heres how you can make a bellows for a large format camera .
while i realize that film cameras are the old way this can be used if you want to make a scanner camera a pinhole camera or even a bellows to pump air.

Step 1: material list

to make this you will need :
1 sheet of black bristol board(sometimes called bristle board)
1 roll of black cloth hockey stick tape 1inch wide
1 ballpoint pen{if its dried up its ok so long as its stromgly made}
1 straight edge (longer than the sheet)
<p>Would a glass cutter work well to score the lines? They have a little wheel so should mark without cutting or ripping..</p>
<p>glass cutters sound like a great idea.</p><p>gonna try it on the next bellows i make.</p><p>if you tried it let me know how it came out.</p><p>sorry for the lateness of my reply.</p>
Thanks Len!
<p>so glad you like it.</p><p>im amazed to see people are still finding this after 9 years</p>
<p>thanks for the tutorial... i used it to make a fake vintage camera to hold my canon rebel for a steampunk party i'm hosting in a couple months. :)</p>
Thanks we used your bellows design to make tapered bellows for these theatre props find out how here http://michael-woods.co.uk/2014/02/06/easy-diy-prop-bellows-style-cameras-3-constructed-for-less-than-10/<br><br><br>We made three cameras at a cost of &pound;10.<br><br>
<p>those look cool</p><p>im so glad you found my instructable usefull.</p><p>also that it saved you some money</p>
well my method doesnt lend itself well to leather . but if you made one like mine you could use it as a template to cut leather to fit. as for the leather thinner is better to keep the seams and bends crisper. <br>the best way to make it would be to cut the leather and lay out thin sticks of wood or heavy card to stiffen the places you dont want to bend, glue them in place then line the inside with a thin cloth. and then once its all dry fold the leather like i folded the card. <br>try a small section first to get an idea of what works and good luck.
Inspiring ! <br>Any advice on making Bellows with LEATHER to repair the large vintage wooden plate camera in pic below ? <br>- What sort of leather ? <br>- Would this need backing for stiffness ? <br> <br>Thanks, <br>casablanca24
Love your Instructable. Do you also have one that is suitable for conical bellows?
yes you do it the exact same way but taper the cardstock .
I just made one of these in my office with cardstock and box tape and it came out great. Awesome instructable. Thanks!
Thanks for this. I've seen everywhere that making the bellows is a long and arduous process. With this how to, cutting the carton was the most time consuming bit.
vientos carnal esta muy interesante<br /> <br />
jajaj awebo barrio!
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&nbsp;Is there an instructable on building the camera framework? I would like to build the bellows, but need a reason to... :-)<br /> Thank you,<br /> Tbonestone
yes there is.<br /> its more of a teardown as i made the camera before instructables <br /> but its not a hard build.<br /> enjoy.<br /> <br /> http://www.instructables.com/id/old-fashioned-view-camera/<br />
.<br /> Damn...<br /> <br /> I am just so tempted to make one and fit some A3 glass plate negatives into the back......<br /> <br /> http://www.nla.gov.au/pict/explore/hurley.html<br /> <br /> http://www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/features/endurance/reference/hurley_bio.shtml<br /> <br /> http://lifeasdaddy.typepad.com/lifeasdaddy/2009/04/mawson-rests-at-the-side-of-sledge-outward-bound-on-first-sledge-journey-in-adelie-land.html<br /> <br /> http://www.aad.gov.au/default.asp?casid=6665<br /> <br /> http://chestofbooks.com/crafts/mechanics/Cyclopaedia/Wet-Plate-Photography.html<br /> <br />
This is very cool - twas the one I was thinking of.<br /> <br /> http://www.noise-to-signal.com/2006/02/dont_talk_to_me.html<br /> <br /> Early on a bright spring morning in 1900 a large horse-drawn van arrived at the workshop of Chicago camera builder J. A. Anderson. His most recent construction, the world's largest camera, was ready for delivery and it required 15 men to load it into the van. They took it to the Chicago &amp; Alton Railway Station where it was laboriously transferred to a flat car and moved to Brighton Park, some 6 miles from the city. There, they carried the 900 lbs camera a quarter of a mile to a suitable location in an open field. Under the direction of the camera's designer, George R Lawrence, it was set up and pointed at the brand-new train standing in the distance. The Alton Limited was the pride of the Chicago &amp; Alton Railway and the company had commissioned Lawrence to make the largest photograph possible of it, sparing no expense. Lawrence obliged by designing and overseeing the construction of a camera that could utilize glass plates 8 x 4&frac12; ft in size. On that day he made a successful photograph of the train and with it he also made photographic history.