Suggestions for "translucent" bellows

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Donald Qualls, Dec 15, 2005.

  1. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

    Messages:
    1,845
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    North Caroli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I may be coming into an Aletta 4x5, very lightly used, in exchange for some work on a couple other cameras. The current owner has recently tested the bellows (at the suggestion of a third party) and discovered that 7 minutes in full sun with a blank lens board in place will significantly fog Efke 25.

    I know the "best" solution is to build a new bellows to replace the translucent one, and that's my long term plan, but I can easily see it taking a year or two to get to that kind of project (tapered bellows, which is more complex to make than a straight one), and I won't want to wait that long if I get this camera. Meantime, suggestions for adding opacity to the existing bellows without greatly reducing compression, flexibility, or durability would be welcome. I've been thinking of spray paint, perhaps a "bumper flex" type from an auto parts store, or using spray adhesive to apply a layer of black plastic of the type used for inner packaging of film and enlarging paper. And, of course, there's always "shoot indoors and minimize dark slide open time."

    What other options exist?
     
  2. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

    Messages:
    4,049
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Donald,

    Why not just get a piece of black cloth and wrap the bellows with it and sew a piece of velcro along the bottom edge to hold it together, that way when shooting you could just wrap around the bellows then pull them off to pack everything up, I bet you could do it for around $5.00.....and would not run the risk of making the bellows sticky and such.

    Dave
     
  3. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Paint it with Liquid Latex - available from good fetish shops anywhere (or ebay). Follow the instructions for making it "non-sticky" after drying.

    :D
     
  4. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

    Messages:
    1,897
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Location:
    Saint Paul, MN
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Dare I ask why you are familiar with good fetish shops? And what is it that differentiates the "good" fetish shops from the bad or merely mediocre? Damnit Ole, we need answers! :D

    As for the bellows I have no idea, but perhaps draping it with a stout piece of black cloth as Dave mentions. If it take a matter of minutes to fog the film, you don't have huge leaks there anyway, that might just be enough.

    Paul.
     
  5. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    9,281
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Bergen, Norw
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    It's very simple: Good fetish shops have Liquid Latex in stock - and not blue, red or transparent, but black. As for how I'm familiar with them - why, they carry Liquid Latex! :tongue:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2005
  6. Chris Fraser

    Chris Fraser Member

    Messages:
    36
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Location:
    Ontario, Can
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Thanks for the laugh... I needed a good giggle
     
  7. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,769
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Location:
    NH
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Bostich and Sullivan carry a bellows repair kit. I have used it to paint an entire Burke and James 5x7 bellows and it works just fine now. Give it a few days to dry and a light dusting of talc then blow off the remaining talc and it doesn't stick.
     
  8. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

    Messages:
    1,897
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Location:
    Saint Paul, MN
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    And if nothing else, you can probably get the talc at a bondage shop so that you still have an excuse to go there. :tongue:
     
  9. medform-norm

    medform-norm Member

    Messages:
    863
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    And I thought Bostich & Sullivan were one of those good bondage shops Ole mentioned, seeing that they sell something similar to black liquid latex
    :tongue:
     
  10. rbarker

    rbarker Member

    Messages:
    2,222
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    Rio Rancho,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Short of repairing the bellows, as suggested, the dark cloth drape might work. You might also do what some IR shooters do - wrap the bellows in aluminum foil once set up. (Some bellows are visible-light tight, but not IR opaque.) The choice really depends on where the bellows are leaking, and to what degree.
     
  11. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,887
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Aluminum foil eh? I bet you'd get some REALLY interesting looks doing that in public!

    - Randy
     
  12. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

    Messages:
    1,845
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    North Caroli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    There are always a few fashion victims who will envy him for how well his bellows matches his hat... :wink:

    I had in fact considered draping the dark cloth over the bellows before pulling the dark slide, but was concerned about the weight inducing a sag that would cause vignetting. The fact the current owner has made successful images with it suggests it's an overall translucency rather than one or more localized leaks; this is a problem for which Aletta had a reputation, I'm afraid. However; he usually shoots Efke 25, and I tend much more toward ISO 100 or faster films. I quite like Fomapan 100 and 320TXP, the latter of which especially would require some pretty fast work with the dark slide to avoid significant fog.

