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mystq3
9-Dec-2010, 12:59
In the wake of the passing of a dear friend, I have received a beautiful Half Plate (4-3/4 x 6-1/2) Jonathan Fallowfield folding camera.

Being that I am also into plate photography and would like to keep her camera in good, working order. Unfortunately the bellows are dry rotted to shreds.

I don't know how to find bellows for this camera, or to replace them for that matter, but would very much like to have this token to use to help keep her memory alive.

Thanks,
Evan

GPS
9-Dec-2010, 13:37
No problem at all. Google Custom Bellows in UK. They will make nice bellows for your camera at a good price...

mystq3
9-Dec-2010, 14:57
No problem at all. Google Custom Bellows in UK. They will make nice bellows for your camera at a good price...

About how much could I expect to spend there, so as to plan accordingly?

GPS
9-Dec-2010, 15:10
That really depends on the shape and the length of the bellows. Ask them there, they will gladly help you.

Steven Tribe
9-Dec-2010, 15:58
Your camera probably looks like the enclosed.
It is possible to date Fallowfield's products as they changed address often! If it says Jonathan Fallowfield on the bone plate it is after 1921.
Most cameras have regular square bellows with square folds which are quite easy to copy.

IanG
9-Dec-2010, 17:37
Fallowfield was a distributor rather than a manufacturer. Back then any shop or wholesale distributor could buy in cameras badged with their own name plate.

I've used Custom (formerly Camera) Bellows and you won't find better but any new bellow may cost more than the camera's worth long term, so think about making your own. It's easier than you might think that's speaking from experience.

Ian

Mark Paschke
9-Dec-2010, 20:12
In the wake of the passing of a dear friend, I have received a beautiful Half Plate (4-3/4 x 6-1/2) Jonathan Fallowfield folding camera.

Being that I am also into plate photography and would like to keep her camera in good, working order. Unfortunately the bellows are dry rotted to shreds.

I don't know how to find bellows for this camera, or to replace them for that matter, but would very much like to have this token to use to help keep her memory alive.

Thanks,
EvanMake your own they're easy and fun. I was suprised at just how easy they are.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y280/GoBigRed/IMG_1289.jpg

Jim Fitzgerald
9-Dec-2010, 21:45
If you are going to send your bellows out by all means use Custom Bellows. They are building me a 36" bellows for my 14x17 at a cost of $395.00. Your should be considerably less.

Jim

Steven Tribe
10-Dec-2010, 03:19
I agree with Ian that, unless you are completely without the use of your fingers, you should make this bellows yourself.
Although "Birmingham" Bellows are good, I doubt they will invest much time in choosing the appearance and colour of the top leather. This is critical with this kind of style camera. There is a Scottish firm that supplies skins for the book binding fraternity (mostly) and I am sure they will be able to match from a snippet of the old bellows. The old bellows will also act a pattern for the new one.

GPS
10-Dec-2010, 05:39
I wholeheartedly disagree with the idea of making the bellows by yourself. Even if I have built many (for special purposes) bellows I gladly choose to let them made for me professionally (if they can, the special ones I still have to make myself). It's too much time and energy consuming and unless you know how to and with what (the correct material) chances are you will end with both frustration and the quality II bellows.
Ask for the price first and decide then...

IanG
10-Dec-2010, 05:54
It's remarkably easy to make bellows and certainly not particularly time consuming. These particular bellows are quite easy as well, shouldn't take more than 3 to 4 hours, faster once you have experience.

It's a particularly satisfying experience and the costs are next to nothing, just a little time :D

http://www.lostlabours.co.uk/photography/cameras/images/cam08sm.jpg

These were made last Easter, don't get put off by the comments above, there;s nothing to lose having a go yourself.

Ian

GPS
10-Dec-2010, 06:03
Don't get seduced by the cheapo comments above - read the archive to see how many tried to build bellows by themselves and what their comments after are...:D ;)

IanG
10-Dec-2010, 06:40
GPS, it's illogical to put a 100 -150 set of bellows on a camera worth probably less than 200 without at least considering the option of making one's own.

In saying that I just paid 70 for a Half plate camera in good condition with excellent original bellows, and in fact was offered 4 good Half plate cameras for 200

If you read the archives you'll also find people who successfully make their own bellows :D

Ian

GPS
10-Dec-2010, 07:02
GPS, it's illogical to put a 100 -150 set of bellows on a camera worth probably less than 200 without at least considering the option of making one's own.

