View Full Version : Kodak Master View Questions

Vlad Soare
22-Nov-2010, 02:18
Hi guys,

On the inside of the camera back, where the film holder slides, there should be a strip of felt. My Master View lacks that. Is that felt there just for helping the film holder slide more easily and to avoid scratching it? Or is it a light seal?
There are two grooves on the long sides of the back. I suppose that's where the felt should be, and nowhere else. Right?

Secondly, I have a problem with the sliding tab that holds the lensboard in place. It should be attached to the front standard by means of two small screws. But those screws go freely all the way through the hole. It's like the thread on the inside of the holes was stripped.
The bellows frame is plastic. It seems like a self-tapping screw could be driven through it. I was thinking of using self-tapping screws, a bit longer than the originals, and screwing them into the bellows frame. Does this sound like a good idea?
Any other suggestions?

Thank you.

Vlad Soare
22-Nov-2010, 08:47
Nope. I was wrong. The bellows frame is not plastic. It's metal. So the self-tapping screw idea is out.
Any other suggestions?


Brian C. Miller
22-Nov-2010, 10:54
What you can do is have the holes re-tapped for a larger screw size, or else use a thread repair kit (link (http://www.timesert.com/), link (http://www.fulltorque.com/?gclid=CODInef-tKUCFQTNKgodiUl3Zw)).

22-Nov-2010, 11:09
What you can do is have the holes re-tapped for a larger screw size, or else use a thread repair kit (link (http://www.timesert.com/), link (http://www.fulltorque.com/?gclid=CODInef-tKUCFQTNKgodiUl3Zw)).

That is exactly what I did on my 8x10 master view. Worked great. I have copies of the original manual and parts list (great for determining screw sizes). They are not in digital form but if you want them I can copy them and mail them to you.

The felt is part of a light trap. I replaced mine as they were loose at the ends. Greg Davis used to sell them along with some other Master View parts. He posts here.


Steven Tribe
22-Nov-2010, 15:30
Yes - cut new threads. You might want to go over to a standard M metric size which are more available in Bucharest.
You might consider quality velvet ribboning as a replacement light trap.

Vlad Soare
24-Nov-2010, 00:33
Thank you. I'll try to cut new threads.
I've removed the ground glass frame and took a better look underneath. There are grooves along all four sides of the opening, not just the long ones. One piece of felt is still there and looks like new, so I can use that as a model.

I've discovered another problem, albeit less important. One of the pins that hold the camera closed is broken. I can live with that, since it doesn't affect the camera's functionality in any way. But still, it would be nice if I could do anything about it. :)

Kerik Kouklis
24-Nov-2010, 11:05
You can replace that broken pin with a small screw. My masterview came with that fix already in place. Great camera, BTW!

Vlad Soare
28-Nov-2010, 13:36
I've cut new, metric threads, and installed new screws. I did the same with the second metal strip, too (the one on the lower side of the opening), because two screws were missing, and the other two were a bit loose and wouldn't tighten enough. The new screws are a little thicker and stronger. They will probably outlive the rest of the camera. :D
I've removed the broken pin, cut a new thread, and installed a screw. It works perfectly.

Should I lubricate moving parts, like the focusing rack and pinion, sliding bed, etc.? :confused:


John Cahill
28-Nov-2010, 15:52
[Should I lubricate moving parts, like the focusing rack and pinion, sliding bed, etc.? :confused:

If you do, be very sparing on any parts which rely on friction to hold them in place. Best just to clean them well. If lubing, try the liquid wax lubricant sold at bicycle shops.

Vlad Soare
3-Dec-2010, 01:57
Last year I wanted to replace the light seals in a 35mm camera and bought a camera sealing kit from eBay. The seller was very helpful at the time and seemed very enthusiastic about his work, so I figured I could send him pictures of the Master View and ask for his help.
It turns out he knows what I need and can supply the right materials. It's going to be a sandwich of thin foam and fabric, which I'm sure will work at least as well as the original, if not better.
If you need to reseal a camera, you can find him on eBay under the name of interslice. He sells all kinds of seal kits, either generic or pre-cut for specific cameras. Very helpful guy, a pleasure to deal with.
I'll let you know how this works after I receive the stuff, probably in a couple of weeks.

Doug Howk
3-Dec-2010, 06:49
I tried the felt that comes in sheets with one side sticky (usually available at craft and fabric stores). It works fine for all appropriate areas on the KMV back except on the side that the film holder pushes against. That area gets excessive wear, so need to try something else - maybe additional glue.

