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Thread: Sagging Bellows?

  1. #1

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    Jul 2018
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    Sagging Bellows?

    Hi, I am new to the forum.

    I have been using my 8x10 camera for a few years now and I am noticing that the bellows are dipping down and interfering with my optical path.

    What are some of the things that you are doing to manage this?

    Thanks

    Larry

  2. #2

    Re: Sagging Bellows?

    Used a empty 12 oz aluminum can between the rail and bellows to prop up the sagging Sinar 8x10 bellows. That was some two decades ago..

    Bernice

  3. #3
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Sagging Bellows?

    With what focal lengths does the sagging become a problem? Close-ups, portraits or landscapes?
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  4. #4

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    Re: Sagging Bellows?

    Take one of those medium-sized office clips for clipping lots of paper. Thread a rubber band onto one of the silver metal "handles." Clip the clip onto a top fold about the middle of the bellows, and stretch the rubber band over one of the front standards. That will pull and compress the bellows, and take out the sag. You may have to adjust where the clip goes based on how extended your bellows re, and how stretchy your rubber band is.

    I can store mine on the horizontal rod at the base of the front standard so I always have it. I find that I have to replace the rubber band fairly often, since it seems to dry out and lose stretch, breaking precisely when I don't want it to.

    The can, or anything similar, also works well.
    Bruce Barlow
    author of "Finely Focused" and "Exercises in Photographic Composition"
    www.brucewbarlow.com

  5. #5

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    Re: Sagging Bellows?

    That's a great idea! I didn't think of going at the problem from below the bellows...

    Thanks!

  6. #6

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    Re: Sagging Bellows?

    Hi Vaughn, what I am seeing is when I extend the bellows for like 1:1 macros (2x focal length), I am getting either a dark shadow or I can actually see the edge of the bellows on the top of the ground glass.

    Larry

  7. #7

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    Re: Sagging Bellows?

    Hi Bruce, excellent description and idea... I have some of those clips in my office and I will go get a few of those right now along with some rubber bands and put them with my gear!

    I like this idea because it is small and I can have several as backups in my bag without taking up much space.

    Larry

  8. #8

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    Re: Sagging Bellows?

    I use a kodak projector lens as a loupe, and when I'm not focusing, I stash it under the bellows to elevate the middle of the bellows.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  9. #9
    8x10, 5x7, 4x5, et al Leigh's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Re: Sagging Bellows?

    Quote Originally Posted by LFLarry View Post
    Hi Bruce, excellent description and idea... I have some of those clips in my office...
    I recommend some precauions if you choose to use binder clips...

    The sharp edges can cut into the bellows material.
    It tapers from the apex of each fold, so it's not flat in that area.

    If you do choose to use them, put thick rubber under each side to protect the material.
    -----
    The factory-installed solution I've seen is a metal ring with a leather flap glued to the bellows.
    A metal rod extends from the front standard to the rear frame through that ring.

    - Leigh
    If you believe you can, or you believe you can't... you're right.

  10. #10

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    Re: Sagging Bellows?

    "The factory-installed solution I've seen is a metal ring with a leather flap glued to the bellows.
    A metal rod extends from the front standard to the rear frame through that ring. "

    I think my friend Richard Ritter does that on some of his cameras.

    I've never had the problem of the clip cutting the material, but it's good advice.
    Bruce Barlow
    author of "Finely Focused" and "Exercises in Photographic Composition"
    www.brucewbarlow.com

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