In saying that I just paid 70 for a Half plate camera in good condition with excellent original bellows, and in fact was offered 4 good Half plate cameras for 200

If you read the archives you'll also find people who successfully make their own bellows :D

Ian

Illogical in your own mind. But for someone who's camera has a great sentimental value (the OP's case) the logic is perhaps different than yours.
If your read the archives you'll also find people who tried to make their bellows themselves and did not appreciate the experience.:)
Then there is even the one who is still looking for the right (the "best" as he says) bellows material and did not find it, despite all the help he got...;) :)

jb7
10-Dec-2010, 08:06
Evan, you sound like you're not interested in taking on the challenge of making your own bellows- which is fair enough-

However, don't be put off by those who have tried and failed, and ended up having the job done properly elsewhere-
it's significant that the naysayers never post anything other than comments biased by their own inability,
and disregard the achievements of others in order to crow about the failures.
Nothing as cheapo as a put-down by someone who has yet to put up-

This guy does small cameras, and might be able to help you out-
or at least point you in the right direction.

http://www.certo6.com/services

Mark Paschke
10-Dec-2010, 08:15
It's remarkably easy to make bellows and certainly not particularly time consuming. These particular bellows are quite easy as well, shouldn't take more than 3 to 4 hours, faster once you have experience.

It's a particularly satisfying experience and the costs are next to nothing, just a little time :D

http://www.lostlabours.co.uk/photography/cameras/images/cam08sm.jpg

These were made last Easter, don't get put off by the comments above, there;s nothing to lose having a go yourself.

IanI agree whole heartedly, I actually had several people beg me not to make my own, I am so glad I did, what a satisfying adventure, I could make another set in under 4 hours. If the OP or anyone for that matter want to talk on the phone or skype with questions I would be glad to offer my experiences. Just PM me if you want help!

GPS
10-Dec-2010, 08:56
Eh, when it is sooo eeasy - where is the adventure then...?:confused: :)

Mark Paschke
10-Dec-2010, 09:32
Eh, when it is sooo eeasy - where is the adventure then...?:confused: :)The adventure comes mainly in the folding ( for first timers), you've made alot you should know this ;)

They are easy, at no point other than the folding is there a point where you're out of much money or concerned they are not going to work.

GPS
10-Dec-2010, 09:38
The adventure comes mainly in the folding ( for first timers), you've made alot you should know this ;)

They are easy, at no point other than the folding is there a point where you're out of much money or concerned they are not going to work.

Folding = adventure? That's the most boring part of it...:(
The rest is - easy...;)

goamules
10-Dec-2010, 10:56
I was recently having the same bellows choice; buy our make. The DIY Bellows company was who I was going to use, until learning he's not making kits right now. But I'm still going to make my own.

Like a lot of consumerism, businesses bank on (pun intended) people being afraid they cannot do something. 90 years ago, Americans prided themselves on working on their own cars for example. Slowly that trait has gone away, and now most of us go to Jiffy Lube. In this example it a cost that is worth having someone else do. But bellows are different. Very expensive to buy, but seemingly quite easy to make. So for me, a person who never lost that trait of "I can do better", it's worth attempting to make bellows. The factors to consider for any project are cost avoidance vs difficulty. Some people won't even make a lensboard or cut a hole in their lensboard, but would rather ship it out and have some "expert" mount it. Each person has a right to decide.

GPS
10-Dec-2010, 11:40
... seemingly quite easy to make.
...

Seemingly - yes, I agree...:) Especially if you haven't made one yet. Then it is just a piece of cake (if you have made one it's like a half a piece of cake).
Now, where is that guy who was looking for the "best" bellows material with so much desperation and no success? Should be here to learn the easy way...;) :)

goamules
10-Dec-2010, 11:59
Quite a few things in life are doable if you're not afraid to try. And they are often not that easy until you figure it out. But they can be very rewarding.

GPS
10-Dec-2010, 12:03
Sure, I agree...:)
Tell us more about it when you have done your bellows, it'll be more convincing then. Was it a cake or a half of a cake, etc...:)

GPS
10-Dec-2010, 12:06
...And they are often not that easy until you figure it out.
...

