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Bilora Bellina

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BillyBob
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Bilora Bellina

Postby BillyBob » Sat Jun 13, 2015 10:00 pm

Hey, the description for this forum says "if it has bellows..." - and this has bellows - but you can only see them from the inside :-)

Stopped by a yard sale while running errands today; I found a Bilora Bellina. A guess-the-focus 127-format camera first sold in 1963.

Image

Oops - forgot the front plate - which had fallen off.

Image

The front of the camera pops out and clicks into place. Interestingly for a roll film camera - at least the ones that I've used - it has a lever wind, which also cocks the shutter.

What interested me the most was that it had a roll of film inside. I couldn't see any frame numbers, even after winding a few times. I figured that it was worth taking a chance on. I've been planning to try winding some 35mm film on a 127 roll with backing paper (got several rolls from Pete Lutz a while back), so I figured that it was worth a few bucks to try. $3 later, I took it home.

I wound the film to the end; turns out that it was already near the end - though who knows if the roll had been shot or if others had simply tried winding the film over the years.

Image

It's Kodacolor II - so C-41. I did a little searching the web Re:developing this in B&W chemistry. It appears that some have tried. Has anyone here done it successfully? Philip? The film might actually have been shot by the owner a long while back - and I could probably track him down if there were any images on the film (it was a neighborhood yard sale).

As for the camera; I had tried the shutter. I managed to see it open (just a little) a couple times - but it doesn't appear to be working properly. It has speeds of B, 30, 60, and 125. Any guesses what level of complication I could expect to find if I open it up?

Cheers!
Bill
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Brazile
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Re: Bilora Bellina

Postby Brazile » Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:41 am

I've done it (developed C41 in B&W chemistry). It works. Give it a try.

Robert
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Re: Bilora Bellina

Postby melek » Sun Jun 14, 2015 8:47 am

Robert, did you use D-76? I have some old Kodakcolor II, and I was thinking about this, too.

Bill - love the camera and the fact that such a low-cost simple camera came with its own case. I'm glad you were able to reattach the front.

Bilora didn't make the greatest cameras, but sometimes you just want to have some fun.
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Philip
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Re: Bilora Bellina

Postby Philip » Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:57 am

Good news about the film! I don't think I have ever developed C41 as b&w but I have done C22 successfully. (And I have some E2 right now waiting for the treatment as b&w.) Aficionados of XP2 often talk about developing it as b&w for different effect, so I'm not surprised yours worked. I'm looking forward to seeing the pictures you found.

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Re: Bilora Bellina

Postby Philip » Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:58 am

Oops, conflating posts! I see it was Robert who said he'd done it.
I send my encouragement, too!

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- http://www.flickr.com/photos/flipflik/sets/72157608879115542/ (what I like best).

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Re: Bilora Bellina

Postby BillyBob » Sun Jun 14, 2015 1:29 pm

Thanks Guys,

Robert; any suggestions for development time? (i.e. for fresh C-41)

I haven't developed any film in a while - but am going to do some practicing before Mike's camera shows up. I've got a bunch of shot-but-undeveloped B&W film in the freezer. While I'm at it I'll shoot a roll or two of expired 35mm C-41 and see what I get from the B&W chemistry. Nothing to lose!

As for developers; I have some HC-110 I opened a few years ago, an unopened package of D-76, and unopened bottles of Rodinal and Rodinal Special. Suggestions? For fixer I have a bottle of Ilford rapid fix that I opened the same time as the HC-110. I'll do some practice runs with non-important film before I try anything of value.

Cheers!
Bill
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Re: Bilora Bellina

Postby Bennybee » Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:23 am

Interesting camera, Bill. Great find. I've never seen one of those. I once had a Bilora Bella, which was an all metal 4x4 camera that was rather well made. It had a retractable lens tube instead of a bellows.
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Re: Bilora Bellina

Postby Brazile » Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:55 am

Mike and all: yes, I used straight D76. In my case, the film was a roll of old 120 Kodacolor II from the early 1980s. I managed to resurrect some shots from a roll that came out of a camera belonging to a friend's mother and they turned out to be photos of her and her now-deceased father. I was delighted to help her, and she was very moved to see the shots from a family trip she'd forgotten about.

I seem to recall that some looking around the internet suggested treating C41 film as ISO 400 black and white film to start and going from there (i.e., adding a stop per decade if you're shooting it, etc.) so use times in the 5-5:30 minute range if you're using non-dilute D76. It worked out for me, at least for scanning purposes.

Best of luck and show us what you get!

Robert
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Re: Bilora Bellina

Postby BillyBob » Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:05 pm

Bennybee wrote:Interesting camera, Bill. Great find. I've never seen one of those. I once had a Bilora Bella, which was an all metal 4x4 camera that was rather well made. It had a retractable lens tube instead of a bellows.

Thanks Benny. My other Bilora is a Bilora Boy - a wee bakelite-bodied 127. This Bellina is actually quite small - smaller than a lot of 35mm slrs. 127 packs a fair bit of negative into a small package - though I suppose that 35mm film got so good (plus the convenience of 36-exposure cassettes ) saw to its demise. I still find it a neat compromise between camera size and negative size.

With the Bellina, hopefully I figure out how to get the shutter to fire properly; it's not working at the moment. I fired it a few times in its collapsed state - before I found out that it opens up. Hopefully I didn't mess up something in there. But hey, $3.

Brazile wrote:Best of luck and show us what you get!

Thanks Robert; will do!

Bill
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Re: Bilora Bellina

Postby Bennybee » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:49 am

Hi Bill,
The Bella's shutter could only be released once the lens tube was pulled out and given a slight twist to lock it in place. The release arm inside the camera would then mate with a (lens)shutter release pin, waiting to be depressed. From your pictures of the Bellina I can see that your lens doesn't require a locking twist though. You have a fine set there with that flash and case!
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