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Thread: Bellows Material

  1. #21

    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    19

    Re: Bellows Material

    Back Again,

    I tried those links, Tin Can and had already thought of a two box type of camera and yes it is a very simple design without and adjustment to the front or back planes unless tow small bag bellows each end. These would consist of a couple of strips of cloth (or any other light tight material, strips of those bags you buy compost ior tree bark in).

    Then there was that forum link. It was like the Monty Python "Argument" sketch without the humour,
    "Yes it is."
    "No it isn't."
    "Yes it is!"
    "No it isn't!"
    "Yes it is!"
    And so forth. A teeny bit tiresome and pedantic. And Yes you are right, horses for courses. There was more I wanted to note dfown that I thought of yesterday but............That was yesterday and I am droning on, so.........

    Anyone else with ideas?

    Tim



    .

  2. #22

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    southwest,Virginia
    Posts
    195

    Re: Bellows Material

    Tim, why don't you tell us more about what you want to build, what you want it to do and your budget for the project. The bellows is just one part of the camera and not as important as say the camera back and holder registration, how you going to focus it? What lenses are you going to use on it? Maybe you could look for a used Intrepid camera as a starter or at least it would give you ideas of a simple construction.

  3. #23

    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    19

    Re: Bellows Material

    I'm planning a 5x4 camera. I have been researching the build for a couple of years, on and off. Building it isn't a problem apart from the bellows. It also has to cost me as little as possible, like nothing. By the way, I am not including a lens here for obvious reasons. That has to be purchased, can't make one of those, I'll leave that to the experts.

    So that's that. I really would like to have a go a making the bellows but will probably go for a double box design (or boxes!).

    Comments and advice welcome.

  4. #24

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    southwest,Virginia
    Posts
    195

    Re: Bellows Material

    Here's an idea, why not look in the charity shops for an old Polaroid camera? Some of the early ones had bellows. I have seen Polaroid conversions done or maybe just cannibalize the bellows. It all depends on what you want to photograph and lens you plan on using.

  5. #25

    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    19

    Re: Bellows Material

    What a good idea, Andrew. Who knows what you might find there!?

    I shall be using the machine as a , a....a..............Oh dear, brain cell failure.

    I shall imagine that I am an Edwardian Gentleman and photographer and use the camera as my ...............I don't know how to put it, you know, life the universe and every thing. 42. As a general camera, you know, this and that, landscape, close-up, portrait, holiday snaps, etc.. I want to see if I can do it, you know, make the thing.

    By the way, had I mentioned that I had built two 5x4 pinhole cameras?

  6. #26

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    southwest,Virginia
    Posts
    195

    Re: Bellows Material

    You did mention it Tim, maybe you could post them in this thread https://www.largeformatphotography.i...me+made+camera

    I only asked about use as that would determine how much bellows extension you would need. I'm building a lightweight 5x7 camera for landscapes. From experience I know I'll need front rise, front tilt, swing and maybe rear rise and rear tilt. I built an 8x10 years ago and so am going to build something similar.

  7. #27

    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    19

    Re: Bellows Material

    The photos have been put somewhere "safe" by one of the homunculi, when I find them I will gladly upload (note the jargon) them, but don't hold your breath.

    I know that I can build pinhole cameras (two boxes) and want to try a bellows camera, something simple just for starts and then I can expand the design. The main point of the build is the bellows.

    I think it is great that, with a little know-how you can make something that will produce images just as good a a shop-bought camera and save loads of money in the process, after all the camera is a light light piece of the ether in between lens and film, simple.

  8. #28

    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    SooooCal/LA USA
    Posts
    1,949

    Re: Bellows Material

    For a start, it's going to cost you for materials, supplies, etc and the first set of bellows will not come out very well and you will do a do-over until you are satisfied...

    For not much more, you can order new bellows front Rudy (@EC online from the auction site) and have a nice new custom set in weeks... 4X5 bellows are around $100...

    But you can buy many different 4X5 cameras for $100-200 dollars that are complete and working, and no learning curve to build...

    Building your first camera is like building a guitar so you can learn to play it... Possible, but a high hill to climb, and you don't know yet what it is supposed to do or what you would like it to do YET...

    Steve K

  9. #29

    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Central TX
    Posts
    520

    Re: Bellows Material

    Depending on the camera blackout cloth sold for lining draperies can work, it's white, it's light tight (no idea about IR films), it's inexpensive and readily available in fabric stores in the U.S. I've made bellows stiffeners for 8x10 cameras from thin cardboard or manila folders using rubber cement as adhesive and a thin layer of black cotton fabric on the inside (or black paint in one instance) for darkening the interior. A sliding box camera is hard to get entirely light tight w/o good woodworking and I'd strongly suggest making it so the larger, outside box is in the front, not on the back or film side of the camera so any light leaks at the seal are facing the lens, not the film. The sliding box camera has no movements, but is v. simple and a good choice for a super heavy projector lens with home made waterhouse stops.

    A LF camera is not what most would use for quick snaps and portraits, but it can be done.

    Actually, lenses can be made at home depending on what you want! There's a book, I think the title is Primitive Photography, which has some information on that for compound lenses.

    The typical close-up lens or close up "filter" set can be used as a picture taking lens. At small enough f-stops the sharpness can be "acceptable." However, working at 5x7 at roughly the same focal lengths with a Sinar P and SinarCopal Shutter, just switching lenses, my plasmats (Schneider and Rodenstock) are sharper even at f45. No surprise really. Film (xray film---another cost saver) and developer (making developers from chemicals not pre-made mixes is another cost saver) were the same.

    I've used a projector lens from an opaque projector for taking pictures, an f3.6 18" lens. I forget what it weighs. Several pounds ?5 (2+ kilos, maybe 3-4 kilos). It's not ideal for anything but it does a lot of things reasonably well if you have enough bellows. Price was right at the antique shop where I bought it a few years ago.

    Making a pleated bellows is tedious. I've thought about making a 14x17 camera from time to time and using a non-pleated bellows with some kind of external system of loops and poles to keep the bellows out of the light path.
    I hope this helps.

  10. #30
    (Shrek)
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Montreal
    Posts
    1,720

    Re: Bellows Material

    An inexpensive changing bag (the kind that looks like a T-shirt with a zipper at the bottom) could easily be fashioned into a bag bellows. Something like the fiberglass supports from a small soft box could keep it out of the optical path.

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