View Full Version : camera stand woes

3-Jan-2010, 18:36
What should I do with this camera stand?

Someone had the tilt rebuilt with a new mechanism. It looks professionally done, certainly heavy duty; but fails miserably in achieving it's objective, namely giving the stand a USEFUL tilt. This mod has the bed behaving like a balance - makes the perfect vehicle for simulating sea sickness just by looking through the groundglass:eek:
How can I regain some stability?

Second question: did the beds of these stands come with tripod screws?

Third question: What does the wheel lock lever look like? On this stand, the top portion is missing (it doesn't look broken off though).

Jim C.
3-Jan-2010, 20:24
That's an interesting mod, certainly heavy duty but it looks unfinished nor well
thought out. There doesn't seem to be many pictures on the net of the OEM mechanics
of these stands but with what I could find looks like the original tilt mech was adjusted by
a lead screw that has a crank handle, pictures link -

Completed auction listing (http://cgi.ebay.com/Century-8-x-10-Antique-View-Camera-VINTAGE_W0QQitemZ400090873221QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item5d27463d85) nice reference images

and here in our own forum - The Century "Semi-Centennial" stand (http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=22576) scroll down to the etching.

with what yours has, I can only suggest that you add a gas spring to stabilize the tilt, the cross member
just above the base looks to still have the OEM mount for the tilt mech, you could make something
that will offset the air spring to clear the hand wheel.

3-Jan-2010, 20:56
It looks like you have a late model Century Semi-Centennial stand. Those solid base castings look like those on my Century Master Studio stand, but everything else is consistent with the earlier Semi-Centennial stand. The wheel lock is just a long lever you push down that drops the foot. Yours looks like a broken-off stub, so you could easily attach a long handle to get better leverage.

The added tilt mechanism is astoundingly bad design. The camera bed needs to be supported at the front and rear--yours is designed like a diving board! If it were my stand, I'd remove the whole geared mess, hinge the front bed to the stand (like the original), and add a worm drive similar to the original--that supports the rear edge of the camera bed.

The latter Century Master stands have brass threaded ports for bolts that fit into the base of the Century Master Studio camera. It wouldn't be hard to add something similar is you want to attach the camera to the stand. There are some photos of my stand at http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?t=57143&highlight=century

4-Jan-2010, 12:53
Some good suggestion here.

I'll probably turn a wooden lever for the wheel lock and attach it with a threaded rod ... should work.

The tilt OTOH is a triumph of stupidity. Going to the extremes and trying to recreate the original design sounds rather futile (and expensive). I have been tinkering with the idea to move the current design off to a side (to gain center clearance), and install an adjustable crossbrace (similar to a wooden tripod leg).

4-Jan-2010, 13:11
The original design is very simple and I can't imagine that it would cost that much to replicate, but there are a lot of even simpler/cheaper things you could do. The few parts you need can be had from McMaster-Carr (http://www.mcmaster.com/#). You could make a rectangular wood bracket that folds up from the stand and rests between wooden stops on the base of the camera platform. Nothing says you need to have continuously variable positions for tilting the camera. You could also have a single wooden stop that slides in a simple track that can be tightened.

4-Jan-2010, 14:31
go back to the original design. it would be very easy to do.