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Thread: (Semi) Bag bellows conversion for Burke and James 5x7

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2018
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    (Semi) Bag bellows conversion for Burke and James 5x7

    Hello everyone!

    For the last few months, I've been putting my new Burke & James 5x7 through its paces. I've discovered that I absolutely love the focal length of my 90MM Super Angulon. Stopped down to f/64, the lens looks like it could provide ample movements.

    However, given the long, not-very-supple bellows, I can't even focus the lens to infinity without loosening the standards and letting the rise go wherever it wants to go (they even tighten up when using a 180 with movements. For a few days, I've been devising a solution to this. It involves making a smaller version of a bag bellows such as this one (http://www.foto-net.de/net/dyo/gross_ww.html), and then cutting the camera's original bellows at around 2/3 of the way to the front standard and attaching the bag to the bellows on one end and the front standard on the other. This would leave me with something vaguely simmilar to the attached photograph (a linhof WA bellows).

    In theory, this should get rid of the tightness when the camera is at a short focus and allow me to do fairly easy movements. This also wouldn't restrict my focal length options. I'll never use anything more than a 210 (and even then, I'm not sure), so maintaining part of the bellows will allow me to draw out. Since the bag bellows wouldn't be enormous, It also wouldn't be too much of an issue when folding up.

    Can anyone think of any major reason why this wouldn't work or shouldn't be attempted?

    If everything goes well, I'll post an update once its done.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Screenshot 2019-01-20 at 10.08.45 AM.png  

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Chicago
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    Re: (Semi) Bag bellows conversion for Burke and James 5x7

    I made a very deep recessed lens board for my 90/5.6 SA, but I never used it after I discovered that my 65 SA would focus in it. It might have had some movements with the 90, but I never checked.


    BJ 5x7 w/65mm Super Angulon!
    by Michael Darnton, on Flickr

    The 65 is short on coverage, though, so movements didn't matter:


    Adams St
    by Michael Darnton, on Flickr


    Federal Plaza
    by Michael Darnton, on Flickr
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Virginia, USA
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    74

    Re: (Semi) Bag bellows conversion for Burke and James 5x7

    Quote Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
    I made a very deep recessed lens board for my 90/5.6 SA, but I never used it after I discovered that my 65 SA would focus in it. It might have had some movements with the 90, but I never checked.


    BJ 5x7 w/65mm Super Angulon!
    by Michael Darnton, on Flickr

    The 65 is short on coverage, though, so movements didn't matter:

    Very nice recessed board. How deep is it? Your photo reminded me that I need to remove the focusing hood on my B&J 5x7 since I really hate it.
    Brass is a metal alloy, not a lens type - MichaelE

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/jacketch/

  4. #4
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Chillicothe Missouri USA
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    Re: (Semi) Bag bellows conversion for Burke and James 5x7

    As cheap as 5x7 B&Js have become, buy another one and convert it to a true bag bellows. Leave the original bellows intact on the other B&J for normal use.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Chicago
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    Re: (Semi) Bag bellows conversion for Burke and James 5x7

    I think the board is 1.5 inches deep. I made it of 3mm baltic birch plywood with adhesive felt on the back for a light trap. Probably, knowing me, the whole thing was put together with super glue.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

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