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  1. #11

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    Thanks for the advice.

    I checked the bellows tonight with a flashlight in the dark. Many pinholes! It seems that I received a bit of "extra" exposure that I was not counting on! The funny thing is the front part of the bellows has the outer leather falling off in big chunks, yet it is light tight. The pinholes are all at the rear of the bellows where the outer bellow covering is intact.

    I have a Calumet shutter tester that I usually use immediately on all of my new acquisitions. I never used it on this camera because I never thought I would actually get to use it.

    The front standard has controls for rise/fall, and the base of the standard unlocks like a speed graphic. It looks as though you could shift the front standard - though it did not "want" to and I did not force it.

    I figured that by lining the film up on the bottom, that I was definitely not in the sweet spot of the old rectilinear. But it was sure convenient to use the numbers on the backing paper to advance the film. I am anxious to see how the negatives scan.

  2. #12

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    Dave,

    Out of curiosity, How do you go about setting up the scale focusing on your camera? I attached an old Wollensak 90 on my 3A tonight. I used a old piece of ground glass to focus with the back removed. But with roll film, I can see the advantage of the focus scales.

    Do you just set the camera up on a tripod and focus on objects at various distances while recording the lens position, or is there another way to do it more easily?

  3. #13

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    HPorter

    Thats the way I did it. I think it is the easy way.

  4. #14

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    Kevin,

    My 3A needs a new bellow. What is your bellow source? Thanks.

    Jason.

  5. #15

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    Ooops. Found your other thread about the source. Thanks Kevin.

  6. #16
    Mongo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HPorter
    Dave,

    Out of curiosity, How do you go about setting up the scale focusing on your camera? I attached an old Wollensak 90 on my 3A tonight. I used a old piece of ground glass to focus with the back removed. But with roll film, I can see the advantage of the focus scales.

    Do you just set the camera up on a tripod and focus on objects at various distances while recording the lens position, or is there another way to do it more easily?
    This is exactly how I've always done scales with homemade cameras. I have a rangefinder that I trust...I pick a few distances that I want on my scale, use the rangefinder to find things that are at those distances, then focus the camera to get the scale for the camera. There may be a quicker way, but I doubt there's an easier one.

    Best of luck.
    Dave
    Film is cheap. Opportunities are priceless.

  7. #17

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    Sep 2005
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    Bellows source

    Hi Everyone,

    Just wandered into this thread while looking for information on the Kodak 3a I just purchased on Ebay. Fortunately my bellows are in good shape but I've yet to decide whether to use the glass fix for keeping the film flat or having a friend who does metal fabrication make me some small thin strips to place inside the back that would narrow the film opening to 120 height. As for camera bellows for those who need them, I can recommend two companies. The most recognized and respected (IMO) is Camera Bellows. They manufacture custom bellows for cameras and are the company I used when I needed new bellows installed on my Fuji GS645 folder. Their website is camerabellows.com. The other company I've heard good things about, but have never used, is Turner Bellows. I don't have their website handy, but it will come up on a Google search. New bellows can be *very* expensive. My GS645 replacement (just the bellows) cost me $75.00. Considering I only paid $30.00 for my Kodak 3a, I hope the bellows never need replacement because it would be hard to justify the probable $100.00 or so it would cost to have them replaced. Keep in mind that if you want Camera Bellows to install the bellows for you, they're going to ding you another $50.00 for the service.

  8. #18
    Jeremy's Avatar
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    I am currently in the midst of permanently modifying my Kodak 3A to take 120 film when I started thinking about that metal ridge. Has anyone filed/ground down the metal ridge which appears (when looking in from the back of the camera through the bellows and out the lens) before the bellows do? It looks that each side ~1/4" wide so if you ground this away you would add about ~1/2" in width which would give you ~6x17cm negatives. I'm definitely going to try this as it will also make it easier to use the frame numbers to delineate where to stop advancing the film (use the same system as with the 6x17 LF backs from China). Right now I have a 135mm Graflex Optar mounted on mine, but I can switch this out for a 90mm angulon if I need the wider angle, or a 180mm RR if I need a smaller angle of view. What do you have mounted on yours?
    Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!

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  9. #19

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    Jeremy

    It looks like grinding the metal to the rollers would give another half inch, BUT...The edge of the bellows is in the way. The folds line up with that metal part so removing the edge may not do any good.

    The frame numbers line up pretty well with the "autographic" slot. the area where you can write on the film. I covered the regular round window and use that to see the numbers. I covered it with ruby film and painted most of the film so only the area where the numbers show is actually "ruby." This gives me a 6x12 image with a little overlap on the edges. (each image is actually closer to 6x14 but the usable area is 6x12.

    I'm using a Kodak Ektar 101. I wouldn't cover the corners of a 4x5 but since the corners are cut off it works fine, with just a slight dropoff at the edges. Your Optar should give much better coverage. The angulon would be nice but seems overly expensive for this project.

    The uncoated 170 anastigmat that comes on the 3a is actually pretty good as it is.

  10. #20
    Jeremy's Avatar
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    Hmm, I just checked the bellows on mine and it seems like I should be able to get at least another 1/4" total and maybe more. Any extra width I get is just a boon anyway, so if I can get anymore I'll be happy.

    The 135 Optar works quite nicely on the camera and gives me extra coverage to utilize the rise/fall and shifts on the front standard. The ground glass (which I'll mask out to only show the are where there is 120 film) will be a definite boon for using the movements.

    I already have the 90mm angulon and it's not a permanent affixment to the camera so I figure it won't be too much to move it back and forth b/w the 3x4 and the 3A if need be.
    Let's see what I've got in the magic trash can for Mateo!

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