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Thread: Help with Toyo 45 moldy bellows

  1. #1

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    Help with Toyo 45 moldy bellows

    Hello everyone,

    I have been lurker in the forums absorbing information but I may need a bit help with my journey into the large format.

    So far it has been unsuccessful because of the failures to obtain a suitable camera (first came without the back (actually as presented but I did not realize it), second had strong smell (not even sure what was the source of it) and was a wrong model and as the subject suggests, the last one has a mold issue. I have not detected any visible issue but the odor is well recognizable.

    I did research and found several possible solutions but none of them feels fully convincing for me.

    My concerns are:

    1) cleaning is not effective and leaves me exposed to the mold (this is serious concern for me and I will not back off from this) even when its odor is masked,
    2) cleaning will damage the camera.

    I have found the following suggested solutions:

    1) applying effectively solvents in a liquid or vaporized form (vinegar, alcohol, Lysol, Thymol etc but also disolved baking soda),
    2) using a smell absorber inside a sealed container (baking soda, cat litters),
    3) using high ventilation and UV exposure (leaving the camera out on the sunny day).

    I am afraid that any kind of solvent will affect the camera and I am very wary about this idea.

    I am also not sure that the solution in the vaporized form will penetrate deep enough into the material.

    But I am also not sure that using any absorber will effectively kill the mold because I do not see the mechanism it can use for the job.

    This time of year also does not allow much of applying the method three.

    An alternative option is to buy new bellows but I understand that replacing them would require considerable effort and I am not sure I could effectively clean the rest of the camera such that the bellows will not get contaminated again.

    Please be kind to share your experiences or other expertise in this matter.

    PS. I live in Western-Europe so any info about the specific products on this market I could use is very welcome.

    Edit: What I have is Toyo 45A Field (in fact Toyo 45AR with the revolving back) so it is much more complicated than much more modular Toyo View.
    Last edited by erian; 21-Nov-2017 at 13:47.

  2. #2
    Unwitting Thread Killer Ari's Avatar
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    Re: Help with Toyo 45 moldy bellows

    I understand your reluctance to give up again, but I'd throw out anything that has mold, mostly for fear of getting anything on my lenses.
    Contact forum member Kumar; he's in Japan, and can supply you with a used, mold-free, bellows for your Toyo.

  3. #3

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    Re: Help with Toyo 45 moldy bellows

    There are UV bulbs you could try for option 3, rather than leaving the bellows outdoors. I used to live in an apartment that had a dishes drying rack with warm air and a UV lamp for sterilization, wish I could have brought it with me. It might be worth having a look on eBay to see if there are any reasonably priced products. If you do get one, be careful not to expose yourself to the bulb when it's in use.

    Good luck and keep on going! You'll get there.
    Peter

  4. #4

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    Re: Help with Toyo 45 moldy bellows

    What I have is Toyo 45A Field (in fact Toyo 45AR with the revolving back) so it is much more complicated than much more modular Toyo View.

    This makes things a bit more complicated because I have read that replacing the bellows is not very easy (but I guess I can manage it).

    My main concern is contamination (I do not want to ruin other equipment) and health hazard (consider me to be more sensitive and vulnerable than a common person) followed by possible destruction of the camera.

  5. #5

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    Re: Help with Toyo 45 moldy bellows

    Have you considered using a bathroom cleaner with an anti-mould fungicide in it? That would be my first step.

  6. #6

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    Re: Help with Toyo 45 moldy bellows

    Quote Originally Posted by Tobias Key View Post
    Have you considered using a bathroom cleaner with an anti-mould fungicide in it? That would be my first step.
    Yes I have but I am afraid that it would be too invasive for the paint on the metal parts (i.e. it would work as a dissolving agent). Also may destroy bellows. Bathroom cleaners are often meant for the surfaces with high resistance.

    My current most plausible course of actions would be:

    1) put the camera into a sealed box with the cat litter for about a week or two,
    2) take the camera outside,
    3) take off the back,
    4) remove the bellows,
    5) clean the camera with some safer (to the camera) cleaning agent (to be determined),
    6) put the camera into a new sealed box with the cat litter for about a week or two,
    7) take the camera out and install the new bellows.

    Perhaps some of the steps here should be repeated in the cycle.

  7. #7

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    Re: Help with Toyo 45 moldy bellows

    Quote Originally Posted by erian View Post
    Yes I have but I am afraid that it would be too invasive for the paint on the metal parts (i.e. it would work as a dissolving agent). Also may destroy bellows. Bathroom cleaners are often meant for the surfaces with high resistance.

    My current most plausible course of actions would be:

    1) put the camera into a sealed box with the cat litter for about a week or two,
    2) take the camera outside,
    3) take off the back,
    4) remove the bellows,
    5) clean the camera with some safer (to the camera) cleaning agent (to be determined),
    6) put the camera into a new sealed box with the cat litter for about a week or two,
    7) take the camera out and install the new bellows.

    Perhaps some of the steps here should be repeated in the cycle.
    Or just send it to the service center.

  8. #8

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    Re: Help with Toyo 45 moldy bellows

    Do a flashlight test on the fully extended bellows in a darkened room and check for pinholes. Many, many used Toyos have pin-holed bellows. The bellows may need replacement in any case. Check now before you go any further.

  9. #9

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    Re: Help with Toyo 45 moldy bellows

    Quote Originally Posted by Neal Chaves View Post
    Do a flashlight test on the fully extended bellows in a darkened room and check for pinholes. Many, many used Toyos have pin-holed bellows. The bellows may need replacement in any case. Check now before you go any further.
    Have to agree with Neal, I'd say it's nearly certain you'll need to replace them

  10. #10

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    Re: Help with Toyo 45 moldy bellows

    Thank you everyone for the answers so far.

    I sealed the camera in the box with a layer of silica gel (kitty litter) and this appears to have taken away the mouldy smell.

    It also appears that the mouldy smell masked the cigarette smell.

    Any ideas how to get rid of this? It is not very strong but still clearly noticeable.

    PS. I think that the bellows do not have light leaks. I just made my first photograph (on Fuji FP-100C) with the camera and it became out just fine.

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