View Full Version : Bag bellows on Ebony 45SU: worthwhile?

David Rees
10-Feb-2007, 03:39
I've just purchased a 2nd-hand Ebony 45SU, with what I believe are the universal bellows -- certainly extend out to the full movement of the camera, and collapse back enough for me to focus my 47XL. However, movement is definitely restricted with such focal lengths, so I have started to wonder about the bag bellows I know are available for this camera. However, the price is not trivial, and before I take the plunge, I wonder if anyone who has had experience of this camera could comment on the benefits to be had by buying the bag bellows.

Baxter Bradford
10-Feb-2007, 05:24
I managed for ages without the bag bellows on my 45SU and agree they are expensive. However, I took the plunge about 20 months ago when I bought a S-A 90mm f5.6 and also a S-A 75mm. These lenses were struggling against the bellows when applying movements with the std set.

The bag bellows work really well and I leave them on the camera, changing to the longer supplied set on rare occasions when necessary. They are long enough to use a 210mm lens at infinity, but not for close ups.

I asked Camera Bellows about making me some; their price was much cheaper, but not possessing a spare set of end plates, I went for the Ebony product.

Ted Harris
10-Feb-2007, 08:51
Call Richard Ritter to make you one. It wil cost you a lot less than one from Ebony, even with Richard supplying the end plates.

Eric Leppanen
10-Feb-2007, 10:08
I also just purchased a used 45SU, and mine came with both universal and bag bellows. The bag bellows is required to achieve full movements with my SS80XL and SS110XL lenses. I haven't had a chance to use the camera much yet, but I may do what Baxter did and use the bag bellows as the default.

Paul O
10-Feb-2007, 10:37
Hi David! I use the bag bellows for 90% of shots - I favour wide lenses! They make all the difference when using very short focal length lenses - although movements are restricted by the image circle of the lens rather than the bellows. Expensive? Yes. Keep an eye out for a used set. Paul

David Rees
10-Feb-2007, 11:47
Thank you all for your replies and advice. I'll be seeking some bag bellows as soon as the credit card has recovered from the impact of the 45SU purchase.

22-Feb-2007, 05:21
Hi David,

Congrats on the SU - you say it was 2nd hand but how new/old is it and has it had a bit of use?

I'm not being nosey :wink: but when I got mine, the universal bellows were stiff and I thought something was wrong as there was no way I could get the movements as stated for the camera - Robert White told me just to use the camera or play with the bellows and they'd ease off, become more supple and you'd get the movement back...

I don't go as wide as you but have the 90 SA XL and a 75 6.8 and I know what you mean about limited movements. If I'm sat down sometime, I'll look for the price of the bag bellows on the RW site.:eek:

Andrew / Apple

Don Hutton
22-Feb-2007, 06:04
I picked up a brand new set of bag bellows for my 45SU on Ebay in December for $200 - so they do pop up now and again. They work a treat.

David Rees
22-Feb-2007, 10:38
Andrew - Hard to say how old the camera is, but the condition is essentially mint. The universal bellows are not stiff though, so perhaps it's simply been used by a very careful owner! That's what the shop said, but even in a reputable store, one always treats a comment along those lines with a pinch of salt. However, given the cost of these cameras when new, I do think I got it at a reasonable price. But I haven't mentioned it to the wife though -- don't think she would agree that it was a bargain!

Don -- good to know the bag bellows do come up 2nd-hand. I don't think I'll buy new, given the price they are, so I'll have to wait patiently. In the meantime, I get some movements with my universal bellows, and if I need more, I'll swap over to a Walker Titan XL 4x5, which I bought days before I stunbled across the Ebony (tip to others -- on no account handle a purchasable Ebony in the flesh -- resistance is futile!).

I've used the Ebony 45SU several times now in the field, and it is a joy to use. It is so functional -- everything works so well. A true step up from my Wista DX -- which given the price differential, is not really surprising, but truthfully, I hadn't really expected. I'd told myself that an Ebony would not give much benefit -- I was definitely wrong about that. (BTW, the Walker also is very good, along slightly different lines -- also a keeper).

Sideshow Bob
23-Feb-2007, 19:32
One question, can you fold up the 45SU with the bag bellows on?

Don Hutton
12-Mar-2007, 07:14
One question, can you fold up the 45SU with the bag bellows on?

The 45SU is a "non-folder"...

Henry Dove
17-Mar-2007, 07:21
David, I bought the wide-angle bellows second-hand from Ffordes in February (when they had a 45SU in second-hand too) so they do come up once in a while. Sadly I missed the 90SS XL which was sold when I rang....