Caring for my bellows : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I've just bought an MPP Mk VII camera in quite good condition. It is however an old beast.

Is there something I can do to keep the bellows from going brittle? Some magical ointment I can rub into it to give it longer life? :)

-- Alex Le Heux (, December 19, 2001


Chechto see that it is made of leather then use a very small bit of leather conditioner on it and I mean a small bit , like put some on your fingre and then wipe it off and then wipe your finger on the bellows and wait for a while then wipe te bellows off, apply externally only. I have used this to bring back old bellows that were leather. If it is not leather I don't know what to say. Maybe Armorall???

-- ED (, December 19, 2001.

Be careful with Armor All - it has a film that is hard to remove, and stays on the surface. It will likely protect, but has a greasey residue. Try Zymol, a leather cleaning and treatment. It's not cheap, but cleans well, and certainly protects. Contains glycerin and aloe and will soften and condition the leather without any film or residue.

-- Michael Mahoney (, December 20, 2001.


I have been told that a product call Venetian Cream, manufactured by Fargo Enterprises (800-359-2878) is for black leather rejuvenation. I don't know much about it. Perhaps someone else can provide further information.

I do recall reading an article many years back about bellows and their care. From what I recall, one must be very careful about the type of leather softening products they apply (such as neatsfoot oil) to bellows because they are flexible. I guess the leather can become too soft and weak -- this could eventually cause the leather on bellows to develop a light leak, tear, et cetera. I also recall that conditioners are made for antique leather books and this type of product was recommended for bellows. Perhaps you could research an antique book website for additional information. Best of luck.

Happy holidays,

J. P. Mose

-- J. P. Mose (, December 20, 2001.

Renaissance micro-crystalline wax from Light Impressions. Pat

-- pat krentz (, December 20, 2001.

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