Folding an 8x10 Deardorff : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I may have asked this question here before and, if so, I apologize. I own an 8x10 Deardorff with front swing. When I'm folding the camera up, the metal piece that constitutes the right side of the front standard (as you face the camera) tends to rub against the right side of the bellows. IThis has caused some rub marks to show on the edge of the bellows and I'm concerned that eventually it will wear a hole in the bellows. The problem can be ameliorated to some extent if the back is tilted all the way backwards before folding the front standard but even then I have to hold the right side of the front standard away from the bellows with my hand while folding the front.

Is this normal with Deardorffs and, if so, how do other owners deal with the probelm? If it isn't normal, does anyone have any ideas about how to deal with the problem? I'm reluctant to try bending the right side of the front standard away from the bellows for obvious reasons.

P.S. Please don't suggest that I talk with Ken Hough. I'm still unsuccessfully trying to get him to return a lens board that I sent to him three months ago for some minor work and I can't get a response from him, much less a return of my lens board even though I'm now just asking that he return the board even if the work hasn't been done. This is a guy who definitely should be avoided.

-- Brian C. Ellis (, February 26, 2001


Threaten to sue Mr. Hough. I've had a similar experience with him (and Ron Wisner) and threatening legal action, even if it is small claims, usually works wonders. Always sign your letters "Esq."; keeps 'em wondering :)

As for the Deardorff: My right front standard actually just touches the bellows, but apparently not to the extent that your does; however the outer edge rubs the side of the flat bed when folding up. Does yours do that as well? I also do not want to and have not attempted to bend the front standard. Does your camera have the original bellows? And what kind of shape is it in? I can see where a sagging bellows would be more suceptible to this sort of problem. Also, in what position do you have your lens board when folding up (toward the top, middle toward the bottom)? I always drop the lens board/board holder to the bottom of the slot in the standard before folding the lens board down and in, which causes only the very top of the standard to contact the bellows.

-- Chad Jarvis (, February 26, 2001.


I have this problem with my 8x10 also. When folding your camera, try the following:

-First, extend the front bed section a bit beyond the normal position, where it would usually be when the camera is folded.

-Next, loosen the front base tilt knobs and the front rise/fall knobs and then raise the entire front lens standard/panel up to its highest position.

-Now, just tilt the front standard back while rotating the lens panel and fold it down into the bottom of the bed.

The trick is to raise the front panel so the side rails do not come into contact with the bellows.

Good luck, Sergio.

-- Sergio Ortega (, February 26, 2001.

My 8x10 Deardorff does the same thing. The original bellows are still in place and, while I can see where the standard has rubbed against the bellows *many* times, there's no sign of it actually wearing through. Of course, they're so old and stiff they're practically bulletproof.....(maybe it's time to consider a new set...)

-- Dave Munson (, February 26, 2001.

Thanks for the responses. In resonse to Chad's questions, I always have the lens board holder all the way down when folding the camera. I don't get any rubbing of the right front standard against the camera bed, only against the bellows and really only against one part of the bellows, not the entire right side. I believe my bellows is the original or a duplicate of the original - it's a fairly thick and heavy material, unlike the kind of material you see on more modern cameras. I bought the camera about four months ago and have used it fairly extensively. When I received it it didn't have any rub marks on the side of the bellows but it now has several, one that is very obvious and looks as though there isn't a lot of bellows left before a hole develops. I'm going to try Sergio's suggestion and see what happens. I'll post the results. Thanks again. Brian

-- Brian Ellis (, February 26, 2001.


You might also try some prophylactic taping of the bellows in the spot where it rubs. When the tape starts to wear, replace it. Better than taping a hole.

-- Chris Patti (, February 27, 2001.

I tried Sergio's suggestion. It did work and I thank him for posting it, but for me it was easier just to hold the right side of the standard away from the bellows while folding the camera. I received several private e mails from people who have the same problem I do, so if nothing else I was glad to see I'm not alone. Thanks to all who responded.

-- Brian Ellis (, February 27, 2001.

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