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Thread: How are Camera Bellows UK bellows holding up over time???

  1. #1

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    How are Camera Bellows UK bellows holding up over time???

    Hi,
    Researching new bellows for my Tek III, any users have old replacement Camera Bellows UK bellows on their camera for an extended time, and how are they holding up now??? (No drying up, sticky, smell, pinholes etc???) Any Linhof Tek replacement bellows users here??? How did they fit/flex/close with the camera???

    Any good/bad experiences with the Chinese or Japanese bellows makers???

    Thanks,

    Steve K

  2. #2

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    Re: How are Camera Bellows UK bellows holding up over time???

    I've had their bellows on both my Technika 2000 and my TK45 for around 11 years now and they are still like new. They flex and fold just as well as the originals and i believe they may have actually made the originals for Linhof.

    No experience with the auction site versions, so if you're thinking of reaching out to Custom Bellows, do it.....they keep stock of Technika and Technikardan bellows so there'll be a quick turnaround.

    Mike

  3. #3

    Re: How are Camera Bellows UK bellows holding up over time???

    E mailed then last week. They are up and running. The only delays is shipping to and from.
    Richard T Ritter
    www.lg4mat.net

  4. #4

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    Re: How are Camera Bellows UK bellows holding up over time???

    The bellows I got for my Wista 45DX were identical to the originals so I assume they must make bellows for Wista (they were also a stock item). Only had them 6 months but they are definitely better than Chinese bellows that I have had on other cameras and not really that much more expensive.

  5. #5

    Re: How are Camera Bellows UK bellows holding up over time???

    They made the original bellows during the Sinar Norma era and they still have the original patterns. I've had them make two 4x5 tapered original Norma bellows, and a custom special bellows from 8x10 to 5x7, the original I have only ever seen in completely utterly trashed condition. This was a stock catalog item and it was no problem for Keith to make one up. He did comment that it seemed kinda short but it's exactly what I wanted.

    I've been buying tattered Norma bellows recently to get the original frames in 5x7 and 4x5. Keith then sends back new Norma bellows on the original frames. I do want him also to build a double length 4x5 to 5x7 Norma bellows. That is not in the original catalog.
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  6. #6

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    Re: How are Camera Bellows UK bellows holding up over time???

    Have not ordered from them for awhile (still have 25 4x5 bellows from my stalled production run) - but they are truly first rate!

    Lightweight yet sturdy...wonderful compressibility plus good maintenance of lateral movements at relatively short extensions.

    Plus...when Mike Colette (Better Light Scanning Backs) was still with us (RIP), he ran an I.R. test on these bellows (on one of my L-45A cameras), and found them to be "I.R. Proof," very important for certain applications.

  7. #7
    jim_jm's Avatar
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    Re: How are Camera Bellows UK bellows holding up over time???

    Just ordered a new bellows for my 8x10 Deardorff from Keith. Sent him the frames and he emailed me that the new bellows was fitted and ready to ship, less than a week after he received it. Said he's made hundreds of bellows for these Deardorffs, so I'm pretty confident I'll be happy with it.

  8. #8

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    Re: How are Camera Bellows UK bellows holding up over time???

    Well, I did it!!! Pulled the trigger and ordered from Camera Bellows UK!!! Keith got back to me first thing in the UK morning, and had a set in stock, and within 10 minutes, had item packed and invoiced ready for my payment...

    Item cost less than I expected, and my fear of a difficult birthing process was not to be, and surprised how easy it could be...

    Thanking all the posters for helping me make an informed (difficult) decision, and feel great getting the best for my 70ish yr old camera (I had for 35 years) with something I won't have to worry about...

    Oh man, I'm jazzed!!!

    Thanks again, and good light to you!!!

    Steve K

  9. #9

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    Re: How are Camera Bellows UK bellows holding up over time???

    Good to hear Steve....you won't be disappointed!

    Mike

  10. #10

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    Re: How are Camera Bellows UK bellows holding up over time???

    Quote Originally Posted by mpirie View Post
    Good to hear Steve....you won't be disappointed!

    Mike
    Thanks!!! I didn't ever think this camera would ever have a new bellows... When I got the camera, it needed new bellows so I called (then) Western Bellows (in my part of the world), and was told that they were "specialty" bellows, thinner and would cost $375... The first thing I did was grab a roll of black artist's tape and patched up the old ones... (The tape held up for 35 years!!! Downside was the tape made bellows thicker, and to close camera, had to leave rear standard extended while transporting... Learned to live with closed camera being 1 1/4" thicker... OK, but was shooting recently with a 90mm SA, and saw I could get a little more wiggle movements with new (shorter) bellows, and noticed inside they were starting to smell musty... Long overdue...

    Thinking now with new bellows, I will be hit by lightning... :-(

    Steve K

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