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View Full Version : Advise of repairing/replacing Bellows on a Linhof Tech IV



SpeedGraphicMan
26-Feb-2013, 14:51
Hello all,

A friend of mine has recently acquired a Linhof Tech IV kit... It is in very good condition, however there are a few pinholes in the bellows.

Need to patch it up for now so she can start to learn how to use it.

What are the best ways to patch a Linhof leather style bellows?
I have heard of using the black Plasti-Dip to patch pinholes... Has anyone ever tried this or know of any other reliable products?

Also where would be a good place to get a replacement bellows for the future?
What would be a reasonable price to pay for a replacement bellows for this wonderful camera?

I appreciate any comments or advise on this. My cameras only have the synthetic bellows and I am not too familiar with the best way to repair a leather one...

And please, no duct tape jokes! :)

Thanks in advance!

E. von Hoegh
26-Feb-2013, 14:58
Get a genuine Linhof bellows, the Chinese ones are often so thick the camera will not close. And sometimes they're too short.
I don't know about repairing the existing bellows, they are thin and if you have holes now, you will soon get more holes. The plasti-dip is an option, applied in the smallest possible amounts. Putting thin tape, such as bookbinder's tape, on the corners may work too.

SpeedGraphicMan
26-Feb-2013, 15:17
Anybody ever tried bellows from these people?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bellows-Linhof-Technika-3000-2000-IV-V-Red-/270903569950?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f131c6e1e

Made in US it says... But would like to know more details before dropping $$ on any bellows....
What is the best place to buy a new bellows?

Did the Linhof Techs III, IV, & V use the same bellows?

Vick Ko
26-Feb-2013, 15:20
Here is a fantastic source: http://www.custombellows.co.uk/

I've heard rumours that they were the OEM source for Linhof. It is where I got my replacement bellows for my Tech Master.

Replacement is easy. Instructions here:
http://www.largeformatphotography.info/linhof/bellows-instructions.pdf

Good luck

Vick Ko
26-Feb-2013, 15:21
Pretty sure the IV and V are the same.
Not sure of the III




Did the Linhof Techs III, IV, & V use the same bellows?

Len Middleton
27-Feb-2013, 07:11
Did the Linhof Techs III, IV, & V use the same bellows?

The Technika IV was a major departure from the III with respect to common parts, although the basic concepts are similar.

The Technika IV, V, and Master seemed to be a more evolutionary in design and it can require a close inspection to identify, and thus might expect more commonality of parts...

The genuine Linhof bellows can be expensive and they support the Linhof's capability and flexibility in use. It is not like the rest of the camera would otherwise wear out soon; think of it as a lifetime investment, as the camera without suffering abuse might easily outlive you...

Brian Ellis
27-Feb-2013, 07:35
I don't know about repairs, I'm not a believer in repairing pinholes. Once they start they generally keep occurring and I'd rather not take a chance on losing a bunch of photographs because of some newly-developed pinholes (but that's just me, many other people do repair pinholes). When I replaced a bellows on a Tech V I had it done by the authorized Linhof repair facility in the U.S.. That one is no longer in business but there's a new one, the name of which I no longer remember but I'm sure someone here will have it. The one time I tried a 3rd-party replacement (for a Technikardan) the bellows material was too thick and the camera wouldn't close properly.

With respect to distinguishing between a III, IV, V, and Master, it's generally not too hard. A III doesn't have front forward tilt. All later Technikas do have front forward tilt. A IV has the mechanism for front rise near the back of the camera on the right-hand side (as you're behind the camera). The V has the front-rise mechanism near the front standard, on the left-hand side (from behind the camera). The Master has a hinged top to facilitate using front rise. It's always possible that someone had one model modified to resemble another but these are usually pretty safe guidelines.

E. von Hoegh
27-Feb-2013, 07:52
The Technika IV was a major departure from the III with respect to common parts, although the basic concepts are similar.

The Technika IV, V, and Master seemed to be a more evolutionary in design and it can require a close inspection to identify, and thus might expect more commonality of parts...

The genuine Linhof bellows can be expensive and they support the Linhof's capability and flexibility in use. It is not like the rest of the camera would otherwise wear out soon; think of it as a lifetime investment, as the camera without suffering abuse might easily outlive you...

This is correct. My IV is a year older than I am, has the original (light-tight) bellows, and is as good as new (bearing slight signs of respectful use). About once a year or so I wipe on the lightest possible film of pure neatsfoot oil, this has kept the bellows in good condition for the 25 years I have had the camera.

Len Middleton
27-Feb-2013, 08:05
Further to EvH's comments, one might think of oneself as a custodian rather than owner of certain cameras including Linhof Technika's, Deardorff V8's, and M-type Leica's, as with care they can outlive you, and you are just taking care of them for the next owner...

E. von Hoegh
27-Feb-2013, 08:17
Further to EvH's comments, one might think of oneself as a custodian rather than owner of certain cameras including Linhof Technika's, Deardorff V8's, and M-type Leica's, as with care they can outlive you, and you are just taking care of them for the next owner...

Agreed. My V8 is 10 years older than I am, the 54th made with front swings... original bellows there too. Bellows can last a very long time if cared for.

This may be heresy, but I'd put some Nikon products in this category - the F in particular.

Peter De Smidt
27-Feb-2013, 10:25
Here is a fantastic source: http://www.custombellows.co.uk/

I've heard rumours that they were the OEM source for Linhof. It is where I got my replacement bellows for my Tech Master.

Replacement is easy. Instructions here:
http://www.largeformatphotography.info/linhof/bellows-instructions.pdf


Good luck

+1.

SergeiR
27-Feb-2013, 15:47
Anybody ever tried bellows from these people?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Bellows-Linhof-Technika-3000-2000-IV-V-Red-/270903569950?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f131c6e1e

Made in US it says... But would like to know more details before dropping $$ on any bellows....
What is the best place to buy a new bellows?

I used that exact one on my IV.V one (according to Bob's numbers its IV, according to specs and appearances its V, so there we go).
Its great, and it survived trips , texas heat, siberian cold and elements with flying colours.

Eric Rose
27-Feb-2013, 19:32
I got mine from the Custom Bellows folks in the UK. Great bellows.

SpeedGraphicMan
1-Mar-2013, 12:04
Thanks all for the info!

Will chew this around a while...