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Thread: Bellows Repair?

  1. #1

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    Bellows Repair?

    Yes, I know, there are a hundred threads about this, but....

    I picked up a Toyo-View 45G on eBay recently for about $100. Amongst the problems I discovered the bellows are in bad shape. Not, I think, beyond repair however. They have gone beyond just pinholes, some of the outside covering is starting to flake off at the seams and corner folds.

    After reading those hundred threads, and another hundred on other sites, then checking out what is available in local stores, not much. I did find the liquid electrical tape that some have recommended, and better to my way of thinking a black rubberized coating in a spray can. My current thinking is to remove the bellows from the frames flatten it out and use that spray coating lightly over all to cover the pinholes, and stabilize the outside covering, then use black photo tape on the seams and corners. Black photo tape, for those who do not know, is basically just black masking tape, but is opaque. It is also a lot thinner than gaffers tape or duck tape and a lot cheaper and will fold better than polyester tape.

    I figure that will cost me all of $15 plus a couple of hours labor. Down the line a bit, I will of course replace the bellows, but $400, or even $100 for a made in China knock off, for a new one is a bit out of my budget for awhile and I do want to use the camera while I am waiting.

    Anyway, I thought I would get opinions on how folks here think this method of repairing the bellows will work? Do you think it will give me another year on the old bellows?

  2. #2
    DanielStone's Avatar
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    For pinholes:

    I use Weld-On ABS cement (#773, its the BLACK, not clear). I got it @ Home Depot for ~$4/can. More than a lifetime supply for me.

    I use a fine point disposable paintbrush from a 5pack from the dollar store to apply it, since it doesn't wash off, and dries relatively quickly.

    -Dan


  3. #3

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    you might want to talk to someone at turner bellows in rochester, ny. i found them very helpful w/ my questions and the estimate seemed reasonable. i haven't yet used them but plan to when i get around to removing the bellows from my camera. also got my camera from ebay. cheap, but w/ a trashed bellows beyond hope of repair. also, turner is a local rochester company so american made. i so sick of the crappy stuff from china. Website: turnerbellows.com

  4. #4
    desertrat's Avatar
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    Before I patched the bellows of my ancient 8X10 Seneca with black fabric paint from the craft section of the local Wally World, I would wrap a piece of black fabric around the whole bellows before taking the shot. The fabric was a section of the same large piece I used to make my dark cloth. I don't use a dark cloth anymore because a black tee shirt put on upside down works even better.
    Happiness is a load of bulk chemicals, a handful of recipes, a brick of film and a box of paper. - desertrat

  5. #5

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    Hello Tom;
    Get some liquid tape and the thinner, mix 50-50 and brush this on. Use a few coats as needed, remember not to close the bellows for a couple of weeks. Good luck with the repairs, Steven.

  6. #6
    John Austin's Avatar
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    Get new bellows, repairing bellows is for cheapskates -

    I briefly considered the bellows repair path and in my wisdom realised that compared to the cost of fuel, location hire, accommodation, model fees, dinner out with the client followed by the danger of lost images new bellows are very cheap

    Also, the first pinholes in the bellows are usually the sign that the whole bellows are drying out and getting brittle - I check mine by feel and looking for raggy bits on the folds, when this happens move very quickly

    Replacement bellows can be found on-line, ecbuyonline is one company I have dealt with - However, they listed as holding stock when in fact they made my 10x8" Sinar bellows to order, while they already had my money in their account

    The alternative is to just enjoy the light streaks and fog, like Dianaographers
    Last edited by John Austin; 04-18-2012 at 05:03 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnielvis View Post
    it it's the fabric that's shot, then use the existing bellows for support of a new fabric coating myabe better----like get some of the thin throlabs blackout fabric and glueit all around over the existing fabric
    Or possibly the fabric from a changing bag.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  8. #8

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    For one camera I used Scotch Photographic Tape 235:http://www.freestylephoto.biz/2838-3...2-in.-x-60-yds.
    I used the tape only no other things.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChuckP View Post
    For one camera I used Scotch Photographic Tape 235:http://www.freestylephoto.biz/2838-3...2-in.-x-60-yds.
    I used the tape only no other things.
    Basically the type of tape I was talking about. It is interesting that one of the applications mentioned in the tech sheet is "camera bellows repair".

    Seeing that it is not recommended for outdoor use, maybe the better way would be to do the taping then spray the rubber coating over the outside of the bellows, the inside is in excellent shape, to weather proof everything. Once again, this is being considered as a temporary repair to allow me to pick up some lensboards and a couple of lenses, WA for architecture and a long one for portraits and product shots. Being retarded, oops--, retired money is in short supply around here.

  10. #10

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    Had you one or two little holes from accidents in an otherwise good/flexible bellows I say, yes, repair it. However, if it's falling apart then there's really nothing worth doing other than cover (wrap) the bellows with your dark cloth during exposure. I agree with others who suggest replacing it. Fortunately, if your 45G is in great shape other than the bellows that's still a good deal.

    Take this from someone who knows... the price spent on peace of mind is nearly always worth it.

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