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BarryS
19-Dec-2009, 16:04
I finally convinced myself that there were limits to the lenses my 8x10 Kodak 2D and Deardorff could handle, so I've been looking for a studio camera and stand. It's not easy finding ones in nice condition with decent bellows, but I located one in the Detroit area and came to an agreement with the owner. He wouldn't ship, but agreed to meet me in Toledo with the camera. That's a solid 7+ hour drive for me, so my plan was to drive down yesterday with the girlfriend, stay overnight in Toledo and head back today. Well, the big snow storm threw a wrench in my plans.

I left yesterday at 6:00 am and arrived in Toledo at 2:00 pm. The camera and stand looked great and I filled up my car with all the pieces. While we were deciding on what to see in Toledo, the girlfriend calls to check on the weather and it sounds like the forecast keeps getting worse. We decide to head straight back to Maryland. Traffic is heavy around Pittsburgh and by the time we hit I-270 to drop down into Maryland, it's been snowing for a couple of hours and the road is complete chaos. The plows haven't touched the southbound lanes and cars are skidding and crashing everywhere.

In Washington snow storms, some drivers go 55, and some go 5 mph--causing the chaos. We finally made it home around midnight after 18 straight hours of driving--probably a record for me. We unload the camera and stand, and I pass out. :)

Today, I've been happily snowed in and got to assemble and clean up the 8A and Master Studio stand. What a great camera--very simple and well made. It takes a 10" lens board, so I figure that easily covers any lens I can afford. I have an 18" Petzval portrait lens on the way (thanks Frank!). I need to make a few simple repairs including patching some bellows holes, and a couple of wood repairs--but otherwise it's in very nice condition. It came with an ILEXPO shutter box, which isn't working at the moment, but looks like it can be fixed. If anyone has experience troubleshooting these shutters, I have a few questions.

It's a big camera, but I'm renting some new studio space--so it has a place to live. It's good to be a little crazy now and then.

http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/571/artreactor3744.jpg

http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/5044/artreactor3746.jpg

Diane Maher
19-Dec-2009, 16:36
Cool! Sounds like you are having fun! My Century 7A on its stand sits in the living room. I wish I had more space than I do. I'd love to play with this big brass lens. At the moment, I can only focus outside or across the room to use it.

Nice space you have in that second shot. :D

BarryS
19-Dec-2009, 17:02
Space always seems to be an issue with large format. At least the Century studio camera look pretty while they're taking up space. I'd love to find some big cheap loft space around DC--but alas, it doesn't exist. My new studio will be shared with a few other artists, but it should work out for the 8A. Do you have any family members that might be amenable to moving out? :)

http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/7984/artreactor3643.jpg
Future home of Century 8A

http://img37.imageshack.us/img37/9381/artreactor3638.jpg

Joe Forks
19-Dec-2009, 17:13
awesome man! I'm envious! What no beer in the new studio?

BarryS
19-Dec-2009, 17:45
It's coming, Joe, it's coming. :)

Jim Galli
19-Dec-2009, 21:27
Congrats! We are a small fraternity these days.........people crazy enough to own one of these. Did you get the 11X14 back with it? The Ilexpo's are very simple and straight forward. Take the tin cover off the back and start cleaning. Make sure you've got a good seal on the supply hose, and get a new bulb at Harbor Freight. They sell them for concrete workers that need to blow small areas clean. Now when that 24" Eidoscop comes your way, you'll be set.

wfwhitaker
19-Dec-2009, 21:46
So the 8A is an 11x14? (I can never keep Century numbers straight...) Heck, I would've made the drive, too!

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
19-Dec-2009, 22:01
Congratulations! I also recently bought a massive camera and stand, but don't yet have the space for it. Mine will sit in storage until late this summer, after I have rebuilt the garage...

BarryS
19-Dec-2009, 22:14
Will--yes, the 8A is an 11x14 camera. I agree, the numbering system for Century Studio cameras isn't particularly helpful. The 7A is 8x10, but so is the 10A. I'm not expert, but I think anything other than an 8A is an 8x10 camera. Maybe someone else has decoded the system.

Jason--thanks, which camera did you get? I'd have a hard time keeping it in storage. I've already got the rear standard off of mine to do some repairs.

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
19-Dec-2009, 22:39
I found a Deardorff Studio 11x14 locally, complete with 11' stand. The camera is in my basement on a table looking pretty while being repaired, but the stand is just way too tall for my basement, so it will have to wait for the garage.

