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Thread: Post Here OLD LF Camera Fails

  1. #1
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Post Here OLD LF Camera Fails

    As a Lover of OLD Cameras, I may be biased

    But old experts please chime in

    We need to know!

  2. #2
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Post Here OLD LF Camera Fails

    My 11X14 SENECA VIEW CAMERA is painted black, not good for sunny hot days

    It has lousy balance on any tripod and it didn't come with the bottom slider that better camera have to equalize balance

    Both standards wiggle all over if just breathed on, shaky town!

    Worse the rear extension just folds but not removable as better cameras

    A factory fix was 'Landing Gear' which 'helps' lesson' the infernal bending of both extensions

    However the landing gear is missing as it WAS a second part not bolted on!

    That was stupid!

    Takes way too skinny and small lens boards

    I can carry on, I will add pictures!.................later.............................................................maybe

    PS I bought it here on this forum and have NO ISSUE with seller at all!

  3. #3

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    Re: Post Here OLD LF Camera Fails

    I saw a Kodak 2D on eBay for relatively cheap. It was listed as a 5x7, without much other detail. When looking at the back, it was clearly a reducing back, so I guessed it was an 8x10 with a 5x7 reducing back, but I wasn't sure. I found other photos of each size and tried to compare part to part. Scale is hard online. I thought about messaging the seller to clarify, but I (and presumably the several dozen other people with it on their watch list) recieved an offer of half price--clearly the seller just wanted it gone. Since it was already a good price, half of that was a very good price (everything seemed in very good condition.) Since the price was now so low for the watchers, I figured if I asked and waited for an answer, it would probably be gone by the time I got an answer, so I took a chance and bought it.

    It turns out it was a 5x7 2D with a 4x5 reducing back. Since I don't need another 4x5 camera, I haven't done anything with it. I'd love it if it was a proper 5x7 or an 8x10 with 5x7 back. I haven't been able to find a straight 5x7 back for it so it gathers dust...

  4. #4
    (Shrek)
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    Re: Post Here OLD LF Camera Fails

    Bought a 5x7 Graflex SLR, pre-RB, at a camera show, looked almost mint, had the original lensboard and 8" Cooke lens. As the show is ending, you just grab and pay as you're packing. Got home, took off the roll film holder to check the curtain.... it's not there. Any of it. Cut off at each roller. It's gathering dust on display, I suppose, on top of the bookshelf next to my desk. I would like to make a curtain for it some day, I believe graflex.org (?) has the dimensions for the lengths of the panels and the slits. Difficulty is matching the thickness of the fabric and the folded tin stiffeners/edges so the slits don't end up stopping in the middle of the frame.

  5. #5
    (Shrek)
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    Re: Post Here OLD LF Camera Fails

    My first experience with a 'vintage' lf camera: I bought a Deardorff at the local flea market, missing parts, needed a bit of work, only had the 4x5 reducing back. This was back when you could actually get parts off eBay, so I bought the missing knobs and rear extension, but I still needed an 8x10 back. Being a little on the cheap side, I found a seller on eBay selling a cheap old camera 'for parts', but in the photos, there was an 8x10 back on top of the camera. It was the ROC Universal I used for several years. 1st problem that I didn't know was a problem is that the Universal was made before film holder sizes were standardized, and the camera didn't come with any film holders.

    But that wasn't the big problem: when the seller said it was 'for parts', what he actually meant was 'IN parts'. It had been stored in a damp basement and literally every glued joint in the entire camera and 3 backs it came with was loose and coming apart. I spent the better part of a week cleaning every joint and re-assembling the entire camera from component parts. Including the bellows, which I had to re-glue every cardboard stiffener then add a new liner. I suppose it was a good education on how view cameras are put together, and I did get almost 10 years' use out of the camera. Lightest field camera I ever had the pleasure of carrying, unfortunately by it's design it cannot accommodate wide-angle lenses wider than about 210mm.
    Last edited by Jody_S; 17-Dec-2021 at 17:57.

  6. #6

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    Re: Post Here OLD LF Camera Fails

    11x14 Improved Empire State View. Was pre Email with written correspondence back and forth with the owner of a small camera store. Think that it was around 1980. Was sent two Polaroids (poor ones) of the camera. The camera looked to be stripped of its varnish? and the brass parts polished. Because of the camera's size it was a "no returns" deal, but the price was a little over $100 so I took a chance. Got the camera and it cosmetically looked actually very decent. Upon the initial first minute of inspection, the camera's wood had been stripped and the brass parts polished up. Upon the second minute of inspection, I concluded that the camera must have been completely disassembled but then put back together by someone who had no clue of what the term alignment meant. A lot of the screws not rethreaded into the wood, but holes drilled and epoxy? glue put inside the holes to secure the screws. Looked like the wood joints must have been carefully separated (I'm sure by someone else) but then put back together with something like Gorilla glue. Camera was unusable as it was. I did salvage most of the brass parts to be used to restore another Improved Empire State view camera a year or two later.

  7. #7

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    Re: Post Here OLD LF Camera Fails

    I bought a Zeiss Ikon 10x15cm with a 15cm f4.5 Carl Zeiss Tessar in a velvet leather box for 100 some years ago.
    The the camera has two focusing rails, one in camera for storing the front standard and one on the bed. The camera had been closed with the front standard half way between rails, making it unusable.
    My father helped me, mechanical teacher at the time unlike me, a civil engineer, and we managed to rectify the wrong.
    Second time I closed it, it was once again destroyed and my father gave up.
    Shutter now lives with a no name casket set of 15-75cm single meniscus lenses, making half decent pictures when added a filter and stopped way down.......

    Sent fra min SM-G975F via Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Post Here OLD LF Camera Fails

    Bought a 5x7 B&J grey beast from someone here long gone. Never used it. I think it was soaked in a strong solution of nicotine to kill any possible insect infestations.

    I eventually either gave it or parts of it away.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  9. #9
    Foamer
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    Re: Post Here OLD LF Camera Fails

    I've just bought a very fancy and expensive stereo camera in very nice shape. Had to rebuild the septum but that's not major. Playing with it on a tripod yesterday I'm beginning to suspect the two lenses focus at different distances even though they are the same lens (but not consecutive serial numbers.) Will check some more but this might be a major issue.


    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

  10. #10

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    Re: Post Here OLD LF Camera Fails

    Bought a camera off ebay UK. Size was not specified, but a reducing back was included. I was hoping for 8x10"/5x7" and the price was low enough to gamble. Turned out to be a full plate camera with a 5x8" reducing back. One film holder for each size was included, both severely damaged. Since full plate holder size is not standardized, I have not been able to find holders yet. I'm not desparate enough to buy holders from overseas for a higher price than the whole camera outfit and hope that they might fit. It's not a total loss, though. It's a beautiful camera in great shape with a nice brass lens for an unusual, but beautiful film format. My dad showed interest in a wooden camera as a living room ornament, so I gave it to him as a birthday present.

    Best,

    Michael

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