View Full Version : Holy Bellows

11-Nov-2011, 06:59
A flashlight inside my "new" Gandolfi lights up the room like a Chritmas tree. I dispair about the prospect of patching them all with liquid electrical tape or the stuff from Equinox.
An inquiry with Custon Bellows in England offers a new one for 175 Pounds (about $280), a reasonable cost, but it would necessitate sending the old bellows and the frames across the pond, as well as the additional costs of shipping, taxes, etc, as well as a 6-8 weeks delay. And two visits to a camera repair person to remove and reinstall them.
Does anyone have experience with the Hong Kong people who advertise for dozens of cameras on the eBay LF site?
How about any good source in the USA (I seem to recall that there is a place in Caifornia with a good reputation)?

William Whitaker
11-Nov-2011, 07:47
Is Custom Bellows really taking 6-8 weeks? They've always been very prompt when I've utilized their services. And I've not heard differently until now. They really are the best in my experience.

11-Nov-2011, 08:07
Custom Bellows Quotation

“formerly Camera Bellows”

Unit 26 Camphill Industrial Estate, John Kempe Way
Highgate. Birmingham B12 OHU. England

Tel; 0121 766 7919 Website www.custombellows.co.uk

The price for the bellows will be …..175.00
Old bellows required for sample……yes
Frames required for refitting…………no
Charge for refitting frames…………….
Total Price 175.00
Special Notes:

Delivery ……6/8 weeks from order


Payments accepted by Visa/Mastercard as well as BACS

Please note prices are ex VAT postage and packing were applicable
If sending samples from the USA please write “IPR SUSPENSION”
On the outside of the parcel, otherwise an import duty will be charged

Thank you for your enquiry and look forward to hearing from you

Yours sincerely

Custom Bellows

11-Nov-2011, 08:12
I just sent a bellows to them this week. I'll let you know how long it takes ;)

Brian Ellis
11-Nov-2011, 08:20
Bill - There used to be a bellows maker in Clearwater right next door to you. I can't remember their name, I'm thinking "Flexible" something or other. If they're still around you might talk with them. They didn't do a very good job on a new bellows for my old Technikardan, it was too "thick" to allow the camera to fold properly. But that camera requires an unusually thin bellows I think. If yours is more normal they might do fine. I don't remember the cost and it would be irrelevant anyhow since mine was made about 16 years ago.

11-Nov-2011, 08:42

You might also check these guys in New York state. I had them make a bellows for my Ansco 8x10 some 30 years ago and it is still light tight and looks great.

K. Praslowicz
11-Nov-2011, 08:44
Try Turner Bellows in New York. http://www.turnerbellows.com/photographic_bellows.html I just got a set made by them for my Gundlach, only cost $150. Only took a few weeks. Should be here in a day or so, so I can't comment on quality yet.

11-Nov-2011, 08:55
Many, if not all bellows makers will install the new bellows on the old frame for a very modest fee. Removing the old bellows and frames from the camera and reinstalling the new bellows on the old frame is not really much of a job. Since you're using the same wooden bellows frames, all the screw holes should match up making the job fairly easy.
I believe that Camera Bellows may be setting the expected delivery date farther out then it actually will take, so people won't get upset about their order being overdue.

11-Nov-2011, 10:10
I believe that Camera Bellows may be setting the expected delivery date farther out then it actually will take, so people won't get upset about their order being overdue.

That's correct. I always got bellows from them in a much shorter period of time. At least you will have the right material on your bellows, not any thick inflexible old hide.

William Whitaker
11-Nov-2011, 10:16
Wilhelm - If you do end up ordering from Custom Bellows, specify their lightweight nylon bellows material like Keith Canham uses. Their default material is what they call (I believe) Hypalon. It is a thicker, less flexible material which, while OK for cameras with limited movements, is not the best choice for your Gandolfi, in my opinion. I've ordered several bellows from them and have been very happy with the lightweight nylon.

11-Nov-2011, 10:18
Bill, or anyone else who is wondering:
the Chinese bellows maker I bought from, ecbuyonline, sold me new 8x10 bellows for my now-sold Toyo 810G.
I had to attach the frames myself, which was a minor pain, having never done it before.
But the bellows were great, of very good quality, and Rudy (the contact person) is very nice to deal with; he also offers a money-back guarantee, so you are covered in case you don't like the bellows.
I've bought a lot of stuff from them before, and most of it was very good quality and very well-priced, with a shipping time of about 2 weeks from Hong Kong.

11-Nov-2011, 11:08
I had Turner Bellows install a new bellows on my 5x7 Speed Graphic. I'm happy with the results. I also once repaired the bellows on my 8x10 Seneca Competitor with 3M black paper photographic tape. It was very holey. It's still light tight over 40 years later.