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Colin J Clarke
17-Nov-2010, 16:03
Hope this is the correct forum ...

I need to replace the bellows on a Toyo 45AII. Before I dish out $200? including fitting and return shipping to Toyo/Mamiya (from SC), may I ask:

On the Toyo 45 series, is this a DIY project for a somewhat handy person?

If so, any tips from someone who has done it, including "whatever you do, don't do ..."

And if I bypass the official repair shop, where is the best place to get a new bellows ... I see the HK version on the Bay, but I wonder is it from rice paper, or is it decent enough.

Thanks.

Gem Singer
17-Nov-2010, 16:17
It's not a DIY project.

If you want it done right, bite the bullet and send it to MAC.

Dave Hally
17-Nov-2010, 18:07
Hope this is the correct forum ...

I need to replace the bellows on a Toyo 45AII. Before I dish out $200? including fitting and return shipping to Toyo/Mamiya (from SC), may I ask:

On the Toyo 45 series, is this a DIY project for a somewhat handy person?

If so, any tips from someone who has done it, including "whatever you do, don't do ..."

And if I bypass the official repair shop, where is the best place to get a new bellows ... I see the HK version on the Bay, but I wonder is it from rice paper, or is it decent enough.

Thanks.

I replaced the bellows on my 45A myself. It is not difficult. I got mine from the MAC Group. I think it was about $200.00 for the bellows and shipping.
You need a small, HIGH QUALITY phillips screwdriver (I used a Craftsman Precision series screwdriver). Don't force the screws! Mine were tight, but they came loose with steady pressure.
I don't have the camera here in front of me, and I don't remember exactly, but it goes back on exactly the way it comes off. For the back end, there are 2 (IIRC) screws on each side, for a total of 8. The part I don't remember is if you access them from the back of the standard (after removing the revolving back), or from the front, alongside the bellows. If you sccess them from the back, then I think the bellows comes out of the back of the camera, as opposed top coming off the front of the standard. If it does come out of the back, then undo the front standard first!
The same for the front.
Mine had a thin layer of sealant, so I used a very thin bead of black silicone seal on the face of the bellows flange that goes against the body. If you need more info, PM me and I'll look at the camera and old bellows when I get home.
Good Luck,
Dave

Colin J Clarke
18-Nov-2010, 07:43
Many thanks for both replies (... so far ... hint hint).

Just an update.

I called Mamiya/Toyo Repair, Elmsford, NY (MAC) this morning, to get a current price for a simple bellows replacement. I explained there was no body damage, and no need for a CLA. Excluding shipping, the price was "around $350, maybe a little more. We have to see it first ...". I got the impression that it was very low on the list of priorities at MAC, and when I enquired if the extra $30 "expedite" fee on the MAC website was applicable, I was told "not on that stuff". Bottomline ... once they have the body, then we talk firm pricing.

Anyone here used MAC lately for Toyo service? On a scale of 1-10 (10 best), anyone want to rate the service?

Gem Singer
18-Nov-2010, 08:20
The quality of service on Mamiya and Toyo products from MAC is excellent (9+).

Although pricey, they respond quickly, only use genuine factory parts, and stand behind their work.

They will put the camera back into factory specs.

A bellows replacement might seem like a simple procedure. However, on fixed bellows metal Toyo cameras, it is not as simple as it looks.

There are many (difficult to remove and replace) screws and an adhesive that is almost impossible to clean off. Also, the front and rear bellows frames are difficult to replace properly.

After owning both a 45AX and a 45AII, I switched to an Ebony that had an easily replaceable bellows.

Peter De Smidt
18-Nov-2010, 08:31
I've never dealt with MAC. Their prices, though, are notoriously high.

You should get a quote from Custom Bellows in the UK. They used to be known as Camera Bellows. They make oem bellows for many companies, including (I believe) Sinar, Linhof, Canham.... I've had them make a bellows for a Linhof III a number of years ago, and it was excellent.

Gem Singer
18-Nov-2010, 09:02
Peter,

Finding a replacement bellows for a Toyo 45AII is not difficult.

Removing the old bellows and installing a new one is where the difficulty occurs.

The Toyo "A"'s were designed with fixed bellows, not replaceable bellows.

Colin J Clarke
18-Nov-2010, 09:16
Thanks, Peter, and Gem Singer.

I have read about the UK company. But the issue appears to be the fitting, rather than the finding of a bellows for this common and long lived camera model body.

As GS has now pointed out that in his experience, 1. MAC is 'excellent' and 2. they "will put the camera back into factory specs", it seems there is added value over the apparent hourly rate of $150 (more than a brain surgeon and less than my plumber).

