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Bellows Hoods are Back in Style - 90 minute conversion project
  • Spurred on by Black Magic Design having presented their new camera sporting bellows, I've finally got around to modifying my Hasselblad bellows mattebox into a hood. Since I used the rear filter slot as a mount, it no longer qualifies as a matte box - but the original is left totally intact and conversion is reversible.

    Shown extended to FOV of Panasonic 14mm pancake; will fast-adjust to any focal length.

    Next, upper French flag and front letterbox matte. I'm hoping it will be seriously dark in there!

    image imageimage

    My bellows cost $50. See similar on eBay

    or Mamiya models at

    [Edit 3 June: added much smaller file-size pics, PNGs too big, sorry!]

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  • 5 Replies sorted by
  • Thanks for post.

    Looks really cool.

    Also very usable are rubber hoods.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev

    I'm just discovering other advantages besides killing much more unwanted stray light:

    1. Yes indeed. it does turn out to look extremely cool - and I can't say I mind that :-). (Sort of like a DSLR in a dinner-suit).
    2. With bellows closed, it packs down really flat into a small case so I'll be taking it places when a matte box would have been too big;
    3. I'll work much faster than with a fixed hood & flags.
  • I have exactly the same bellows, been meaning to do something like this for a while. Is it a pain to focus with the bellows on?

  • @DaleCampbell

    Is it a pain to focus with the bellows on?

    • The short answer us yes - it's as hard as any matte box.
    • I'm doing this as part of my "let the camera do the work" trials;
    • You could actually set most lenses back further than I've shown, using some sort of cone-shaped donut or adapter;
    • You could add a focus lever-thingy;
    • Thanks for your input! (tell me if you can think of an elegant way to add a French flag without drilling into the bellows. (remember I'll be adding a slide-in metal letterbox matte; the lens will be in a Ned Kelly-style bunker. Without a small flag, sunlight will hit the upper edge of the slit.)
  • Added my drawing for steel 16:9 matte. Sent this away for laser cutting quotes. If I get a good price maybe others might be interested..

    If my matte prototype works, I could even send the CAD files of both matte and bracket off to somebody who can run off a batch of these.

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