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Rolleiflex 2.8C bellows- any hints?
Old 03-04-2014   #1
Dan Daniel
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Rolleiflex 2.8C bellows- any hints?

I'm breaking down a Rolleiflex 2.8C. I know that there is a bellows around the taking lens connected between the lens panel and the main body.

Anyone ever been in there? Any hints on what I will be running into? So far I haven't removed the lens panel yet; maybe it will be clear once I can lift it up a bit. Still, if anyone has any warnings or advice it'd be much appreciated.
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Old 03-04-2014   #2
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Bellows?

http://ganjatron.net/photo/tlr/tlr1.jpg
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Old 03-04-2014   #3
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Why are you going in there? You don't need to touch it , If you know how to remove the front standard, counting shims That "Bellows" is trouble free, unless you put a spanner through it.

A Rollie TLR can be quite tricky getting things out of square if you don't know what your doing. I would also collimate it before taking things apart.....just me
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Old 03-04-2014   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemc_photo View Post
Why are you going in there? You don't need to touch it , If you know how to remove the front standard, counting shims That "Bellows" is trouble free, unless you put a spanner through it.

A Rollie TLR can be quite tricky getting things out of square if you don't know what your doing. I would also collimate it before taking things apart.....just me
OK, so as I start in I'll find that I can get the shutter off of lens panel off without needing to do anything to the bellows? Good to know.

I've been inside, stripped down, a few Rolleiflexes. I'm familiar with the alignment issues, the shims, etc. I have heard some talkes around the bellows. I haven't even done enough to encounter the bellows except by sight from the back, but I thought I'd just see if anyone had experience with them.

Thanks.
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Old 03-05-2014   #5
rick oleson
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I've worked on a few as well ..... can't recall ever finding a bellows in there. What I have found is a metal tube at the rear of the taking lens, which slides in and out of a velvet-lined tube set in the camera body. The inner metal tube is also the retaining ring for the shutter. The 2.8C should be similar to the other Rolleiflexes you've worked on, I would think.
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Old 03-05-2014   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick oleson View Post
I've worked on a few as well ..... can't recall ever finding a bellows in there. What I have found is a metal tube at the rear of the taking lens, which slides in and out of a velvet-lined tube set in the camera body. The inner metal tube is also the retaining ring for the shutter. The 2.8C should be similar to the other Rolleiflexes you've worked on, I would think.
When you say that you've worked on a few, do you mean a few 2.8Cs? Maybe all of them don't have bellows, but the two I have certainly do. No metal tube as on other Rolleiflexes.

The 2.8C has a few deviant parts. The focus rails are different than on the K3 and K4 made around the same time; the MX and E series returned to the older style. The plastic shutter and flash lock rings. The adjustable arm for the magnifier (on the D, also, but gone for the E). AND the bellows on the taking lens. All of these either reverted to previous designs or developed to better designs that stayed the same way for the next 5-10 years or more.

Hmmm... I'll take photos and notes and post what I find.
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Old 03-06-2014   #7
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I'll attach a pic of the bellows in a 2.8C. Some other models also have this part, although many use the velvet ring that Rick mentioned. I worked on one Rollei where the fabric in the bellows had deteriorated so badly that it caused light leaks and I had to make a replacement with some shutter cloth material.

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Old 03-06-2014   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayno View Post
I'll attach a pic of the bellows in a 2.8C. Some other models also have this part, although many use the velvet ring that Rick mentioned. I worked on one Rollei where the fabric in the bellows had deteriorated so badly that it caused light leaks and I had to make a replacement with some shutter cloth material.
Thanks much, Wayno.

It appears that there are three 'clips' attaching it to the body casting? Is it easy to unclip? Rotate and lift? Pry? Push from the inside of the body?
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Old 03-06-2014   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayno View Post
I'll attach a pic of the bellows in a 2.8C. Some other models also have this part, although many use the velvet ring that Rick mentioned. I worked on one Rollei where the fabric in the bellows had deteriorated so badly that it caused light leaks and I had to make a replacement with some shutter cloth material.

Wow, you learn something new every day, I had no idea that some of the 2.8Cs have bellows. Thanks for the knowledge.
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Old 03-06-2014   #10
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Gosh, you may be right Wayno; however, it doesn't look at all like my Rolleiflex 2.8C. Mine has the 2.8 Planar Carl Zeiss lens.

I've got the timer in the upper corner and mine has the focus and f stop wheels in the middle of the front, between the taking and viewing lens. And mine doesn't have that large chrome piece yours shows from the photo closest to the viewing. What is that wheel for on the front to that's attached to the chrome shaft? Also I see a hole drilled for something.