There is no problem other than the bellows, and if the previous owner (MFA student) had folded the camera away with any attention to the bellows, it would still be 100%. But the first three or four folds behind the lens board are a total mess and actually seem to hang down too far into the body of the bellows inner space when at infinity extension (although with the 210 at least, the inner element protudes deep enough to avoid the 'bag' bellows bit I think. I'm probably being overly cautious, but then again, I care for my cameras, and still have the first RFs and TLRs I bought in the early 1960s (and they have seen a lot of service and travel).

So, unless I hear/read of another way to go in the next few days, it seems I should send this "A" to MAC, or trade it on an Ebony ... ;-)

Thanks.

Colin

jeroldharter
18-Nov-2010, 10:50
I think you would be spending more than $350 for an Ebony. I would see how much it costs for CLA. If reasonable, you will have a nearly new camera if you replace the bellows also.

Peter De Smidt
18-Nov-2010, 11:36
CB replaced the bellows, i.e, they made and installed the bellows, on my Linhof Tech III, another metal field camera with non-replaceable bellows. I agree, though, that MAC might be a better idea if the cost is similar, as MAC does not involve sending the camera overseas, and they can check out the operation of the whole camera. I'd still get a price from CB.

Colin J Clarke
18-Nov-2010, 12:05
I think you would be spending more than $350 for an Ebony. I would see how much it costs for CLA. If reasonable, you will have a nearly new camera if you replace the bellows also.

LOL. Really, Jerold !! ;-)

My mind works in the miraculous ways of those with terminal collectivitis. The 45AII with a couple of APO Symmars thrown in plus all the associated Toyo 'stuff', plus $350 I would be spending anyway, plus maybe $1000 or so, should land a gently pre-loved 'basic' Ebony. Then, you subtract $350 from $1000, and it's a net $650 changeover. A new lens or two for next to nothing ..., and I have an Ebony set up.

Saves getting a new bellows that way.

At least, that's the math they use at the Fed Reserve. LOL

OTOH, for $350 I can have a almost shiny new 45AII with up to speed factory specs. Hmmm...

CC

Dave Hally
18-Nov-2010, 13:10
LOL. Really, Jerold !! ;-)

My mind works in the miraculous ways of those with terminal collectivitis. The 45AII with a couple of APO Symmars thrown in plus all the associated Toyo 'stuff', plus $350 I would be spending anyway, plus maybe $1000 or so, should land a gently pre-loved 'basic' Ebony. Then, you subtract $350 from $1000, and it's a net $650 changeover. A new lens or two for next to nothing ..., and I have an Ebony set up.

Saves getting a new bellows that way.

At least, that's the math they use at the Fed Reserve. LOL

OTOH, for $350 I can have a almost shiny new 45AII with up to speed factory specs. Hmmm...

CC

Colin, other than our PMs, If you are not in a hurry, and if you would settle for a Chen Hao ($500.00) instead of a Ebony, I may have mine up for sale if I decide to get a Chamonix.
Dave

John Koehrer
18-Nov-2010, 16:46
DIYcamerakit can supply you with a pattern or kit with appropriate material for under $100.
But! I believe the boss & chief cook & bottle washer is out of the country 'til the first of the year. To order the stuff, he has an online form you use to give him dimensions & it's computer generated for your camera. He's got a how-to video on his site that makes it look real easy.
I'm most likely going to order one for my 5X7 Deardorff when he gets back.

Jim Bradley
20-Nov-2010, 11:33
I used one of the ebay Hong Kong bellows for my 45A. Price was right and installation not too difficult but...The material is not too thin in fact it is too thick.

I can not compress the bellows enough to close the camera completely, it wouldn't latch. I would suspect that also means focusing a short lens would be an issue as well although right now I'm only using a 150 mm lens.

JGB

Colin J Clarke
20-Nov-2010, 13:01
I used one of the ebay Hong Kong bellows for my 45A. Price was right and installation not too difficult but...The material is not too thin in fact it is too thick.

I can not compress the bellows enough to close the camera completely, it wouldn't latch. I would suspect that also means focusing a short lens would be an issue as well although right now I'm only using a 150 mm lens.

JGB

Really appreciating all the feedback from Forum members. Very nice!

Jim, your comment about the thickness of the HK bellows is the third such finding I have read about in the past week, just 'googling' around. In fact, I can't remember which HK supplier now, but I read on their own HK site that it "may" prevent closing the clamshell on 45s.

Looks more and more like the most sensible option (if not the economic route) is to send it to MAC for the bellows and CLA. I'll pretty much have a 'new' camera body after that. Buying the OEM bellows from MAC is quite expensive anyhow, and even a Japanese quote was almost $200 landed in the US. So, practically speaking, the extra expense is reasonable. Should give the 45 another 20 years of life ....

I'll give my 'review' after I get the work done.

