View Full Version : Question about Improved Empire State view camera

Gregory Kriss
20-Jan-2005, 18:41
Question about the front standard of an 11x14 Improved Empire State view. On the side of the front standard is a knob attached to a geared rod running across 2 geared tracks in the rear of the front standard. Rotate the knob and the lens goes up or down. The knob and attached rod can be pushed in and out which would make me think that one position is for locking and the other for moving. But on my view, both positions allow me to rise or fall the lens but neither locks in the the standard in position so I've had to use a small clamp to lock in the movement. Is there a way to lock in the movement?



Oren Grad
20-Jan-2005, 19:22
Greg -

On my Eastman No. 2 cameras, the front standard has toothed tracks on both sides. On the left side (as you face the camera from the front), the track is simple, covering just the rear surface of the vertical slot. On the right side, there are actually two tracks. One covers the rear surface of the slot just like on the other side. But the other one is provided by an additional plate, mounted on the front side of the slot but a few millimeters out of alignment with the rear track.

The geared rod that connects the two knobs rides the tracks on both sides. When you push the left hand knob in, the geared portion of the rod on the other end gets trapped between the rear track and the extra front track, and this locks it in place.

I'd imagine that yours is a similar design - my Eastmans (Eastmen?) are labeled "Improved Model of Century View and Empire State No. 2". Perhaps you're missing a piece - maybe the extra front track on the right side?

Dan Dozer
21-Jan-2005, 11:47

I have an Improved Empire State 5 x 7 and I think that it operates the same as yours does, and Oren's Eastman may be the same as well. If you look up through the bottom of the camera with the lens facing down and push the rod back and forth, you will see that on the left side of the rod (side oppopsite the knob), there are two gear sections on the rod with a gearless section about 3/8" long in between. The outside geared section engages in the front camera track when the rod is moved to the right that moves the front standard up and down. As Oren describes, there is something under the brass bracket and rod (just to the right of the bracket) that the inside gear section engages in that locks it all in place when you push the rod all the way to the left. It appears on my camera that to get to that spot, you would have to unscrew the bellows front mounting frame from the front standard and unscrew the brass brackets that hold the rod in place. I suspect that whatever is under the rod (a pin or a hidden gear section or whatever) has broken or fallen off and needs to be fixed/replaced.

If you have never done this sort of dis-assembly before on your camera, don't get to panicked about it. I completely re-did my bellows and removing it was not very difficult. There are screws on each of the four sides of the front bellows frame that can be removed. These are accessed from inside the bellows, so you need to extend the bellows completely to get access to them. I assume that removing the bellows on your camera is the same as mine even though yours is larger.

Good Luck

Jim Galli
22-Jan-2005, 19:56
Sounds like the one side that should lock may be spinning on the shaft.

Gregory Kriss
24-Jan-2005, 10:18
Thanks for the advice. My camera has only one track on each side, so as Dan Dozer advised, I'll be removing the bellows and see just what needs to be fixed