6 months after buying my (used) Wisner 4x5, I finally had reason to put my bag bellows to use. Up until then, I had only shot with 120mm-180mm lenses.
The first time it was not too sunny, and 1 out of 4 frames showed stray light. I assumed I had done something wrong while loading the quickload.
The second time, it was a very sunny day in Central Park and both frames were damaged. One was damaged beyond repair, and one my wife was able to repair in Photoshop.
Again I initially assumed I did something wrong or perhaps had a faulty film holder. Then I took the bag bellows into a dark room, and to my amazement there were areas in the leather that the flashlight would shine right through.
Given how hard it is to find used Wisner components, and how long it would take Wisner to supply a new bag bellows (not to mention the cost), this could easily ruin my upcoming vacation where I was planning to use my 90mm lens extensively.
My options as I see them are:
(1) Don't use the 90mm. Not a good option!
(2) Use the 90mm with the regular bellows. No movements at all! Not a happy option.
(3) Find a used bag bellows that doesn't leak. Not likekly in two weeks. Plus, the thing is fragile and could be on the vege of wearing away.
(4) Get help from Jon Wisner. Not very responsive.
(5) Fix the thing myself.
But I have no idea how. Are there any ways to patch a leather bag bellow without making it worse? Anything that can be sprayed on the leather to make it light tight?
(Btw, I also checked the normal bellows, and it appears to have a few tiny pin holes; they haven't affected the pictures in any way I can see, probably because of luck. Are those kinds of bellows repairable?)