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Fixing Agfa bellows

Posted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 2:07 pm
by melek
I saw that someone had mentioned this. Agfa folding cameras are notorious for two things: green cement-like grease and plastic bellows.

I have an Isolette III that had an average Apotar lens and plastic bellows. I used gaffer's tape (not duct tape) to repair the bellows. Eventually, there were so many bellows that I bought an Ansco Speedex with older leather-covered bellows and did a parts transplant.

The Super Solinette that I own has multiple patches, and it seems to do the trick. The real answer would be to remove the plastic covering on the bellows and replace it with something that is pliable and blocks light. That's a project that I don't plan to tackle.

Re: Fixing Agfa bellows

Posted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:01 pm
by PFMcFarland
I didn't think of using gaffer's tape, although my thoughts were some sort of fabric trim applied with a pliable glue. Getting the right glue has been the downfall of that project. I'll try the tape on my favorite folder, a Kodak Tourist with the 200 shutter. Thanks, Mike.

PF

Re: Fixing Agfa bellows

Posted: Fri Jan 01, 2021 12:52 am
by alexvaras
When I got my first Isolette I saw bellows in such bad state that I replaced them.
Kershaw made one folding camera that has the same body as Isolette but good bellows, very easy to take them out and place them in the Isolette.

Re: Fixing Agfa bellows

Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 12:43 pm
by titrisol
I spent a lot of time getting the super solinete working, focus, shutter and RF are OK now. BUT the bellows is a sieve, and got me to the point of frustration.
Small pieces of gaffers tape might be a good idea, but I don;t have the ability of working on it.

Re: Fixing Agfa bellows

Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:13 pm
by alexvaras
What about liquid electrical tape added from the inside?

Re: Fixing Agfa bellows

Posted: Mon Jan 04, 2021 7:29 pm
by titrisol
I've been doing that a spot a a time, will have to get the spray paint :)
alexvaras wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:13 pm
What about liquid electrical tape added from the inside?

Re: Fixing Agfa bellows

Posted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:37 pm
by PFMcFarland
titrisol wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 7:29 pm
I've been doing that a spot a a time, will have to get the spray paint :)
alexvaras wrote:
Mon Jan 04, 2021 3:13 pm
What about liquid electrical tape added from the inside?
I used fabric paint, but it's not a permanent fix. Still, if you've got lots of pinholes, it's a quick way to plug them all.

Didn't Scott try to sell a little boot to fit around the bellows area on the Agfa's?

PF

Re: Fixing Agfa bellows

Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 9:37 am
by scott
PFMcFarland wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 10:37 pm
I used fabric paint, but it's not a permanent fix. Still, if you've got lots of pinholes, it's a quick way to plug them all.

Didn't Scott try to sell a little boot to fit around the bellows area on the Agfa's?

PF
That wasn't me, but I remember that a while back. I was talking to someone about it, Pete Lutz maybe?

Anyway, on these folding Agfa/Anscos I always just replace them. Sandeha's bellows fit very well and are pretty easy to install. I've bought the old folding Jsolettes before to act as donors, as they generally had leather bellows that were almost always robust, but I was never able to sacrifice one, as they're nice cameras in their own rights.

My 8x10 Seneca has the bellows patched with gaff tape. Works well for them, but they're a bit stiffer and don't compress nearly as much as before. I don't think it'd work with a 6x6 bellows.

Re: Fixing Agfa bellows

Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:08 am
by titrisol
Sandeha's bellows are great for MF cameras, but for the tiny solinette he doesn't have one

Solinette bellows can be removed from the "outside", the screws are behind the shutter/lens assembly; but that is a long stretch for my abilities

I'll have to breathe for a few days before going to the store and buy a spray can of black flex-seal

Re: Fixing Agfa bellows

Posted: Sun Jan 10, 2021 10:31 am
by Bennybee
If you don't want to tackle the replacement of the bellows yourself, you can send the Isolette to Jurgen Kreckel. Many years ago I sent my Isolette III to him for a CLA, brassing and a new red leather bellows. It wasn't cheap, and now I regret having spent that much money on such a 'simple' camera.
I am not using the camera and I thought several times about selling it. Someday I will.