View Full Version : Gundlach - a few questions

2-Jan-2017, 11:33
My 4X5 field camera is an old Gundlach. Since it may be the last field camera I will have I figured I might like to know some history about it. As best as I can tell, "Gundlach Mfg. Corp." came into existence in 1926.




Before 1926 the company had various other names and in 1928 it changed ownership again. So I guess my first question(s) is - did the company continue to label their cameras "Gundlach Mfg. Corp." beyond 1928, and if so, for how long, and is there any way to determine about when my camera was made?

This site (http://bvipirate.com/Kodak/Rochester.html) gives a lot of info but I can't find the answer to my question there.

My last question(s) is concerning the bellows - the bellows is very stiff (usable and no light leeks so far) making movements and focusing a tad difficult. I am contemplating ordering or having a new bellows made. Since I probably will not be able to order a new bellows for this camera by name, do I need to remove the bellows to get accurate measurements for the size or can I get all that information with it still on the camera? The bed of the camera is 12.5" long and at full extension the bellows seems maxed out. Should I order one just slightly longer so it is not strained at full extension?

Any advice would be appreciated.

2-Jan-2017, 12:00
I'd check with Keith at Custom Bellows in the UK custombellows@hotmail.com. He may well have the dimensions. I recently sent him the frames from one of my V8's, he did a great job in replacing it with a 32" bellows (2" longer) very reasonably with a quick turn around as far as these things go. Greatly recommended! Can't help you with the History, but I'm sure others on this list will. L

2-Jan-2017, 12:41
I have two 5x7 versions of this camera, same vintage. Very nicely finished! I really like mine. The bellows on both of them were shot. The corners were falling apart--stretch it out and shine a small flashlight from inside to check. I ordered one bellows from the guy in China through ebay--very nice. I might try the guy in UK next, just to see how much difference there is. The new bellows are not only much more supple, they are thinner. This allows for a wider lens. The old bellows are a bit of a pain to get off--email me if you are going to do that.

Kent in SD

2-Jan-2017, 12:54
Thanks L.

Kent, I did as you did when I took possession of the camera several years back - I racked it all the way out and shinned a flashlight from the inside in a dark room. I did that on every corner, top and bottom, and did not detect any pinholes. I then rubbed the entire exterior with a leather conditioner but of course it didn't (can't) soften up leather that has already lost it's supple-ness.
Just to be cautious I always lay my dark cloth (black T-shirt) over the bellows during exposures.

Anyway, it looks like the bellows at the rear is held on by many small tacks and it looks like the frame is held in place by a couple screws on all sides. The front - I can't tell how it's held on. I'll definitely ask you for instructions when I am ready to tackle the project.

Oren Grad
2-Jan-2017, 14:51
Lots about Gundlach cameras:


2-Jan-2017, 17:06
Thanks Oren - I just went through several of the catalogs listed on that site - 1932, 1925, 1922, all list the camera's as Korona. My camera does not have the name Korona on it anywhere, but that doesn't mean it isn't a Korona I guess. They acquired the Milburn Korona Company in 1896. Became the Gundlach Mfg. Corp until 1926 and became Seebold Invisible Camera Company in 1928. The search goes on...