View Full Version : Bag bellows material

el french
21-May-2010, 20:05
I'm currently using blackout curtain material which is a lightweight cloth with rubberized lining. My last bellows lasted about two years before developing lots of light leaks. I recently tried this fabric: http://www.seattlefabrics.com/Black_Out.html but it wasn't light tight as advertised. I'm shooting macros so the lighting is close to the bellows.

Does anyone have any suggestions for which fabric to use?

21-May-2010, 20:17
my shen hao bellows are made of leather

21-May-2010, 20:33
Is the leather the light tight bit or the protective outer?

I used black out curtain for my bellows, and it was completely light tight. I suggest finding a decent fabric/curtain store and take a torch. The stuff I got has a white/black rubberized layer (black on the inside, white on the outside).

21-May-2010, 22:21
Buy a cheap changing bag on ebay...

Emmanuel BIGLER
21-May-2010, 23:37
For a his home-made wide-angle medium format camera project, a French friend of mine has successfully used a black rubber swim cap for his bag bellows.
No idea, however, of the expected life time of a rubber swim cap when used as a photographic bellows ;) and for a 4x5" camera, you'd probably need a giant size...

The Arca Swiss "ultra-flat" bag bellows for 6x9 cameras
is made of two square pieces of leather stitched together by the edges..

Peter K
22-May-2010, 01:22
Black tight fabric lined with black velvet, both found in a department-store.

22-May-2010, 06:44
I use fine leather sold for fashion leather clothes. Price depends very much on the country you buy it in though. The best and the cheapest I found in NY.

Jim Michael
22-May-2010, 08:08
How about something like this (http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/home/department/Leather/99275-01.aspx?feature=Product_105) or if you really want to push the envelope, this (http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/home/department/Leather/9307-01.aspx?feature=Product_65).

el french
22-May-2010, 11:29
Thanks everyone for the replies. I didn't realize leather was so inexpensive.

I'm using an 8 sided design which adds enough stiffness for the bellows to stay expanded. The first three inches of each panel are cut to lay flat and the center is just a gentle arc. It's like cutting a pie into 8 pieces. It allows the bellows to collapse to minimum thickness.