Paul!!! I read everything you post about RB67 cameras. Everything. In fact, i send people here who have problems with their RB67 to get in contact with you.
     
  9. paul ron

    paul ron Member

    Messages:
    1,680
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thanks for the plug F-major.
    sorry I took so long, had a few family things to take care of.

    To change the bellows..
    fire the camera so the mirror is up
    extend the front standard all the way out
    now with the camera looking up at you (sit it on a foam pad)
    there are 4 screws, one at each corner, on the body side of the bellows take em all out
    To get the 7 other screws on the lens mount side you have to go from inside so now you cna turn the camera over so you are looking through the back.

    Using a long #000 crosspoint, undo all 7 tiny screws.. you may have to lift the bellows up to see each side as you unscrew.

    Once the screws are all out; all that holds it in now is rotted foam.

    Gentle push n a lift her here n there n it is out!

    putting in the new bellows is jsut the reverse but first replace all the rotted foam with new.. it is the very thin foam.

    hope this was helpful.
    paul
     
  10. flavio81

    flavio81 Member

    Messages:
    1,333
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2014
    Location:
    Lima, Peru
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Paul, thank you very much. I have a RB67 that needs new bellows. I think I can make myself a bellows, but i needed to know how to remove the old one.
     
  11. wombat2go

    wombat2go Subscriber

    Messages:
    276
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2013
    Location:
    Michigan
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I am in the middle of changing the bellows in an RB67 ProS.
    I was not able to follow Paul's advice, because on the camera here, there is a light baffle plate on the body side of the bellows assembly that inhibits access to (4) of the (7) screws.
    Also the M1.6 screws are very tight with age and threadlocking.
    I have dis-assembled the front standard and removed the old bellows without drama, although it took a few hours.
    Laying the front standard and body flat on foam on the workbench, , I used drops of acetone and gentle tapping of the screws to break them loose without damage
    Now I am cleaning the old gaskets off ready to install the new bellows.

    I have been taking photos and notes of the steps as bellows replacement is not described in the service manual.
    I will put up my procedure when finished.
    The bellows came from Hong Kong and need to be glued to the above baffle plate before assembly
    I will also be changing the mirror foam when the kit arrives from USCamera.
     
  12. paul ron

    paul ron Member

    Messages:
    1,680
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Wow i cant believe you looked this up after so long. Im happy at least someone benifited from it.

    If you release the side without the plate, the other is essily accessed because the bellows can be msnipulated in such a way to clear.

    The tight screws break out easy enough if you are using a good quality n correct size driver. Putting acetone was a very good solution as well since its the old foam acting as glue after 35 years being seated.

    The plate isnt glued, there is a very thin foam under it as well as around the edges of the bellows. Your old one may seem glued but thats old rotted foam.

    Anyway, your method worked n that just proves there is more than one way to skin a cat.

    Love to see pics added here for postaraty.

    Long live APUG n lets keep those RBs on the road for another 35 years.

    .
     
  13. flavio81

    flavio81 Member

    Messages:
    1,333
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2014
    Location:
    Lima, Peru
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Yes! Please do! Thanks! And thanks Paul as well!
     
  14. wombat2go

    wombat2go Subscriber

    Messages:
    276
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2013
    Location:
    Michigan
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Thanks, Paul,
    Yes,
    The old bellows gaskets against the die cast are alternatively rock hard or goey goop.
    So it is probably better that I pulled the front standard off to get access for cleaning..
    I have spent a few minutes today applying acetone and "Goo-Gone" with a cotton swab, letting it soak and scraping down to get a flat surface.
    I don't have replacement gaskets, so I am thinking of cutting self adhesive telescope flocking into picture frame shape and sticking to the die cast as a contact surface for the bellows plate on the body end and the bellows end-fold on the front standard..
    OK?
     
  15. paul ron

    paul ron Member

    Messages:
    1,680
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Buy the self stick foam in sheets from microtools. They have an assorted pack fairly cheap n its enough to do a few cameras. You dont need shapes, use strips.