    Bellows repair kits, flexible fabric paint, etc. are high on the list of possibilities, especially when not trying to patch an existing hole. I like the idea of a Velcro fastened black sleeve for the bellows, and I agree I could probably do that for around $5, starting at the remnant table of the local Jo-Ann Fabrics. Unfortunately, my sewing machine got left behind when I moved from Seattle. Maybe I could do the job with basting glue...
     
  13. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

    Messages:
    965
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Donald,

    You could probably skip the sewing and use velcro with adhesive backing, or perhaps some fabric glue... I think JoAnn's used to carry that sort of stuff (check their glue aisle).

    André
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

    Messages:
    4,049
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Donald, actually a needle and thread with some quick loop stitching should be more than enough to hold the velcro on, I don't think the glue would hold out over the long run, but you could use it, then let dry and run a quick loop stitch right down the middle, in actuality, I doubt you would need a heavy cloth to help with the small amount of leakage your bellows may have, I picked up some light duty black material that I know would work and it folds up small enough to fit in a pocket, I use a 3 foot by 4 foot piece for a dark cloth and it works great, I think I paid .50 cents off the remnant table, and have been using it for about 3 years now..

    Dave
     
  16. Brook

    Brook Member

    Messages:
    94
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    All my bellows are thread bare. I just use a big dark cloth wraped around the whole camera, and sometimes wrap a second cloth around the bellows. Never been a problem.
     
  17. rbarker

    rbarker Member

    Messages:
    2,222
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    Rio Rancho,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My bet is that the foil bellows, combined with the foil hat, would keep people from walking up to ask, "Is that a Hasselblad?" :rolleyes:
     
  18. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,887
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Ha!

    I would be concerned if the bellows were really extended, but could you put a wooden dowel across the standards to support the cloth? I drape mine over my 4x5 due to pinholes, but the extension is not so much that the cloth reall puts any weight on it. The dowel could be sewn into a sort of 'bellows sleeve' like what has been mentioned earlier and it might keep the weight off the bellows...

    - Randy
     
  19. JHannon

    JHannon Member

    Messages:
    969
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Donald, If you are interested in making a new bellows here is a good link that describes materials, glue etc. --- Bellows

    The adhesive should be flexible when it drys. Even if you do not go the "build" route, there are suggestions which you may find helpful with your repair.

    I hope it works for you.

    Regards,
    John
     
  20. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    19,999
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    hi donald -

    equinoxphotographic also sells bellows repair stuff.
    i haven't used either brand (B&S or EP ) so i can't tell you
    which is better/ worse ...

    good luck!
    -john
     
  21. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

    Messages:
    1,845
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    North Caroli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Question is, Ralph, whether that will be enough to offset the ones who come up with matching hats and offer secret handshakes, recognition signs, passwords, etc., or just ask you if your hat is keeping the voices out any better than theirs...


    ...and *then* ask if that's a Hasselblad. :rolleyes:
     
  22. Donald Qualls

    Donald Qualls Member

    Messages:
    1,845
    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2005
    Location:
    North Caroli
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Okay, I have a bunch of needles around anyway (for making pinholes), and thread is cheap... :wink: Though I was thinking it would be handy to hem the cloth so it doesn't shed long black threads everywhere...
     
  23. Andre R. de Avillez

    Andre R. de Avillez Member

    Messages:
    965
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2004
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Donald, may I suggest fabric glue once more? When I used to work at JoAnn's I often heard suggestions for using fabric or tacky glue along the edges of a piece of fabric to prevent sheding.

    At any rate, I have never sown a thing in my life, so take my suggestions with a grain of salt.

    André
     
  24. rbarker

    rbarker Member

    Messages:
    2,222
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    Rio Rancho,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You may need the UQD for that (Universal Question Discourager): a .44 magnum on the hip combined with a jacket that says, "Do you feel lucky, punk? Go ahead and ask if it's a Hasselblad". :wink:
     
  25. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

    Messages:
    2,578
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    san jose, ca
    Shooter:
    Multi Format


    He says with a Clint in his eye as he strolls with his tripod down the streets of West Eastwood.

    A Carmel colored joke.

    tim in san jose
     
  26. rbarker

    rbarker Member

    Messages:
    2,222
    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2004
    Location:
    Rio Rancho,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    :D