Replacing bellows: new or used

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Mike, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. Mike

    Mike Guest

    I plan on replacing the deteriorating bellows on my Omega DII enlarger.

    I can get a brand new set from Harry's classic-enlargers for $120 (after
    fitting to plates and shipping). Or I can obtain a used set, described to
    be in "perfect condition, not dried out" for $45 (after shipping). I want
    something that will last me awhile (10+ years).

    My question: do bellows just deteriorate with age? I imagine the used
    bellows have got to be 20+ years old. But money saved on this can
    go to more film and paper :) Any reason why a used set in great
    condition wouldn't continue to be in great condition?
    Mike, Mar 7, 2006
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  2. Mike

    Mike King Guest

    I went the used route and was perfectly satisfied. Keep in mind the bellows
    could be closer to 50 years old.

    Having said that, make sure you get a 10-day money back inspection or
    equivalent) the darkroom can be a hostile place to bellows (especially
    leather) and old-style glues. My original D-II bellows did not wear out, it
    had a "blow out", and the seam unglued. I've also seen cases where the
    pleats lost their folds, usually caused by glue failure as well, this time
    the bellows material and stiffeners loose their grip.

    I went to a camera swap this weekend and could have had my pick of 3 D-2V's
    for $120 each, should have bought them to part out.
    Mike King, Mar 7, 2006
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  3. ?Have you tried Omega for the bellows replacement?


    BoB McCarthy
    theyankeesnapper, Mar 8, 2006
  4. Mike

    cgrady Guest

    I was in camera sales for 15 yrs in a high end photo store in
    Washington state. I left that store in 1991.I remember having several
    bellows repaired by a company called Brooklyn Bellows. I am not sure
    about their name, but if you can give me about one week I will research
    it and get back to you. I know they did beautiful work and were very
    reasonable. They just took all the old parts that you could salvage and
    sent you back what looked like better then new.
    Clint H.
    cgrady, Mar 8, 2006
  5. Mike

    Mike King Guest

    What's now called Omega (Satter) has very little connection to the older
    company (Simmon Omega) other than name. Omega has gone through many
    iterations over the years. They do have parts for the LPL enlargers they
    imported. And some D-series parts, mostly carriers and lens discs (some D-5
    will fit older enlargers (not the bellows)).

    The best source for parts for classic Omega enlargers is Classic Enlargers
    (used to be known as Classic Omega Enlargers). The website is and Harry Taylor has more parts than
    anyone else. He's been buying, refurbishing and parting out Omega enlargers
    for years. When original source parts supplies dry up Harry makes or has
    made replacement parts to keep the venerable beasts running. He also runs a
    forum on his site called "Ask Harry" and has FAQ's on enlarger related

    One other place to try is KHB in Canada
    they have parts for many enlargers and cameras (if nothing else they have a
    VERY comprehensive parts list).
    Mike King, Mar 8, 2006
  6. Mike

    Mike Guest

    I was in camera sales for 15 yrs in a high end photo store in
    Thanks for the offer Clint. Not necessary. I've heard of Brooklyn
    Bellows and they are well regarded (as is and a few
    other sources)
    Mike, Mar 8, 2006
  7. Mike

    Mike King Guest

    Pity you don't have a real email address, I tried to send you a heads up on
    a set of bellows that went real cheap on eBay this weekend.
    Mike King, Mar 12, 2006
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