View Full Version : Bellows Repair

2-Sep-2016, 14:49
I have a old FS with a pi-holey bellows (mostly in the pleats). This is a very old bellows and will need replacement probably over the winter.
To get me by for the time being I was thinking of cementing strips of black cloth tape with gorilla snot (3m weatherstrip adhesive).
Anyone have experience with this or sage advice..

Thanks, Smitty

2-Sep-2016, 15:30
Could you use liquid electrical tape? Or is it too far gone for that?

Bob Salomon
2-Sep-2016, 15:36
Yes, there will just be more leaks. To repair a bellows so that it doesn't ruin film when you least expect it to is to replace it. Patchwork repairs like tape, glue, etc only make the bellows less flexible and once holes start in one part they will occur in other places.

2-Sep-2016, 16:02
There's several ways to patch bellows, but the cure can be worse than the disease over time... If you fix one area, other leaks will appear later in untreated areas...

Most tapes add thickness to the folded bellows, making them hard to close the camera as the bellows are a little longer compressed (if the taping is extensive)... For tape, the thinnest is black artist's tape, but a very little light can penetrate it, but will usually "clog" the holes enough to use, but you can double the thickness in a spot here or there for a bigger hole/leak... Then there is painting the leaks with black acrylic art paint, or Liquid-Dip for larger holes...

But to save you from a game of "wack-a-mole", plan on replacement soon, and maybe for now wrapping the bellows/camera with the focusing cloth (held with clothespins, etc) might work without frustrating repair steps...

Steve K

Stephen Thomason
2-Sep-2016, 16:37
I've successfully used Tulip acrylic cloth paint. I keep a tube of black as well as red on hand.

That works well in the corners and some seams. Be sure to let it dry for DAYS before compressing the bellows.

Like Bob said, plan on a replacement in the foreseeable future. I have had good luck with the asian replacements, but they haven't had a 50 year test period like most of the original ones I have replaced!!

2-Sep-2016, 19:07
Universal Bellows in the UK did the bellows on my Deardorff V8, nice work and they have given me a quote on a new bellows.