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Thread: Bellows install on a Korona 5x7 - hard? Easy? Somewhere in between?

  1. #1

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    Bellows install on a Korona 5x7 - hard? Easy? Somewhere in between?

    I have a Korona that has a problem -- the bellows is kind of stiff and it's taken a bit of a set -- when I use too much front rise, it gets in the way. sometimes I don't notice it in time and I end up with something like this:


    It's very annoying when it happens. So: I want to replace the bellows, however it doesn't look as if it's as easy as just undoing a couple of screws -- this thing looks fairly well nailed to the rear bellows frame. I see the bellows on ebay but before I even go down that road I'm wondering how much work I'm in for, and if I have a good chance of success or not. I'm a fairly accomplished wood worker, but this is a bit different. Thanks for any input, even if it's "Here's a guy --- mail your camera to him and pay him."
    Last edited by Rael; 10-Jan-2017 at 22:18.

  2. #2
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Re: Bellows install on a Korona 5x7 - hard? Easy? Somewhere in between?

    Not difficult. The bellows are usually glued to front and back frames and the frames are screwed to the front and rear standards and also usually glued so they kind of have to be pried apart once the screws are removed. If nails were used, then just pry apart.
    my black and white photos of the Mendocino Coast: www.jonshiu.com

  3. #3

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    Re: Bellows install on a Korona 5x7 - hard? Easy? Somewhere in between?

    It is not very easy, but it is not hard either. You should be able to do it. The key is to find a right size and matched bellow. The front and rear bellow frames are usually screwed on to front and rear camera standards. Below were what steps I did for two 8x10 deardorff bellows:
    1) Carefully unscrew front and rear bellow frames. Mark the frame orientations, top, bottom, left and right.
    2) Cut off bellow from frames and clean frames, bellow is usually stapled or nailed on rear frame, and glued on front frame, remove those staples or nails carefully. Don't break bellow frames.
    3) Glue front bellow on front frame surface that faces front standard. The front frame should be inside bellow.
    4) Staple rear opening of bellow to inside of rear frame with small staples and a staple gun.
    5) Screw front and rear frames back.
    6) Use wood filler to fill between rear frame and rear standard, and paint filler in black (in case of any light leak).

  4. #4

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    Re: Bellows install on a Korona 5x7 - hard? Easy? Somewhere in between?

    Thanks for the insight. Looking closer at my bellows, it appears the issue may be improper installation. It looks as if one side of the bellows where it connects in the back standard is lower than the other, which causes that side to sag more. There are nails/tacks every 1/2" on the front. This will be a project...looking on-line for bellows now. Sandeha Lynch looks pretty good with the UK exchange rate right now..
    Last edited by Rael; 18-Aug-2016 at 04:28.

  5. #5

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    Re: Bellows install on a Korona 5x7 - hard? Easy? Somewhere in between?

    So..to reopen this thread...my wife got me a new bellows on Ebay from china, I believe. It looks well-made, and it says it's for a Korona 5x7, however as it sits, the front of the bellows is too small for the front bellows frame. I'd have to cut off about 2 folds to get it wide enough to fit. Is that a normal thing? I don't think two folds would hurt anything, distance wise, since I don't have the extension rail, but it does take me out of the area that is just cloth. Should I return it? Ask the seller for suggestions? I think I can make it work, but not sure if cutting into it is kind of a normal thing with a replacement bellows, or if it's just too small in the front.

  6. #6
    Foamer
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    Re: Bellows install on a Korona 5x7 - hard? Easy? Somewhere in between?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rael View Post
    So..to reopen this thread...my wife got me a new bellows on Ebay from china, I believe. It looks well-made, and it says it's for a Korona 5x7, however as it sits, the front of the bellows is too small for the front bellows frame. I'd have to cut off about 2 folds to get it wide enough to fit. Is that a normal thing? I don't think two folds would hurt anything, distance wise, since I don't have the extension rail, but it does take me out of the area that is just cloth. Should I return it? Ask the seller for suggestions? I think I can make it work, but not sure if cutting into it is kind of a normal thing with a replacement bellows, or if it's just too small in the front.

    I have two of these cameras I am replacing bellows on, and bought a bellows from the ebay Chinese guy. I've found the same thing--the front end of the bellows won't fit over the wooden frame as is. I've considered taking the cloth through the frame and wrapping back around, but not sure how well that would work. So, I have the same puzzle you do. The front bellows simply glue on, but the rear is glued and tacked. The bellows seem to fit over the rear frame as they should.

    The Korona bellows are worth replacing. On both my cameras the originals have become very stiff, and the corners are disintegrating. They have to be replaced. The new bellows is much thinner and I think I can easily use a 4 inch lens on them.

    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  7. #7

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    Re: Bellows install on a Korona 5x7 - hard? Easy? Somewhere in between?

    If you send the old bellows with the frames to Custom Bellows in the UK, Keith will make you a new bellows and attach it to the frames so all you have to do when you receive it is to screw the new bellows frames to the standards. I recently sent a Chinese 8x10 bellows which came with a Deardorff V8 I bought (which was new and sheer garbage) with the frames attached and he built and attached a new bellows to the frames. Very quick 3 week turnaround at his end! Very pleased! L

  8. #8

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    Re: Bellows install on a Korona 5x7 - hard? Easy? Somewhere in between?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rael View Post
    So..to reopen this thread...my wife got me a new bellows on Ebay from china, I believe. It looks well-made, and it says it's for a Korona 5x7, however as it sits, the front of the bellows is too small for the front bellows frame. I'd have to cut off about 2 folds to get it wide enough to fit. Is that a normal thing? I don't think two folds would hurt anything, distance wise, since I don't have the extension rail, but it does take me out of the area that is just cloth. Should I return it? Ask the seller for suggestions? I think I can make it work, but not sure if cutting into it is kind of a normal thing with a replacement bellows, or if it's just too small in the front.
    If it doesn't fit, send it back and order from a more reliable place.

  9. #9

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    Re: Bellows install on a Korona 5x7 - hard? Easy? Somewhere in between?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Noel View Post
    If it doesn't fit, send it back and order from a more reliable place.
    I'm dumb and I cut it up a bit....but I got a price from Keith and for 189 bucks US plus shipping he will do the job. So I'm toying with saving myself the aggravation.

  10. #10
    Foamer
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    Re: Bellows install on a Korona 5x7 - hard? Easy? Somewhere in between?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rael View Post
    I'm dumb and I cut it up a bit....but I got a price from Keith and for 189 bucks US plus shipping he will do the job. So I'm toying with saving myself the aggravation.

    dang, that's what I'm doing with my second one.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

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