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  1. #1

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    Bellows tape in Australia

    I have a 11x14 Century Studio camera with a bellows that needs patching along several folds. I contacted 3M products today because I know that they produce a polyester tape #850 black that is terrific. It's thin, light-tight and doesn't gather when compressing the bellows.

    Unfortunately they don't bring it into Australia except for special order and apparently it HAS to come by sea!!!! Crazy, I know, and I need to tape this bellows for a CD cover shoot in two weeks!

    Can anyone suggest a flexible, effective tape to use? I don't want just a quick, one use repair...I want it to last a while until I decide to replace it (I think I still have a few years left in it). The 3M is a wonderful tape...but alas I need to live off this island to get it.

    Any help is very much appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Just hang out a "HELP" sign and see if someone in the USA will buy you a roll or two and mail it to you.

  3. #3

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    Whatever you do, don't do what I did. I had several pinhole leaks in my Linhof bag bellows and I painted the bellows over with a vinyl paint. Bad move! The entire bellows stiffened up to a point where I can't use it at all. What was I thinking?! I hope you find the right tape in time. Otherwise, black electric tape as a quick and temporary fix?

  4. #4
    Andrew K's Avatar
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    it really depends where the bellows need patching. You are in luck because you are patching such big bellows..

    If it is along the sides of the bellows then you could use some rubber cloth material (the inside of an old changing bag) and cut strips of material and glue the strips to the insides of the bellows with contact cement (quick grip is OK but use it sparingly - Pliobond is ideal but difficult to find - try a fishing store)..

    If you need to patch pinholes in the corners of the bellows try windscreen sealant (black and very flexible, and very sticky)

    And to make 100% sure they are light tight when shooting put a black cloth over the camera to keep light out..

    Hope this helps..
    A camera is only a black box with a hole in it....

    my blog...some film, some digital http://andrewk1965.wordpress.com/

  5. #5

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    Googling the product brought up several Australian non 3M suppliers that had it in black listed on their websites.
    I'd like it to repair a bellows Polaroid.

  6. #6
    nick mulder's Avatar
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    Sounds familiar - companies often tell you that such and such product is longer being made, when its freely available in the states - any attempts at pointing this out are met with faux distracted stares in the direction of the water cooler ...

    Internal monolog any or all of the following:

    "I'm not paid enough to deal with this"
    "which department am I going to palm this guy off to"
    "maybe if I repeat myself, he'll go away this time"
    "I don't even know what that is - so, yeh - hmmm, yeh pretty sure it mustn't exist"
    "shit, he's still here"


    etc...
    Cleared the bowel problem, working on the consonants...

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by frontdrive34 View Post
    Googling the product brought up several Australian non 3M suppliers that had it in black listed on their websites.
    I'd like it to repair a bellows Polaroid.
    I'd love to know who they are...it may seem ignorant but I can't seem to find them with it "in stock". Those I've contacted list it but by get it by order only.

    A name would be great.

  8. #8

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    Well I just made a few calls.

    Blackwoods in Adelaide have 19 rolls of 12mm black in stock. I'm in Sydney and the local store to me said I can order it and have it shipped from S.A. As for costs I forgot to ask!
    Also was told by a supplier closer to me they can get it.
    I now want to see what it looks like/feels like to see if its totally suitable.

  9. #9
    Alex Bishop-Thorpe's Avatar
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    I'm in Adelaide, I'll head down to Blackwoods next week and have a look - I've got a Speed Graphic that's currently being held together with electrical tape, and I'm not too confident in it...
    I'll report back.
    The Analogue Laboratory, or 'so you built a darkroom in an old factory in the industrial zone'.
    Blog thing!.

    Worry less. Photograph more.

  10. #10

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    I just got in contact with Blackwoods in Regency Park and found out some details. Unfortunately it's the 12mm roll (a long roll though...66 metres) and not the 25mm. Although this width may be fine for a smaller camera, I need the 25mm for the 11x14 bellows. Price is $51.17 + GST per roll.

    ...still looking for the 25mm if anyone finds it in their travels.

    Cheers



 

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