View Full Version : Help with modification ideas for F&S 717 front

Robert McClure
17-Sep-2005, 09:38
I recently purchased an F&S 717. The back had been modified from its original spring arrangement to a bail arrangement which works very nicely. Much of the front standard hardware was not present. To have this made in order to completely restore the front would be simple enough. But I don't like the original design. And the camera needs new primary bellows, anyway.

I could, without a lot of difficulty, build from the existing front a newer standard and board which would provide axis tilts and swings.

However, I'd like to come up with a complete new front standard and lensboard design that would allow both symmetrical and asymmetrical tilts/swings (similar to the Wisner arrangement). Problem is, there is no base ("floor") area, per se, to support a new brass standard to hold the lensboard.

In otherwords, the twin front rails of the front extension don't seem to offer, in and of themselves, a means to provide a flat base "floor" which could support a new standard.

Would I be wasting my time and effort? I will be photographing primarily landscapes at infinity. Therefore the camera's original front tilt design will work acceptably. It's just that I love to design and build, and learn in the process.

Will Strain
17-Sep-2005, 16:13
What about beefing up and extending the rails, that should allow you to put a brass or aluminum (or wood) base between them as a spreader.

You could maybe build off that. Just a thought anyway.

Arthur Nichols
18-Sep-2005, 08:33
Hi, I have a Korona 7x17 and it only has front rise. I also wanted front movements so I bought a Korona 8X10 with full front movements and spliced that front onto my 7x17. I had to move the focusing gears closer together so that they would mesh with the track and I had to modify the front panel so that would drop down about an additional 1/2" so that it would be centered on the ground glass. I am not completely done yet, but it does seem to be very doable. The 8x10 Korona cost me $350.00. I think this is still substantialy cheaper than having a professional conversion and it is just as fuctional. I am not sure if you can slice a different front altogether onto your camera but it did work for me with some minor complications and some creative problem solving. I hope this helps some.

Robert McClure
18-Sep-2005, 12:23
Thanks Will and Arthur!


What about your 7 x 17's ability, post-conversion, to fold back up as originally designed?

In my case I am trying to come up with a design to allow for both symmetrical/asymmetrical front movements - but without interfering with the camera's ability to fold back up neatly as originally designed.

BTW, my F&S also has front rise/fall (and base forward tilt), but no front swing or shift.

Arthur Nichols
19-Sep-2005, 06:46
I am still not completely done, as I will replace the bellows, but I think that it will still fold up OK. The new front standard is about 3/4 of an inch higher than the old one and it will not fit in the antique case that I have anymore and the finish is a little different. In spite of these disadvantages the camera will be far superior to one without full movements. There are some other details regarding gear meshing and spacing that are a little too finicky to go into here in detail but if you want to contact me off line I can share all the problems that I encountered in the conversion.