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steven_e007
03-13-2007, 04:52 AM
Hi,

I have a HUGE Centuary graphics process camera which I wish to restore.

I believe it was probably intended to be an 8 by 10 camera, although the plate holder external dimensions are nearer 12 by 12" (too small for 11 by 14", but 10 by 12", maybe?).

Anyway, fully extended the bellows must be nearly 5 foot.

The woodwork is fantastic. The camera was picked up in a very damp and cold 'antiques market' (a derelict shed, really) and had clearly been sitting in virtually outdoor conditions for probably years and years. It was very filthy and damp, but the wood hasn't warped, split or rotted at all, greatly to my surprise. After some initial cleaning it looked it remarkable condition.

The bellows are rubberised fabric. Although they have also lasted well, they have cracked a litttle around the joints.

Years ago it was possbile to buy liqued rubber to re-proof canvas tends and such like.

Does anyone have any idea where I might be able to obtain some liqued rubber to renovate these bellows?

I tried searching the internet.

I typed in 'black rubber' and 'latex' into google.

:o :o :o :o :o

I am now a different person to what I was before. :confused:

However, no rubber suitable for coating camera bellows! :rolleyes:

(Seriously, you can see the problem trying to find something like this on the net!)

If anyone can point me in the right direction or offer any advice on renovating bellows then please let me know, thanks.

Steve

doughowk
03-13-2007, 06:05 AM
"Brush-On Electical Tape", available at most hardware stores, has extended the life of a couple of old Korona bellows.

Buster6X6
03-13-2007, 10:10 AM
There is a liquid rubber I used for my bellows. It is used to coat tools with different color rubber. It can be brushed on and you can dilute it with naphta camping fuel. It is made by Performix and it's called Plasti-dip.
Any good hardware store would have it.

Hope this helps Greg

steven_e007
03-14-2007, 11:04 AM
Thanks for that info, guys. Performix has a uk site which I've found by googling:

http://www.plastidip.co.uk/index2.cfm

I'm going to order 500ml of black plastidip and give it a try.

Steve

big_ben_blue
03-14-2007, 11:47 AM
One cautious sidenote re: plastidip - if you use it diluted it may not deliver the lightproofing properties you are after (just ask me how I know :( ).

Chris

colrehogan
03-14-2007, 11:52 AM
Perhaps you can contact Camera Bellows, they may be able to help you.

http://www.camerabellows.com/

steven_e007
03-15-2007, 04:12 AM
I managed to find a picture of the camera (I knew I had one on my hard drive somewhere!)

This was taken after I cleaned it up, but before attempting any sort of restoration.

The champagne bottle on the top gives it a bit of scale...

Steve

PS. I've visited "Camera Bellows" a few times and bought several bellows from them for smaller cameras in the past. I think, scaling up the prices that I have paid in the past, that I would need to sell my house to replace the bellows for this beast! Really, though, they aren't that bad considering the age of the camera. I think a bit of careful resoration and they will photograph again :D

Charles Webb
03-15-2007, 07:38 PM
Steven,
I have used Artists Acrylic paint for many years for major and minor bellows repairs. I does not dry hard and brittle but flexible enough to work with out making the folds to thick to fold.

For black bellows I actually use the Acrylic Black sold at Walmart. For best results thin with a bit of water and then paint it into the folds. Lightly at first then a second or third thin coat where needed. In the corners where it seems most of the pinholes like to hide use a tooth pic or brush handle to move the paint around a bit forceing a tiny bit of the acrylic into the actual light leak. I seldom us the acrylic full strength as it comes in the bottle, but
usually thin it with a little water. Do not close the camera after one of these aplications wait intill the paint drys completely so it does not stick to itself. The acrylic can also be applied on the outside and be almost invisable if care is used.

Any color will work to match a bellow color but black should be used inside for it's opacity. Gloss Medium acrylic can be used to thin or give a gloss finish just as Matt Medium will make a dull or matt finish. As with all things dealing with antiques test first. A bit of Talc added will also help eliminate any sticking and can also be used to thicken up paint mixture.

I have used this method even before acrylic paint was avaiable in liquid form. I first used Artists Acrylic paint sold in tubes as less demanding for an oil or impasto look. Keep it thin, several thin coats work better than one thick one.



Charlie...................................

Freneticist
03-18-2007, 08:04 PM
WOW!! And I thought I was the only one that would pick up something like that! I purchased an old Tasope Photogravure camera made by Aurora School of Photogravure here in the US. Same dimensionally as the one you found. Bellows were garbaged, wood was stained, back was gone. Turns out the entire thing was made from walnut. Even the 2x4 runners underneath. Solid walnut!! I made a set of bellows using micro-suede. With the size of the beast, the bulk didn't matter. It had a Tasope lens, but I opted to make it a variable pinholer. Rotating pinholes of different sizes for different f.l. and f-stops. Here is a "before" and "after shots of it. Lots of fun to load in the station wagon and take out for an afternoon shot. My grand-daughter thinks I built it for her to hide her toys in.

http://www.apug.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=7205&stc=1&d=1174267230
http://www.apug.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=7206&stc=1&d=1174267230
http://www.apug.org/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=7207&stc=1&d=1174267230

steven_e007
03-19-2007, 07:07 PM
A wonderful beast! Does it take good photographs?

