View Full Version : Ansco front focus?

Fred Haeseker
1-Sep-2008, 12:44
I have a late model Ansco 8x10 (from what I can tell a very basic Universal) that I'm just learning to use. The camera sits on a 20-1/4" bed with one tripod bushing 5-1/2" behind the front standard and another (mounted in a non-sliding plate) 6-1/2" in front of the back of the bed.
What I'm wondering about is the possibility of using front instead of tailboard focus, which would be easier for the landscape subjects I shoot.
There are what look like two focusing knobs at the bottom of the front standard. On the left facing the camera is a large knob identical to the rear focusing knobs. On the right is a smaller knob held by a set screw. These knobs can't be moved. Loosening the set screw just allows the small knob to be removed.
Is there some secret to using these knobs for front focus?
I've read in a number of posts on this forum that the Ansco can be reversed on its bed, but I can't figure out how this could be done. Are those front knobs just for use when the camera is reversed?
Any information would be much appreciated. I've searched all over the Web, but I've only be able to find an advertising brochure for the Agfa-Ansco view cameras.

Glenn Thoreson
1-Sep-2008, 13:17
Can you put up a picture of the front standard with it's hardware?

Gene McCluney
1-Sep-2008, 14:00
I have a couple of the Ansco 8x10 wood field cameras. The front and back standard are focusable with both standards having gears engage with the track. Yours may be stuck. In fact, you have to rack the front standard completely back to the back standard in order to fold up the camera (the rack folds up in front of the front standard) for transport. I can say that this holds true for at least 2 styles of the Ansco 8x10 cameras. the model that has front tilt, and the model that only has front rise. The knobs that you see on the front serve two purposes. When both are turned clockwise at the same time (facing each knob) they tighten the standard down. When you want to focus, you rotate each knob counter-clockwise a bit to loosen the standard. Now to rotate each knob counterclockwise...from your position at the back of the camera, facing the ground glass, take the knob on the left and rotate it forward (away from you), and at the same time take the knob on the right and rotate it towards you. This should release the clamp-effect and allow you to then rotate one of the knobs for focusing.

Fred Haeseker
1-Sep-2008, 14:12
Thanks, Gene. You're right. I feel really stupid. What I didn't realize is that the small knob on the front locks the focus! Everything is working smoothly now.