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Thread: Adjustable viewfinder for Busch Pressman?

  1. #1

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    Adjustable viewfinder for Busch Pressman?

    I've seen Bolex Paillard adjustable viewfinders available which are supposed to cover a range of 16mm to 150mm. Wouldn't this be a good means of accommodating a variety of lenses on press cameras as a quick viewfinder for composing? I've not had opportunity to pick one up (they appear to be pretty inexpensive), but this looks like something to consider.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks,

    Ed

  2. #2

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    Re: Adjustable viewfinder for Busch Pressman?

    Linhof makes something like that for 4x5, not particularly expensive for an older one, though undoubtedly the new ones are an arm and a leg or two:
    http://linhof.com/en/optischer-universalsucher/
    It's a parallax-correcting zoom finder for 90-360mm lenses.

    On Ebay I often see old ones for in the neighborhood of $150, but without the camera shoe part. Search for "Linhof finder".
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  3. #3
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Adjustable viewfinder for Busch Pressman?

    Mr. Darton's observation is correct, but please remember that the range of focal lengths for the Busch Pressman is limited, and by the way, I own one.

  4. #4

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    Re: Adjustable viewfinder for Busch Pressman?

    I can imagine a kit where it might be useful: 90mm, 135mm, 12" tele-Raptar, 15" tele-Raptar. Those all would probably work on the camera. A 210mm lens would probably work. That leaves the center ~200 to 300mm unfulfilled, maybe.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  5. #5

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    Re: Adjustable viewfinder for Busch Pressman?

    I have used the Bolex finders on the 16mm cameras, but they are like looking at the world through a peephole, and they are long and bulky, so maybe not the best choice if you want a clear, large view...

    There are those Chinese top mounted finders for 4x5, and not too expensive... But I don't know what shoe on the camera is required to hold it, but I'm guessing it's like the hot shoe on other cameras (like for flashes) and blank shoes are available that might mount your camera...

    Good Luck!!!

    Happy Holidays!!!

    Steve K

  6. #6
    Small town, South Carolina, US
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    Re: Adjustable viewfinder for Busch Pressman?

    You can mount a Graflex viewfinder on the Pressman pretty easily. Then use the appropriate mask for the focal length lens you are using. Or make your own masks. The Graflex viewfinders have an adjustment for parallax similar to the Pressman's viewfinder.

    (I have done that on my Pressman.)

  7. #7
    Old School Wayne
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    Re: Adjustable viewfinder for Busch Pressman?

    Quote Originally Posted by rfesk View Post
    You can mount a Graflex viewfinder on the Pressman pretty easily. Then use the appropriate mask for the focal length lens you are using. Or make your own masks. The Graflex viewfinders have an adjustment for parallax similar to the Pressman's viewfinder.

    (I have done that on my Pressman.)
    Maybe you should write up an illustrated tutorial. I'd like to get a viewfinder back on my D someday, and I don't know where I put the one I took off

  8. #8

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    Re: Adjustable viewfinder for Busch Pressman?

    Thanks for all of the commentary! I was interested in a different viewfinder due to having purchased a 6in Dagor at a favorable price, along with getting the Pressman for a modest $80 figure. Total investment, not including reproduction lens boards, is roughly $250. The mounting plate for the existing viewfinder is slightly bent, and I'm not sure if the plate can easily be straightened out. Not being aware of the compatibllity of the Graflex masks, I was interested in finding some way to have the field of view of a 150mm lens represented, so that I could make occasional use of this camera. For now, I'll look to see about removing the existing viewfinder and seeing if it can be repaired to some degree. If so, then a mask would be a nice way to handle things. Otherwise, I'll just replace it, but keep the original.

    Happy New Year to everyone in the meantime!

    Ed

  9. #9
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Adjustable viewfinder for Busch Pressman?

    Quote Originally Posted by EdC View Post
    For now, I'll look to see about removing the existing viewfinder and seeing if it can be repaired to some degree.
    Ed, the external viewfinder for the Busch Pressman D is a weak point. I have a D NIB and the finder is yellowed, and difficult to disassemble to clean, so I think your pursuit of an equivalent is a good idea - or suffer through it. The wire frame is fine - for the limited focal length it is made for. A Linhoff optical finder is hard to beat, even the earlier model.

    And are you sure you can make the rangefinder (if it has one) match the lens you have chosen? I would be skeptical.

    Forgive me for proselytizing, but comparing what you paid for the camera to the price of an improved accessory can be misleading. The improved part might raise the useful value of the camera considerably.
    --
    Jac - always looking for the better finders, and I have too many.

  10. #10

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    Re: Adjustable viewfinder for Busch Pressman?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jac@stafford.net View Post
    Ed, the external viewfinder for the Busch Pressman D is a weak point. I have a D NIB and the finder is yellowed, and difficult to disassemble to clean, so I think your pursuit of an equivalent is a good idea - or suffer through it. The wire frame is fine - for the limited focal length it is made for. A Linhoff optical finder is hard to beat, even the earlier model.

    And are you sure you can make the rangefinder (if it has one) match the lens you have chosen? I would be skeptical.

    Forgive me for proselytizing, but comparing what you paid for the camera to the price of an improved accessory can be misleading. The improved part might raise the useful value of the camera considerably.
    --
    Jac - always looking for the better finders, and I have too many.
    You raise some excellent points, Jac! I guess I was expressing some concern about total dollars spent, since the camera is not going to be my go to for field use. The town that I live in has some quaint older sections, within walking distance of my office. I was planning on trying out the Pressman over some lunch hours just to get some photo time in. The work schedule is pretty demanding, and I want to get some time in doing something other than pounding on the keyboard, although that does pay for this hobby......

    Ed

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