Perhaps you could help me as I want to learn. Thanks.

At any rate, mine is different.
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Old 03-06-2014   #11
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Yes, I see it now, though barely because the black on my camera is the same color as the rest of the inside. I checked one of my Rolleicords and it doesn't have that piece. It may be semantics but I think of that as a gasket wheras on one of my Mamiya TLR's, like a C3 they have a bellows as well as my Omega B22 enlarger.

Thanks for the information & showing me.
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Old 03-06-2014   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Daniel View Post
It appears that there are three 'clips' attaching it to the body casting? Is it easy to unclip? Rotate and lift? Pry? Push from the inside of the body?
Hi Dan, yes you just pry the clips out. I used some sort of blunt tool with a bend in it. The other 2.8C that needed a new bellows had a slightly different part with lots of smaller clips rather than the three large ones. Rollei must have redesigned it at some stage. The side that attaches to the lens board is threaded. Here's a pic of my homemade version:



After I went to the trouble of replacing the cloth I found that new parts are still available from some Rollei repairers... I also had a 3.5E that had a mystery intermittent light leak which turned out to be a small hole in the bellows. I was able to repair that one with a dab of black silicone.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Clark View Post
And mine doesn't have that large chrome piece yours shows from the photo closest to the viewing. What is that wheel for on the front to that's attached to the chrome shaft? Also I see a hole drilled for something.
Bill, I'm not sure exactly which parts you're referring to. The long chrome projection near the bellows is part of the shutter release ring. It mates with another ring on the body which has something to do with film transport. The other chrome parts to the left are levers which transfer the action of the shutter release button to the release ring. Underneath the lens board you can just make out the plastic shutter lock in the bottom left of the picture, the shutter speed wheel and the bayonet ring for the viewing lens.



The big holes in the lens board (between the two lenses) are for the brass shafts on which the focus rails slide and the smaller holes are for the screws which hold the lens board to the focus rails. You can imagine how they go together looking at these pictures:

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Old 03-07-2014   #13
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Thank You very much.

As you can probably tell from my posts, I've never taken a Rollieflex apart.

Another question, I have a Rolleiflex that appears to not have that bellows going around the lens. Why did Rollei resort to using that because it looks like a lot has to be taken apart to replace the bellows?

I have attached a photo of my Rolleiflex that doesn't appear to have the bellows. I paid little for it and it operates like it has had little or no use or a terrific re-build before I bought it!

Thanks!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_9876.jpg (35.9 KB, 29 views)
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Old 03-08-2014   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Clark View Post
Thank You very much.

Another question, I have a Rolleiflex that appears to not have that bellows going around the lens. Why did Rollei resort to using that because it looks like a lot has to be taken apart to replace the bellows?

I have attached a photo of my Rolleiflex that doesn't appear to have the bellows. I paid little for it and it operates like it has had little or no use or a terrific re-build before I bought it!

Thanks!
I can't tell you why Rollei tried the bellows. There may have been an 'historical moment' thing going on with the 2.8C? The first 2.8 used a pre-war Tessar lens. The 2.8B with the Biometar didn't go far- not certain of the reasons. Maybe it was Zeiss's slow return after the war? During this time Rollei continued with the K3A with minor changes from the pre-war design, and then made the K4 series, again with small changes.

So maybe the 2.8C was the first 'new' camera after WWII? So you had all this pent-up design energy, machinists happy to be done with making armaments, a desire to do something new. As I said before, the focus rails and mounting on the 2.8C are different than on previous Rolleis. And the models right after the 2.8C reverted to the pre-war focus rails. The plastic locks on the shutter and flash sync were new, and dropped for later models. The two posts projecting from the body which the lens board rode on were new, and disappeared for later models until fully realized in the F series (by the mid-50s, Rollei was simply not making mistakes like exist in the 2.8C).

And maybe the bellows were a 'solution' to a problem that didn't exist. But it was new and improved! The focus distance of the 80mm lens is different than on the 75mm lenses, so this might have been the crack in the door an impatient designer/engineer needed to propose a new system?

Well, this is all conjecture on my part.

Oh, I just finished restoring someone's Rolleiflex MX-EVS from this time. Smooth as could be. This isn't any great skill on my part, but a testament to the skill of the Rollei machinists and engineers. Cameras like yours represent a pinnacle of industrial age machining in my opinion. There are better-made cameras, but maybe only Leica combined such quality of workmanship with industrial-level quantities of production.
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Old 04-01-2014   #15
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To follow up a bit- my concern about the bellows was that however it was clipped into the body would be difficult to undo. It turns out that my bellows pulled out of the body easily. I have a bellows that looks like Wayno's first photo- three small tabs spaced around the diameter. It is the outer edge of these tabs that go into an outer slot down a tube. A simple lifting of the lens board had the tabs release and pull away easily.