Thanks, all.

Colin J Clarke
20-Nov-2010, 13:04
DIYcamerakit can supply you with a pattern or kit with appropriate material for under $100.
But! I believe the boss & chief cook & bottle washer is out of the country 'til the first of the year. To order the stuff, he has an online form you use to give him dimensions & it's computer generated for your camera. He's got a how-to video on his site that makes it look real easy.
I'm most likely going to order one for my 5X7 Deardorff when he gets back.

Thanks, John. Interesting link! I'm sure it will be helpful for anyone looking for oddball sizes, or older bodie where parts are not available anymore.

Colin J Clarke
20-Nov-2010, 13:07
Colin, other than our PMs, If you are not in a hurry, and if you would settle for a Chen Hao ($500.00) instead of a Ebony, I may have mine up for sale if I decide to get a Chamonix.
Dave

LOL. Thanks, Dave. I'm only 'dreaming' about the Ebony. I have no perfectly good reason to change horses. (Although that hasn't stopped me before. ;-) ) I have read the magazine reviews for the Cham ...impressive.

Dave Hally
20-Nov-2010, 16:11
LOL. Thanks, Dave. I'm only 'dreaming' about the Ebony. I have no perfectly good reason to change horses. (Although that hasn't stopped me before. ;-) ) I have read the magazine reviews for the Cham ...impressive.

Well, A local Photographer just came by and let me look at and set up his Chamonix. I am going to order one of the maple ones due next year. The Shen Hao will go up for sale shortly, and I will continue to use the Toyo until the Chamonix comes in, and then it will go up for sale also.
Good luck with your bellows.
Dave

J.Davie-S.
22-Nov-2010, 18:45
I know that the topic here is bellows for a 45AII but i was wondering if anyone had insight into a 45 and 810G. I just acquired both and they need new bellows. I was bale to remove the old (incredibly) beat up ones from their frames and remove all the excess glue. I have seen replacements for them on e-bay without the frames for a lot less money then other sources. Is it possible to attach these carefully to the original frames? They're made in japan and I have no idea about their quality. Here's the link below.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Bellows-TOYO-810M-810M-II-810G-8x10-Large-Format-/270658211766?pt=Film_Cameras&hash=item3f047c8fb6#ht_3287wt_902

I appreciate any insight and prior experience if you have it.

Colin J Clarke
8-Dec-2010, 11:52
Hello All:

I just wanted to follow up and report on what I did to replace the bellows.

Depending on your point of view I took the easy way, the smart way, the most expensive way, or the @#&%* way. The result, however, is excellent !

I decided to send the camera body (less back) to Mamiya (MAC) who handle the Toyo work. I called ahead of that, asking for a ballpark figure and was told $350, plus shipping return.

I sent the body via UPS Surface with insurance ($16) on the 22nd November (Thanksgiving Week). I got the camera back, UPS with signature required, on 2nd December. Allowing for shipping time, I think they had the body for two (maybe three) full working days. I give them 10/10 for quick turnaround, and coming in under estimate.

They fitted a new Toyo OEM bellows, cleaned, lubed, adjusted knob tensions etc to factory specs. Total cost, including the return shipping - $320.00. Given that I basically have a new camera (especially when I touch up a couple of very small paint nicks), I think it was the right choice. I could have gone elsewhere, or bought a DIY bellows from HK, but the 45A series is not designed for easy changeover. (My 45C is a 10 minute job). I'm glad I decided to let Toyo (Mamiya) fix it.

Just thought I could close this thread off with the final decision and result.

Thanks for the help, all.

Colin

jonathan_lipkin
27-Jan-2011, 12:07
I just got a bellows for my 45a from Japan. It fit on nicely, and came with very detailed instructions on how to assemble. It was a bit tricky, and I wouldn't recommend it unless you're a bit handy, but it required no special tools. Only a bit of patience and dexterity. Took about two and a half hours. Price was about $100.
The camera closes completely.

Peter De Smidt
27-Jan-2011, 16:56
Hi Jonathan. That's good to hear!

jjonesphotos
27-Jun-2011, 13:52
I just got a bellows for my 45a from Japan. It fit on nicely, and came with very detailed instructions on how to assemble. It was a bit tricky, and I wouldn't recommend it unless you're a bit handy, but it required no special tools. Only a bit of patience and dexterity. Took about two and a half hours. Price was about $100.
The camera closes completely.

May I ask where in Japan you got your bellows? I think I can manage the repair but want to make sure of the bellow's quality that I buy.

jonathan_lipkin
27-Jun-2011, 14:06
eBay seller Tokyophoto:

http://myworld.ebay.com/tokyophoto/

PM me if you can't get in touch with him through ebay and I'll send you his email