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View Full Version : All Methods to attach LF & ULF bellows



Randy Moe
21-Mar-2016, 10:01
Small format bellows are one thing, but big heavy ULF bellows are another.

What are the best ways to fasten ULF bellows and how do they vary?

Turner Bellows exactly copied Deardorff Studio 11x14 camera bellows installation with nailing strips, nails and added by my permission, glue. The original had no glue, but only 5/16" nailing strips on edge to 5/16"X 1'1/8" frames. Both OE and Turner did nice work. This method seems very strong and needs to be, as the bellows are are very heavy as were the OE.

I watched this Titan camera build (https://youtu.be/72eKejgO6eQ) where OE is double layers of double stick structural adhesive tape. Looks easy and not messy, but 4x5 is not ULF. I worry this method may not fill voids or gaps on larger bellows with thicker materials/

Vinny, in his DIY camera build video glued his bellows to aluminum frames and then installed the rear frame from the rear, using GG frame as clamp. Really great idea. Aluminum may not be best for ULF? Or become too heavy? Look at vinny's 8x10 build on his website, right now I cannot find the link.

I ask as I am building ULF DIY and want to use the best option that is strong. And the latest tech if it's better.

Steven Tribe
22-Mar-2016, 14:40
I have only experience with the square bellows ( I think the Deardorff is tapered?) on Century types and Gorlitzer Continental styles. Water soluble glue alone rules! The Continental Studio types always have slat system of support underneath the square bellows. These are a series of about 5 thin slats resting on the base. No. 1 and no.2 are permanently attached to the front standard and rear standard, respectively. All the slats are joined to the next slat. All 5 are neatly compressed, like a stack of cards, when the bellows are totally compressed and are pull out to provide support through the whole length of the bellows. Works like a dream.

John Jarosz
23-Mar-2016, 09:17
nailing strips, nails and added by my permission, glue. The original had no glue, but only 5/16" nailing strips on edge to 5/16"X 1'1/8" frames. Both OE and Turner did nice work. This method seems very strong and needs to be, as the bellows are are very heavy as were the OE.

Exactly what I did on my DIY 8x20. I don't recommend adhesive between the bellows frame and the camera body. Sometime in the future you WILL want to demount the bellows, so adhesive makes demounting more difficult. Depending on the length of draw you should plan for something under the bellows to limit sag. Or, some kind of eyelet on top of the midpoint of the bellows to accommodate a support rod.

Randy Moe
23-Mar-2016, 09:50
All good advice. The old Deardorff Studio 11x14 has 3 sets of square bellows with 2 quickly removable.

The new 11x14 bellows are tapered and much lighter. My thinking now, is glue the front and rear bellows openings flat to 8mm wood frames with aluminum backup strips inside the bellows attached with screws.

Then these bellows will visit a few iterations of my designs as I modify the cameras around the bellows. The bellows will be mounted to standards similarly to common lens board QR practice.

First up, will be Horseman rail making a no movements camera. My goal is to have something usable soon. It will disassemble quickly.

Later I will change design (maybe!) to 8020 structural aluminum with movements and modular rail length.

Not a copy of Richard Ritter cameras but it will bear similarities in being expandable dual rail.