Bellows Repair Needed
I have a pre-war Zeiss Ikon Super Ikonta B. It's in very good shape and I'm anxious to take it out for some exercise in the sun. However, there is a tear in the bellows on the left hand side where it meets the front standard. The tear is about 2 cm long, and there appears to be about 1 or 2 mm of bellows still between the tear and the edge of the metal. A fellow on a Zeiss Ikon forum to which I belong said he had some repair instructions involving gaffer's tape that he would pass along, but I have been unable to reach him again, and as it has been about five months since he made the offer I am not expecting to hear from him again.
Does anyone have some suggestions, instructions, and/or tips for doing this repair myself? I'm only semi-handy with tools, and I don't have anything specialized like lens spanners. A patch job with the bellows in place is what I'm looking to do at this point.
As a side note, I do have a parts camera of the same model as mine that has a good bellows. However, everywhere I checked for swapping them out either turned me down, warned me that they have never done a bellows replacement before, or else wanted to do a bunch of other stuff, too.
Don't use gaffer tape it's messy.
There's a stall holder at the UK camera fairs I go to with a box of replacement bellows, actually he's the organiser. These will all be ex Custom (formerly Camera) Bellows so OEM and they are inexpensive.
The bellows are held in place by the shtter usually so removing the lens/shutter assembly remove the bellows from the front, they are glued in place at the rear so getting them off without damage will be tricky.
Personall I'd get some invisible mend cloth sold for repairing suits etc, very thin with a self adhesive backing and repair from the inside then a layer on the outside then use black acrylic paint to touch up the outside. I've restored badly damaged bellows that way, the make I used to buy is no longer made but it was light-tight which was a big bonus.
If you have an old film changing bag laying around you can use some of that for a patch, put it inside with some glue that stays flexible. Maybe not rubber cement, it's high-sulpher, i worry the chemicals in it will degrade the leather bellows, but then again, the bellows are leather. Maybe find some good leather/meterial glue?
OR, if you have a dead 35mm slr camera laying around, or can find one at a thrift store for $5 or so, you can rip it apart and use the cloth shutter material to make a patch. This also leaves you with a nice pile of cool screws and other parts.
LOTS cheaper and easier than replacing the bellows, although that is the best long-term solution. Then again, I fixed a small ikonta a bellows that way a mere 20 years ago and it's still holding up.
The classic means for cementing leather is contact adhesive: a rubber solution in volatile organic solvents.
It bears some similarity to rubber cement but is aimed at lasting fixation. Typical use is to appply to both parts, let dry until merely sticky and then add both parts under pressure. Its greatest advantage obove most other cements is its flexibility.
Yes, contact adhesive (also called Impact adhesive) is ideal, I use it for bellows repairs as well as when I make new bellows and shutter curtains.
In the UK/Turkey I use Evostik Impact adhesive, I think a US equivalent is Pliobond. Older versions are solvent based but newer types use a water base to deter glue sniffers.
Usually it never fully hardens and retains flexibility and it's possible to detach bellows with care. I know Custom (Camera) Bellows use similar adhesives I had ethem make some Bag bellows for a large monrail camera back in the 70's. Older glues tended to be hide based.
You can soften it by use of apt solvent.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
An alternative to contact adhesive is 3M467 sheet adhesive.
Bellows Repair Needed
I have one of this ikon's too, my bellows is great but the advance knob is broken off and seized.
But if his bellows are anything like my Kodak foldies, they are so brittle every time I open them I get bellows particle dust on both the lens AND the film itself, a few images were so bad once it was very frustrating. So I have the same question, how can you make new bellows? (I don't live in the UK so I can't hit up this flea market mentioned either... :(
Canon: AE-1, 1V | Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Mamiya: RZ67 Pro II, 7 II
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Bellows Repair Needed
So awesome! Thanks AgX! Seem you know everything!
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