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Thread: Small parts - building/repairing LF cameras?

  1. #1

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    Small parts - building/repairing LF cameras?

    Esteemed Gentlefolk,

    I'm looking for sources for the following items.

    1) Arca Swiss mount rails that the cleat blocks attach to. These rails are under each standard (fore and aft). Alternative sources (if the OEM doesn't sell such things), perhaps without needing machining?

    2) Deardorff spring metal tabs that hold ground glass backs in place. I'm looking for someone who may have already fabricated pieces or has NOS. I need the parts that cradle the back at the bottom of the standard as well as the spring tabs at the top of the standard.

    3) New synthetic material bellows - built to spec.

    Resources? Comments? Feedback?

  2. #2
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Re: Small parts - building/repairing LF cameras?

    You might try asking Richard Ritter. He does view camera restorations among other things, and he's a damn fine photographer too.

    Bruce Watson

  3. #3

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    Re: Small parts - building/repairing LF cameras?

    Carol Miller lists a few sources on her website's Links page.

  4. #4

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    Re: Small parts - building/repairing LF cameras?

    I know this will be met with some skepticism based on what a lot of people have posted here, but I've found that for buying 'dorff parts, Ken Hough is a good resource. I've never sent my camera to him, but I have bought some small parts and he's always delivered---and thrown in valuable practical advice as well.

    My 2-cents--YMMV of course.

    Another resource for 'dorff parts would be Jack Deardorff of course!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  5. #5

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    Re: Small parts - building/repairing LF cameras?

    Jack Deardorff? DUH!!! (Smacks head!)

    Just ran across this info at another photo forum, courtesy of someone named Capocheny...

    John M. Deardorff Jr. - President
    D.P.P.I. Photographic Products, Int.
    58 W. Lincolnway
    Valparaisio, IN 46383 - 5522

    Ph: (219) 464.9748

  6. #6

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    Re: Small parts - building/repairing LF cameras?

    [Homer Simpson] DOH!!!

    Right on.

    RE Ken Hough: I sent him an 8x10 'dorff camera to be restored 8 (count 'um, EIGHT!!!) years ago. It never came back to me. The only thing I ever got was excuses. Excuses. Excuses. For eight years!

    So I contacted a couple lawyers local to him and got a finished, though pretty used, camera out of Ken. It's the camera I'm interested in fixing properly. It's this very camera which leads to my original question.

    Thanks to everyone for their comments and feedback. I now have more than a few things to follow up on. Funny that John Deardorff lives in the same town as Ken Hough... It's a strange world.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Gentile
    Jack Deardorff? DUH!!! (Smacks head!)

    Just ran across this info at another photo forum, courtesy of someone named Capocheny...

    John M. Deardorff Jr. - President
    D.P.P.I. Photographic Products, Int.
    58 W. Lincolnway
    Valparaisio, IN 46383 - 5522

    Ph: (219) 464.9748

  7. #7

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    Re: Small parts - building/repairing LF cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Perez
    "... Funny that John Deardorff lives in the same town as Ken Hough... It's a strange world..."
    What a story! What are the odds...? Geez!

  8. #8
    Barry Young's Avatar
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    Re: Small parts - building/repairing LF cameras?

    The odds are pretty good considering that Ken did all the refinishing work for the Deardorff family for many years and Jack ran the company at the end. We all probably would have worked at LF Deardorff and Sons if we were into LF photography in Chicago in the 60's.

  9. #9

    Re: Small parts - building/repairing LF cameras?

    A long time ago someone said that "Every man should build one house in his life time".

    It came to mind that maybe "Every photographer should build one camera in his/her life time".

    When you build one you eventually see what it's all about. Such concepts as quality, ease of use, economy, design, durability, fit and finsih, etc. will all collide with time. There is a reason that the old camera are still around and usable. They are heavy and simple. Trying to make a Space Shuttle out of Piper Cub is indead a noble venture but how many compromises will be made as time goes on?

    Why has it taken so long to "evolve" the wooden camera into the modern day camera and what have we been left with in the process?

  10. #10
    Barry Young's Avatar
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    Re: Small parts - building/repairing LF cameras?

    Quote Originally Posted by Turner Reich
    A long time ago someone said that "Every man should build one house in his life time".

    It came to mind that maybe "Every photographer should build one camera in his/her life time".

    When you build one you eventually see what it's all about. Such concepts as quality, ease of use, economy, design, durability, fit and finsih, etc. will all collide with time. There is a reason that the old camera are still around and usable. They are heavy and simple. Trying to make a Space Shuttle out of Piper Cub is indead a noble venture but how many compromises will be made as time goes on?

    Why has it taken so long to "evolve" the wooden camera into the modern day camera and what have we been left with in the process?

    Very flowery, but what does what you said mean? Was there a point? I am usually not this thick, but I don't see how what you said applies to the discussion. I just want to know what I am missing.

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