View Full Version : Bellows droop

19-Nov-2003, 12:01
Ok. This might be a dumb question but I was perusing 8x10 camera sites and I noticed something that happens on my 2d 5x7 as well. This is a sagging bellowes. As my wife's grand mother was fond of saying "gravity will pull many things to your knees without support". Do people notice if this gets in the way of the image and is there a means of supporting the bellows so gravity is not pulling it down?

John Cook
19-Nov-2003, 12:07
A fairly common problem with studio table-tops. Not quite so severe in the field shooting near infinity.

Calumet actually sells supports for their cameras:


I have been known to pack a wad of dark-cloth under there in a pinch.

Mark Sampson
19-Nov-2003, 12:28
More a problem with larger format cameras too. Many older 8x10s have small rings, attached by tabs, on the top of the bellows to slide a retaining rod through.

Reinhold Schable
19-Nov-2003, 12:34
I drive an 8x20 Canham, and with a 600mm or 780mm lens, the bellows really sag. That's why I always carry a piece of 4" wide matboard which can be stood on edge under the bellows. The pleats in the bellows keep the matboard from falling over. Works great.

Michael Kadillak
19-Nov-2003, 13:01
You have probably opened up a shipment and find yourself with some pliable foam packing that instead of putting it in the garbage pile, a piece of it can be cut into a generic wedge and it can be placed under the bellows for the purpose of supporting it. I use such a piece of foam to protect the camera from the metal support members of my backpack when it is not under the bellows doing its thing. Cheers!

19-Nov-2003, 13:20
Sounds like many people have created some imaginative ways to counter the effects of gravity. Has a camera company attempted a solution?

Gene M
19-Nov-2003, 13:50
Bellows Viagra.

David A. Goldfarb
19-Nov-2003, 14:56
Some bellows have loops and cords or velcro tabs to gather the bellows toward the front standard. On my 8x10" Gowland I made them myself out of some ribbon attached with Pliobond and nylon cord.

Michael A.Smith
19-Nov-2003, 15:31
Just use a sponge, piece of foam, mat board as someone suggested (that's a new one for me), light meter, lens bag or lens wrap, anything at all, really. No need to ever buy a commercial product here, unless you are just looking for a place to throw money away.

Dave Schneider
19-Nov-2003, 15:47
The problem with bellows viagra is that you would have to apply it a half hour before you shoot and then you couldn't fold your camera for about an hour after the shoot.

tim atherton
19-Nov-2003, 16:05
you could also put velcro and a tab on the bellows and the standard as Phillips, Cnahm etc do on their cameras.

There use tp be some good pictures of this on Butch Welches site with pictures of his home made ULF camera, but they don't seem to be up now.

Or do like Weston and wrap a peice of string roundf the bellows and then tie it off to the front or back standard. Simple and inelegant

Jonathan Brewer
19-Nov-2003, 17:40
Home Depot and probably a lot of other outfits sell a stiff sponge used for wiping up after installing floor tile about 4-5" wide, 2" thick and 5-6" long, I put it sideways under my bellows, it works like a charm.

Jim Galli
20-Nov-2003, 07:51
I usually roll up the empty McDonalds sack that the hamburger came in and stuff it in there. Egg McMuffin sacks work just as well.

Jean-Louis Llech
20-Nov-2003, 08:59
In France, we prefer to do it with a bottle of Bordeaux, but nobody's perfect...
Jokes put aside, the Calumet system is excellent, but cannot be used with a folding camera
A similar system can be easily made with wire.