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Thread: Used Tachihara from B&H - Questions...

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Used Tachihara from B&H - Questions...

    I received a used Tachihara from B&H and it is really hard to turn the focusing knob. The further the extension, the hard it gets to turn. After trying it out for a while, the skin on my thumb is tingling due to the force required. I mounted the camera on a tripod to simulate normal usage and the focusing seems too heavy to be normal.

    The condition is okay otherwise. The metal is all silver colored except the plates that hold together the rear square which are brass colored. The washers are white nylon. The focus knob has two white washers on it. These washers appear to get compressed more and more as the front standard is extended. Some of the wood has wear and one of the metal plates has clearly taken a knock (bent, appears not to be the cause of the binding though). The knob on the left side (opposite the focusing knob) is loose (supposed to be, mentioning it to point out I understand that needs to be loose while focusing). The wood slides appear to have been waxed but the wax buildup is minimal.

    Is this normal? Besides this problem, it does seem solid to me when everything is tightened down. If the focusing wasn't so heavy, I'd be happy to keep it. I think it's going back though. The size is wonderful compared to the Calumet/Cambo 4x5 monorail I've been using (45NX I think)

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    953

    Re: Used Tachihara from B&H - Questions...

    Send it back. I no longer patronize their used department - they are just kind of clueless. Try Mpex instead.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Re: Used Tachihara from B&H - Questions...

    I'm not sure how the focus lock works on the tachihara, but is it possible that the focus lock is getting tighter as you rack out the rail? This happens to me sometimes if I do not loosen the focus lock enough. It might be worth checking?
    good luck
    erik

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
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    Re: Used Tachihara from B&H - Questions...

    IIRC with the two Tachiharas I've owned you had to periodically loosen the locking knob as you turned the focusing knob, otherwise the locking knob would turn with the focus knob and cause the focus knob to become harder and harder to turn. Have you been doing that?
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  5. #5
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Used Tachihara from B&H - Questions...

    If the problem is not as Brian indicated, check to make sure that the standard has not jumped a tooth on the rail on one side -- that can cause difficulty in moving the standard when focusing. Check it by racking the standard even to the front of the camera's bed -- they should be parallel to each other. (or count the number of teeth from the standard to the end of the rails -- they should be the same.

    Vaughn

  6. #6

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    Feb 2008
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    Southcentral, Wisconsin
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    Re: Used Tachihara from B&H - Questions...

    It's not the focus lock and I do not think it is a jumped tooth. I noticed the same thing with the focus lock so I've got that completely unscrewed to the loose side. The alignment looks good. I rubbed the "slides" some more with a cloth and that seems to have helped. It is 5 degrees Fahrenheit here in Wisconsin and it was on the UPS truck all day. Perhaps the cold with the wax gummed things up for a while.

    However, I looked closer and the rear standard on the lower right has a rivet that is popped up about 5 mm along with half of the bracket. I'd wager it took a rough fall at some point. So that means one side of the rear standard is always going to be +5mm above the other and out of alignment with the front standard. I suspect that wouldn't actually affect much but the camera is closer to KEH grade of BGN/bargain so back it goes. I'd guess that this damage is also related to the binding.

    I do have to say though that I would have no qualms about buying another one. It is like a beautiful jewel. I wanted to keep it even with the damage. Once all the knobs and levers were tightened up, the stability was great. I'll look to Mpex -- I noticed they carry the Tachihara new for 50% more than I paid for this used one at B&H (getting closer to Chamonix so back to considering the options).

    Back it goes. Thank you!

  7. #7
    MIke Sherck's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    Re: Used Tachihara from B&H - Questions...

    Wooden cameras can be subject to all the disadvantages of wood, including dimensional change with changes in temperature and humidity, drying out, and so on. I disassemble my Zone VI wooden camera at least once a year and rub it down with Renaissance Wax, although any hard, thin wax would probably do. This gets all the accumulated dust and dirt out, lets me check that all the pieces are still in good shape, and provides another layer of sealing for peace of mind when I'm out in the rain or mist. I'm not recommending that you disassemble your camera, particularly if it has a warranty or can be returned, but if it turns out that you can't return it, disassembly, cleaning, examination and repair if necessary are pretty straightforward to do.
    Politically, aerodynamically, and fashionably incorrect.

  8. #8
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Used Tachihara from B&H - Questions...

    They are nice cameras, but from experience, they do not handle rough handling very well. "Rough handling" is defined in this case as student use (far worse than an owner would give one).

  9. #9
    B&H Photo-Video henryp's Avatar
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    Re: Used Tachihara from B&H - Questions...

    Cymen: We're sorry for any dissatisfaction and appreciate your situation. Our used dept's customer service staff will help with return authorization if you decide you do not want to keep this camera.

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