View Full Version : 8x10 Ansco Universal Not Locking Down

Jeremy Moore
31-May-2008, 10:30
I have an 8x10 Ansco Universal (http://www.fiberq.com/cam/scovill/agfa.htm) I have been repairing and am having a problem with locking down the focus. The camera is setup for back focusing. When I tighten the set screw behind the back of the camera (the screw which screws in straight down towards the ground when set-up to shoot) the back still runs freely. Any tips/thoughts?

31-May-2008, 10:56
Could be a friction problem. Do you think you could coarsen up the surfaces of the locking piece?
Another possibility could be worn threads on either the screw or the locking piece. A few times of overtightening and it will become successively harder to lock down in time (meaning even more tightening is required) until one day the threads are completely stripped and won't do their purpose anymore. Rethreading should be an easy task for any competent machinist (you may have to invest in a new set screw too).

31-May-2008, 11:01
Hi, Jeremy.

I've got the same camera and the same problem. I'm heading to the hardware store for a couple more brass washers to see if that will add to the torque and make it tighten better. I sometimes wonder if photographers nearly a century ago had smaller fingers, since the knob and it's location make it very hard for my fat fingers to really turn it down to completely snug.

It would be a shame to damage the control knob, but it would be possible to drill a small hole in the side and insert a short rod of some sort to use as a means to add force to the method of tightening. If you do that, just be sure it won't hit the body as it turns before doing what you want it to.


W K Longcor
31-May-2008, 11:30
Two other factors to look for: 1: make sure that there is no grease, oil, graphite or even old photgrapher's nose grease on the surfaces of the track or the top and bottom clamping surfaces. Wipe all surfaces with a grease cutting cleaner. You may have to do a little dis-assembly of the clamping parts to do a good job. There should be NO lubrication on any of these areas. 2: while dis-assembled, check to make sure that the clamping surfaces are not bent from years of overtightening. If bent, they may not have total surface contact -- therefore, will not have as much friction area.

Jeremy Moore
31-May-2008, 12:30
If bent, they may not have total surface contact -- therefore, will not have as much friction area.

If they are bent is there a good home remedy method for fixing them or will I need the services of a machine shop?

The lensboard hole is large enough that when I came back from getting a glass of water while working with the camera something had climbed inside!

31-May-2008, 12:41
Is that Walter or Luna inside?

31-May-2008, 13:18
Check that you don't have any pesky rodents loosening the standard while your back is turned..... ;)

W K Longcor
31-May-2008, 20:48
IF - they are bent, and IF you are comfortable dis-assembling -- you should be able to do the job yourself. Depending on the situation -- a slight TAP with a smooth face hammer might do the job. More bend might need a squeeze in a vice -- but make sure that you do it gently and cover the jaws of the vice with a hard, smooth surface so as not to mark the soft camera metal. the important word is _ GENTLY.

1-Jun-2008, 22:08

I got to the hardware store today for two brass washers. I only needed one ($.15 ea.). The focus lock is now much easier to tighten. In fact, I got it way too tight with just finger pressure and had a job getting it loose again. The extra washer seems to have an added downward force effect that I really didn't expect, but it works. I also figured out that it would be a good idea to swing the back to the right so I had more actual room to turn the knob. That also helped a lot. Good luck with yours.


Jeremy Moore
2-Jun-2008, 09:37
Chris, that's Walter, we actually put Luna down a couple of weeks ago.

Just for the record, ferrets are not rodents, they are weasels.

Thanks, Tim, I've got a 13 hour day today, but I'm going to try and stop at the hardware store tomorrow and pick up a couple of washers to see if they make a difference. Before I try out the washers, though, I'll go ahead and clean everything and hopefully it'll be good to go!