How to replace a bellows on an Agfa Isolette or Ansco Speedex camera

In a previous post, I mentioned my Ansco Speedex Special “R”. I mentioned how I needed to do the restoration. That I was going to make time. Such lies, I tell on this blog.

Yes, lies.

I never got to it. Tsk tsk.

I did, however, find a site that sells a bellows for it, I also found videos by Dennis, the owner of the site, showing how to replace the bellows on a Speedex or an Isolette.

Now, I just need some time.

This camera has a layer of smoke on it from a fire it was in. No real damage to the camera, but the glass elements are covered with the stuff, as is the body. If I can get that cleaned up, I’ll do the bellows. I was planning on making one as a practice run before doing a large format one. But there is a convenience factor of just buying it.

Enough rambling about me, you came here to see how to replace a bellows on this folding camera.

Here is how he collimates the lens when he is finished.

Click here to buy an Agfa Isolette or an Ansco Speedex on ebay.

One thing that is funny to me is that people tend to dismiss these folding cameras. These early “point and shoot” cameras were awesome machines. With medium format film, they’re pretty darn impressive. Maybe the best bang for the buck you can get.

Here are some great characteristics:
They can take really good pictures.
They’ll fit in your front pants pocket unnoticed.
Thieves don’t want them.
They’re still heavy enough to use as a weapon if mugged. 😉

OK. This project moved up my TODO list.

One Response to “How to replace a bellows on an Agfa Isolette or Ansco Speedex camera”

  1. July 11, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    This project is being put on hold. I started working on the body – taking off the smoke layer. While I was doing that, I played with the lens some and realized that the shutter isn’t working properly. It just became a full restoration. So much for quick fixes and just having fun with it.