View Full Version : Stiffening up a wobbly 11x14 B&J

14-Apr-2010, 07:06
I've got a beater B&J that locks down OK, but is wobbly from old standards. The quickest fix I can figure is to put a 28" rail with a couple of brackets across the top of the standards to hold her steady. Do I have to go the Home Depot route or is there something I could get on ebay or B&H or some photopgraphic accessory designed specifically for this purpose? I don't know what you call it to search for it, or where to look for it. Any advice much appreciated.

14-Apr-2010, 07:13
This might work for you--- http://www.filmholders.com/wskit.html

14-Apr-2010, 07:21
I was going to make something like that for my Century 8x10. I was going to use those very strong rare-earth neodynium magnets to hold the rod, rather than any clamps.

Donald Miller
14-Apr-2010, 07:57
I'm trying to picture what you have going on. I wonder if your slack is not induced from the metal hardware that holds the standards in place. If so, you can drill out and use larger fasteners and even replace the hinge (if applicable).

Adding something new may just cobble the whole affair up.

14-Apr-2010, 08:36
Thanks for your interesting ideas, guys. I'm getting a bounce at the email contact at the filmholders site, but I did find the wind stabilizer listed here for $149, http://www.viewcamerastore.com/product_info.php?products_id=352. Ouch. I'm used to paying less for my cleaning rods, however. Magnets seems like a cool idea. I wonder what others have tried?

Mark Sawyer
14-Apr-2010, 09:37
I have a pretty nice B&J 11x14, and in the field, I use a monopod under the front rail (which tends to handle most or all of the extension). I played with using aluminum angle stock and clamps along the length of the rails, but found the monopod simpler, faster, easier to carry, and more stable. Works nice for long extensions on the 8x10 too.

In the studio, I just plop it on a Semi-Centennial studio stand, with a long plank underneath it if the extension runs back past the end of the platform.

14-Apr-2010, 09:45
I'm not really clear on what bits are wobbly but, when I was shooting B&J, I found that a simple support under the rail made a big difference.

Here's what I did:

Go o the lumber yard and get a piece of 3/4 inch thick birch plywood - this has more layers than ordinary plywood and looks nicer.

Cut a piece to fit exactly under the full length of the rail. Add hardware to attach the perfectly sized piece of fancy plywood to the both tripod sockets on the bottom of the camera. And then add one or more new tripos sockets to the fancy plywood. I used brass threaded inserts for the latter. there are other possibilities. None of this hardware is fancy or difficult to find.

Like I said, it made a big difference for me...as always, YMMV.

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
14-Apr-2010, 09:51
I went the extreme route, and at full extension with heavy lenses used trio combination; the AWB wind stabilizer on the top, a monopod like Mark describes on the front standard, and a Bogen long lens support on the rear. It worked well, although could be very cumbersome.

The AWB wind stablizer is a nice product, but honestly is quite expensive, and its function could be duplicated (albeit with less grace) with a few clamps and aluminum stock.

14-Apr-2010, 11:57
my friend ken....buy a camera that is better suited for your needs....really :)

Jason Greenberg Motamedi
14-Apr-2010, 13:44
I think for an 11x14, the B&J actually has quite a bit going for it. It has all the movements you could ever want, decent bellows draw, and very large lensboards. The downside is that they are heavy, and can be wobbly.

15-Apr-2010, 13:53
I've got the rails clamped to a sturdy slider and a piece of angle iron on top of a majestic head and tripod, so it 's rock solid in that department, The petzval has its own standard from an 8x14 B&J, which is not as awkward as it sounds, bu awkward none the less. Angle iron and clamps on the top too, I guess. It should be quite a sight. I'll post a picture for your amusement when I get back from Home Depot. Meanwhile I'm expecting Eddie to dig up that rock solid, bargain basement ULF for me any day now!
Thanks for all your great advice and insight everyone