Yeah - to figure it out it's important, otherwise it's often not that easy...:cool:

GPS
10-Dec-2010, 12:10
... but seemingly quite easy to make. ...


..And they are often not that easy until you figure it out. ...

You're not making fun of it, are you?!:confused: :mad:

goamules
10-Dec-2010, 12:10
Wetplate ain't easy. Working on electronics 100 feet in the rigging of a steaming ship ain't easy. Riding a motorcycle through Mexico ain't easy.... I don't need to explain or report back.

GPS
10-Dec-2010, 12:13
Wetplate ain't easy. Working on electronics 100 feet in the rigging of a steaming ship ain't easy. Riding a motorcycle through Mexico ain't easy.... I don't need to explain or report back.

Yeah, I agree. What else isn't easy?:)

GPS
10-Dec-2010, 12:15
Quite a few things in life are doable if you're not afraid to try. And they are often not that easy until you figure it out. ...

Yeah, often not!:cool:

GPS
10-Dec-2010, 12:18
Now, if only the guy who is looking for the "best" bellows material was here! The last time he was complaining about his no lack he seemed quite depressed about it. And yet, there are those here who would tell him how easy it is (I think the last estimate was 4 hrs or less?).

goamules
10-Dec-2010, 12:29
Yeah, I agree. What else isn't easy?:)

Patience. [*clicking ignore]

GPS
10-Dec-2010, 12:35
Patience? Too bad, boy. Building bellows without patience - now THAT isn't easy...!

Steven Tribe
10-Dec-2010, 12:56
Sorry to break in!
The thin external leather does cost a little - but the spacers/stiffeners and internal material cost nothing.
If in doubt about own skills, I would recommend just making a "bellows" with these last items. Once you have confirmed that folding is possible and correct, and that the x section is completely rectangular and doesn't twist - then you can partial demount and apply the finishing leather.
My first bellows was an 8x10 poco cycle which mean alternating strip widths and shortening lengths. But it turned out alright.
The whole process is far easier than the activity of dressmaking using a paper pattern. Ask your mother/grandmother for advice.

Mark Paschke
10-Dec-2010, 13:06
Seemingly - yes, I agree...:) Especially if you haven't made one yet. Then it is just a piece of cake (if you have made one it's like a half a piece of cake).
Now, where is that guy who was looking for the "best" bellows material with so much desperation and no success? Should be here to learn the easy way...;) :)Finding you favorite material, even more adventure! How could I forget!

Mark Paschke
10-Dec-2010, 13:31
Now, if only the guy who is looking for the "best" bellows material was here! The last time he was complaining about his no lack he seemed quite depressed about it. And yet, there are those here who would tell him how easy it is (I think the last estimate was 4 hrs or less?).Yeah 4 hours is about what it takes your first time, after that, he could probably whip them out in about 2, calculating in adventure time maybe 2.25 hours

GPS
10-Dec-2010, 15:22
Not wanting to let rain on the easy adventurous parade but shouldn't the time depend on the bellows size and length...?:confused:

Jim Graves
10-Dec-2010, 22:26
Here's a link to a very helpful video for getting an idea what is involved in making your own bellows: Link to Video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6maMPxFX_H0&feature=related)

There are several other videos that slow down each section to give you a more detailed look.

Have fun with it.

Mark Paschke
11-Dec-2010, 06:01
Here's a link to a very helpful video for getting an idea what is involved in making your own bellows: Link to Video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6maMPxFX_H0&feature=related)

There are several other videos that slow down each section to give you a more detailed look.

Have fun with it.Or you can draw your pattern on the fabric and cut your stiffeners on one of these, I had one, not sure if they rent them or not

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y280/GoBigRed/IMG_1243.jpg

The peices of tape are a guide for cutting the angles and lengths.
.

Shadowtracker
28-Mar-2011, 21:37
Is there a "best" material to use for the liner/outer bellows parts? I'm refurbishing two field cameras and will be replacing the bellows and I will be making my own bellows; relative to most jobs I've had, it doesn't seem to be too problematic if I can find a good light-tight material. I thought about going to a fabric store with one of the old bellows to see if they can come up with something that is light, and thin, but I don't know if there is a standard bellows material used these days or not. Any help would be appreciated.

R Mann
29-Mar-2011, 02:18
You might consider this -

http://www.thorlabs.com/NewGroupPage9.cfm?ObjectGroup_ID=190