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Bernard Kelly
18-Aug-2017, 11:23
The Brand 17 has a rotating back. I haven't been able to figure out how to rotate it (from landscape to portrait). There doesn't seem to be a detent. But it won't move. Although it wiggles a little, just enough to show me what would move (if it moved).

Jac@stafford.net
18-Aug-2017, 14:34
There should be a a silver thumb screw on the top of the back (in landscape mode) intended to lock down or add friction to rotation. There are no detents. If you find no such thumb screw, then it might be broken off, sticking the back in position. If that is the case then we can talk about how to extract the stuck screw and how to replace it.

Bernard Kelly
18-Aug-2017, 18:21
There is such a screw, but on mine it's at the bottom, as illustrated. Should I turn it CW, CCW or ...?

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Jac@stafford.net
18-Aug-2017, 18:37
There is such a screw, but on mine it's at the bottom, as illustrated. Should I turn it CW, CCW or ...?

168624

In my modest experience that is not the thumbscrew unless the handle on your camera is on the right side. Is it? It would make our day if the handle was on the right (from the camera back). Turn the screw anti-clockwise.

Very best of luck, sincerely. Hang in. We will get it sorted out.

Oh, to loosen always turn anti-clockwise.

Jac

Bernard Kelly
18-Aug-2017, 20:16
Hm, no. The handle is on the left side. There is some (audible, i.e., squeaky) sign of movement when I attempt to turn the screw CCW, but the back resists all the same. I see nothing on top to indicate that a screw is missing. (Room for a joke there.)

Merg Ross
18-Aug-2017, 22:25
Interesting. That was my first camera many moons ago, and a very good one. From your picture, I believe the front and rear standards are reversed. Not an answer to your question, but the Brand 17 label should be the front of the camera, not the rear. I'll try to recall how to release the back for rotation.

Bernard Kelly
19-Aug-2017, 08:35
Hi, Merg. Thanks for joining in. You're right, although, from what I can gather by looking at various images on Google, this position is fairly common. Is there an advantage either way?

Mine is the later version. There's a picture here [http://forum.mflenses.com/brand-camera-co-4x5-view-camera-1947-t51261.html] of the earlier version that shows the thumb screw Jac mentioned. Maybe the one I have just needs a nut, to turn it.

Merg Ross
19-Aug-2017, 10:19
Hi, Merg. Thanks for joining in. You're right, although, from what I can gather by looking at various images on Google, this position is fairly common. Is there an advantage either way?

Mine is the later version. There's a picture here [http://forum.mflenses.com/brand-camera-co-4x5-view-camera-1947-t51261.html] of the earlier version that shows the thumb screw Jac mentioned. Maybe the one I have just needs a nut, to turn it.

Hi Bernard. Okay, there seem to be several models. The one you link is earlier than the one I was using.

So, how do you fine focus yours in the present configuration? Perhaps you know that the lens standard can be moved to the center block for short lenses.

We need to find an answer for the rotating back issue, a really nice feature.

Bernard Kelly
19-Aug-2017, 10:41
The one with the muscular handle is, I think, the first version. Mine is like the one in the photo you put on your website, Merg, with the silver handle. I focus by moving the front standard only. Back and forth along the rails. My shortest lens is a 90 mm, so I haven't had need of the center block maneuver yet.

Merg Ross
19-Aug-2017, 11:59
Bernard, have you tried pulling down on that knob? Perhaps it releases the back for rotation, wish I could remember!

Bernard Kelly
19-Aug-2017, 13:42
Yes, I did. No luck there, either. Doesn't move.

Kinografx
28-Aug-2017, 10:52
Hi-

My Brand 17 is similar, except there is a large diameter thumbscrew on mine where there doesn't seem to be one on yours- The large screw loosens to rotate the back, then tightens up against that stubby bare screw to hold the back in place.168904

Hope that helps a little?

Merg Ross
28-Aug-2017, 12:26
Hi-

My Brand 17 is similar, except there is a large diameter thumbscrew on mine where there doesn't seem to be one on yours- The large screw loosens to rotate the back, then tightens up against that stubby bare screw to hold the back in place.168904

Hope that helps a little?

Bingo! I think that's the answer. I believe there is a spring on that stub for tightening.

