View Full Version : How to tighten loose wood camera back

14-Mar-2002, 12:47
This would apply to any wood camera I imagine. I have an 8x10 Deardorf, and the back (that has the groundglass) is not held perfectly tight to the back of the c amera. There is about 1 mm of play. I would like to have it fit consistently tight. Is this an unrealistic and unnec essary expectation/desire?

Also, if I do want to pursue getting it to fit tightly, what is the best way of doing that - add some thin felt to the perimiter, or portion of it, or ....?

Thank you.

chris jordan
14-Mar-2002, 13:12
i had the same issue with a wood field camera a few years back. it never appeared to cause a light leak, but just to be sure i always draped my darkcloth (folded a cuple of times) over the whole back of the camera while the film slide was removed.

~cj (Seattle)

John Kasaian
14-Mar-2002, 13:23
Joe,FWIW, what shape are the metal springs that the pins on your cameras back snap into? Could the holes have been elongated or the pins worn do to being taken off and put on repeatedly? Also, is the back loose all the time or just some of the time? Temperature and humidity changes can loosen up wooden stuff like fine furniture and deardorffs.I'd be very careful about trying to shim a loose back in that case since a little play might be neccesary to compensate for expansion and contraction, but it shouldn't be so much that it would cause the back to rattle(my opinion.) Good Luck!

Bruce Wehman
14-Mar-2002, 15:24

1mm of play shouldn?t be a problem. The only danger, if it gets worse, is that when you focus you push it forward and when you shoot it drops back ? causing a focus error.

If you choose to fix it, filling the gap with tape of some sort isn?t a bad idea. The alternative involves filling the screw holes with epoxy and re- positioning the clips.

Kevin Crisp
14-Mar-2002, 16:41
Joe: For clarification, are you saying that the moveable part with the ground glass isn't tight against the rest of the back, or that the entire back isn't tight to the camera?

14-Mar-2002, 20:47
Thank you to those who have responded so far. To clarify, the entire back is not tight to the rest of the camera.

The most permanent type of solution would seem to be the suggestion to reposition the clip(s) as need. Given my mechanical skill, I may want to hold off on that. Then there's using tape or a thin strip(s) of felt to glue onto the loose part of the back. For tape I guess I could use black gaffer's or cloth tape or electrical tape? Maybe felt is better?

Any other ideas? Thank you.

Steve Gangi
14-Mar-2002, 21:54
I had the same situation. To solve it I very very carefully bent the clips that hold the camera back at tne bottom. The safest way is to remove the clips, bend them less than you think you need, test, and then do it again, each time bending less than you think you need. That way, there is less chance of fatiguing and breaking them or going too far. Now the back fits solid. I didn't bend the clips while attached... too much risk of tearing them out of the wood and creating a worse problem. You probably don't need to do this. One millimeter is negligible. The backs are stair-stepped and will keep the dark from leaking out.

Brook Martin
15-Mar-2002, 13:25
I have an old Gundlach 5x7 with the same problem I like to use 3M photographic tape. It has a paper base and its adhesive leaves little or no reside, much easier on the finish than gaff tape. I have had some trouble in cold weather, but then old shutters dont like it cold either.

Good Luck