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Thread: Restoring my "new" Agfa Ansco 8x10.

  1. #31

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    Re: Restoring my "new" Agfa Ansco 8x10.

    If the finish is the "Wipe-on Poly Oil", it holds up very well to time... Oils tend to "sink" differently into the hardness of woods, getting potentially unevenly over time, and will look a lot different even within weeks... And even re-oiling can eventually penetrate to glue joints making them weaker... But Poly oil tens to stay put...

    Over 40 years ago, I obtained a wood field camera that had been in a photographer's shop window as a prop... It was painted with white latex paint, and had been in the window for decades... Upon stripping it, turned out to be an early French camera that was the basis for the direct copy for the Japanese Anba... Wood was cherry, and all the brass turned dark black... Took it apart to clean the brass, fixed some cracking, and refinished with Poly Oil... 40 years later, still looks the same... (I never finished the camera due to not getting bellows for it, but still have the spare parts purchased back then to finish project... Found other cameras soon after to shoot with...)

    One issue that comes up with re-finishing woods natural is often even the same woods will come up different shades when finished, so don't panic when that happens, it's just the nature of the woods... Wood cameras were painted or heavily stained to even this out, so consider it's part of its "character"...

    Nice work!!!

    Steve K

  2. #32
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    Re: Restoring my "new" Agfa Ansco 8x10.

    I wouldn’t blame everyone if you thought the project has been abandoned, but it hasn’t. I have the individual parts reglued and refinished, and the brass parts cleaned up from years of built-up gunk and bits of gray paint. I’m pretty pleased with the combination of Watco wipe-on poly and Minwax Mahogany Red stain – it’s not as in-your-face as I thought it might be, and does bring out some interesting variation in the wood without being overly dramatic. Anyway, this was always going to be a user camera, wasn’t it?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    One of the reasons things have slowed down a bit is that once I had the camera down to prime elements, I realized I would never have quite the same opportunity to improve its functionality again. The thing that bothers me most about it is the lack of front swing and tilt – especially the tilt. I thought about building a whole new front standard, but in the end I decided to take a slightly different tack that’s a little more reversible: to build the tilt into the lens board. The camera body is built for 7 ” square lens boards, and since I’m not likely to use any lenses large enough to absolutely require such monstrosities and already have a couple lenses in 5.2” square boards for my 5x7 Ansco, I thought this would leave just enough room around to build an adapter with swing incorporated similarly to the way it’s done on the 5x7. This is what I was thinking, more or less:
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    Another improvement I wanted to make is to have the ability to change to a bag bellows in the future. During removal, it became clear that the bellows that came with the camera was not original to it – the front frame is significantly smaller than the standard, and in fact it obscures part of the lens board opening when installed. I want to standardize the frame to a 7 ” square size, and to create a sliding retainer bar system similar to the lensboard’s to allow exchanging the bellows at the front.
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    The rear frame of the bellows is the right width and height, but will need additional depth to make it work with the standard-depth back without resorting to the weird tape and nailed-on fabric light seals the camera came with.
    So that's why I’ve decided to not race to the finish, but to carefully get to a point where I can have a functioning camera with some not-so-minor improvements to the original design.

  3. #33
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    Re: Restoring my "new" Agfa Ansco 8x10.

    Word of advice from the voice of experience: If you ever find yourself restoring a wooden camera that's been stored in damp conditions (you'll know by the smell if nothing else), don't expect simple reassembly. Wood warps. I've already identified two places where shimming will be necessary to bring things back to true.

  4. #34

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    Re: Restoring my "new" Agfa Ansco 8x10.

    I think the color and surface you have there is pretty nice. It looks more like walnut than the fake mahogany stain one usually sees, and I like the satin surface. I would have suggested something completely different, for a more original look, but I'm glad I kept my mouth shut.

    I am remembering, but my Google is too weak this morning to find, that Kodak made a tilting lens board accessory for the 2D that's similar to what you are trying to make. As I remember, it has its own bellows, mounts with the large board and takes lenses on a smaller one. Maybe someone else can come up with the photo I can't. Anyway, you'd be surprised how little you need a tilting front when you adjust your expectations. You can get a lot of the same effect with bed tilt and back movement. I think that was their original intent because for that strategy you don't need lenses with large covering power, which they didn't have. For that reason, I usually start there, anyway.
    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

  5. #35
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    Re: Restoring my "new" Agfa Ansco 8x10.

    Quote Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
    [...]you'd be surprised how little you need a tilting front when you adjust your expectations. You can get a lot of the same effect with bed tilt and back movement. I think that was their original intent because for that strategy you don't need lenses with large covering power, which they didn't have. For that reason, I usually start there, anyway.
    Absolutely - that's why I kind of gave up on retrofitting front swing capability, which I would use even less. I just thought it would be more convenient in the long run to do something like the system I showed. Thanks for the info on the 2D adapter - I'll try to find some info on it. I don't think it would be directly compatible with this camera (I don't think there was any standardization between camera manufacturers?), but any ideas are welcome at this stage.

  6. #36
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    Re: Restoring my "new" Agfa Ansco 8x10.

    Perhaps make the smaller tilting lensboard fully rotatable in all 4 possible orientations for all options

    A member here sent me a fixed tilt lensboard for 7X17 to convert from Standard to Banquet, and made the camera more appropriate for my usage
    2022

  7. #37
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    Re: Restoring my "new" Agfa Ansco 8x10.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tin Can View Post
    Perhaps make the smaller tilting lensboard fully rotatable in all 4 possible orientations for all options

    A member here sent me a fixed tilt lensboard for 7X17 to convert from Standard to Banquet, and made the camera more appropriate for my usage
    Could you share any photos? I can't really picture what you're describing.

  8. #38

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    Re: Restoring my "new" Agfa Ansco 8x10.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scyg View Post
    Word of advice from the voice of experience: If you ever find yourself restoring a wooden camera that's been stored in damp conditions (you'll know by the smell if nothing else), don't expect simple reassembly. Wood warps. I've already identified two places where shimming will be necessary to bring things back to true.
    A craftsman gave me advice about warped hardwood years ago saying that before it is refinished, one can clamp the warped piece to a metal form and apply heat carefully a few times and letting it sit still jigged up for days before releasing... Heat can be from indirect blasts from heat gun, quartz lamp, or even leaving in the hot summer sun for a few days... Beware to not burn wood finishes (best done raw wood), and glued joints will come apart, but the heating will soften the resin in the woods and allow them to straighten when jigged and long reset...

    I was given an old early Ries small model C tripod with a deformed leg, so clamped this to a heavy aluminum form and applied heat from a moving quartz photo light for about 20 minutes... Strange how you can feel the heat bounce around in the wood, but the next day released it from the form, and it was nearly perfect!!!

    YMMV

    Steve K

  9. #39
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    Re: Restoring my "new" Agfa Ansco 8x10.

    This what I got for free and glad of it, as it gave me a design start to my version, which is in deep storage.

    Thank you forum member, I forget your name.

    Tilt Lensboard by TIN CAN COLLEGE, on Flickr




    Quote Originally Posted by Scyg View Post
    Could you share any photos? I can't really picture what you're describing.
    2022

  10. #40

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    Re: Restoring my "new" Agfa Ansco 8x10.

    Yeah! Make a whole set of boards in 2 degree increments!
    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

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