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  1. #1
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    Agfa 8x10 bellows questions

    I have 2 Agfa Universal 8x10 cameras that lack bellows. I'm going to attempt to make some replacement bellows for the cameras, but I don't have a complete set of frames or old bellows to pattern from. I'm hoping someone on the forum could take a look at their camera and answer a couple questions for me or perhaps post some quick digisnaps to clarify some things.

    First, I'd like to know where the bellows are attached to the rear frames. I assume the rear of the bellows attaches to the inside of the frame rather than the surface facing the lens. Is that correct?

    Second, it appears from some other info I've received that the bellows wraps around the front frame and attaches to the surface facing the lens, thus being sandwiched between the bellows frame and the lensboard frame. Can someone confirm this?

    Does anyone see a reason or know why the front frame appears square while the rear is rectangular? The backs are reversible on these cameras and so, square. Assuming a symmetrically tapering bellows would be easier to construct than one with two different tapers (i.e., the sides differ from top/bottom), why wouldn't the rear bellows frame also be a square (especially if the bellows attaches to the inside of the frame)? Anyone know?

    I think I have the design figured out now, but would still like to confirm how the bellows attaches to the rear. Making these bellows is pretty time-intensive and being off my a few fractions of an inch can really affect the results. So, I'd like to get as much info as possible before starting to construct the bellows.

    So, can someone please post a quick digital snapshot of a rear corner of the area where the bellows & frame attaches to the rear box? A picture is worth a thousand words you know.

    Thanks,

    Joe
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Agfa_light_01.jpg   Agfa_dark_02.jpg  

  2. #2
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    I can't speak for the Agfa, but on my Century the rear of the bellows was reinforced with the bellows material wrapping around 1/4" wide cardboard strips. The first picture shows the new bellows and a strip of cardboard I am gluing to the rear of the bellows to make the 'frame'. Nails went through this part of the bellows to hold it onto the rear standard. Look closely at the second picture showing the original bellows and you can see the original nails still attached to the bellows. From the looks of it, yours may mount similar. The Century has a square rear, so my bellows was made square at front and back. The front of the century indeed wrapped around a wood plate about 1/4" thick. That wood plate was then screwed to the front standard from inside the bellows at the 4 corners. You can see the 2 holes in the felt where the screws went through.



    Last edited by ic-racer; 08-19-2011 at 09:07 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    This is the inside rear view. You can faintly see the nail heads holding the new bellows to the rear of the camera from the inside. (You can also see my light leak at the corner, but the leak was easily fixed).


  4. #4

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    "I'm going to attempt to make some replacement bellows for the cameras, but I don't have a complete set of frames or old bellows to pattern from."

    The ribs get smaller at the rear to fit inside the box.

    "First, I'd like to know where the bellows are attached to the rear frames. I assume the rear of the bellows attaches to the inside of the frame rather than the surface facing the lens. Is that correct?"

    Yes, with glue & staples, with strips of thin wood & staples and the mounting screws thru all. Your picture shows a rear frame BUT it does not look right.

    "Second, it appears from some other info I've received that the bellows wraps around the front frame and attaches to the surface facing the lens, thus being sandwiched between the bellows frame and the lensboard frame. Can someone confirm this?"

    Yes again, with a strip of black felt as a light trap. Overkill with the rebate going inside the bellows.

    I do have a spare rear frame if you need, just PM with an address. The front frames came in 3 different sizes, should be easy to make to fit.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails corner.jpg   rear.jpg   side.jpg  

  5. #5
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help gentleman.

    @ phfitz: Here's a scan of (a corner of) what I'm calling the rear bellows frame. Is this what you have or is there an additional piece that I'm missing? The view is looking through the camera from the lens position. I'm thinking the very last stiffener (which is 1/4" wide) is tacked along with the encapsulating bellows material onto the surface outlined in the teal color. If this is not what you are referring to as the rear bellows frame then I guess I need that piece and appreciate the offer.



    Does the rest of this look correct to you? My plan is to make a wooden front frame 8 3/8" square from 3/8" x 3/8" stock. The inside dimension of this frame will be 7 5/8" square and just barely clear the projection surrounding the lensboard hole and the front standards at the sides. I'll sand the outside edge and corners slightly to allow the fabric to wrap around the frame.



    Then, my plan is to draw the stiffener patterns at 100% in Photoshop and upload them for anyone's use. I recently did the same for a bellows I made for a Rochester Universal whole-plate camera. I printed the pattern onto a thick inkjet paper and then cut the stiffeners out with an inexpensive scrapbooking trimmer.

    Here are pics of that bellows and part of the stiffener pattern:





    Any guess as to why the rear of the bellows is rectangular instead of square?

  6. #6

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    Hi there,

    the first photo is the correct piece and yes, the bellows attach along the teal line shown.

    the second photo looks correct, just allow enough relief clearance on both sides.

    "Any guess as to why the rear of the bellows is rectangular instead of square?"

    because one side folds in, the other folds out, the bellows itself looks square.

    have fun with it. have you tried "Pro Tuff" fabric yet?

  7. #7
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phfitz View Post
    have you tried "Pro Tuff" fabric yet?
    Haven't tried that fabric yet but it appears a local fabric store carries it so I'll check it out later today.

    Thanks again for all your help on this.



 

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