View Full Version : Repairing Ansco 5x7

Justin Silber
26-Apr-2008, 20:06
I just received an Ansco 5x7 which is worse off than I thought it was when I bought it. It's battleship grey with a built-in extension rail and front tilt, but the non-moveable tripod block. One of the racks (actually the strip of wood it's screwed to) will lift directly off the front rail. All the knobs will need washers to tighten them. It will need a new bellows, as the one it came it is not long enough to use the extension rail and the height of the first pleat prevents the use of the tilt. The rise lock does not work. The strip of metal depressed by a screw to hold the built-in extension in place does not do so. The gears for the front and rear standards slip quite a bit. While I've got it disassembled I figure I may as well strip the paint and either varnish it or repaint it?

Any tips for a guy with only basic shop experience to go about this? I'd rather not spend a ton of money to have someone else fix it when I could have bought one in good working order to begin with (which I thought it was).

- Justin

27-Apr-2008, 08:25
It's a little difficult to visualize your camera without seeing it or pictures of it. I'm not sure what you mean by a non-removable tripod block. Why do the knobs need washers to tighten them? Are they loose on the shaft? Or do the lock knobs not tighten down adequately? Do you know why the rise does not work? Could it be the same issue which came up on another thread where the geared rise shaft needs to be shifted one way or the other to operate and then back again to lock the movement? A good replacement bellows will cost some money, but it's a critical part of the camera. If yours has the original bellows, it's probably very stiff. A new one won't leak light, will allow full use of your camera and will be a pleasure to use.

The strips of wood at the front of the camera to which the rack gears are attached are notorious for coming loose. They can simply be glued back in place.

I may be reading a little into your post, but it sounds like you're possibly a little overwhelmed by what you see as many issues with your camera. It may be cheaper in the long run to find another camera which is usable now without a lot of repair and sell this one for what you can get for it. You may be able to fix this one on the cheap, but it will tax your resources and ingenuity, not to mention your time.

Justin Silber
27-Apr-2008, 18:23
It's not as big a deal as I first thought it was. I can glue down the wood strip, I have asked for a price quote on a new bellows and if that is cost prohibitive making one seems more time consuming than anything else. The geared rise shaft does need to be shifted sideways, but I've discovered that the little piece that grabs the gear is loose and that is why it's not locking. The bellows are extremely stiff as you'd thought. I thought washers on some of the knobs would work to help them tighten a bit better. The main issues to fix are the bellows, and the strip of metal which holds the built-in extension.

I was feeling overwhelmed at first but I did get the camera for a good price (I think). The wood and most hardware are in pretty good shape so it'll just take some time to get everything back together.

- Justin