View Full Version : Agfa Ansco needs tripod socket; rise tightening

john wilton
31-Oct-2007, 17:16
Just received an old Agfa Ansco 8x10 in basically decent shape, but before I can begin using it I need to add a 3/8" tripod socket so I can attach it to an old 6" Photoplane (which has only a 3/8" screw). There are two 1/4" sockets on the sliding base block; looks as if one of them was relocated away from a crack. Apparently they are hollow wood screws, tapped inside for the tripod screw. The tripod block is 5/8" thick. Any ideas on how to find hardware for a 3/8" tripod socket?

Other issue with the camera is insufficient friction in the geared front rise. There is no locking mechanism (that I can see)...the axle carrying the gears runs across ending in plain knobs at each end that turn in unison, unlike modern cameras with lock on one side. The camera came with a 15" Apo-Raptar front mounted on Alphax...2 lb, heavy enough to turn the gears and sag down. Is there a way to add a little more friction?

Kevin Crisp
31-Oct-2007, 17:21
I don't know about one of your vintage, but on some of them the locking for the front rise is by pushing the the rise knob in after the rise or fall is where you want it. It then locks. The problem is that this feature was not obvious, causing people to force the knob to turn, stripping the locking feature. Maybe you still have enough there to hold it if you push the knob in. I don't think this was ever supposed to be just a friction hold on the front rise. With a big clunker lens of the past it would never stay up.

John Schneider
31-Oct-2007, 17:37
Search for "threaded insert" at www.mcmaster.com. Stay away from the Helicoil style, which are made for repairing threads in metal. Drill/tap the base of the camera, and install the insert with epoxy.

David A. Goldfarb
31-Oct-2007, 17:51
Ask Barry J. Young over on apug.org (I don't know if he's also on this forum) to make you a tripod socket. He's made two for me, and they were of good quality and the price was very reasonable.

john wilton
31-Oct-2007, 17:59
"...but on some of them the locking for the front rise is by pushing the the rise knob in after the rise or fall is where you want it. It then locks."

Thanks Kevin! That's the way mine works; and it does the job.

Tracy Storer
31-Oct-2007, 18:28
Hey John,
regardless what type of hardware you use, you'll need a bigger hole in the wood.
Anyone with a (metalworking) lathe can make you a nice brass tripod "button" or a bigger version of the Agfa original.(Barry, me, or probably a few other guys on here) You could also use a plain old garden variety "tee nut" in 3/8"-16 size from your local hardware store.
If I'd known you needed something I could have made it and shipped it out with the head.

john wilton
31-Oct-2007, 18:43
Looks as if this item from McMaster-Carr (installed from topside) would do the job, if hardware store doesn't have tee-nut.

John Schneider
31-Oct-2007, 20:10

I agree that a purpose-built socket is the best method. This is what I did with my 5x7 Ansco (see pic below, which unfortunately doesn't show the top view). The top part of the socket is 1" dia., and fits in a counterbore -- it isn't coming out without ripping out the entire wooden base.

For most purposes, an EZ-Lok -style threaded insert works fine in hardwood, as the male thread is 1/2-13 as I recall, and that gives plenty of area to resist tear-out shear.

I do like the weld nut-style T-nut that John W. found; it gives the advantages of a purpose-built socket, but with an off-the-shelf part, and without cutting into the wood like the typical hardware store T-nut.

Tracy Storer
31-Oct-2007, 20:14
That IS a "tee-nut". It should work fine, just drill the right size clearance hole, drop it in, drive screws into the flange to prevent rotation, and you're good to go. Take into account the thickness of the wood block, and "tube-length" of the "tee-nut".

Tracy Storer
31-Oct-2007, 20:17
Sorry John S., missed your post while I was handing out candy to "trick-or-treaters"
Now that I have a lathe, I make almost everything for myself.....it can get kind of sick, but you can make EXACTLY what you need.

C. D. Keth
1-Nov-2007, 00:14
Why don't you take advantage of the situation and improve the camera a bit? Get a piece of steel a few inches square. Drill and tap it twice, and inlay it into the bottom of the camera. It will be a bit more secure and it will let you attach the camera with two screws and eliminate any rotation of the camera on the tripod.

john wilton
5-Nov-2007, 22:46
Had access to a drill press over the weekend, so was able to do a nice install of a T-nut. With the camera mounted on the large surface area of a leather-covered Photoplane, I don't think it's going to be doing any twistin' and turnin'. Have an old Ries Model A cossing the continent, so should soon be on the streets. Meanwhile a small issue has surfaced: In portrait position (only), the tops of the two long back springs foul the rear end of the catches that hold the top of the back in position, so if I don't remember to lift the tips of the catches and push the GG into register and hold it there while focusing (in the process weakening the camera's hold on the back) I'm going to have a focus error of several mm. One solution would be to move the springs down a few millimeters, relocating the two center spring-fastening screws on the back and the bottom capture screw on the GG frame. It doesn't look as if bending the catches up would be a good idea, or do the job. It seems odd that this design-error type issue should exist at all...have other Ansco users run into this?

Sprucing up...am thinking of a little Pledge for the wood, and brass polish. Any cautions?

6-Nov-2007, 08:56
I've had several Agfa's and have never experienced the problem you describe. I wonder if the back is not original to the camera. Or perhaps the springs have been replaced. I believe the original springs are two one-piece springs. Does yours have independent springs (4 springs)?

Regarding Pledge, try it in an inconspicuous place first. Probably OK, but some aerosol propellents will dissolve an Agfa finish into a gummy mess in no time. And be sure in any case to spray the Pledge on your polishing rag and not directly onto the camera itself.

Tracy Storer
6-Nov-2007, 09:11
please also note that it's been said that metal polish is bad for wood. If you want to polish the metal, you should remove it from the camera, polish it, then re-install.