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Thread: Loose spring back

  1. #1
    Mike in NY's Avatar
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    Loose spring back

    I received a 4x5 Zone VI today and am mostly happy with its condition. The wood frames and the bed are virtually scratch-free; the finish on the hardware is still uniform and bright, the gg has a good fresnel lens over it, and the bed racks in and out smoothly, and all joinery is solid. However, this model was made before bails were added to the backs, and the gg spring back seems to float a little bit too freely. It's almost as if the camera had been put away with a film holder in it; the springs seem to have sprung a bit, so to speak. I believe I read somewhere on the forum that Richard Ritter suggested that when this happens the springs can simply be unscrewed and gently hand-bent to tighten them up a bit and then screwed back on. Has anyone had any similar experience?

    Many thanks.
    I dream in black and white.

  2. #2

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    Re: Loose spring back

    I've done it. It works. Be gentle.
    Bruce Barlow
    author of "Finely Focused" and "Exercises in Photographic Composition"
    www.brucewbarlow.com

  3. #3

    Re: Loose spring back

    Yes it'll work fine, just start bending it back gradually, hold down with hand to test desire tightness instead of screw-down/unscrew multiple times, essentially because it's a wood screw to raw wood so it's best to do it as little as possible to avoid striping the interface.

  4. #4

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    Re: Loose spring back

    Uh, I think there's a screw insert in the wood, so it isn't a screw into raw wood. But I might be mistaken.

    Nevertheless, be gentle.
    Bruce Barlow
    author of "Finely Focused" and "Exercises in Photographic Composition"
    www.brucewbarlow.com

  5. #5

    Re: Loose spring back

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Barlow View Post
    Uh, I think there's a screw insert in the wood, so it isn't a screw into raw wood. But I might be mistaken.

    Nevertheless, be gentle.
    I could be mixed up between The Zone VI and the Wisner when I had them at the same time, one had screw insert at some places and the other didn't. The fun part was that it was not consistent either way throughout the camera.

  6. #6
    scm's Avatar
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    Re: Loose spring back

    The screws are a small Torx head (maybe a T6?) and they are threaded into inserts. Sometimes you will luck out and the screws have just come loose but usually the springs need to be reset. If you use a Polaroid (or Fuji) pack-film back, you will be doing this fairly often.
    Steve Midgley

  7. #7
    Mike in NY's Avatar
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    Re: Loose spring back

    Quote Originally Posted by scm View Post
    If you use a Polaroid (or Fuji) pack-film back, you will be doing this fairly often.
    Aha! The camera came with both a Polaroid and a 120 film back. So that's why the springs are stretched! Thanks everyone, to Bruce who helped make these cameras, to Fuegocito's cautions, and to Steve with his experience with inserts.
    I dream in black and white.

  8. #8
    Mike in NY's Avatar
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    Re: Loose spring back

    I took the springs out and pulled them down the curved edge of a table a few times, with a thin towel in-between. That nearly straightened them out nicely without putting any dented bends in the metal. Everything worked fine; the back is nice and snug now. Thanks all.
    I dream in black and white.

  9. #9
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Loose spring back

    Isn't hammering on one side of the spring suppose to increase the strength of the spring-action? I hand-bent the springs of my 5x7 Eastman View No.2 the last time -- I am thinking of re-bending plus a little pounding if I can remember which side to pound. I think the spring bends away from the hammering.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  10. #10
    Les
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    Re: Loose spring back

    My needs something like that (I think), but I just might install one extra piece on top in order to make the original spring more rigid.

    Les

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