ansco 5x7

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by david_mizen, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. david_mizen

    david_mizen Member

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    ive just recieved my ansco 5x7 pretty much as described by seller
    but i have 2 problems the most pressing from my point of view is that the
    bellows are like concrete - the bellows are resisting drawing out (stiff) and
    if i try to apply front tilt the front wants to revert to straight up and down
    as the bellows are "set" and simply pull the standard back straight are they suposed to be that rigid? it fells like if i try to use the tilt the bellows will
    soon split or tear

    is there any thing to soften up the bellows - it appears to be a black plastic
    laminate with fabric inside, the outside looks like black pvc but hard and definetly not leather

    my second problem is the extension rail hinge is slightly twisted and the rail
    doesnt unfold with out fouling is there any one who holds any spares for these things or is it a case of getting something like a piano hinge and cutting
    it down to suit.

    thanks david
     
  2. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Hi David,
    I for a fact don't know of anything that will soften a plastic bellows. You could try extending it fully & let it set for a day or two/three & see if that improves it. I vaguely recall something at the car parts joint that is a plastic conditioner for vinyl interiors. Wouldn't hurt to look.
    I think you would save a slug or time & energy just getting a piano hinge & not bother trying to find an original. Being hardheaded I'd try to straighten the one you have. Second possibilty could be look for a small jewelry box at a thrift store & take the hinge from that.
     
  3. jmcd

    jmcd Member

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    I put some Western Bellows on my Ansco, and they are so supple they are a pleasure to use. The old plastic ones were getting cracked in the corners just a bit, but there is more to a bellows than keeping light out. With the Ansco you can just send in the old bellows attached to the bellows frames if you do decide it makes sense to go that route, and this keeps the shipping costs to a minimum.

    I'm not sure I full understand the fouling issue while unfolding. That is one stout hinge on the Ansco—is it bent, or the rail itself twisted?
     
  4. jmcd

    jmcd Member

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    I see that your post clearly states that the hinge is twisted. I can't imagine the force it would have taken to bend that hinge. Perhaps it is bent. Or perhaps it is just no longer seated properly, and it needs to be removed an attached again.

    If it is actually twisted, a 3" hinge from Ace Hardware should do the trick. Just make sure to patch the old holes with toothpicks and glue, and to properly pre-drill for the screws to seat the new hinge. The hinge is not mortised in and it only bends 90 degrees to close. Get a hinge with a fixed pin. Good luck.
     
  5. freygr

    freygr Member

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    Take off the hinge and use a vise as a press to straighten the hinge plates, then us a small hammer to do the final straightening. If not check McMaster Carr or MSC for a replacement hinge the same size.
     
  6. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    David,
    Whatever you have to do to get that camera working well for you shall be worth the time and effort. They are a great old camera.
    The "plastic" bellows might respond to an automotive product available here in the U.S.A. called Armor All.
     
  7. david_mizen

    david_mizen Member

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    thank you all i'd forgotten about amour all (we have it over here!) i'll give that a go first

    JMCD what was the cost of the replacement bellows if you dont mind me asking?

    looking at the way the hinge is bent it looks like the camera was droped while folded and it fallen on the edge of the extension
    rail pushing one side up when i've taken care of the day job i'll have a closer look and report back
     
  8. jmcd

    jmcd Member

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    David,

    The bellows was about $135 US, but its been a few years. PM me if you would like me to call to check on the current price.

    If the hinge bent and the camera is intact, that says much for the woodworking joinery on the camera. Best wishes on getting your Ansco tuned up.
     
  9. david_mizen

    david_mizen Member

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    how far has any one striped one of these cameras?

    i think the bellows will have to be replaced the more i look the more holes i find and the more i move the bellows the bigger the holes get.

    looking at the rear standard, are the studs that hold the top of the metal arms to the bellows box standard rivets? the inside ends of the rivets are peened over and the only way to disassemble the rear box is to drill out the end of the stud/rivets and i dont fancy drilling them out only to find that the stud is a fancy part that requres machining to remake. The reason i ask is the paint on the bellows box is flaking off and really needs removing and repainting or varnishing as there is evidence of water marks in the exposed wood, striping the paint and sanding the box would be quite awkward with the metal work in place.

    can any one shed any light?

    david