Diane Maher
20-Dec-2009, 07:33
Actually Barry, with my recent divorce, I do have more space, but it is being used as plastic bin storage (I have a kitten who wants to eat paper and plastic) so I can get more space in other rooms. I would like to move into a house at some point, but haven't figured out yet how that will occur. :(

8x10 user
20-Dec-2009, 12:50
I was looking at the same camera but I acted too slow :(

BarryS
20-Dec-2009, 12:53
Congrats! We are a small fraternity these days.........people crazy enough to own one of these. Did you get the 11X14 back with it? The Ilexpo's are very simple and straight forward. Take the tin cover off the back and start cleaning. Make sure you've got a good seal on the supply hose, and get a new bulb at Harbor Freight. They sell them for concrete workers that need to blow small areas clean. Now when that 24" Eidoscop comes your way, you'll be set.

Thanks Jim. I guess you're partly responsible because the small Petzvals lead to medium Petzvals, the medium ones lead to big ones--and then you need studio camera to mount 'em. :) Unfortunately no 11x14 or 8x10 back. I have a spare 8x10 back that can be easily modified, but I really want an 11x14 back. I may try building one if I can get my hands on some spare parts. I'll try popping open the Ilexpo and see if it won't clean up, but I think some of the parts may be mis-positioned or missing.

I plan to teach workshops using the camera and people will be able to rent studio time with it--if I can find anyone interested.

BarryS
20-Dec-2009, 12:55
I was looking at the same camera but I acted too slow :(

No worries, there are more studio cameras than potential users out there. Eddie always has them and there are at least 3-4 on eBay that are unsold. Make somebody an offer.

Bosaiya
21-Dec-2009, 16:37
http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/5044/artreactor3746.jpg

I see no problem with this layout.

eddie
21-Dec-2009, 17:05
awesome! great find. i have an old beat up one and a no. 2 stand that needs some wheels etc etc. i wish i could find one as nice as yours. i want a master stand like you have.

i, like jason have the monster DD 1114 with that HUGE stand....a great set up but i like the looks of the century ones.....

i know a guy that has an 11x14 studio camera with a 12x12 inch front lens board. i have been working him for years now. one day i will have it. then i can put some serious glass on the front of it.

enjoy. i just sold the one out of my living room.....an offer i could not refuse. now the ansco is inside....boy do i hate the battle ship gray....

eddie

eddie
21-Dec-2009, 17:07
where is the film holder rack?!@?!?!

tonkhang
21-Dec-2009, 17:55
I have one , it's a 11x14 and I have one 8x10 back .

Mark Sawyer
21-Dec-2009, 18:29
Ahhh... beauty and practicality!

I'd suggest taking all the metal parts off and repainting them in the original black. I did that to my old rusty Semi-Centennial Stand, and it looked so much nicer afterwards. Or you could opt for something flashier, say an antique gold-leaf. And maybe change out the felt bed for a leopard-skin print...

Okay, time for someone to start a new thread: "Pimp My Camera Stand".

BarryS
21-Dec-2009, 18:54
Eddie-- You must be the only person in the world that feels a 9" or 10" lens board is too small. :) Let me know when you find that Petzval with an 11" flange. The Deardorff sounds like a monster with that stand. Oh yes, I removed the film holder racks for transport--they'll go back on when the camera gets to my studio.

Mark-- The gold leaf sounds pretty good. :) Do you think the castings were originally painted black. The paint job sure looks original on my stand. Do you know the differences between the Semi-Centennial stands and the Master Studio Stand? I know the Master Studio Stand came later--maybe after Kodak spun off Folmer-Graflex.

Mark Sawyer
21-Dec-2009, 19:54
Every Semi-Centennial Stand I've seen (maybe a dozen) had the metalwork painted black. But who knows what the old painters did after a few beers! I've never seen a Master Studio Stand, so I can't say anything useful about them or the differences...

BarryS
22-Dec-2009, 05:58
Ok, thanks. I'm pretty sure this one has the original finish.

