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Thread: DIY bag bellows

  1. #11

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    Re: DIY bag bellows

    Quote Originally Posted by Pfsor View Post
    If done with 1 seam only the seams are even less of a problem and work... Also, cutting the bellows from one piece simplifies the assembly even more than putting 4 pieces together (8 in your case!). And no, you don't need a 5'x9' piece of leather for making small bag bellows. The piece of black leather I used was hardly 2'x2' if not much less. For -if I remember well- about 15$. If you insist on 5'x9' piece you're out of luck.
    How could less of something that's not a problem at all be less of a problem? There's nothing less than zero.

    As I said in the very first sentence on the blog post, this was made from materials I had on hand. Using 4 panels lets you use small scraps of material, but I don't insist on anything. Use whatever materials and design you want.

    This is all pretty trifling and tedious, so I don't see much point in responding to you anymore.

  2. #12

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    Re: DIY bag bellows

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Graham View Post
    How could less of something that's not a problem at all be less of a problem? There's nothing less than zero.
    How could cutting one piece only be less of a problem than cutting 8 pieces and gluing them together? Well, take a wild guess.

  3. #13

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    Re: DIY bag bellows

    Well, I guess that's a reasonable question if cutting out basic shapes is a hardship for you. You know your limitations.

  4. #14

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    Re: DIY bag bellows

    Limitations or not, hardship or not I know that cutting 8 pieces and gluing them together is more work than cutting one piece only. Choosing good material is fundamental in bellows making. You did not choose light tight material for your bellows hence the extra work for you.

  5. #15

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    Re: DIY bag bellows

    Making bag bellows from oversized, pretty expensive and not entirely light proof material seems to me a pretty dumb approach to bellows making. YMMV.

  6. #16

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    Re: DIY bag bellows

    Guess some people just have to get riled up about something. Slow news day?

    Rich

  7. #17

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    Re: DIY bag bellows

    Psor, you do have valid points, but offering points without solutions or resources isn't very constructive.

    Good blackout material is pretty scarce. If making laminations allows you to use readily available materials, I really don't see the harm in suggesting it. I needed some wide angle bellows, and was able to make some with materials I had on hand that same day. I made a similar design with the same fabric for another camera going on five years ago now, and it's still light tight despite very rough use, so it's not like I didn't vet this at all.

    Leather would be a good material, but it also seems like it would need to be sewn with a specialty sewing machine. Would glue work well on leather? If so, which type of glue? Also, the piece of leather would have to be fairly large to make it with only one seam.

    Speaking of, I couldn't come up with a design that has only one seam, apart from a tube. That doesn't seem like a practical design for a bag bellows, would would love to hear some suggestions.

    We can't have too many resources for this type of thing, so I'd really welcome any resources or alternate designs.

  8. #18

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    Re: DIY bag bellows

    Colin, You really don't need to sew the leather, a glue will do. I used normal contact cement for my leather bag bellows. It is flexible even if dried and the thin leather pieces are glued like it was one piece. This glue has excellent temperature range, the bellows can be used in freezing temps as well as in hot summer. I didn't need a big piece of leather, the bag bellows was made for 6x9 Arca Swiss camera.
    For the shape - no, it is not a tube. Try to reverse engineer bellows and you will see. Some web sites dedicated to bellows making may be of inspiration. My design was made first with paper, to see how it folds, then I used the paper as a model to draw its shape on the leather to cut later. Pretty trivial, you really don't need to copy any plans. Cheers!

  9. #19

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    Re: DIY bag bellows

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Graham View Post
    Good blackout material is pretty scarce. If making laminations allows you to use readily available materials, I really don't see the harm in suggesting it.
    Been there, done that. I tried the lamination approach and found it difficult to get a larger piece of the material without air bubbles. It was usable but the aesthetics was not there. I would not recommend the leather I used for anything else than bag bellows though, that's for sure. For bigger bellows I use - the Custom Bellows.

  10. #20

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    Re: DIY bag bellows

    I did reverse-engineer these. As I mentioned earlier, most of the commercially-made bellows I've seen use multiple panels, with seams at every edge. A google image search for wide angle bellows shows this pretty clearly.

    I did made one many years ago that was like a closed pillow case- with three seams and openings for the frames cut in the front and back surfaces- but it needed to be pretty bulky to provide a range of movements.

    With this design I can use up to a 180mm lens with full movements, and I can leave it on the camera in the pack instead of swapping back to a standard bellows for storage. It worked out just right for me so thought I would share it. But no design will be the ideal solution for everyone.

    If you'd link an alternative design, that would be very useful.

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