    The old gooey is the worst! The crusty is easy n not such a mess.
     
  16. paul ron

    paul ron Member

    Messages:
    1,680
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Now heres a thought for a hady hacker... Tilts n swings?

    Dam ive always dreamed that would make the rb perfect!... Like the fuji but built like a russian tank!
     
  17. Bipin

    Bipin Member

    Messages:
    45
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Location:
    Ontario, Can
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I'm a bit of a lurker here, having never posted before but having read the forums for a good year or two. This discussion rekindled my yearning of removing the RB67's front standard to modify it for tilt/swing movements and replace the breech lock mount with a #0 hole. I'd be interested to see what methods you come up with for removing the bellows, from the front standard at the very least.
     
  18. paul ron

    paul ron Member

    Messages:
    1,680
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    What i see as a plausible method, you'd have to install a universal on the cocking shaft. Otherwise the shutter can't be loaded n firing could be done as usual.

    The front standard can easily be modified for movements. And if you arent using rb lenses n rather use lf lenses with manual shutters, you've simplified it to a weekend project since now all you need is the focusing racks on the sides. Even remove the cocking shaft.

    But all this will take some mechanical intuition n skill, let alone having the tools required.

    To remove the bellows, follow this thread from the start.
     
  19. wombat2go

    wombat2go Subscriber

    Messages:
    276
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2013
    Location:
    Michigan
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Continuing:
    The plates on each end of the bellows are of 0.4mm aluminum.

    On the front standard end, the plate is chamfered on the corners. The bellows last fold encloses the plate so that the bellows is positively clamped to the front standard.
    So on the front standard, no glue is necessary.

    The body- side baffle plate has a 1.6mm screw in each corner. The orginal bellows had the end folds glued to the front of this plate.
    The plate is too large to fit in the fold, anyway it has no chamfers
    That glue is the only means of holding the bellows to the body, meaning that it is in tension.

    I think I will use JB Weld as a glue, as I have it here and it is of a thicker consistency. I will try to make a jig to press the bellows onto the plate while the epoxy sets.
    If I mess this up the new bellows will be ruined.....
     
  20. wombat2go

    wombat2go Subscriber

    Messages:
    276
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2013
    Location:
    Michigan
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
  21. M Carter

    M Carter Member

    Messages:
    843
    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2013
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    …and hats off to Paul Ron, who talked me through an RB lens teardown. I was certain I'd destroy it… but it's still going strong, sir!

    Rbs are pretty fab machines.
     
  22. paul ron

    paul ron Member

    Messages:
    1,680
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2004
    Location:
    NYC
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Wow that was a long time ago... Nice to see its still working n you're still using the old girl.
     
  23. wombat2go

    wombat2go Subscriber

    Messages:
    276
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2013
    Location:
    Michigan
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    After a bit of drama, I have the Bellows replaced in the Mamaiya RB67 ProS, along with new mirror foam, and the camera is re-assesmbled and light tested.

    The first bellows I purchased were of the folds only. So I glued them on to the original thin aluminum body plate uneventfully.
    When preparing for re-assembly, the thin aluminum plate fractured through a mounting screw hole.

    I then found a supplier of the complete bellows assembly with end plates. The supplier gave me some info and warned that the holes would probably not line up to the old ProS body. he said that as far as he knew, the ProS bellows were no longer available and that others had modified this bellows assembly.

    I have uploaded a sketch of how I modified the new bellows body side plate to fit the ProS, in case anybody has to do this.
    https://app.box.com/s/5wxt6x3sjqxv65vy6iqkmanrhl7okmfi

    However as a DIYer I would recommend any other DIYer to try to obtain the correct part number first.
    An altenative, which I would try if ever doing it again, would be to purchase the folds only from the Hong Kong suppler, and make a new body side plate, on the mill drill, maybe of 0.4mm brass. The original 0.4mm aluminum plate is too flimsy for DIYer to re-use.