View Full Version : what were they thinking?

Darren Kruger
25-Jun-2007, 10:56
What is the worst you seen intentionally done to a camera by someone to repair it or "improve" it?

I have a Betax #4 where a previous owner had the front threads ground down. This is so they could front mount a 180mm Heliar by pressure fitting the barrel threads instead of putting a new collar that had thread that matched the barrel. (Maybe that was why it was so cheap on that auction site.)

I have another betax #4 with a 158mm B&L tessar in barrel front mounted. The plate adapter to go from the small barrel size to the shutter size weighs about as much as the lens and theres more thread changing stuff on the shutter.

I'm looking for horror stories since last night I opened up my RB back and found two screws missing that should help hold the winding level down. They were nowhere inside and there was no way for them to fall out.


Michael Graves
25-Jun-2007, 12:45
About half the lenses I've seen at camera shows were "cleaned" with what appeared to have been sandpaper.

domenico Foschi
25-Jun-2007, 14:33
Oh, you mean they had "light whisps"?;)
No offense to the creator of the term who we all know and cherish immensely.
One of the few who deserves his trustworthy status.

Turner Reich
25-Jun-2007, 22:07
I have a Betax 2 which came with no shutter hub for cable release, thought it might have fallen out or something, so to clean the shutter I opened it up and OUTCH no guts and gears for anything but B and T. No other gearing for speeds. What kind of butt head would do that?

I now have a Betax 2 which is a no speeder but has absolutely perfect glass, not a mark from cleaning or any edge defects or scratches. Son of a Betax what a joke.

26-Jun-2007, 12:09
I cringe whenever I see someone remove a perfectly good rangefinder from a functioning press camera.

It feels like someone amputating a finger to make their gloves fit better.

It'd be fine if they still made press cameras, but there's only so many of them left.

Donald Qualls
27-Jun-2007, 11:54
Well, Bart, don't forget they don't make Kalart rangefinders any more, either, and the only source of repair parts is other existing RF units. There are a lot more press cameras left than there are photographers who want to use them the way they were made to be used; result is folks converting them to half-assed field cameras, which *are* still made, but cost 3-10 times what a 50 year old press camera does.

I recently traded for a Kalart that had been pulled off a Speed Graphic, and glad to have it -- I'm considering installing it on one of my plate cameras, which would make that unit *much* easier to use (and a 9x12 plate camera gives about 80% of the negative area, from about 1/2 the camera volume, 1/3 the film holder volume, and 1/4 the kit weight of a 4x5 Speed and a bag of film holders).

28-Jun-2007, 00:14
I think you have a good point.

I guess I'm just bitter that I can't buy a new Super Speed Graphic Mk2 with parallax adjusting viewfinder LOL

With a Grafmatic 2007 of course...


Darren Kruger
30-Jun-2007, 22:08
I have a Betax 2 which came with no shutter hub for cable release, thought it might have fallen out or something, so to clean the shutter I opened it up and OUCH no guts and gears for anything but B and T. No other gearing for speeds. What kind of butt head would do that?

I haven't seen that, but I have a Betax 4 shutter that looked like it was intended to have a barrel lens mounted in front of it by factory design. It doesn't have aperture blades, aperture lever, or aperture markings.

Keep an eye out for the smaller Alphax shutters. I have one that is the same threads as a Betax 2.

I'm scratching my head at my latest acquisition. Somebody decided to glue on a 67-67 ring to the outside part of the barrel of a 11x14 ExWA lens (like a slip on filter adapter.) I'm not sure why they did it as there appears to be threads inside the barrel for a filter. *shrug* at least they were nice enough to put in a pc sync socket.


Roger Krueger
30-Jun-2007, 22:57
Somebody removed the front filter threads from my first 35mm APO-Grandagon.

Worse, they apparently put a serious voodoo curse on it.

First I send it back to Calumet as defective. They come up with the stupid lie that "None of them have filter threads, you can't use a filter on a lens that wide". When I forwarded to them shots of three different 35mm APOs that did have threads they retreated a little and said "Fine, we'll refund your money. No, we won't even try to get the part." Since I couldn't find any others in the Cambo Wide board I decided to have them ship it back to me. They tried to make me pay the return shipping, but eventually admitted it was defective and paid the shipping.

So I call up Jim Galvin, who'd recently made some nice Copal 0--Luminar adapters for me. He said sure, no problem, he could make me an adapter. This was mid-December, I figured no point in getting it lost in the Christmas rush, so I waited 'til a couple of days after to send it. A week or so after that I got a call. From his widow.

Next try was S.K. Grimes. They quoted me considerably above Galvin, but at least I was finally getting it done. Eventually. Seems like it took forever, but I suppose it was only several weeks. I mean, I guess they were still getting their act together after losing Mr. Grimes, but, several weeks?

I finally get it back with an adapter--which to Grimes' credit absolutely looked and worked like it belonged there--and put on the much-needed center filter. I go out shooting that night, get home about 8 a.m. Stagger inside for a nap.

When I get up a little after noon my car had been broken into and it was gone. Never even got to develop a shot from it.

1-Jul-2007, 00:47
Hi, Bart I too cringe when I see this capital crime committed. Even more so when they
say they are removing a rangefinder to save weight!! How much could one weigh?
Seems to be the some what vogue thing these days. However,Donald Qualls makes a
good point.They creare a source for rangefinders and parts for us.

"One mans poison is another mams pleasure"
Joe A

Rafael Garcia
1-Jul-2007, 04:20
I bought an extremely rare 1903 Carl Zeiss Jena Universal Palmos camera very, very inexpensively on eBay. The previous owner had removed the original 6x9 springs and ground glass and attached a 5x7 B&J back in their place with four brass cup hooks (and I mean the back...grey wood and everything else on top of the original camera's back!). The person selling it on eBay read the B&J on the back lid and described it as a B&J. No one bid on it but me, since the old black camera did not look at all like a grey B&J! I was delighted to have it for $30.00, and removed the B&J back. Unfortunately the original seat for the 9x12 springs and gg had been modified to take the 5x7 back, so they were not restorable. Instead I filled the extra space in with hardwood and adapted a 4x5 back on it, making it as close as I could to the original. The camera is now usable.