Markus Hofstaetter's blog » camera repair

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 | Filed in collodion, diy, dyi photography, tintype, video, wetplate | 6 Comments »


    Wednesday, August 4th, 2021

    Shooting Wet Plate Portraits with an affordable Large Format Bokeh Monster

    I should stop calling these “Short Projects” short projects. It didn’t take that long, but still longer as expected.
    After I bought it at the Camera Obscura Festival
    But I still think if you are looking for a affordable large format wet plate camera, you should have a look at the Mentor camera brand. Most of them are build like a tank (Remember, I got another Mentor too, where I did double exposures with: and easy to repair. The cool thing of this camera is the curtain shutter and strobe connector. It has also all movements you can imagine, great for architecture, product (or food) photography.
    For the wet plate process, you want to look for a fast lens, but these are mostly pretty expensive. Thats why projection lenses are a good options, but most of them are triplet designs – but there are others too, like the Leitz Hektor 200mm F 2.5 that covers 13x18cm plates in portrait distance easily and has 4 glass elements instead of the classic triplets. be aware that the depth of field is razor thin on that lens. I have a second one for sale here with other camera gear I only use very rarely. So I would be happy if this finds someone who uses it again. I just collected to much gear….
    In the video, I show you how I repair all the little blemishes of the camera and add two Lenses to it. I even build two lens plateadapters. One to mount lenses from my Century camera to the Mentor and one to mount Linhof Lenses to the Century camera. Check my Thingverse too, I will post some of them there if I am happy with them. . The more I get comfortable with my 3D printer the more I use it, that reflects also in this project. Even some prints take pretty long (my longest one was 16 hours), it saves me lots of time, because I can do different things in-between. And some of the designs would have been much harder to create with traditional wood/metal working.
    I really like how the camera, lens plates and wet plate holder turned out. This will be used on many during my workshops (for English ones contact me here)in the future And I am also very happy that Tanja of helped me out to model for me. Thanks a lot!
    If you liked this kind of projects and want to support my upcoming ones, you ca do that here

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