Solid walnut?

I must admit I don't really know what mine is made of. I have assumed mahogany, but only because I didn't know they made them out of anything else! :p

Mine came with a brass Ross lens of about 10" focal length (for whole plate, I assume). It was mounted on a deeply recessed panel (more of an internal box, complete with brass tube and flange for the pneumatic shutter, alas not included).

I bought the camera really because I have quite a big lens collection and when I get the camera up and working I should be able to put any of my larger lenses on on it :)

Steve

Ole
03-19-2007, 07:36 PM
...
I tried searching the internet.

I typed in 'black rubber' and 'latex' into google.

:o :o :o :o :o

I am now a different person to what I was before. :confused:
...

If you had typed "liquid latex" instead, you might actually have found a usable product! Well - you might not initially think so from the label, but the stuff is really exellent for repairing leaking bellows.
And if you should spill some on yourself, it's perfectly safe... :D :p

glbeas
03-19-2007, 07:39 PM
I believe you can get stuff from a dive shop for repairing wetsuits that is supposed to work well on bellows. Anybody remember what it's called?

big_ben_blue
03-19-2007, 07:51 PM
If you had typed "liquid latex" instead, you might actually have found a usable product!

I just did, and even found a canadian supplier, yeah. Still had to wade through some barely legal imagery to get there (I NEVER would have imagined what this stuff could all be used for - ignorance is sometimes a good thing for the little pure mind :o ).

Chris

Freneticist
03-20-2007, 02:46 PM
A wonderful beast! Does it take good photographs?
Solid walnut?
Steve

Well, "good" is subjective. It does about as well as I do. Pinhole photos being "good" is purely accidental anyway. Ten minute to four hour shots are fun. And people look at you like you are nuts when you ask them not to stand on front of your camera very long because you are taking a picture.
And as for the walnut. Surprised the hell outa me too. With the size of the pieces, I was expecting oak, at best. When I stripped all the old gunk off, I considered ripping it all down for use in some of my other oldies. But, it is kinda unique, and like I stated earlier, my grand-daughter lives with me, and as I was working on it, she at first thought it was another riding toy. Then when I convinced her that she could no longer sit on it, she now uses it to hide toys inside of. Good thing she is only 2 and a half, and a grand-daughter. Only she can get away with things like that. All she gotta do is grin at grand-dad.

Charles Webb
03-20-2007, 03:45 PM
I am simply dumfounded that you people are so hard headed and haved to reinvent the wheel to do the easiest tasks in photography. Why go looking for a source for wet suit patching when you can use the readily available liquid acrylic paint to do museum quality invisable repairs form Walmart?
Remember, it is water based and if it is spilled as Ole sugests, you wipe it up with tap water and paper towels. Little children use this same stuff, so it is fairly safe to handle.


No, on second thought don't answer my question, I don't really care to waste any more of my time on this thread. Have fun, I am done!


Charlie.......................................

Cliff
03-20-2007, 05:52 PM
Hello,
To repair light leaks I use a product by Rustoleum called "Grip & Guard". It is a rubberized spray used for spraying handles of garden tools. You should be able to find it at any hardware store. It worked very well on my Deardorf camera. Use in a well-ventilated area - strong fumes !
Cliff

Jim Jones
03-20-2007, 07:55 PM
Like Charlie I use artist's acrylic black paint. Scrubbing it in well with an old toothbrush plugs pinholes and reduces any thickness build-up. It might not stick to the original rubber as well as some of the other recommended materials.

steven_e007
03-21-2007, 05:34 PM
No, on second thought don't answer my question, I don't really care to waste any more of my time on this thread. Have fun, I am done!
Charlie.......................................

It wasn't wasted time, Charlie, if it was good advice.

I brose a lot more threads than I contribute too and pick up a lot of tips.

Actually, I already have used water based acrylic paint as you have described on the inside of the bellows. It has done a really good job. Whatever the original blacking was had all but disintegrated and disappeared leaving a buff colourer calico behind. Some matt black acrylic made an excellent job of this. So far so good. My problem is the outside of the bellows, which have very noticable chunks of rubber material missing from around the folds. I think the suggestions of plasti-dip may well do the trick here. And now I know at least one similar camera is made of walnut I will scrutinise the material my camera is made of very carefully when I scrape it and re-finish it!

So all in all I am very happy I started this thread, I'm enthused to get restoring andf I hope it is useful to anyone else with a rubberised fabric hulk of a beast to renovate.

Any more hints, tips and suggestions are very welcome!

Steve