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Nylon and wood bellows parts

 
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18252
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 6:59 pm    Post subject: Nylon and wood bellows parts Reply with quote





"This item appears brand new or factory sealed and we believe it to be in complete and perfect functioning condition."

So said the description at eBay, for the Olympus bellows that I thought would make a nice spare.

The ad continued, of course. "As with all liquidation products this is sold 'as is' and what you see in the photo is what you are bidding on."

Well, that didn't seem to be any great problem, 'cuz what the photo showed was indeed an Olympus bellows in fine condition.

The operative word, alas, was "was".

By the time the cretins in the shipping chain were done crushing and twisting the box, what eventually arrived was unfortunately a collection of unconnected parts -- a front mounting here, a back mounting there, a tripod mount to the side, a very pretty rack in the middle, and a dozen fragments of what used to be nylon dovetails that held everything together. Everything else appeared to be in good shape, but without those dovetails, everything else was pretty useless, too. Sad

On the bright side, I had at my disposal two key resources: 1) a working bellows of the same design, and 2) a father who delights in precision woodworking.

What you see above is part of the results -- a manufactured nylon dovetail on the top, and a replacement wooden dovetail on the bottom.

The replacements work at least as well as the originals, and they're much prettier. They'll probably hold up longer, too. The nylon ones are famous for cracking across that thin part of the dovetail -- and you can see why, looking at how this one deforms when clamped.

My father and I really don't know what the species of wood is. It was labeled only "Gumbera" by the distributor, and none of my Internet searches found that as a type of wood. All we know is that it's very heavy, extremely hard, and just a bit oily. It has prominent but very finely spaced rings and rays, obvious in both pictures.

The repaired bellows now works great, and in fact these pictures were taken using the other repaired parts.[*]

Hope you enjoy the pictures -- the repaired bellows is a treat! Very Happy

--Rik

Technical: Canon 300D, Olympus 80mm f/4 bellows lens at f/5.6, single frame (no stack). Upper picture is almost full frame; lower picture is actual-pixels.

[*] The pictured parts are tripod mounts. I can almost, but not quite, resist saying that what we have here is a repaired bellows "shooting itself in the foot". d'oh! Very Happy
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Danny
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Joined: 02 Feb 2007
Posts: 725
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OMG, does it get to you or what !!!. Its a pain Rik. I sold a Canon T90 to a guy in the states, well it arrived with a smashed penta-prism top plate. I had to get someone in the US to supply and replace it. Cost an arm and ..................5 legs.


All the best Rik and glad its alright now.

Danny.
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puzzledpaul



Joined: 06 Aug 2006
Posts: 414
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 1:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I certainly 'feel' for you Rik, as I experienced an almost identical situation - albeit with a Pentax bellows.

My macro rail is based on one of these and (like you) decided to get a spare. Inadequate (internal) packing was the main culprit in my case resulting in one of the end std. nylon inserts breaking.

I sent pics to the seller and we negotiated a mutually acceptable partial refund and it was left at that.

Since I mainly wanted the rail + tripod head bearing it was no big deal in my case ... will prob sell the other bits sometime.

Re the timber - 'World woods in colour' by William A Lincoln provides this sentence in the section associated with names.

<< In view of the many problems associated with standard, commercial and other names, specialists in the timber trade around the world have come to rely upon the botanical names for specific identification. >>

Seems like the only way to go when stuff like this (amongst others) is going on ...

<< Many trade names are invented by merchants seeking to glamorise an indifferent species with a more romantic name. >> Smile

Glad it's sorted btw.

pp
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DaveW



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 1702
Location: Nottingham, UK

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surely in these cases you just claim off the carrier for the full costs of the equipment?

DaveW
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
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Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaveW wrote:
Surely in these cases you just claim off the carrier for the full costs of the equipment?

Well, the case as a whole was rather more interesting than I have told you so far. Wink

Here are some further details.
  • The packing was clearly and grossly inadequate. Everything (to be listed below) had been wrapped together in one thin sheet of bubble wrap, which came nowhere near to filling the box. The box rattled viciously when simply rocked from side to side; when opened, it became clear that the merchandise and the bubble wrap no longer had anything to do with each other except for being in the same box.
  • The company I bought this mess from specializes in "liquidation". Their customer support policy is explicit: we are unable to offer customer support, guarantees, after sale service, refunds, exchanges or replacements. Despite any and all observations by the lister your product may not be what you expected or it may have issues beyond what we observed. Please carefully consider this information and bid accordingly. Should you choose to decline shipping insurance you accept full responsibility for all damages or losses incurred in the shipping process. Their customer service is so non-existent that when their invoicing system fouled up and I inquired "How do I pay for this thing?", I received no response! (There was a timing problem; it cleared up spontaneously when I simply tried again later.)
  • You are probably correct that by pushing the issue, I could have gotten my money back from the carrier. However, given the seller's position, the very best response I might have gotten from the carrier would have been "OK, ok, you did buy the insurance, so we'll give you back what you paid, you give us all the stuff in the box, and we'll just call it a cost of doing business." But...
  • There was quite a lot more in the box than just the bellows, and I didn't want to give it all up.
The total package (as I had suspected from the picture on eBay) included not just the bellows but also an Olympus 38mm f/2.8 bellows macro lens, another 80mm f/4 bellows macro lens plus its auxiliary 170mm closeup lens, and an Olympus double cable release. I got the whole lot for less than $200, and everything was fine except for the dovetails.

This would have been a bargain even completely without the bellows. Throw in the satisfaction of rescuing a mistreated piece of precision equipment, and it ended up being a great deal, despite some annoyance in the middle. Very Happy

--Rik
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beetleman



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 3578
Location: Southern New Hampshire USA

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, looks like you made out anyway Rik. The wood looks a lot better than the nylon anyway. Wonderful job by your father and great technical photos of the bellows Wink
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DaveW



Joined: 04 Aug 2006
Posts: 1702
Location: Nottingham, UK

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The other alternative and still possible is to contact Olympus and see if they can supply the nylon inserts. Spin them a sob story as above and they might send you them for free! A few nylon bits are nothing to a firm like them. The only problem is if they do not make the bellows but just badge them as makers seem to do with some limited run equipment like close-up stuff.

DaveW
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rjlittlefield
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Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 18252
Location: Richland, Washington State, USA

PostPosted: Sat Feb 14, 2009 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To keep information together so it can be found...

In a recent post in another topic, AndrewC identified the wood as follows:
AndrewC wrote:
The wood is probably Iroko - very distinctive endgrain but can split along the grain. Your best wood for this use is lignum vitae or one of the hard as rock Oz acacias Smile

I am grateful for the ID. I would not have guessed it. Our samples are all much darker, even when freshly cut, than any of the images shown for Iroko at http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics . I'm glad you recognized that distinctive endgrain.

In this application, the Iroko seems to be working fine. Now after 20 months of regular use, the fitting shows no signs of cracking or splitting.

--Rik
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