The other side of the bellows threads onto the outside of the shutter retaining ring. All in all a simple setup, but not as simple as a felt light trap ring.

Wayno, thanks again for the photos and the explanations. Very helpful.
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Old 04-01-2014   #16
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Thanks all for the NEWS to me info.

(I have 2 'cords' apart right now... no bellows.)

Nice, clear pix Wayno! Thank you.
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Old 04-01-2014   #17
rick oleson
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wow. Yes, I've worked on 2.8C's, and I never came across that. I must not have gone to that spot in that model. Thanks for the correction!
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Old 04-01-2014   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Clark View Post
Thank You very much.

As you can probably tell from my posts, I've never taken a Rollieflex apart.

Another question, I have a Rolleiflex that appears to not have that bellows going around the lens. Why did Rollei resort to using that because it looks like a lot has to be taken apart to replace the bellows?

I have attached a photo of my Rolleiflex that doesn't appear to have the bellows. I paid little for it and it operates like it has had little or no use or a terrific re-build before I bought it!

Thanks!
That's a K4A Automat, Bill. I really like mine, but it needs a replacement view magnifier.

PF
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Old 04-01-2014   #19
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That's a K4A Automat, Bill. I really like mine, but it needs a replacement view magnifier.

PF
Contact Harry Fleenor at Oceanside Camera to see if he has a replacement magnifier. I know he sells the ones for the later models that fit the Es and F s and later Rolleicords. I don't remember what style magnifier the K4A has but I think it is the same- a rectangular flap that snaps up. The magnifier is removed by pushing it backward (or forward?) and tilting the magnifier. He also has the magnifiers in various diopters.

If it is that style and Oceanside can't help, drop me a note; I have an ugly one I'd sell for cheap (stock diopter).

Yeah, the K4A is a great model. All you need, no extra bells and whistles, made as good as it gets.
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Old 10-09-2014   #20
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Hey everyone, resurrecting this old thread because I have precisely the same flaring 2.8C problem.

I have taken apart the front face of the camera and have removed an especially ratty bag bellows from the taking lens (it's no surprise that after 60-some years the cloth would need replacing) Any advice on how to make a new one? I still have the front and back rings from the bag bellows, but the remaining cloth is definitely unusable.

Thanks!

Alternatively, can I just make a tube, like later models supposedly have? What's easiest and most effective?
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Old 10-10-2014   #21
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Here's someone's page on making his own shutter cloth. That is the basic idea, shutter cloth or bellows leather?
http://www.lungov.com/wagner/DIYShutterCloth.html

I had a leak problem with a 2.8C and ran into someone describing a solution using a light baffle on the viewing lens. I used this on my viewingl ens, and here is the thread. Photos of the baffle down a bit-
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...d.php?t=106282

The original comment that led me to this was about pinhole leaks in the taking lens bellows. My leak problem seemed to start with light coming in through the focus screen, so my baffle has been effective. Anyway, just something to think about if you have doubts about your bellows construction- a bit of an extra layer of leak prevention.

If you need dimensions on an existing bellows from a 2.8C send me a message. I have an extra, but I hope you understand that it isn't for sale...

I imagine that with some work you could make a sliding solid baffle, but I haven't looked at the area enoguh to know if it would really be possible or where to start.

UPDATE: Some closer photos of the three-clip version of the 2.8C bellows from one of my cameras. The overall height- without clips- is ~14.8mm. Note the cloth stopping short of the threads on the smaller ring. f I need to replace them some day, I'll post a template for the cloth piece- a simple truncated cone bit of geometry and some trial and error fit-up..

https://www.flickr.com/photos/180672...7648221312658/
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Old 03-09-2018   #22
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I'm bringing this thread back because I'm trying to make a new bellow's for a 2.8C
Rolleiflex.
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Old 03-09-2018   #23
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Quote:
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I'm bringing this thread back because I'm trying to make a new bellow's for a 2.8C
Rolleiflex.
I've used the rubberized fabric from a changing bag.

Draw a circle 118mm in diameter, then using the same center point a circle with diameter of 142mm. Stick this template to the fabric. This is the basic strip of fabric you need to form the cone shape.
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Old 03-10-2018   #24
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Where can you get that from, and can someone make it?
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Old 03-12-2018   #25
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I also had some small holes in the bellows of my 3.5C.
Filled them with Liquid Electrical Tape.


Rolleiflex 3.5C Light Seal Tube (02) by Hans Kerensky, on Flickr
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