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Thread: Do these bellows need replacing, look warped but may still work (photo attached)

  1. #1

    Do these bellows need replacing, look warped but may still work (photo attached)

    I finally just got my first 4x5 camera and everything seems to work but the bellows look a little warped inside. Will this affect the image? When extended all the way, the top part has a little droop and when closed you can really see they don't close the way they should. Thanks in advance Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

    Re: Do these bellows need replacing, look warped but may still work (photo attached)

    one more thing, the image looks perfect on the ground glass

  3. #3

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    Re: Do these bellows need replacing, look warped but may still work (photo attached)

    I've used more than one camera with bellows that have separated like yours, gotta be careful that they don't block the light path.
    Be sure to check with the aperture stopped down.
    You might be able to gently fold the inner lining back into position.
    Real cameras are measured in inches...
    Not pixels.

    www.photocollective.org

  4. #4
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Do these bellows need replacing, look warped but may still work (photo attached)

    If they leak light fix it.

    Focus on something, stop down to whatever and IF you have cut corners, peak at each corner and see if you can see the complete diameter of the aperture.

    ymmv

  5. #5
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Do these bellows need replacing, look warped but may still work (photo attached)

    This is probably a repairable bellows. Read up on how bellows are made and you can understand the problem. Try re-gluing the separated parts. You may need to use a hollow needle to get the glue into the layers, or partially disassemble things to re-glue. Then patch or seal the holes, if any.

    Best way to test for light leaks is to expose images at the smallest aperture possible on your lens in bright sunlight. You want the lowest signal-to-noise ratio to test it.

  6. #6

    Re: Do these bellows need replacing, look warped but may still work (photo attached)

    wow, all great advise thanks everyone! Just got film, so I'm going for it! Fingers crossed

  7. #7

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    Re: Do these bellows need replacing, look warped but may still work (photo attached)

    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    Best way to test for light leaks is to expose images at the smallest aperture possible on your lens in bright sunlight. You want the lowest signal-to-noise ratio to test it.
    If you are interested in finding light leaks, then why would you allow any light through at all? That seems like it would make it needlessly hard to track down super fine leaks that you would then only notice at times when you had your dark slide out but waiting with your shutter closed for some reason.

    The way we tested large digital gear at a robotics lab was to cut strips from 35mm rolls of film to stick in test locations of the equipment while the lens cover was on, and then go around the equipment popping a bunch of shots off from a high powered flash. (Film is cheap and small enough that we could position it strategically inside the equipment in a number of test patterns in ways that our original digital test gear didn't allow. Kind of oddly poetic to use consumer film to test or trouble shoot cutting edge robotics/digital imaging gear.)

    Can be a tad fiddly to work with, but it isn't too bad if you do things in a consistent manner. We would notch the test strips before cutting it from the roll, and then kind of handled it like a piece of mini sheet film to make sure we had it pointing in the right direction. Usually developed strips one at a time in small test tubes, and really didn't have to be overly careful with it, as we usually weren't worried about image quality, just proving whether or not there was unwanted light sources, but we occasionally did more careful setups for things like inspecting internal reflections, or tracking signal anomalies.

    The other thing we often did was fitting the high powered flash in place of the sensor, and then popping that off during long exposures with high ISO digital cameras photographing the outside of the equipment while in an otherwise pitch black room.

    But either method should work well with any large camera system, and help track down minor issues with a bellows that may only show up on the actual film plane under limited conditions based on camera positioning/extension and lighting angles.

  8. #8
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Re: Do these bellows need replacing, look warped but may still work (photo attached)

    Quote Originally Posted by A_Tabor View Post
    If you are interested in finding light leaks, then why would you allow any light through at all?
    An image on the film will provide orientation and context. The act of taking the image will provide a time context. Otherwise, sure, set the camera out in the sun for ?? how long, all day, all week?? eventually any camera will leak.

  9. #9

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    Re: Do these bellows need replacing, look warped but may still work (photo attached)

    Looks like a Speed/Crown Graphic....
    Bellows for those are fairly small, and hence less expensive than most.

    The sag will vary with the amount of extension, so check for blockage at infinity, and close up.
    Real cameras are measured in inches...
    Not pixels.

    www.photocollective.org

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