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Thread: Servicing an old lens... worth it?

  1. #1

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    Servicing an old lens... worth it?

    I have acquired a new (to me) Improved Seneca View 6.5x8.5 camera in fantastic condition, with the only exception being the lens shutter.

    This camera has the original Wollensak 6.5x8.5 f/4 lens that this camera was sold with, but the shutter doesn't close. From a bit of testing, it would seem that this is an issue with springs (or other internal component) and not the shutter itself. When only slightly triggered, the shutter closes.

    I'd love to keep the lens and body together and functional, but I don't know where I could get it serviced and whether or not it would be worth the expense. A quick search of Ebay did *not* produce any promising leads.

    Side note - does anyone know if this camera needs a specific type of film holder? Another post about this camera mentioned Kodak holders, but I didnt get much else from it.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  2. #2

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    Re: Servicing an old lens... worth it?

    The camera/lens in question.

  3. #3
    Foamer
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    Re: Servicing an old lens... worth it?

    Exactly what lens? If a velostigmat it is worth fixing. Holders were not standardized and might be more of a problem.
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  4. #4

    Re: Servicing an old lens... worth it?

    Isn't that a US 4 and not an f/4? So equivalent is f/8 and probably a Rapid Rectilinear? A very nice looking camera by the way. If the shutter will open and close consistently at T or B, get some slow film and stop the lens down and you will be good to go. Pick up any whole plate film holder you can find. You may get lucky.

  5. #5

    Re: Servicing an old lens... worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by jpheneger View Post
    Side note - does anyone know if this camera needs a specific type of film holder? Another post about this camera mentioned Kodak holders, but I didnt get much else from it.

    Thanks in advance for your help!
    Josh, 6.5 X 8.5 is Whole Plate dimension. I don't know for a fact if the Seneca conforms to any standard for their plate holders, but if you find a Whole Plate holder branded Seneca, then its a good bet it'll work. Other Whole Plate holders might work also, but it may be a gamble.

  6. #6
    Les
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    Re: Servicing an old lens... worth it?

    I saw couple of 6.5x8.5 holders on the auction site....rather expensive for my taste. You may choose to wait ? The size is bit off; therefore, it would be even more rare to find these on CL. As to the shutter, I'd contact Carol in Whittier (tho there are others) and make a precise determination (also ask if she has parts for this)....and see what she says as to remedy and cost.

    I'd definitely measure the space where the holder slides in and project that to a potential seller.....making sure things match.

    Les

  7. #7

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    Re: Servicing an old lens... worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chauncey Walden View Post
    Isn't that a US 4 and not an f/4? So equivalent is f/8 and probably a Rapid Rectilinear? A very nice looking camera by the way. If the shutter will open and close consistently at T or B, get some slow film and stop the lens down and you will be good to go. Pick up any whole plate film holder you can find. You may get lucky.
    Not sure how I'd tell the difference between US 4 and f/4. There isn't much information on the lens. The issue this camera has (the only issue) is the shutter does not close once opened (any setting). I am hoping that it just needs an adjustment, or maybe new springs, but not sure where/if it can be serviced.

  8. #8

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    Re: Servicing an old lens... worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Two23 View Post
    Exactly what lens? If a velostigmat it is worth fixing. Holders were not standardized and might be more of a problem.
    The front element says "Wollensak 6 1/2 x 8 1/2 Rapid Symmetrical" and the shutter says "AUTEX". The plate above the aperture slider reads from f/4 to f/256, but I just noticed that it has numbers for multiple focal lengths, so it may not actually be f/4 for this particular configuration.

  9. #9

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    Re: Servicing an old lens... worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Leszek Vogt View Post
    I saw couple of 6.5x8.5 holders on the auction site....rather expensive for my taste. You may choose to wait ? The size is bit off; therefore, it would be even more rare to find these on CL. As to the shutter, I'd contact Carol in Whittier (tho there are others) and make a precise determination (also ask if she has parts for this)....and see what she says as to remedy and cost.

    I'd definitely measure the space where the holder slides in and project that to a potential seller.....making sure things match.

    Les
    "Carol in Whittier"? Not much to go on... can I get a bit more detail please?

  10. #10

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    Re: Servicing an old lens... worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulbarden View Post
    Josh, 6.5 X 8.5 is Whole Plate dimension. I don't know for a fact if the Seneca conforms to any standard for their plate holders, but if you find a Whole Plate holder branded Seneca, then its a good bet it'll work. Other Whole Plate holders might work also, but it may be a gamble.
    I assume that holders of the same dimensions, but are Tachihara won't be the right fit for this camera? Those Tachihara holders look pretty badass though!

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