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Thread: Busch Pressman vs Tower

  1. #1

    Busch Pressman vs Tower

    I am a little confused in the branding of Busch press cameras. Is there a difference between the movements and abilities of one with a straight Pressman Model D and a Busch Tower? Are they both model D's? Aside from the viewfinder type and configuration what is the difference? Need to know before I buy a pig in a poke...

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2002

    Busch Pressman vs Tower

    It's my understanding that they are identical. The Tower brand was made for resale by (I think) Sears.

  3. #3

    Busch Pressman vs Tower

    ditto. Allthough there were a couple of different versions of the busch pressman D through the years. The only difference in various models is the rangefinder, afak.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    S.W. Wyoming

    Busch Pressman vs Tower

    All Sears cameras were branded Tower regardless of manufacturer. Busch cameras are identical to the Sears Tower, in the same version.

  5. #5

    Busch Pressman vs Tower

    Thanks, that explains a lot, Tower being the Kenmore of cameras. I am trying to choose between a Busch with the Bolex Vue-focus top mount rangefinder, and a Tower with side mount Kalart. Attached lenses are 127 Ektar and 152 Ektar, respectively. I am not impressed with the projection circle of either of these lenses. My intention would be to mount my Nikkor-W 150mm as standard lens, and adjust the rangefinder accordingly. A Linhof/Schnieder Angulon 90mm for wide angle, ground glass focus, and a Rodenstock Geronar 210mm, custom made focus scale overlay and sports finder mask.

    The question would be, which of these two cameras have the most appropriate (better if you will) rangefinder option, given that both are adjustable for a new standard lens? Second, is there any source out there to find spare parts for the Busch, such as additional infinity stops, or newer ground glass with grid lines? I have pored over google and yahoo and find nothing.

  6. #6

    Busch Pressman vs Tower

    The Kalart rangefinder is adjustable to any one lens via instructions on I dont know about the vue-focus rangefinder, it may be adjustable or maybee not.

    Also double-check your lenses. I know the SA should fit (barely), but check the diameter of the rear elements of the other lenses. I think 57mm about the max size the pressman can handle without modifacation.


  7. #7

    Busch Pressman vs Tower

    Busch Precision made both cameras on the same line. Only the nomenclature plate and front standard logo plate were different. My 1953 Tower, which I purchased for $125 with an excellent Ektar 127mm lens, has done yeoman duty out in the desert, up in the mountains and anywhere else I've used it. If you drop it, the ground may be broken, but the camera will not be -except for the ground glass, maybe. It is far superior ergonomically and lighter than my Technika IV, although not as versatile. New LENS BOARDS (3"x3") are available from Midwest Photo Exchange for about $39. They are identical to the originals, made in the U.S.A., and mine work fine. No lens with a back cell diameter larger than 58mm will fit, although you could alter the front standard and bellows and squeeze in a couple more mils. The revolving back is universal, meaning it will accept any 4x5 holder - including Polaroid 545, Fuji Quick Loads and Kodak Rapid Loads. Since the universal does not come off easily, as does the Graf-Lok, you cannot use a roll film back with the exception of the Calumet Cs and one other discontinued roll back. If you want a bigger, brighter finder than Busch/Tower offer, there are Linhof variable finders for sale on the net for not too much. I took the rf and viewfinder off mine, making it into a field camera. I filled the holes with JB Weld, filed flat and put on new leather. My old leather smelled musty. I shoot 4x5 chromes, mount them between optical-grade acrylic or polycarbonate strips and project them with my Linhof Ideal Format projector, which has been given steroid injections by having the gate opened to 85mm square instead of 6x7. I marked a 80x80 square on my ground glass, so I can compose accurately. The picture on a 20' white beaded screen is spectacular. It is very sharp, because you are using the center of the lens' field. I call this format Magnum. Try it. You'll like it!

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