Bernard Kelly
29-Aug-2017, 07:40
Bingo, indeed, Yes, that does help a lot, in that we now know the principle that should be at work. And I do have such a thumbscrew. It was in the box, but I didn't know what it was for. So the problem now is that the stub is stuck in the locked position. The thumbscrew has no effect on it. The spring itself is springy, so dirt doesn' t seem to be the cause. Any suggestions for loosening up the stub?

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CedarMesaPhoto
29-Aug-2017, 21:45
I have one that has that same arrangement (sorry, just now saw the thread). I had to take all the knobs off of the camera and put a small dab of machine oil on all of the threads. I think the aluminum, or magnesium, whatever they used, gets corroded over time and locks the threads down. I put a small drop of oil on the detent plunger and now it works much better. It still hurts my finger to pull that plunger down sometimes, though, so it is not exactly a perfect set-up. If I used in the field much I would either carry a small needle-nose plier, or use a car key to pop it downward. Chris

Bernard Kelly
30-Aug-2017, 10:24
Thanks, Chris -- and thanks to all who've contributed to this thread so far; you've been very helpful.

The threads on mine are generally okay. The stub/plunger perhaps just didn't get enough use and settled in place. I'll try the machine oil.

Merg Ross
30-Aug-2017, 11:17
Thanks, Chris -- and thanks to all who've contributed to this thread so far; you've been very helpful.

The threads on mine are generally okay. The stub/plunger perhaps just didn't get enough use and settled in place. I'll try the machine oil.

Your next post will be, "success"! (I hope)

The advantage of reversing the standards would be a benefit for precise focusing. I had never seen the Brand 17 in its present configuration (until now). Just a thought. Good luck!
Merg

Bernard Kelly
30-Aug-2017, 13:17
Thanks, Merg. If this thread has taught me anything at all, it's that I don't know enough about my own camera. Reversing the standards is on my list of things to do.

Bernard Kelly
6-Sep-2017, 14:24
Still not getting anywhere with the revolving back, but I thought I'd post these, if only for Merg's sake.

I reversed the standards; it was much simpler to do than I expected. It does look better. And I can see how much easier it is to fine focus from the rear than the front. I take it that the distance scale works with the little white dot below it. Seems pretty accurate so far.

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Merg Ross
6-Sep-2017, 15:45
Still not getting anywhere with the revolving back, but I thought I'd post these, if only for Merg's sake.

I reversed the standards; it was much simpler to do than I expected. It does look better. And I can see how much easier it is to fine focus from the rear than the front. I take it that the distance scale works with the little white dot below it. Seems pretty accurate so far.

169403 169404

Thanks Bernard, I appreciate the update. Yes, rear focus should make life easier. I am not familiar with the distance scale, either a slightly different model or perhaps an accessory.
The camera looks quite clean considering its age. Now, you need to get the back working. Maybe post a separate thread; there are machinists who frequent this site that might have an idea of how to free up the stub.

CedarMesaPhoto
6-Sep-2017, 22:20
Yeah, that is by far the cleanest Brand I have ever seen. They can get fairly corroded, but it never seems to hurt them any. So you still cannot get the plunger to pull out? Let some lube soak in for a bit with the camera upside down. Mine is much nicer now that I have used machine oil on it. I think Brand advertising even stated that the standards could be switched either way whether you wanted focus on the front or the back. It is perfectly symmetrical to allow for that. Chris

Willie
7-Sep-2017, 02:43
If machine oil does not get it loose try DEEP CREEP from SeaFoam. You could use PB Blaster but it smells and that does linger. Just a drop or two on the screw and let it sit for an hour or so before trying to move the screw. After it gets loose clean with a good small wire brush and use something like silicone lube on it when you put it back on.
Good luck.

Bernard Kelly
7-Sep-2017, 09:03
Thanks, Chris and Willie, for your comments.

From the state of the bellows, I'd say it was more displayed than used by the original owner, if not stored away in the dark. But it's getting plenty of use now. The one clear ad I've found online shows it in in front focus mode for handheld use and rear focus mode for studio use.

My neighbour has some penetrating oil, but, like PB Blaster, it stinks mightily. I think I'll try Deep Creep. The name alone ...