View Full Version : Reliability of bag bellows

23-May-2019, 11:28
I've got a bag bellow as I'm into wide angle. I necessarily need to mount it and unmount it, as the camera cannot fold with the bellows on.

My question is around ease of light leaks. Namely, when carrying the bellows inside my backpack, is it a real risk to involuntarily damage it?

I'm asking because the soft leather in front does not seem to be particularly robust.

Oren Grad
23-May-2019, 11:37
Pack it in a way that protects it from continually rubbing against a hard or sharp or rough surface. The same would apply to a regular pleated bellows.

23-May-2019, 13:00
I can only contribute that Sinar's bag bellow's 2 is certainly robust. My peculiar worry is about it collecting dust.

23-May-2019, 13:29
Just one thing concerns me is the mounting to standards can be a little flimsy, so be careful they are completely seated as they are a little difficult to line up properly (esp Sinar)...

Steve K

Bob Salomon
23-May-2019, 13:40
Excessive rubbing against things in the bag or the bag itself could abrade the bellows material and create, eventually, leaks.
Also, care has to be taken not to apply uneven pressure on the bellows frames as this might cause a warp in the frame that would create a light leak.

In other words, take care of the bellows.

Bernice Loui
23-May-2019, 14:50
Have been using Sinar bag bellows since the mid 1980's with no functional problems except for the same age deterioration that affects all bellows.
No idea how this experience applies to other brands.

If you're into wide angle lenses on a view camera, a bag bellows with a camera that can fully utilize a bag bellows is a must have for a long list of reasons.


Mark Sampson
23-May-2019, 16:50
I pack the bag bellows for both my Zone VI and Sinar in gallon ziplock bags. The Z-VI since 1992, and Herr Koch alone knows how old the Sinar bellows are, and I've never had a problem.

23-May-2019, 17:00
Reliability of my 2 vintage Norma era Sinar and way, way newer Chamonix bag bellows has never been a problem for me. Problem I have encountered a few times is that I have accidentally touched/moved the bellows after composing the image on the GG. Very easy for it to partially obstruct one of the sides or corners of the projected image on the film... trust me on that especially with my 11x14.

Alan Gales
23-May-2019, 17:15
I pack the bag bellows for both my Zone VI and Sinar in gallon ziplock bags.

That was my answer but Mark beat me to it.

Bernice Loui
23-May-2019, 18:33
5x7_13x18cm Sinar bag bellows fits nicely in a gallon zip lock bag.

Sides of the bag bellows is folded to fit inside the zip lock bag, kitty optional.

Been storing and carrying bag bellows this way for a long time, works good.


Bernice Loui
23-May-2019, 18:43
Camera movements using a bag bellows can easily exceed the ability of the wide angle lens on a Sinar.

Sinar made two versions of bag bellows, the Norma with the black Copal Sinar shutter and 120mm Super Angulon in DBM mount has a double pleat bag bellows. Sinar made the double pleat bellows in 4x5, this 5x7 version (not offered by Sinar in 5x7_13x18cm) was made using a Sinar 4x5 double pleat bellows and a rear frame from a dead Sinar 5x7 bag bellows. The double pleat bellows does not pinch with camera movements in the same way as the standard bellows. The Norma with DBM mount 120mm SA with Sinar shutter also illustrates backwards compatibility of Sinar bits.

The Sinar P2 has a Schneider 72mmXL with the standard 5x7 bag bellows. Keep the bag bellows corners on the outside corners to prevent the bag bellows from interfering into the film image.

BTW, that is the Norma front standard that was taken apart, cleaned, lubed, adjusted. Functions as new, extremely smooth with no significant lash in camera movements.