Hopefully this doesn't take the cake as stupid question of the day, but, uhm, can someone who's got one of these hopefully enlighten me on the correct way this thing stores?
OK, so I've got the main bed for it, with a "solid" end and a folding end. The solid end contains the tripod mount.
When this camera arrived, it was set on the bed in a manner that when I closed it the front standard was facing (actually HANGING) off the sold portion, and the ground glass side of the rear standard faced the folded up bed, a sort of protector for it. There's a screw in the top of the rear standard and the folded-up top of the bed that has a little hook on it. Throw this over, and the bed protects the glass.
OK, this seems right BUT: The front standard is barely on the track, if at all. When opened and used normally, I mount the tripod under the front standard, if I crank the rear standard to the end of the rails for ease of use then the center of gravity is WAY over the tripod, and not nearly so sturdy. Yes, I am using an under-spec'd tripod for this, but even so this hardly seems safe or remotely sturdy at all. My tripod head, a Bogen 3055S, was listed as "super heavy duty" and supposedly supports a weight of 15#, threatens to dump this config over to the side.
So, I smile to myself and figure the guy who's owned this thing for all of five minutes knows more than the guy who owned previously, and I take the standards off, flip 'em round, and put them back on. Now, when I close it up, I can crank the rear standard to the end of the solid portion of the bed so the GG is off the edge (but the gears are engaged on the track), I move the front standard all the way back, and fold it up. Well, this sure fits nicer. The front rails provide protection to the wee little lens on the front now, and its all still on the rails. Sturdy, right? Right! I put it on the tripod, open it up, and can now focus primarily with the front standard, the heavy rear standard is over the tripod, and its much more sturdy.
This also seems right, BUT (again!): There's absolutely NO protection for the ground glass. Uh, this is a "field" camera, surely there should be something going on, right? Those little latch systems earlier? Nope, don't line up to anything anymore. Sure, the rubber band attached to the bellows' support screw can go over that latch, which then hooks to the front standard, but at the same time I'm not so sure if this is right either.
So, tell me: How does it go? Am I right or was the other guy right or is there really no right at all? What does one use for ground glass protection on something like this? I figure I can just put the extended bed over the rear GG, with the darkcloth between them, then use a set of bungie cords to lash it all together, but if I don't need that extended rail then I'd rather not carry it: Its heavy enough as it is.