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View Full Version : Levy Process camera don't tell me to throw it out please



Randy Moe
5-Mar-2013, 22:55
I have noticed Levy Process cameras are generally rejected and unwanted. I have a small beauty and it is the one camera everyone comments on in my studio. I have plenty of smaller format cameras, but have to draw the financial line at anything over 8x10, but...

This thing is ready for 11x14. The wood, bellows and 2 holders are perfect. Big and clumsy, without movements, except for a couple. It has front rise, and the stand can be tilted quite a bit and cranked up and down. I figure I can do studio portraits. It has up to 30" bellows draw and I have considered hanging a B&J 8x10 off the front to give more bellows length and movements.

The holders are, pressure plate felt backed gizmos that, I guess need a heavy piece of glass to hold the film with the felt. Please look at the pictures. I am a little lost here.

It seems I could put glass in the holder, put film against the glass and hold it in place with the felt pressure plate. It looks like one would first focus on a removable ground glass and then put the film holder back on. That is an 8x10 GG in the pictures, It looks like I could go to 11x14. If I am buying 11x14 film to cut down to 7x11, I may as well try shooting full size film.

11x14 holders are priced out this world and a 11x14 back would also be prohibitive. This is clumsy, but it may work...

So, has anyone done this? Any tips or admonitions. I am worried about breaking the film holding glass as the pressure springs are very heavy duty. I think I will need 1/4 plate glass.90724907269072790728

Jim C.
6-Mar-2013, 11:17
Looks to me that in the third pic there are clips to hold glass, and there's definitely a lip for the glass
see what the depth of the lip is and get glass accordingly. If the springs seem too strong you could
change the felt to a thinner one or shim up the metal tabs the springs slip under to lessen the springs pressure.
Looks like they're riveted so drill them out and replace with similar size machine screws and lock nuts.

Randy Moe
6-Mar-2013, 11:41
Jim,

Good thinking and advice. The clip to to lip is 0.125", I just measured it. 1/8 plate glass. The felt is nearly perfect, I hate to disturb it. I will loosen the spring pressure with spacers, the metal tabs are held by wood screw, fortunately. This is why we need this forum, it's not like I can ask my digital friend's advice. One thing I do like about this camera, any film smaller than 12x15 will fit. I can test all day with 4x5...

Now I need glass, I think I have a glass shop 6 blocks away.

and make a lens board.


Thanks for the advice!


Looks to me that in the third pic there are clips to hold glass, and there's definitely a lip for the glass
see what the depth of the lip is and get glass accordingly. If the springs seem too strong you could
change the felt to a thinner one or shim up the metal tabs the springs slip under to lessen the springs pressure.
Looks like they're riveted so drill them out and replace with similar size machine screws and lock nuts.

Randy Moe
20-Feb-2016, 13:15
Way back machine. Sometimes I go back and read my own posts. Jim C had good advice. Thanks! I did use this camera and still have it, but sold the stand to a collector. The Levy is too heavy for a 1895 Tabletop stand. Those stands have a cool cast iron worm drive lifting system.

I am tempted to mount the Levy on something I could push down the sidewalk just because I like to make spectacle. So nice today here after the 70 mph winds of yesterday all Chicago is going crazy.

Me too, but you knew that. :)

Jonathan Barlow
23-Feb-2016, 10:07
It's a great looking camera. The sort of thing you should keep around so people will talk about it, even if you don't end up using it.

By the way, when you acquired the camera, did you happen to pick it up in a Chevy?

Randy Moe
23-Feb-2016, 10:14
The Chevy was brokedown at the river.

Darn Ford saved the day.

Levy has the most amazing, perfect and very heavy duty leather bellows. I always make people touch them which I never allow with any other camera.

I feel compelled to use it as camera as I convinced the prior owner to not use it for coffee table...



It's a great looking camera. The sort of thing you should keep around so people will talk about it, even if you don't end up using it.

By the way, when you acquired the camera, did you happen to pick it up in a Chevy?