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Thread: Chinese bag bellows for Linhof Technikardan S45: any good?

  1. #1

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    Chinese bag bellows for Linhof Technikardan S45: any good?

    Hi all,

    I just bought a Rodenstock Grandagon-N 90mm f4.5 for use with my Technikardan S45. The standard bellows will allow the lens to be used, but only with very limited movements, so I will be needing a bag bellows.

    I was just wondering if anyone had any experience of using one of the third party Chinese-made leather bellows for these cameras? Something like this:

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/For-Linho...f016%7Ciid%3A1

    Or this:

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Genuine-L...f016%7Ciid%3A1

    Not sure if leather would be a detriment compared with the cloth of the Linhof original, in terms of either folding the camera or getting in the way during actual use? Obviously the Linhof one would be preferable, but is about 3x the price.

    Thanks.

  2. #2

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    Re: Chinese bag bellows for Linhof Technikardan S45: any good?

    An update on this: I decided to try my luck on one of these (from seller "ecbuyonline2008"), and the answer to my question would be an emphatic NO.

    For starters, the first bellows I received wasn't even the correct type! It was for a Linhof Kardan Color instead of a Technikardan, so back to China it had to go. Fast forward several weeks and I finally get the correct type as a replacement, but that has various problems too. For starters the fit of the frames is very sloppy, and consequently they move about and rattle inside the standards considerably. Not only is this shoddy craftsmanship, it makes me worry about light tightness and ingress of dirt/moisture etc during use. Finally the retaining bracket used to secure the leather to the rear frame had been painted with shiny black paint, so flares would be another major concern. I have had enough of this time wasting nonsense and have demanded a full refund from the seller.

    I will just have to buy the genuine article and hang the expense. I would advise anyone else in the market for a Technikardan bag bellows to do likewise.

  3. #3
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Chinese bag bellows for Linhof Technikardan S45: any good?

    DIY Bag Bellows are easy

    but no Linhof wears them proudly

    Spend the $$$ once and be happy for years
    where is the monolith

  4. #4
    Helcio J Tagliolatto's Avatar
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    Re: Chinese bag bellows for Linhof Technikardan S45: any good?

    Try to contact Ebay seller tokyophoto.
    He sells high quality bellows in kits, including glue, clips, guides.

  5. #5

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    Re: Chinese bag bellows for Linhof Technikardan S45: any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Helcio J Tagliolatto View Post
    Try to contact Ebay seller tokyophoto.
    He sells high quality bellows in kits, including glue, clips, guides.
    Thanks for the suggestion, but he only has two items in his store at the moment, neither of which are what I want.

    Besides, once bitten twice shy. I will just buy the genuine Linhof bellows and save myself any further arse ache.

  6. #6

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    Re: Chinese bag bellows for Linhof Technikardan S45: any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Helcio J Tagliolatto View Post
    Try to contact Ebay seller tokyophoto.
    He sells high quality bellows in kits, including glue, clips, guides.
    I've had problems with tokyophoto bellows and don't recommend them. The first of bellows for an 8x10 2D went back at my expense and were replaced by another set which just annoys me each time I look at it, it's so poorly made. It took so long that I wasn't able to leave feedback for them on eBay, but if I could have, it would have been negative.

  7. #7
    Helcio J Tagliolatto's Avatar
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    Re: Chinese bag bellows for Linhof Technikardan S45: any good?

    The uncertainties and risks of recommending something or someone.
    I acquired two bellows from him, one for Toyo AII and another custom made for Astoria 18x24cm. They were perfect.

  8. #8

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    Re: Chinese bag bellows for Linhof Technikardan S45: any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Helcio J Tagliolatto View Post
    The uncertainties and risks of recommending something or someone.
    I acquired two bellows from him, one for Toyo AII and another custom made for Astoria 18x24cm. They were perfect.
    The bellows maker in Japan is capable of good high quality work. The first set of 2D bellows I got looked excellent, but didn't extend as far as the originals. It turned out the seller had tested the bellows on a 2D, but their camera didn't have an extension rail so they hadn't been able to test the full bellows extension. They replaced the first set with bellows which were long enough but very poorly formed, made from a different material to the first set. It was a few years ago, they might have offered to have replaced the bellows again if I paid for shipping, but I'd had enough of them (and shipping costs) by then.

    If that seller can confirm that they are making bellows for a camera they can test on fully they should be ok. If they don't have access to the camera, or have to work up their own design I'd go elsewhere.

  9. #9

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    Re: Chinese bag bellows for Linhof Technikardan S45: any good?

    I got the Linhof bellows and they are perfect, as one would expect. Precise fit and zero movement of the frames within the standards. They are also much lighter than the Chinese imitation, and have no unpleasant odour.

    I would have just ordered from Custom Bellows (the OEM for Linhof) at much reduced cost, but I needed the original frames for that. Again, you can buy 3D-printed knockoffs of the frames on eBay, but they look like cheap junk.

  10. #10
    Arca-Swiss
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    Re: Chinese bag bellows for Linhof Technikardan S45: any good?

    Also, I have often observed that the Chinese bellows leak IR light, as well.
    Rod Klukas
    US Representative
    Arca-Swiss International
    480-755-3364


    Digital Camera Solutions including R-series Technical Cameras, Large Format View Cameras and Ballheads. 480-755-3364

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