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Thread: Century 7 - my newest friend

  1. #1
    Analog Photographer Kimberly Anderson's Avatar
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    Century 7 - my newest friend

    I picked this up tonight from an old friend of mine. He also had this cool Conley portrait lens on it and a Packard shutter. It'll take some work to make it usable. The bellows need some help, the 5x7 back needs a ground glass, the 8x10 back has been shaved down and won't work at all, and I will need a stand to put it on.

    The price was right and I couldn't say no.







    I am sure I will be doing some searching and learning about this camera and lens.

  2. #2

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    Re: Century 7 - my newest friend

    As a recent Century 8x10 owner (10A) it's nice to see another one! Looks great and I'm sure it will prove fun and useful.

    I can't stop petting mine!

    Jonathan

  3. #3
    funkadelic
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    Re: Century 7 - my newest friend

    Is the lens a rebadged Vitax? I knew they did it for the Vesta line, but I've never seen a f3.8 Conley.

  4. #4
    loujon
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    Re: Century 7 - my newest friend

    Oh Yea they sold just about every Wollensak lenses manufactured at the time re- branded as Conley .

    Here is a 1910 Sears catalog listing

  5. #5
    Analog Photographer Kimberly Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Century 7 - my newest friend

    Yeah, I spent all weekend while LFF was down (made me very sad....), researching this camera and the lens. The lens is indeed a Vitax that's re-badged as a Conley. I even have the knob for the defocus, but it has broken off and left the threads stuck in the shaft. I am going to try to remove the threads and put the knob back into place. The lens cleaned up AMAZINGLY well. I was able to get all of the elements out and clean them up and verified that it has a cemented doublet in front and two elements in the back separated by an air gap.

    The camera itself works remarkably well. I have a 5x7 back for it that is missing the ground-glass. The 8x10 back that I have has been cut down flush with the leaf springs so that there is no way to attach it to the back. It does have the slider section, but I am unclear if I am missing some parts or how it will work with an 8x10 back. I am looking for an 8x10 back to use on this camera. My goal with it is to do wet plate or dags at some point.

    The Packard shutter actually works too, once Robert Hall showed me how important it is to cover up the hole in the bulb with my thumb. What an amazing contraption!

    I am thinking of cobbling up a ground glass this week and shooting some 5x7 negs to see how the lens fares.

    I am wondering what folks do with these things if they are missing the stand for them? I am sure I can rig something, but was wondering what others are doing.

  6. #6
    Jon Shiu's Avatar
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    Re: Century 7 - my newest friend

    Can you screw the remains of the 8x10 back onto a board that attaches to the back of the camera?

    Jon
    my black and white photos of the Mendocino Coast: www.jonshiu.com

  7. #7
    Analog Photographer Kimberly Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Century 7 - my newest friend

    An interesting thought. I probably could. I am just picky enough to keep looking for a back that will actually work as designed, but I could probably cobble up something in the meanwhile...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Shiu View Post
    Can you screw the remains of the 8x10 back onto a board that attaches to the back of the camera?

    Jon

  8. #8
    Analog Photographer Kimberly Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Century 7 - my newest friend

    Hey Century fans, do you guys have any ideas how I can start to shoot this thing? I have a very large/heavy Gitzo studio tripod and I could insert a tripod bushing. I'm just wondering i it's really going to be the best thing for it. I have seen videos of people using sawhorses and a platform, which is kind of what I'm leaning towards. Is there anything that will work well in a studio environment short of that studio stand? How about a rolling cart for a kitchen? Just thinking out loud...

  9. #9
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Century 7 - my newest friend

    That looks pretty nice (except for the mdf lensboard). A rolling cart for a kitchen/workshop would be fine if it has a way to immobilize/chock the wheels when you're ready to shoot. A book under the front or back will tilt it up for down for you.

  10. #10
    Analog Photographer Kimberly Anderson's Avatar
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    Re: Century 7 - my newest friend

    Some pics...







    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails _SLD8727.jpg   _SLD8726.jpg   _SLD8724.jpg   _SLD8722.jpg  

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