Success stories with Mark Kapono post-disappearance?

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Removed Account, May 1, 2008.

  1. Removed Account

    Removed Account Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    Nanaimo, Bri
    I've read about the problems surrounding Mark Kapono's disappearance last summer, and how some people were left high and dry. I've also read many glowing reviews of his past work, with folks praising his e-mail response time, delivery time, and especially quality of worksmanship. I contacted him for a quote on a new bellows and his price with shipping is only $6 more than Western Bellows' price before shipping! Normally quality comes first, but from past reviews his work seems to be a case of getting more than you pay for. He's been very prompt in his replies, and candid about the "incident". I'm leaning pretty strongly towards giving him the work, has anyone on APUG had some work done by Mark since the disappearance? I'd also be interested in knowing if those outstanding orders had been cleared up, either with product or refund.

    - Justin
  2. Jim Fitzgerald

    Jim Fitzgerald Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Ventura, Ca
    ULarge Format
    Justin, I had Jim at Western Bellows make the bellows for my 8x20. He uses top notch materials and the quality is first rate. I showed him the material that Mark uses and Jim's was lighter and of better quality in my opinion. I was going to go with Mark for my 8x20 and I'm glad I did not. You will need to stay on top of Jim at Western but the quality is first rate. This was confirmed by several friends who are both LU and ULF photographers. I personally think that Mark has a long way to go to re-establish his credibility. Just my .02.

  3. Inayat Noor

    Inayat Noor Subscriber

    Aug 12, 2005
    Boca Raton
    Medium Format
    Mark Kapono

    I recently had Mark Kapono replace my bellows for my 8X10 Toyo G. The orignal bellows from Toyo were made from a material similar to cloth I bought from Walmart to cover my windows went I print my negatives. They were unacceptable and I don't understand why Toyo would produce bellows incredibly poor for a camera made to the highest standards.

    I sent my Toyo bellows to Mark in the middle of December 2007. He did not receive them until January 12, 08. I believe him since my check was not processed until after January 12.

    He shipped the competed bellows to me April 17. The activity took 3 months. I was in no hurry and did not send inquiring emails requesting a status. The condition of the bellows is satisfying to me.

    My biggest concern was with the original bellows from Toyo made to very low standards.