View Full Version : making, or buying cheap bellows

Daniel Buck
08-29-2007, 01:52 PM
The bellows on my 4x5 calumet camera (which extends very far, greater than 400mm) has lots of cracks in it. I looked up prices for replacement bellows, and I believe they were on the order of $400+

Since I received the camera for free (saved it from a dumpster grave) I'd like to keep it running on the cheap.

Right now the bellows have lots of little cracks all around it, so it's not just one or two cracks that could be easily repairable.

Any ideas on making or finding a cheap replacement? I'm open to any sort of suggestions.

08-29-2007, 11:22 PM
Daniel, there's a bunch of information on the web about making bellows, some of which has been discussed here in the past. I used the forum search function to look in the camera making forum for "bellows", 600 days and newer. Several hits came up, for example:


This one is for smaller bellows




I know there's more out there. Here's a link to another commercial site I stumbled on that doesn't seem quite as expensive. No personal experience so this isn't a plug.


Jim Jones
08-30-2007, 06:50 AM
If the bellows has a sound fabric lining, I'd try artist's liquid acrylic paint to make it light-tight. Scrub the paint well into the fabric with an old soft toothbrush so it doesn't build up an appreciatable thickness.

08-31-2007, 02:55 AM
I've emailed the kapono guy twice & no response. maybe his email doesn't like yahoo acct's.

Daniel Buck
09-02-2007, 02:19 AM
thanks for the links! I've ended up purchasing another camera body for my latest project, and it happens to have the bellows intact! So that solves my bellows problem.

09-02-2007, 04:17 AM
Hey, DB

Not pinhole, but I like your 32.jpg and 33.jpg car shots. Reminiscent of the Southwest longhorn skull images but in an automotive genre.

Makes me wish I had shot some at my father-in-law's orchard before he cleaned it up...kind of similar.

Your 6.jpg is nice too - nice tonal range,

Daniel Buck
09-02-2007, 12:08 PM
thanks! 32 and 33 are both 4x5 tri-x, 6 is digital

09-06-2007, 12:52 AM
eBay 300147901659

178 mm Aero Ektar with yellow and red filters 2 days left

Daniel Buck
09-06-2007, 01:11 AM
I saw that one, thanks! That one has a busted aperture though :-( I saw a 12" on ebay, but the price is going a little to hire for what I wanted (hearing that these go for around $100 or so) I'll try again some time else! If the price was going to stay down low, I had a coworker ready to bid on it at the last day it was available.

03-28-2011, 12:44 AM
Try this Bellows maker:


Nice bellows for medium and large format and reasonable. great work.

Also workmansphotography.com

Good Luck