View Full Version : Busch Pressman question

12-Oct-2011, 18:01
New to forum....I have a Busch-Pressman 4x5 in great shape but the back won't budge when i try to rotate it by lifting the screw. It could be stuck from not having turned in many years to vertical position but i don't want to try to force it and break something. Any ideas out there?

Peter Mounier
12-Oct-2011, 18:34
I just got one of those also, a Model D. I haven't even put it to the test yet, but with mine too, it's very hard to turn the back. If the screw is pulled out, it should turn without breaking anything. It's hard to turn, but it turns. Try putting a little more muscle into it.


12-Oct-2011, 18:55
The screw may not be pulled out far enough -- it is often really difficult. Try pulling it out with pliers.

12-Oct-2011, 19:14
I don't know if they came with Grease
BUT mine had Grease so old I had to take it a part & clean it all out!!

12-Oct-2011, 20:47
Use Lubriplate grease. It lasts YEARS without hardening up. No solvents in it.

Jim C.
12-Oct-2011, 20:51
Take the gg off and heat the back with a hair dryer around the gg frame and see if it
will budge, that might soften any old grease that may be hardened.

My Busch D has a pretty heavy sprung knob to release the back to rotate,
you may not be pulling it out enough to disengage the pin.

Last thought is the previous owner glued the rotating back, if that's the case then
it's dribbling solvent to loosen the bond. A needle applicator used for gluing plexiglas
is helpful to not get the solvent everywhere.

12-Oct-2011, 21:00
Aluminum against aluminum, it might have stuck together. Mine was a real bear to get unstuck when I first received the camera. With regular use, it now moves with just the right amount of force.

This is quite common. The two plates corrode against each other. As I recall, aside from having this problem on a Busch Pressman D, I found a similar problem with Blake and James Press cameras. Aluminum against Aluminum

13-Oct-2011, 10:17
Thanks for the suggestions; I tried pliers but no give and I'm not going to force it. I'll try the hairdryer next!

Jim C.
13-Oct-2011, 16:28
Funny it never registered with me, even with all the previous posts about al to al corrosion, till now but corrosion is a very good possibility. I was restoring a badly abused Majestic Tripod and one of the three leg segments was frozen good and tight it was a combo of WD-40, heat and light hammering that got the segments loose.

Look carefully around where it rotates outside and inside to see if there's any white grainy residue, that would mean
there is some corrosion you might need something stronger than WD-40, Liquid Wrench possibly and heat.

13-Oct-2011, 17:57
Success!....a helper to hold the screw out with a pliers, then two not-so-gentle taps with a hammer against a block of wood to protect the body. It turned, and with a bit of lubricant is fine...except...the Watson viewfinder on top was installed so that it was just too far back to allow free swing of the camera back. So off it came; the Kalart rangefinder on the right works perfectly so I figure 2 focusing systems are fine, I don't need 3. Thanks for all the helpful comments.

Jim C.
13-Oct-2011, 22:38
now that you got it loose take the viewfinder off and turn the back so that you expose the
screws that hold the 4 tabs that hold the rotating back on, take them off and clean the
facing surfaces with whatever is your favorite abrasive, ( I like scotch brite gray, and some WD to clean )
lube if you wish and reassemble, it'll rotate like it was factory fresh !