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Making your own bellows

Graeme Hird , Jun 28, 2002; 11:54 p.m.

Is there a good resource anywhere on the internet which gives instructions for building a set of bellows?

My cheif domestic financial advisor has suggested that I must refrain from extending my capital expenditure (the wife won't let me buy new equipment), so I'm looking at building my own bellows for a cambo 5x4 camera. I bought the standards and rail of this camera some years ago, and used it as an enlarger. I've since been given a 450mm Zeis APO Tessar repro lens, which is way too long for my Tachihara.



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David Gagnon , Jun 29, 2002; 12:20 a.m.

Graeme, I understand about the cheif domestic financial advisor situation. I tried to make a set of bellows for a Graflex speed graphic several years back. They ended up being so thick the camera wouldn't close all the way. When I showed my wife what happened after all my hard work she took pity on me and said I should order a set from someone who knew how to make them properly. I'm telling you, it's all in the approach as to what her reaction will be! If you must make your own, though, here is a site that may be of some help. http://www.cyberbeach.net/~dbardell/bellows.html Doug Bardell uses a different approach than I did, so it should work. Good luck with future finance committee meetings. DG

Jim Heikkinen , Jun 29, 2002; 04:02 a.m.

You might try this url as well.

Rob Pietri , Jun 29, 2002; 10:21 a.m.

I made a bag bellows for my old Omega enlarger out of some naugahyde. Dyed it black and fitted it to the enlarger. It is better then the old accordian bellows in that there is more space inside for ambient light to be absorbed. You might try this approach instead of making an accordian bellows for your camera. I use a bag bellows on my Sinar F most of the time for the same reasons. It also makes for easier movements.

Graeme Hird , Jun 30, 2002; 12:43 a.m.

Thanks to all who have responded. I've also been browsing since I wrote the question, and in the interests of providing information for the next person who can't get their budget approved, the following URL seems to be the best: http://rhoadescameras.bizland.com/Camera%20Creation/Bellows/bellows.htm

Instructions/plans for complete construction of a wooden monorail camera are also there. Cheers,

Clayton Tume , Jun 30, 2002; 03:38 a.m.


I made a bellows for my enlarger about a year ago, like you I hunted all over the net for info. I used some of the info from the url you posted but ran into problems, I needed a tapered bellows and the info was for straight, I discovered the design is quite different.

My first attempt failed.....everything was looking good until I got to the point of no return and discovered they wouldn't fold up. It was no big deal, not much tied up in materials and I learnt a lot.

The next attempt worked ok but there are small problems I would fix if I had to make another. Suggest you have a few goes making them out of paper before you try the real thing.....they're actually quite easy to make but time consuming.

I have on file some info I found on the web somewhere? that came from Deardorff, shows how they constructed theirs. Send me an email if you want them, I think they're big files and may take some time to send/receive.

You can see the bellows I made here

tim atherton , Jul 01, 2002; 01:13 a.m.

you might want to check out this I just saw on ebay...


tim atherton , Jul 01, 2002; 01:14 a.m.

you might want to check out this I just saw on ebay..


Pete Andrews , Jul 01, 2002; 08:45 a.m.

Hi Graeme: Try <a href="http://www.camerabellows.com">Camera bellows Ltd.</a>, in the UK.<br>They're very reasonable. I'm sure a new bellows from them wouldn't break the bank.<p>Incidentally, how have you been using the Cambo as an enlarger without a bellows?

Scott Walton , Jul 01, 2002; 09:24 a.m.

I think we all know about the CFO situations!!! As Pete suggests, Camera Bellows!!!!!! I just got my Linhof III done by them and got it back this past Thursday and let me tell you, it is beautiful! It cost me about $150 USD including mounting and shipping. You will spend less if they do it due to all the time and materials you have to use to make your own.

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