Best Lens Hood/Bellows Shade? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I'm looking to purchase an after-market lens hood/bellows shade for my Horseman 6 x 9 field camera. Any recommendations/experiences on what is the best? I'd like something lightweight because I backpack with the camera for nature/landscape photography. B&H in New York offers the Ambico Shade, Lindahl Bello-Shade, SailWind shade, and Lee shade. The Lee seems appealing because there is a version that attaches to Cokin "P" filter holders and it looks very light. On the other hand, some of the others seem to offer better, more precise control over positioning (i.e. the Sailwind has a "rack and pinion focusing fail"). Thanks for the help.

-- Howard Slavitt (, November 29, 1998


This doesn't answer your question, but

I alway mean to get around to buying one from Toyo or such and having it modified for my Kodak. Keith Canham has one for his cameras, maybe he could do one for you.

But it's low on my priority list as in the studio I flag the lens with a card on a stand and on location I use either the dark slide, my hand or hat or a cheap barn-door style shade that Calumet sells for around $25 - 30.00 I modified it by gluing some black velvet to the inside to make it a little less reflective.

-- Sean yates (, November 29, 1998.

I should have mentioned the cheapy one is very light, a couple ounces at most. You can get a free catalog from Calumet by calling 1-800- CALUMET. Ask for either their Fine Art catalog or the Professional Photog catalog. They're both good resources for product info and relative pricing.

-- Sean yates (, November 29, 1998.

I don't know about "best", but I have the Lee shade. It's light, folds up in a reasonably small case. The rigidity comes from the bellows itself. You move it where you want it and it stays there, or close to there. If you are trying hard to get the shade edges just a few microns outside of the negative frame, it might not be sufficiently precise. In practical use, it seems just fine to me.

My only complaint is that the shade itself doesn't attach/detach very easily from the adapter ring. I screw the ring - attached to the shade on and off as needed. Both of my LF lenses have the same 67mm filter threads, so that works fine for me.

I have not used the thing as a filter holder, but there is a slot.

I believe the Calumet brand bellows shade is also this Lee model.

-- mike rosenlof (, November 30, 1998.

I have the Lee lens hood and filter holder and I am very pleased with it. I do primarily mountainscapes in the Rockies year round and I have never had any problems with it. I pack all my gear in on my back for extended trips up to 4 days. Weight is a BIG deal for me and the Lee system is the lightest reliable configuration (I think). For the sake of speed I have purchased an adpater for each of my lens. This is a big time saver when trying to respond to fast changing light. The only draw back is that Lee does not offer a lens cover for the adapters. I had make my own using a clothes dyer end-pipe cap and sticky velcro to take up the slack for a tight fit over the adpaters.

-- Stephen Willard (, December 09, 1998.

Ambico makes two models that I know of, one for 4.5 x 6 (and 35 mm.) and the other for 6 x 6 and 6 x 7 -- I don't think the latter will work for 6 x 9 .

-- Robert Greer (rgreer@VISTO.COM), May 04, 2001.


The full sized Lee system won't clear the bed of the VH, but the Cokin-P based one will. Horseman sells a similar "self-supporting" hood that is made to fit the front standard of the VH and FA, and flips up for easy access to the shutter controls. I suspect it is outrageously priced, but then the yen is soft so you might check it out.

-- Glenn C. Kroeger (, May 04, 2001.

I use the Canham compendium on my Canham 8x10. It fastens to a threaded hole in the top of the front standard. I suppose you could have the same thread added to your front standard. The shade itself is the typical Canham superb engineering, combining flexible configuration, light weight and ease of use.

-- Rick Moore (, May 06, 2001.

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