View Full Version : Seneca View Camera - The good news and the bad news...

3-Apr-2013, 15:03
The good news is that my Seneca view camera arrived and is overall in nice shape. The bad news is that I still can't figure out how to make the camera body extend towards the back rail extension. The only knob I can't figure out is on the back right-hand side of the actual camera. I realize that the inner knob is meant to lock the outer one. However, even when released the outer knob doesn't rotate except to unscrew. It's worth noting that this knob looked a bit knocked out of place when the camera first arrived. Any thoughts?

Thanks - Michael


Jim C.
3-Apr-2013, 15:22
Nice Seroco, my only thoughts are that if the knob screws out,
the peened end ( mushroomed ) of the shaft is gone
try some Loctite thread locker on the outer knob, also not being familiar
with Seroco views, do you need to push down that metal tab ?

Kodak 2D's have a sprung tooth that prevents the rear standard from being racked off the bed, the 2D extension
rail has a brass disc that defeats that tooth when it's installed.

3-Apr-2013, 16:38
Jim, I think you are on to something. I'll try some Loctite thread locker on the outer knob. First thing I discovered was that the rear standard rod that allows the camera body to move back and forth was not straight. I carefully bent it back into position. Even that took unscrewing 8 small screws. Now the back standard moves stiffly back and forth on the front extension. The back standard stops prior to reaching the back extension. When placing the back extension onto the camera a small latch on the rail moves to the side. This is likely the mechanism you mentioned that prevents the rear standard from being racked off the bed when the rear extension is not in place. I just need to determine if the mechanism is faulty or what else I can do.

Jim C.
3-Apr-2013, 17:39
Is the 'rear standard rod' that you refer to have gears on it ?
The stiffness could be from that rod being bent.

Another thing to check is that all is square, look down on the camera, front and rear standard,
they should be square to the rails, if the rack and pinion is off by a tooth that can make it move stiffly or not at all.
You may have to rack the rear standard and the front ( see if there is a stop pin for the front ) off the bed and re-insert
it back to get the gears to mesh properly.

3-Apr-2013, 18:15
Yes, the rear standard rod has gears and was bent a bit. That I took care of. I tried re-racking the front and rear standards. Unfortunately I don't think that is the problem. The rear standard simply stops when it extends back on the piece of wood the tripod attaches to. Again, I believe that with the rear standard in place the mechanism is switched off that would prevent the rear standard from slide back farther. Hmmm..

Jim C.
3-Apr-2013, 21:01
I looked at the auction photos again, and it has a interesting helical gear rack, anyway, I would check the rack on the rails, they're
nailed in on 2D's but the Seroco looks like they might be screwed in ? There may be a screw head sticking up that's stopping the
gear from continuing. Sight down the gap between the rails and the carriage that the standard sits on and rack the standards
back and forth to see if there is something catching.

Peter Gomena
3-Apr-2013, 23:29
I see you're getting to know your camera! Congratulations. These old beauties all hold a few secrets and puzzles. Be patient, don't force anything, and you'll figure it out. What's nice is that a screwdriver will take it apart and put it back together. Neat lens, too. I predict you'll have a lot of fun with it once the puzzles are solved.

4-Apr-2013, 05:31
I'm not sure if I understand your question, are you saying the knob works to move the rear on the track, but it hits something at the rear and won't move? If so, there is a metal pin that sticks straight up from the tripod block, to prevent the rear standard from falling off the rear. You have to pull a bar underneath and the pin retracts.

4-Apr-2013, 06:13
Hi Garrett. It's a challenge to explain what I am seeing!

Yes, there is a pin that blocks the rear standard from falling off. The pin slides out of the way when the rear extension is attached to the camera bed. I don't believe that is the problem.
This is the problem. When the rear standard travels backwards on the railing, it suddenly stops when the front of the rear standard has cleared the front extension board. At this point the rear standard is at the front of the block to which the tripod attaches.

Peter, this is definitely a puzzle to solve. The best move I made last night was to be patient and not to force things. I don't want to be responsible for the demise of this beautiful camera!

Jim, I'll double-check later today to see if there is a section that is catching. Or as you mentioned, a metal pin sticking up.

Thanks All - Michael

Jim Andrada
6-Apr-2013, 18:10
WOw - that sounds strange. I have one as well and the back has no problem moving freely on the central block.

6-Apr-2013, 18:45
To add to the puzzle... the central block and the rear extension are definitely the sticking points. On the front extension the rear standard practically glides. Of course, not too much help to have the rear standard on the front extension!

Jim C.
6-Apr-2013, 21:43
That helical rack may be the issue, did the camera ever have any restoration work done to it ?
Could be that the rear and center racks were removed and put back in "off" some how ?
The last thing to look at is warpage or some schmutz in the side slots that guide the standards.