On Friday, I received a C1 via mail order. There were a couple of issues (duly noted by the seller). One of these was several pin holes in the last 5 or six pleats. Being the believer in online research that I am, I checked here, LF forums, photo.net and the various other web pages. There seemed to be a number of possible solutions, depending on the size of the area to be fixed.
On the very front and last pleats, the holes were slightly larger (still pinholes, but you didn't need to stretch the bellows tight to see the light through them. For these, I cut some black gaff and used it for the repair. For the absolutely tiny holes that were left, I used some black latex fabric paint.
Now the question. How have those who used similar repairs found them to hold up.? I plan on a new bellows eventually (hopefully I can make it through the summer). Do people who have made bellows repairs think that making it through the summer sounds reasonable?
Oh yea. Those 8x10 dark slides are HUGE! Also, I rather enjoy a camera that I can fit my big head into.
I had more gaffer's tape than leather on bellows of my Eastman #2 for about 12 years before I bothered to get them replaced. It made folding up the camera a bit of a pain in the a$$, and it sure wasn't pretty, but it held for a long, long time.
Originally Posted by jmdavis
I wound up getting a replacement made by Westen Bellows last year - and I'm glad I did!
Some people are like Slinkies. They're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.
Jim-search the archives. There was a fairly long thread about bellows repair materials. Recently I acquired a compndium shade which had some major gaps in the bellows. I used "Aquaseal" from a dive shop. I have not tried anything else. The great tihng about this stuff is that when it dries it is completely pliant.You need to put some black paint over it. To me this was good stuff and only $8 a tube. Good luck with your new camera!
B&S sells a bellows repair product that always seems to get good reviews. I've been lucky enough to not need it yet.
I have three pinhole repairs in the bellows of my 1927 Zeiss-Ikon 250/7 Ideal that were put on in late August of 2004 -- small patches of very thin leather applied with rubber cement -- that get better with time, as the patch material takes the fold of the bellows and is compressed into shape with the camera closed.
I have also repaired the bellows on my post-War Wirgin Auta with liquid electrical tape (too many holes, all in corners, to repair with patches) -- after letting it sit for two weeks, there is no tackiness when closing the camera and it's completely light tight, but it's only been a month since I repaired it, so I can't speak to durability (though since I was able to completely remove this bellows for repair, I reversed it to put unworn material on the side that gets the wear, and can conceivably replace it, possibly with a homemade unit, if/when the other side also wears through -- if I'm still around in another 50 years).
Generally, I'd expect a leather patch applied with appropriate adhesive (and I don't consider rubber cement the best, but it was available and works pretty well on leather -- Pliobond would likely be ideal) to last as well as the original leather on a bellows. The main concern is that pinholes indicate the whole bellows is failing, and are likely to be followed by more of the same. If the camera is worth the expenditure (and nearly any 8x10 is), it might be sensible to consider getting the bellows replaced rather than chance new leaks showing up on the first of 20 sheets on a shoot where you won't see the damage until after the shooting opportunity is gone. At the very least, it would be worth getting in the habit of removing the ground glass and putting a bright light inside the bellows before each day's shooting, to look for additional holes, until you can afford the time and/or money to replace the bellows.
Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
Interested in hearing how you are getting along with bellows repair.
Here are a couple of things I've heard... The Aquaseal stuff works.
There is also material called Gutta Resist. A natural latex product used in fabric crafts. www.dharmatrading.com has it.
For large repairs I'd been searching for a strong, opaque and extremely flexible fabric. A friend put me onto Gore-Tex patch kits. You can use Aquaseal to glue the Gore-Tex to the inside of the bellows, and it will remain flexible.
Bostickand sullivan has a repeir kit (tape and glue) easy to use and does not impid folding
equinoxphotographic(.com) sells bellows repair liquid as well.
i have not used it, but it works well from all accounts. you
paint it on with the bellows extended, let dry and there you are.
I had a bellows with pinholes on every corner ( and there are A LOT of corners on a bellows) I used Black neoprene wetsuit repair glue from a dive shop and it seemed to work fine, although I always drape my darkcloth over the bellows before I pull the slide.
That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
the tape is all i have used, it woks well, is fast and easy.