View Full Version : Deardorff Bellows Colors

4-Dec-2011, 14:06
Hi all,

Very silly question: I'm getting a new set of bellows for a 5x7 Deardorff made up. I was wondering if Deardorff ever made red bellows? This is not a huge deal one way or the other, just wondering.


karl french
4-Dec-2011, 15:20
Yes, many Deardorffs in the the 30's had red bellows.

4-Dec-2011, 17:00
Hi all,

Very silly question: I'm getting a new set of bellows for a 5x7 Deardorff made up. I was wondering if Deardorff ever made red bellows? This is not a huge deal one way or the other, just wondering.


If you read my site www.deardorffcameras.0catch.com you will read that red leather was the only material that was available. Deardorff wanted black but the chicago suppliers could only supply red. So red was used on and off from 1923-38. After WWII a few 5x7s had red bellows. I feel they were using up what material was left. To be prototypicaly accurate only cameras finished in gold paint on the brass should have red bellows.

14-Dec-2011, 09:15
Still can't make up my mind, have to decide by Friday. I know there are bigger decisions in life, but I can't decide. Black or red...black or red...

14-Dec-2011, 09:17
live a little...go with red!

E. von Hoegh
14-Dec-2011, 09:28
Toss a coin.

14-Dec-2011, 09:50

E. von Hoegh
14-Dec-2011, 11:35
Well, if you like you can make a red bellows into a black bellows. But you can't (easily) make a black bellows into a red bellows. :)

14-Dec-2011, 12:51
I'm leaning red. Or rainbow.

E. von Hoegh
14-Dec-2011, 12:53

14-Dec-2011, 16:07
Do you have a Picture of the camera w/o bellows? If not what era is it? No front swing ? Or a Front Swing? Do you happen to have a choice of shades of red? Thats what holding me up. I have a 1928 V8 that I really believe is new old stock. The bellows dry rotted as did alot of the red bellows. The camera is a pretty light brown towards honey. The outer skins are all to bright and flashy. Too red. Oh well not that I'm using it now. Good luck with your decision.

15-Dec-2011, 13:41
I'm having Sandeha make them, I believe it will be the red like the ones on this page:

15-Dec-2011, 13:44
I bought an old 5x7 dorff with red bellows [non front swing] but I'm not 100% sure if the bellows were original
I thought the shade of red was too bright but the camera should look fantastic with a more subdued red
it's off having new bellows made now with a request for red bellows if the material is available in a darker maroon shade

J. Fada
15-Dec-2011, 23:31
Red with black polkadots!

15-Dec-2011, 23:49
Of course, the guy who makes my bellows was giving me a hard sell for blue bellows...

Steve Hamley
17-Dec-2011, 17:05
Rich red. It would look good on one of the lighter, more neutral finish Deardorffs.

Personally I've always wondered about British racing green. Toyo made a jade green camera and Linhof and Bergheil IIRC made some with green leather.

Cheers, Steve

austin granger
18-Dec-2011, 10:54
I didn't know I needed colored bellows until just now. Darn it. But the question is, which would have more mojo, red or green? :-)

Jim Galli
18-Dec-2011, 11:13
Maybe you can get leopard spotted vinyl to do the wood part too. That'd be pretty!

It's hard to get chrome pipes coming out the sides of the bellows because of light leaks, but nothing says pimp like chrome pipes.

Bad Jim, Bad Jim, not nice....:rolleyes:

18-Dec-2011, 11:15
My project once the weather gets good is walking around with my camera and taking pictures of strangers, which, as a shy person, is totally terrifying. People have been really into my last camera though, they are thrown off guard in a way they never would be with a DSLR or even a Hassleblad. So...the red bellows, I think, will add to the cool factor. Hopefully.

18-Dec-2011, 12:49
a few years ago I bought an old linhof off evilbay that as black with fine orange tiger stripes.... looked great in the photos. It was supposed to be fully black but the bellows material was rotten and the outer layer had cracked up exposing an orange inner layer.

But it would have been fantastic if it was supposed to be that colour :-)

18-Dec-2011, 17:59
Go with a dark green, refinish the wood to a fine lustre finish and gold plate the hardware.

Those early Deardorffs with red leather bellows sure did look nice.

Did you see the one I did for a customer? Olive Drab Green bellows Satin gold finish on the metal and a honey brown on the wood. It is a beautyful camera.