I've started to get the camera restored for use. No major issues, but the rear frame had pulled away a little from the rear swing platform on one side. Some clamping and replacing of screws fixed the problem. I'm also taking care of some pinholes at the bellows corners using some Golden Acrylic Carbon Black paint. The Ilexpo is stumping me a bit. It's gummed up with some old oil, but I can't figure out how to get it completely apart. Once the black cover box comes off, can the brass cover plate be removed? Otherwise, how can I clean the shutter blades?

http://img695.imageshack.us/img695/2913/century8a3755.jpg
Fixing the rear frame

http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/6185/century8a3760.jpg
Fixing the bellows is easier when you can fit your head inside.

http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/4162/century8a3759.jpg
Trying to ungum the Ilexpo

goamules
22-Dec-2009, 08:19
Ahhh... beauty and practicality!

I'd suggest taking all the metal parts off and repainting them in the original black. I did that to my old rusty Semi-Centennial Stand, and it looked so much nicer afterwards. Or you could opt for something flashier, say an antique gold-leaf. And maybe change out the felt bed for a leopard-skin print...

Okay, time for someone to start a new thread: "Pimp My Camera Stand".

I'm thinking of painting my mahogany one Haze Gray. So many people strip the lovely vintage gray paint off of these, revealing the ugly hardwood. Or maybe I'll use Candy Apple Red...

Garrett

Louis Pacilla
22-Dec-2009, 16:49
Hi Barry , Mark , Fellows

Just wanted to point a couple of thing out.

The metal on the Semi centennial # 1 & #2 are both in fact painted black. The stand that BarryS's 8a is on is a Master Studio Stand & all metal on the Master Studio is a crinkle Brown paint w/ Lots of texture . This was the last incarnation of the Century Stands/Cameras .

Kind of weird but the Master Studio Camera itself has The Brown textured finish on all metal parts versus the patina finsh on all other Century's. The Master Stand is w/ out a doubt the best best or @ the least most full function of the Century stands.The wheels on BarryS's stand are more than likely the orginal wheels. This is one of the improvements over time. The other is the bed will tilt to almost completely vertical. This is the only Century that will tilt to this extreme. Not the Semi #1 or the Semi#2. Just the model that BarryS has his 8a on.

The Catalog correct stand for a #8 ( the largest camera)Is the Semi- Centennial #2.The difference in the #2 bed is longer , the post are more robust & the frame that moves up & down is between the post is just shy of 3" while the #1 is shy of 2" Oh Yea one more minor is the wheel that moves the bed up & down is larger. does not appear to go higher or lower or tilt to a great angle. Just a little bigger for the bigger #8 camera.

I did not know this but if you have the Master Studio Camera on the Master stand(An elderly gent showed me this feature on my Master outfit.) The tilt bed on the Master will tilt to almost vertical (Neither the Semi #1 or 2 will go anywhere near that) & So your camera does not flop over & smash on the floor when this extreme angle is needed .
The bottom of the rails of the Master Studio Camera have a female thread on each stationary rail R/L.
The master stand has two brass threaded ports that match up w/ the Master Camera You thread a 1/4" mounting bolt through both bed of stand into rails of the Camera. The Camera is now attached to the stand.

BTW- I can post pictures if you care to see what I'm talking about. I can show the tilt difference as well. Again I figure no one cares, but I would:) if you wanted to see what I speak about

Does the above make any sense. I know you probably could care less but i figured this was cool when it was shown to me so I thought I'd share.




Ahhh... beauty and practicality!

I'd suggest taking all the metal parts off and repainting them in the original black. I did that to my old rusty Semi-Centennial Stand, and it looked so much nicer afterwards. Or you could opt for something flashier, say an antique gold-leaf. And maybe change out the felt bed for a leopard-skin print...

Okay, time for someone to start a new thread: "Pimp My Camera Stand".

BarryS
22-Dec-2009, 17:22
Thanks Louis--very interesting. I was wondering about the two brass ports on the underside of the stand bed. The finish is indeed crinkle brown on the metal stand castings. I knew that the Semi-Centennial 2A stand was matched to the 8A, but did all the Studio camera and stand variations get condensed down to just the Master Studio camera and Master Studio stand? Was this something that happened around 1928 after Folmer Graflex was spun off of Eastman Kodak? I'm curious if there was an 11x14 version of the Master Studio camera or if the 8A was the final 11x14 model. The Master Studio stand is more than adequate to support the 8A with the exception that the bed length is a few inches shorter than camera base rail. It also feels like the tension spring was adjusted to accomodate the 8A.

