View Full Version : Bellows Care And Maint.

Richard Boulware
17-Jun-2001, 14:18
I've just purchased a 'mint' condition Linhof Super Technika V. It has what I believe is the original bellows which is in like new condition wit h no leaks. I want to keep it that way. Out here in the dry climate of the west, leather dries out. Anyone ever used Lexol or other products to keep a bellows m oist? I have been told that mink oil products are too aggressive. I just want to keep the bellows moist but not soften it to much. Thoughts?

pat krentz
17-Jun-2001, 22:39
Renaissance micro-crystalline wax from Light Impressions. I live in the desert also and it works fine. Pat

Keith Pitman
18-Jun-2001, 13:30
Try this website for recommended maintenance tasks from an expert:


Richard Boulware
18-Jun-2001, 13:59
My sincere thanks for the LF shooters who have contributed answers to my questions. Perhaps I can return the favor sometime in the future. I have spent most of my life as an advertising illustrator/photographer and shot most of the product photography for both Pentax and Rollei during the seventies and early eighties. Thanks again, and...be well. Richard Boulware - Denver

Brian Ellis
18-Jun-2001, 18:24
The first step is to determine what material your bellows is made of. Obviously you use different treatments for different materials. I have a Technika V and I didn't think the bellows was leather but it's been a while since I checked so perhaps my memory is wrong. I'd suggest that you call or e mail Bob Salomon of HP Marketing (the Linhof U.S. distributor) to determine exactly what your bellows is made of and what he would suggest as a treatment. I used Armorall once since it is supposed to be good for both leather and "leatherette" then read somewhere that it isn't good to use it on bellows because it rots the threads or something like that. HP Marketing advertises in the photo magazines so you should be able to get a phone number and e mail address from one of them, or perhaps someone else could post it here - I don't have it handy.

emo supremo
29-Mar-2009, 04:46
Hey I searched for Amor All and Amorall and didn't find this hit about an hour ago. Hope I'm not being redundant in asking whether anyone used AmorAll on their bellows and found, six months later, diffusion of solvent into the glue made their bellows come apart. I suppose this is the problem of furniture waxes...they weren't designed to come in contact with glue used in bellows, ehh?

Steve Hamley
29-Mar-2009, 19:09
Not so. Ken Hough (ex-Deardorff) recommens Lemon Pledge. Ebony recommends a non-greasy leather conditioner such as for coats or car seats. I've used Pledge a lot, and I've used Meguiar's leather treatment. Both work well, but IIRC, Ken advised strongly against Armorall.

8-year old thread lives!

Cheers, Steve

29-Mar-2009, 23:17
Armorall is some nasty stuff, I'd hesitate to use it on the plastics it's supposed to be designed for, forget using it on leather.

30-Mar-2009, 04:24
Armorall is some nasty stuff, I'd hesitate to use it on the plastics it's supposed to be designed for, forget using it on leather.

I concur. Armorall is nasty and does serious long-term damage.

Bob Salomon
30-Mar-2009, 05:00
Marflex is 252 652-4401. Why not call them and get Linhof's service centers official recommendation?

30-Mar-2009, 08:37
What about the bellows on Toyo-View? Are they leather or leatherette? Does anyone know?

Bob Salomon
30-Mar-2009, 09:16
There are many different Toyo models. Which do you mean? Have you asked Toyo?

30-Mar-2009, 09:37
Thanks for the reply Bob. I knew I should have mentioned the models I own.

45AX, 45CF both are field (folding) cameras.
45C and Robos (monorails).

If the bellows are real leather, would saddle soap work?


Mark Sampson
30-Mar-2009, 10:33
Use Lexol for leather bellows. It's designed for leather-bound books (not BMW seats as you might think) and is the best choice by far.

Hans Berkhout
4-Apr-2009, 06:24
As far as the inside of belows is concerned; the occasional vacuuming will save you some spotting later on.