Vlad Soare
25-Dec-2010, 08:40
My light sealing materials arrived this week, and I did the repair. I'm very pleased with the results. I've cleaned the slots, removed all traces of old adhesive, and placed the foam first, then the fabric. That both of them were self-adhesive was of great help. They were really nice materials, a pleasure to work with.
The attached pictures show the back frame, first with foam only, then with the fabric added on top.
It looks better than the original. The overall thickness of the foam/fabric sandwich is comparable to the thickness of the original seal, so I think it should work fine. I don't know about mechanical resistance after inserting and removing film holders over and over again. That remains to be seen. But for the time being I'm very pleased. All I need now is one film holder (which is already on its way to me, but seemingly taking longer than usual due to the holiday season), and I can start shooting. :D

Elliot Puritz
25-Dec-2010, 20:54
Hello Vlad: I recently purchased a KMV and had the felt on the far end ( where the leading edge of the film holder hits ) come loose from the channel. The material was very tattered and torn, and had probably not been sitting securely in the channel for some time. I have asked Michael Smith-one of the leading authorities on KMV cameras- to help with the remedy. The back is repaired, and is on the way to me. I have asked Michael to tell me what material he used. I will let all know. As you surmised, the empty channel on the other short side is the light trap.

Here is a link to the KMV parts list on Mike Butkus' site. Mike has made various camera and other photography manuals available without charge, and he has literally hundreds of references. I often go to his site when I need definitive information about older cameras, meters, etc. I always leave a small donation so that he can continue with his work. There is simply no other site like Mike's on the internet.



Elliot Puritz
26-Dec-2010, 14:10
Michael Smith has provided some guidance which I paraphrase below:

1. To secure the velvet he suggests the use of velvet as available at a fabric store, and the use of super glue applied to the metal in the channel.

2. He reports that he has used KMV cameras with and without velvet in the channels, and has had no light leaks. However, Michael Smith's standard procedure is to keep the dark cloth over the rear of the camera at all times unless high winds would cause movement of the dark cloth and the camera. The use of dark cloths having elastic (which fits over the rear of the camera) can make the use of a dark cloth over the ground glass and the film holder much more difficult.

john biskupski
1-Jan-2011, 09:07
Regarding light seals, I'm confused by the parts explosion diagram and parts list on the Buktus link. The diagram shows two light seals for top and bottom, and one for far end vertical, is the short side (speaking when back is in normal landscape mode). But the parts list says just one seal for the long side, and two seals for the short sides.

Now, looking at the back of my recently acquired Kodak Master View 8x10, the light seals are in place on three sides, but nothing in the groove on the short opening side where you insert the film holder. This is like the parts diagram shows.

So I wonder if there is meant to be light seal material in this last channel or not? I haven't yet tried out the camera with film, maybe that's the acid test.

Vlad Soare
3-Jan-2011, 02:51
The parts list may be less confusing if you follow the part numbers, not the descriptions. It seems to me that they're describing the back in portrait mode, so that the short side (left, in the diagram) would be "bottom", and the long sides would be, well, "sides". If you look at the diagram, the short seal is number 116622, which is listed as one piece, and the long seals are number 116623, listed as two pieces.
So the parts list is consistent with the diagram if you disregard the "bottom" and "side" descriptions.

What does seem confusing, on the other hand, is that the text on the diagram reads "LIGHT SEAL (2)". Could this mean that there should be two short seals, but for space and tidiness reasons they chose not to draw a second line towards the far (right) side? :confused:

Anyway, I figured that if there's a fourth groove, then it must be there for a reason, so I've filled it with foam and fabric, too. I don't know if it's required or not, but at least it can't do any harm. :)

Vlad Soare
19-Jan-2011, 01:53
I've looked at three different metal cameras - another 8x10" Master View, an 8x10" Plaubel, and a 4x5" Calumet - and all of them have light seals on three sides only, the fourth groove (towards the opening) being empty. In fact, once I tried to insert a film holder it became obvious that the fourth slot should be empty to allow the "lip" of the film holder to go in. This also explains why it's a bit narrower than the other three.
OK, so I removed the fabric and foam from the fourth slot. I also took a few pictures and noticed no light leaks.
Mystery solved. :)

Interestingly, my 4x5" Chamonix has no light seals under the ground glass. Just wood, nothing else. :confused:

Now, another question. :D
What tricks do you use to remove the film holder after taking a picture? Inserting it is easy enough, but removal seems to be much more difficult than in any other camera I've seen. I could use some tips.

john biskupski
20-Jan-2011, 01:44
Vlad, I have no problem with mine, taking the holder out is straightforward, but I was taught to always push on the top of the rear frame with the fingers and pull back with the thumb to open up the back, an instinctive movement. My camera has its original velvet seals still on the three sides (none on exit) which are intact but well used and flush with surround, so no obstacle to insertion/extraction.

Vlad Soare
20-Jan-2011, 04:06
My problem is that while I pull the right side (the one towards the opening) of the ground glass frame, the left side is still pushing the film holder very tightly. The wider I open the right side, the more tightly the left side of the frame presses the tip of the film holder.
I'd need three hands. One for each side of the frame, plus one to pull the holder out. :D

The film holder finally comes out of the camera, but it takes some force and a lot of wiggling. I'm also not quite comfortable with the amount of friction, which looks like it might damage the film holders in time.