Ugh! Bellows getting place?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by nsurit, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    Seems as if everyone who has a bellows camera (well, almost everyone) will at some point in time need to replace their bellows. Finding a reliable supplier at a reasonable price seems to be a major challenge based on the inquiries on this list. DIY has moved and isn't supplying kits currently, Custom Bellows won't respond, the guy in Hawaii also doesn't respond and so on . . . There is a firm out of Japan that sells bellows on eBay, however getting through the maze to contact them directly is also a challenge.. I guess eBay figures my one-off bellows needs to be custom made and sold on eBay. I'm not an eBay hater, however gumming up communications really doesn't work for this situation. Anyone know a direct contact for tokyophoto on eBay?

    Perhaps we should start a sticky posting on people who have actually been able to get some bellows made recently . . . if there is such a thing.

    Bill Barber
     
  2. Tomf2468

    Tomf2468 Member

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    Try Western Bellows in Etiwanda CA (basically San Diego). I don't think they have ever had a website, but you can contact them at westernbellows@aol.com or (909) 980-0606. I haven't used them in quite a while, but they did very good work for me.

    Hope that helps
    Tom
     
  3. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    It's my experience that everyone has a favorite method of communication, ranging from pigeons to email or skype. With Custom Bellows it's the good old telephone!

    Call Keith at:

    work: +44 (0)121-766 7919
    mobile: +44 (0)7775-666 118
     
  4. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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  5. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    I sent custom bellows an email asking if they were still in business and if Bull dog was still in business. I also asked for a quote on new bellows for my Keith 5X7 camera. They responded with the quote at 120 pounds plus packaging and postage. So it appears they are still in business. I'll keep folks posted on the progress. Bill Barber
     
  6. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    Custom Bellows in England makes superior bellows at reasonable prices. Their turnaround time is much faster than Western Bellows, even for those if us in the U.S.

    http://www.custombellows.co.uk/
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Custom Bellows, formerly Camera Bellows, and Glanville's before that make most of the OEM bellows for camera manufacturers, and have done since WWII. So with many camera's a replacement from them is identical to the original. There's still a Glanville connection.

    Drawing up your own patter & making your own is another option. I'm well into making my third set at the moment, it gets much easier each time.

    Ian
     
  8. steven_e007

    steven_e007 Member

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    Custom bellows is definitely still in business and they do answer emails - at least they answered me!
    I got a quote just a couple of months ago.
    Be sure you are using the right email address:

    info@custombellows.co.uk

    They are smaller than they once were and maybe slower to respond to email, but as Ralph says, maybe best to ring!
     
  9. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Sounds like Custom Bellows has a lot of happy customers. I'm one of them. They made a perfect replacement for my Linhof bellows for a 1/4 of Linhof's price.
     
  10. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    I'm well on the way to being a happy customer. I've exchanged several emails with them and am on my way to the post office to send them my old bellows as a pattern. I may be the cause of the prior no response, as they have responded very quickly to my recent emails. Bill Barber
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    When I needed new bellows for my De Vere monorail (whole plate/half plate/5x4) back around 1976 I paid Camera Bellows (Custom Bellows) a visit.

    The women I dealt with said bag bellow would suit you far better and went to a set of map drawers and pulled out the blue print for the original design, I had no frames to attach the new bellow to so she told me what to get made. Very efficient.

    My dilemma now is the De Vere is worth peanuts it's big heavy & undesirable, the bag bellows are still excellent. The original bellows were shot in 76, they are still useless today. My solution is make new bellows for the Devere and possibly keep the bag bellows, they could be fitted to another camera quite easily.

    I think the bag bellows cost more than the camera :D The new bellows will cost less than £5 ($8).

    Ian