Bellows cameras cover a wide range of formats, from the original large folders and ‘pocket cameras’ to today’s precision view cameras and everything in between. Some early 35 millimeter cameras incorporated a bellows mechanism, such as the Voigtlander Vito. You’re lucky if you find an old bellows in good user condition, but if it’s supple and the holes are small, it’s not too hard to repair.
My folders are either decorative curios or classic users, nothing in between. There were a lot more film sizes to choose from back in their heyday, and finding one that takes a current film takes some research. One of these days I plan to add a Crown Graphic or a 4×5 view camera (or both?) to this collection, when I feel I’m ready to graduate from 120 to 4×5. Someday.
If you have information to add or would like to ask questions about these cameras, their use or care, or even just want to say ‘hey’, feel free to email me, I always enjoy hearing from you!
Folding Cameras Sample Image Gallery
- Pacific Rim Camera Photo Pages has encyclopedic info on various classics
- The Living Images Virtual Camera Museum has nice pics and descriptions
- You can get lost in the Medium Format Cameras Library Page for days – it’s a treasure trove
- Guide to Classic Cameras
- Classsic Camera Profiles
- Classic Camera Manuals Page is a lifesaver
- Another great page of classic camera manuals from F and S Mariott
- A nice guide to focusing rangefinder cameras, helpful tips for zone focus
- And while we’re at it, a primer to mentally calculating exposure (you’ll need it with some of these)