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Thread: nice homebrew 4x5 under $50

  1. #11

    nice homebrew 4x5 under $50

    I've seen that page before, but no indication of the bellows nesting (as it will with any folding 6x6 or 6x9 camera, or even self-casing plate cameras and such). It's the nesting I want to be sure of; the bellows I'm replacing doesn't nest properly, which makes the camera difficult to use with a 135 mm or 150 mm lens unless focused very close.

  2. #12

    nice homebrew 4x5 under $50

    I think the nesting would be controlled by the angle of the taper and the width of each fold. If the difference between the front and back is aggressive enough it should compress into the smallest
    thickness possible. If that makes sense.

  3. #13

    nice homebrew 4x5 under $50

    I think that makes sense -- the problem I have with my existing bellows (other than the fact that a 100 W bulb inside makes it look like a cheap lampshade) is that it's not tapered steeply enough to nest like the ones in a 6x9 or 6x6 folder. Those usually taper at least 2:1 over a length comparable to the larger rear dimension, while this one tapers by around 2:1 over about twice that length.

    I might be ahead to simply bite the bullet and make two bellows -- one short one (or a bag bellows) for 135 mm and shorter lenses, and another that will happily extend to 300 mm or so for the 150 Componon and its conversion focal lengths of about 265 and something like 305 mm. Of course, the camera has the front frame smaller than the rear, so I can't just make a straight bellows like the one on Hoover's site. Or maybe I can, if I adapt the front bellows plate suitably. Hmmm... Nah, it'd interfere with the standard and mess up movements, I think. Might have to measure carefully and check...

  4. #14

    nice homebrew 4x5 under $50

    Here's a recent DIY piece on bellows making on the cheap:

  5. #15

    nice homebrew 4x5 under $50

    I was impressed. His junk-box guitar pickups were cool too.

  6. #16

    nice homebrew 4x5 under $50

    Having pored over the bellows making resources for the last week, I'm thinkin' on tryin' that cardboard bellows trick. No doubt it'll wear out quickly, but probably not before an improved version of the standards anyway. Better sleep on it

  7. #17

    nice homebrew 4x5 under $50

    I have a book in dutch from the '20s which instructs on how to make leather bellows for enlargers. It suggests to soak the leather bellows in water and letting it dry in folded condition.

    The book is an extremely usefull source of information to me. It has plans to be build an autofocus enlarger, instructions on how make your own developement trays, developer recipies, ...

  8. #18

    nice homebrew 4x5 under $50

    Those heavy duty black plastic garbage bags are good for the outside of the bellows. A plain black cloth will do for the inside.

    For old bellows, you can dampen them and carefully disassemble. Then copy the resulting pattern.

  9. #19

    nice homebrew 4x5 under $50

    Heavy black plastic available in farm and garden stores may be more opaque and durable than garbage bags.

  10. #20

    nice homebrew 4x5 under $50

    No plastic sheet is really durable compared to thin leather, and if you find a direct dealer, you can get book-binding weight leather for around $20 for a hide -- which is enough to make 2-3 bellows the size of the one on the original linked project. You'll still need cardboard or matt board for the reinforcement, and an inner layer (black duck canvas might work well, but I suspect it's too heavy -- maybe black taffeta or something similar).

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