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Thread: How to fix leaky bellows?

  1. #1
    New Member camperbc's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
    Fogo Island, Newfoundland
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    How to fix leaky bellows?

    I finally started feeling a wee bit better lately, (permanent spinal injury; long story) and a good thing too, because I'm really tired of laying flat on my back in bed for days/weeks at a time, so I decided to get up and about, and attempt to find a way to adapt my lovely 1917 Kodak Autographic 1A folder to accept 120 roll film. Turns out it's quite simple really; just a matter of sticking plastic wall anchors into each end of a 120 spool, and then make a mask to support the narrower film. Piece of cake.

    Then I got the bright idea that I should at least shine a light into the back of the camera to check for any leaks in the bellows, although the camera looks absolutely flawless; as if it is brand new. So how bad could the bellows really be!

    Well, quite bad, it turns out. Although it shows no signs of wear on the exterior, the flashlight clearly tells a different story. So my question is... what can I do to fix these multiple leaks? I assume (hope!) that there must be some product out there that can be applied to fix light leaks in bellows, (I'm about to Google this shortly) and I'm hoping that some of you may have some personal experience with fixing these; that you may feel like sharing some of your wisdom?

    I really, really want to use this camera. It's a real beauty; the finest I have ever seen. (well, aside from the bellows, that is!) The Anastigmat 130mm f7.7 lens looks like brand new. The leather is immaculate. The shutter is perfect. It even still has the original engraved stylus for "texting" a message onto the film. If there is any (affordable!) way to get this fine camera back to being light-tight, I know that it will take beautiful pictures. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated!

    Thank-you all!


  2. #2
    film nut

    Re: How to fix leaky bellows?

    I'm a new member here and just saw your post. I have that exact same camera, but really haven't done anything with it. I also have a leak in the bellows that I created when I was taking out the shutter to clean the lenses. I have applied what's called liquid tape to the hole and I think it is going to work. I'm letting i sit over night to be sure that it dries good before I try to fold i up again. Liquid tape is used in electrical work instead of using regular electrical tape on wire connections etc.. If you are covering pin-holes, I think this will work. Just brush a thin coat on, let it dry good and if you think it needs more, apply another thin coat.


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