Wednesday, December 7th, 2022

Preserving History – Renovating a 100 Year Old Camera – Bellow Edition

My good old Century No.2 camera has about 100 years behind her. She still works great, but her bellow is leaking light. Thats why I needed to repair it. I thought it is easiest to explain everything in a video, so it is easier to understand for you guys and hopefully also helpful. It took me a long time to put everything together. Why? Because it was important for me to reuse as many original parts as possible to preserve the history of this camera. I think this is a very important part when you consider to renovate a piece of history! Underneath the video are all links for the parts I needed.

Bellowmaker: – email is the best way to communicate
Large Caliper International: Germany:
Liquid Rubber: International (similar) : Germany:
Glue for mounting the Bellow: International: Germany:
Ifixit essential tools – they were very helpful:
machinist square International: Germany
Screenprinting paint and cold fix:
Video for building a mobile darkroom:
Video for sandarac varnish:

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  • Posted by Markus on December 7th, 2022 | Filed in collodion, diy, dyi photography, tintype, video, wetplate | 6 Comments »

    6 Responses to “Preserving History – Renovating a 100 Year Old Camera – Bellow Edition”

    1. December 8th, 2022 at 04:02

      Ted Brownlee said:

      Hello Markus,

      I really enjoyed this restoration video. I also have a Century view camera, a 5×7 that my Grandfather used semi-professionally. It has a Wollensak convertible lens. I have rebuilt the shutter so I could use the lens. I also made new lens boards to mount more modern optics. The bellows on my camera is already red, but it has some wear similar to what you have showed on your video. It is nice to see the level of effort that would be required to replace the bellows.

      Thank you,
      Livermore, CA, USA

    2. December 9th, 2022 at 00:00

      Markus said:

      Hey Ted,
      Thanks a lot for your comment and I am glad you enjoyed it. I am really surprised that you have already a red bellow. Do you think it was modified at some point? I 3D printed a lens adapter to fit my Linhof Master Technika Lenses onto the century board.


    3. December 9th, 2022 at 03:01

      Ted Brownlee said:

      Hi Markus,
      I’m pretty sure the bellows is original. I’m traveling now, but I’ll be pulling the camera out for a closer examination when I get home. My lensboards are made from modeling plywood. I made them quite a few years ago. The lens is uncoated, and has a serious amount of field curvature that stopping down doesn’t improve. I did not like the B/W negatives I was able to make. Alternative processes like your work would probably look better with this lens.


    4. December 9th, 2022 at 20:22

      Markus said:

      I think so as well, but I want to shoot film at some point with it.

    5. December 31st, 2022 at 19:33

      Ted Brownlee said:

      Happy New Year Markus!

      I must retract my original claim. My Century has a black bellows. I have an Eastman No 2 5×7 in very poor condition that I bought at a thrift store for $5 that has the red bellows. It has been a long time since I’ve had either camera out. The Eastman has no lens, no ground glass and several missing brass knobs. The bellows has good folds but the fabric liner has delaminated from the leather. The leather is also quite dry. Someday this will be a restoration project – maybe for retirement.

    6. January 1st, 2023 at 13:44

      Markus said:

      Thanks a lot for the update!
      I heard about the Kodak Cameras and the red bellows!

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