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Thread: Recessed Lens Board for a Burke and James Press

  1. #1

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    Recessed Lens Board for a Burke and James Press

    I was just wondering if such a thing exists. I have a 75mm Nikkor W (copal 0) that I would like to put on my B&J press camera, which takes 4x4 lensboards. Since this camera doesn't have an internal rail like some Crown or Speed graphics, I would need a recessed lensboard. I have a recessed Linhof board lying around - I don't know if there's any way to adapt that?

    Regardless, could I have everyones thoughts on this?

  2. #2

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    Re: Recessed Lens Board for a Burke and James Press

    Calumet made two different 4"x4" recessed lens boards for their CC400-series monorail cameras. One was about 1/2" deep. When we used those cameras on the job, a Schneider 90/8 Super-Angulon lived on that board. In the "box o'stuff" we had a deeper one, too, that was never used.
    That system was replaced about 1990 so my memory is not exact... and I've never seen or used a B&J Press. But a recessed Calumet board is probably worth a try.

  3. #3

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    Re: Recessed Lens Board for a Burke and James Press

    Hey, Mark, which shutter was the 90/8 SA you used in? I ask because it seems that early ones were in #00 shutters -- I use one as a paperweight -- and that later ones were in #0s. A #0 as the OP's 75 Nikkor SW (ain't no 75 W) has may be tight in a recessed 4" board.

    OP, I don't mean this frivolously. Wouldn't you rather have a Crown Graphic?

  4. #4
    Small town, South Carolina, US
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    Re: Recessed Lens Board for a Burke and James Press

    I may have a 4x4 recessed board and do have a B&J Press. Will check to see if they fit and post back here.

  5. #5

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    Re: Recessed Lens Board for a Burke and James Press

    Dan, OP, that 90/8 SA was in a Compur #0 shutter. Not sure when it was made but the barrel was chrome, so likely from the 1960s (as were the cameras it fit on). No doubt Calumet supplied it to Kodak when it was new, and it worked just fine.
    Can't say if a Nikkor-SW 75/4 (one of which I happily use now on my own cameras) will fit or work on the B&J. It's worth a try.

  6. #6

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    Re: Recessed Lens Board for a Burke and James Press

    Doesn't the B&J have a round hole behind the board? If so, the larger square recess of the WA Calumet board won't fit.
    Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
    Large format: http://flickr.com/michaeldarnton
    Mostly 35mm: http://flickr.com/mdarnton
    You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear

  7. #7

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    Re: Recessed Lens Board for a Burke and James Press

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post

    OP, I don't mean this frivolously. Wouldn't you rather have a Crown Graphic?
    Yea, a Pacemaker CG with the coupled inner/outer rails allow knob focusing with the bed dropped, so a good easy to use WA camera...

    Steve K

  8. #8
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Recessed Lens Board for a Burke and James Press

    My two B&J press cameras came with round holes behind the lens board. One has been enlarged to a square, although not enough for a Graflex or Calumet recessed board to fit. It appears that the hole could be enlarged to accept these factory boards. I've used both B&J and Graflex press cameras. The former were nice enough for their intended purpose, but not as versatile and practical as most of the Graflex line. A 90mm Ilex Acugon on a flat board works on the B&J camera. The front of the bed would intrude into a shorter lens' image without using front rise or drop bed.

  9. #9

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    Re: Recessed Lens Board for a Burke and James Press

    So many replies! Okay I have the B&J because I was able to pick it up with 2 lenses, 10 film holders, and in decent condition for around 20$. If you can find a similar deal for a Crown Graphic, let me know I also received the Nikkor SW 75mm for free in a contest from youtube photographer Ben Horne, so although I'd like to use it, I can live with holding onto it until I can get a field or technical camera of some sort.

    On a certain auction site I shall not name, I found a Graphic View 4x4 recessed lens board, would something like that work? It was like 50$, and I'm not sure if its worth it considering I don't plan on having the B&J forever, it's my first 4x5.


    @Rfesk - keep me updated, thank you.

    @MDarnton - it does, I could try and get measurements for it if that would help. I can take a closer look later.

  10. #10
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Recessed Lens Board for a Burke and James Press

    DiscoShrew, 4x4 boards and the cameras that used them were once common, especially in America. This included some fine cameras that still compare well enough with today's best. Some of them function well with flat boards. Since recessed boards are regularly offered for sale, you might defer buying one until you have a specific need.

    Your B&J was a steal. In many decades of shopping for photo equipment, I've rarely done nearly as well. I used B&J press, flatbed, and monorail view cameras for years. Rarely would better cameras done any better. The later Graphics were part of a more versatile and extensive system, but that isn't needed for most basic photography. Remember, some of the great photographs over the past 180 years were taken with cameras and lenses inferior to the B&J line.

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