View Full Version : Sinar Elephant Ears Bag(gy) Bellows

neil poulsen
15-Jan-2017, 03:11
In working with Sinar equipment, I dislike Sinar bag bellows. There’s too much material, to the point that the bellows can bind up between the standards when using short lenses. Of course, this makes it all the more difficult to make adjustments.

As to a possible reason, perhaps it was Sinar’s intent to have these bellows extend far enough to work with 180mm or 210mm lenses, and thereby cut down on having change to and from the normal bellows? After all, the reason to have two sets of bellows in the first place is to facilitate flexible adjustments with all lenses.

The following photos help to illustrate the problem. They show the bellows being used on my Sinar Norma/F hybrid camera with a 58mm super-wide lens. The distance between the standards was determined by focusing an image on the ground glass using this lens.

The point of this DIY thread is to document the simple procedure I used to correct this problem with my set of Sinar bag bellows.

neil poulsen
15-Jan-2017, 03:12
It was a relatively easy process.

1. Remove the frames and turn the bellows inside-out. (1st photo.)

2. Align the two sides of the bellows and iron the bellows to crease the outside edge. Sew a line one inch from the ironed edge. (2nd photo.)

3. Cut off the unneeded bellows fabric to within a quarter inch of the sew line. (3rd photo.) I have a pair of scissors that worked fine for this step.

4. Turn the bellows inside-in and reattach the frames.

In using the iron, I was careful to crease only the edge of the fold. Otherwise, it’s possible that the hot iron could compromise the usable material that would remain after the cut.

Given the thickness of the material, at minimal expense, I had an alterations tailor sew the bellows.

The frames are attached to the bellows material using 32 screws. Removing the frames was not much of a problem. But to say the least, reattaching the frames was tedious work.

neil poulsen
15-Jan-2017, 03:13
I’m pleased with the end result of this project. Enough material was removed to correct the problem with short lenses.

Yet, my altered bellows are capable of sufficient extension to use with a 150mm lens. This is relevant, because 150mm is about the focal length at which the Sinar regular bellows are no longer able to realize the full adjustments possible with this or wider lenses.

The first two photos show the altered bellows being used with the 58mm lens. The third photo shows the bellows being used with a 150mm lens.

15-Jan-2017, 03:41

Another thing you might be able to add is contact cementing a a piece of Velcro near the front of the bellows (on all sides), and nearer the rear, a small strap with Velcro, so for using short lenses, you could roll up the "ears" a little and use the short strap to secure the rolls in place (like those straps around umbrellas to keep them closed and rolled)...

Good Job!!!

Steve K

neil poulsen
15-Jan-2017, 12:11
. . . Another thing you might be able . . .

That's also a great idea for stowing bag bellows in a backpack, even for these bellows. It keeps them contained.

Plus, velcro is easily obtained in black.


Pete Oakley
15-Jan-2017, 12:43
159817Put both standards the same side of the rail clamp!

neil poulsen
15-Jan-2017, 12:53
159817Put both standards the same side of the rail clamp!

Of course. Silly of me . . . I do this out of hand with a Cambo 6x9 camera that I have. But, it hadn't occurred to me that the same is possible with the Sinar.

Again, thanks.

Daniel Unkefer
15-Jan-2017, 17:04
On my Normas the front and rear standards can touch each other without the bellows in place. But your F standard will not work then I am thinking. Removing unneeded bag material is a cool modification. Or you could get the ultra wide Sinar bellows (I'm not familiar with that piece). I've always just rolled up extra material on my Norma bellows so it is neatly out of the way when using wide wide lenses. Works for me

I'm all for modifying equipment if it suits your needs. Go for it

15-Jan-2017, 17:08
Recess lense board, may help. I use a Sinar f, P &c , I only have had that problem with a 48 mm on the 4x5.


Daniel Unkefer
16-Jan-2017, 08:07
I use the Norma recessed lensboard with the 47mm F8 Super Angulon, which is how Sinar sold it back in the day.

Works well for me. I did buy a swiveling 45 degree cable release holder for it. Those are hard to find.