Louis Pacilla
22-Dec-2009, 18:07
Hi Barry

I believe that by the time the Master Studio Camera / Master Studio Stand came out the demand had decreased they made only the master in various forms like ID Camera Mug shot Camera Medical use & They seemed to make the Master Studio Kit as deluxe as possible & drop the 10/8/7/ so on again .

I really doubt that your camera & stand are birthed at the same time. You could figure all this out w/ a bit of time line study but my & serial # on back rail of camera. I think the Master was somewhere around 40's 50's through the late 60's this is educated guess.

The best thing is you have a Master & not a Semi #1. as this stand is a little less robust & the 8a is a beast.

BTW- Barry, have you looked @ the 1927 Eastman catalog on Seth's site( Camera Eccentric)? They break the 8a versus 10a ( which is pretty much the master - the improvements.).camera stands, what came w/ camera, what you could buy extra & so on.

Peace
Louis

BarryS
22-Dec-2009, 18:30
Ok, that's what I thought--the camera was made before the stand, although I had no idea they were making studio cameras and stands into the 60's. I've studied that 1927 catalog for the information on the 8A and stands, but haven't found anything post-dating it. I thought there might be some information in the Folmer Graflex catalogs, but I couldn't find anything on the Master Studio cameras.

Louis Pacilla
22-Dec-2009, 18:48
Hi again
My Time lines are in no way exact. I have taken liberty w/ ish 's:) .
The end may have been the late 50's early 60's
Peace
Louis

BTW- I have a B&J catalog from 1959. The only offering as far as Studio cameras of this type was the Master Studio Camera. Actually the full name by this time was the Rembrandt Master Studio Camera. You Could buy as kit camera 8x10/5x7 sliding carriage & stand . You could also buy a few accessories & finally you could buy either camera or stand .
Not even a whole page,2/3rds a page .

More than likely the beginning of the end of the big wood beauties. or dam near the end.

BarryS
23-Dec-2009, 05:28
Thanks Louis.

I found this interesting painting with an even more interesting title by Charles Sheeler--"View of New York".

http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/4050/sheeler.jpg

Louis Pacilla
23-Dec-2009, 06:10
Man would I love that on my wall.
Thanks for sharing Charlies work .



Thanks Louis.

I found this interesting painting with an even more interesting title by Charles Sheeler--"View of New York".

http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/4050/sheeler.jpg

Clarence Rhymer
1-Feb-2010, 18:45
Hello All,

I obtained a Graflex Master Studio Camera and stand as a restoration project, so I would appreciate any additional info and photos that anyone may have. The camera mostly needs some re-gluing,refinishing, and bellows, but the stand requires a complete rebuilding of the wooden parts. I had thought that the major parts of the stand were deeply rusted, but after Louis' comments, I think that while there is some rust, the brown crinkle paint is still mostly intact. I assumed that the moving parts would all be seized, but they are free. The spring does have a layer of rust.

Thank you for any comments.

Cheers,
Clarence

BarryS
1-Feb-2010, 21:09
Hi Clarence-- I can take some detailed photos of my Master Studio stand if that would help.

Clarence Rhymer
1-Feb-2010, 23:29
Hi Barry,

Thank you. That would be great. You could email them to me if they are too large/many to post.

Cheers,
Clarence

jnanian
2-Feb-2010, 06:35
hi barry
i just found this thread -
great camera and stand!
i have the same thing ( different stand though )
and mine came with a 8x10 back.
i had to fabricate my own 11x14 back ( foam core )
and then i was lucky enough to find a 7x11 back AND holders.

are your bellows some sort of almost cardboard material ?
mine had some funky felt on the corners and i repaired a lot of
the leaks with india ink and elmer's white glue ( pva ) ...

have fun!
john

dalphoto
14-Nov-2011, 14:24
Hi All

New here. I came apon this forum trying to research a Kodak 7a Century Camera that has been in my garage for a few years. I aquired it from from Bachrach Studios when they closed their Morristown, NJ studio in the 90's. There is no lens. It came with the camera, (red bellows), 8x10, 5x7 and 4x5 holders. Also the sliding backs and reducing backs. I don't have a current picture since I had to disassemble it into three sections,to get it home. From the research that I've done so far it appears that someone painted it gray. Photos I've seen show the camera a natural dark wood and the stand the same. This one is all battleship gray. My wife tells me that if I don't find a new home for it soon the junk man will be getting a call. I can't bear that thought. So anybody out there know someone who might be interested...lets talk.