View Full Version : 8x10 bellows cleaning

luis a de santos
21-Feb-2008, 13:20
I bought an 8x10 Cambo legend on ebay few weeks ago.It just arrived. Although it was described in excellent condition it is not and the regular bellows are very dusty and a bit sticky and rigid.
Any suggestions on how to clean them?

Thanks Luis

Peter K
21-Feb-2008, 13:53
The softening agent of the plastic bellows are made of evaporate during time so the plastic can get brittle or sticky. You can only clean the bellows outside with a wet cloth. Don't use any solvent or grease.

Navy Moose
22-Feb-2008, 16:11
I was advised when I got my 4X5 camera to use a light mineral oil and apply with lightly with a Q-tip, and wipe off any excess with another Q-tip.

Brian Ellis
23-Feb-2008, 10:35
If it's synthetic you can use Armorall to help remove the dust and make it look better. Some people claim that Armorall can damage threads in bellows but I've never actually had that happen and I've used Armorall lightly on bellows for years. The Armorall people also claim that it's a preservative.

Rigidity in a bellows can be a good thing. Some bellows tend to sag when they're extended and the sagging part can get in between the lens and film, thereby ruining the photograph. So that part is probably o.k. The stickiness I'm less sure about because I don't know what's causing it. Is the bellows sticky to the touch or does it just sound kind of creaky when it's opened? If it's the latter than it could just be that the camera has been stored with the bellows closed and hasn't been used in a long time, in which case the problem might disappear if you start using the camera.