<br /> <br /> <br /> http://robroy.dyndns.info/lawrence/mammoth.html<br /> <br /> <br /> This is something that came up in the search...<br /> <br /> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Largest_photographs_in_the_world<br /> <br /> http://gizmodo.com/287628/worlds-biggest-camera-not-so-portable<br /> <br /> http://dvice.com/archives/2007/08/worlds_biggest_camera_captures.php<br /> <br /> http://www.legacyphotoproject.com/<br /> <br /> The concept of the Camera Obscura (from Latin for &ldquo;dark room&rdquo;) has been known for several thousand years...long before light sensitive materials&nbsp;or glass lenses were discovered. It is, in fact, the direct antecedent for&nbsp;all cameras.<br /> <br /> When light is controlled through a pinhole (or lens) as it enters a darkened chamber, an inverted image of what is outside appears on the opposite wall where it is may be drawn on paper or captured by light-sensitive materials such as film. In the early stages of the Renaissance, camera obscuras, employing pinholes serving as a lens,&nbsp;were used to&nbsp;draw more&nbsp;accurate images with correct perspective. The notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci include sketches of two such camera obscuras.<br /> <br /> The Legacy Project has dramatically expanded this concept by converting a gigantic airplane hangar into the world's largest camera obscura to create the largest single photograph in history. The film in this case was a three story high by ten story long light sensitized fabric, with the outside image focused through a 6mm pinhole.<br />
went a step beyond, added a usb flatbed scanner to the back, and one of those black cloth covers.<br />
post a picture id love to see it.<br />
great instructable. works as displayed.
Lennyb, how water resistant is this material? I am interested in building a field camera and the one you have pictured looks like a jewel but I would like whatever I build to stand the weather. thank's bb
lol im not sure how i missed this question and even though its 2 years late here goes. it not very waterproof at all but if you were to varnish the paper it would be better. maybe liquid latex might be a better choice though as the varnish will make the bellows brittle. sorry for not responding before this.
Gold! My next project is going to be a concertina, so this will be very handy.
lol hope it works out. may need to use a heavier card than i did tho.
I might of missed it but did anyone specify what material should be used for a traditional bellows on my 8x10. What was used by the original maker, Agfa in the early 1900's mjb
leather was the material of choice . this one is paper and hockey tape. quick and dirty but surprisingly durable
Great stuff! I've got an ancient 'Ansco' 8x10 view camera, but the bellows are really leaky. Had thought about using a neoprene compound to seal the worn areas--but now might try replacing 'em...
Did you ever construct replacement bellows for the Ansco? I have 2 Agfa Commercial View Cameras that need bellows replaced so I will be starting that project soon. Your camera may be a newer version of the two I have. I have an old bellows to use as a pattern. I'll append <a rel="nofollow" href="http://my.net-link.net/~jsmigiel/bellows.html">my bellows construction webpage</a> once I have it figured out. <br/>
No, I haven't. I'll check out your page, it might be just what I need. If you PM me your email, I'll send you a photo of the camera....to compare with yours.
be sure to keep the original bellows to preserve the antique value of your camera and use the homemade ones for real work.
That's a good point, although I generally don't collect photo stuff that I can't use...
Come on, we're looking for those camera plans!
im starting on the plans now expect to see them in a month or so. sorry it cant be sooner but im a busy man and lazy too so its a bad combo lol
Thanks for the reply. I understand the combo all too well believe me. Don't you love those projects that don't get worked on for years at a time? I got six I can think of off the top of my head.
thats the best idea for making bellows i've seen the camera looks good too any chance of listing plans for that ?? cheers Homebrew
i intend on posting the camera build eventualy though it will be a reverse engineer case as i did it 4 years ago. but keep watching when i get some spare time ill crank it out

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Bio: i am a photolab technician and an incurable packrat. i have made swords ,chainmail, crossbows.cameras,bike trailers,kayaks,guitars{slide and electric},knives,various ... More »
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