View Full Version : cheap bellows repair?

7-Nov-2006, 05:19

I was just given/lent a folding Fuji 645s. The bellows have a few cracks in the corners and I'm getting some nast' light leaks.

What's the best way to repair them until I can afford to have the bellows replaced (doesn't look like a replacement I can do).

I've heard gaff tape. Black nail polish. yadda yadda.

In the end I think whatever I use needs to be kind've thin so the lens can collapse inside the camera.



Jim Jones
7-Nov-2006, 08:30
For pinholes I use an old soft toothbrush to brush liquid black acrylic artist's paint into the inside of the bellows. It works if the liner is fabric, but probably won't do if it is any kind of plastic. Don't let the paint build up to any significant thickness. There's been a small patch of black crepe tape on the outside of my 5x7 B&J for about 30 years, and no more leak yet.

Ron Marshall
7-Nov-2006, 08:33
Bostick and Sullivan sell a cheap bellows repair kit. There is a reinforcing mesh, that is first applied, to the inside of the bellows, then a thick black rubbery glue.


7-Nov-2006, 08:36
Liquid electrical tape.

Kirk Gittings
7-Nov-2006, 08:45
I use black liquid fabric paint. It comes in a squeze tube. I dab the hole a couple of times on the inside and work it into the hole and rack out the bellows to let it dry. Then I repeat once more. The fabric paint remains flexible.

Donald Qualls
7-Nov-2006, 11:37
I've used liquid electrical tape, but the repairs don't seem to last well and the stuff has to sit for a LONG time before you close the camera, or the layers will stick together and really bollix things up. The last bellows leaks I found, I put black masking tape over, and they seem fine.

The leaks in the bellows of my Ideal 9x12 cm plate camera are covered with tiny patches of black leather (glove weight, approximately, it's heavier than the original bellows leather), attached with rubber cement.

Michael Daily
7-Nov-2006, 15:54
I've used black silicone sealant--it can be brushed quite thin, dries pliable, permanent, after dry, won't stick to anything, and seems to be opaque as a hole-plugger. It can be applied inside or out.