Ansco 8x10 front standard

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Mainecoonmaniac, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    I got an old Ansco 8x10 camera and I'm rehabbing it. I 've got new knobs thanks to APUGers recommending a vendor. The next phase is trying to get the front standard to tilt again. Currently is locked down with metal plates. The front swing is also bolted down. I tried to use the camera without these front movements and I find it really hard. I'm just too used to doing swings and tilts with the front standard. My questions is there hardware available that will allow me restore the tilt on my camera?
     
  2. mjs

    mjs Member

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    can you provide a detail picture of the front standard?

    Mike
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I've two Agfa Ansco 10x8's one with front tilt and swing the other without. Front swing is quite unusual with these cameras and there are special brackets etc fror the front tilt but it's not a simple conversion.

    aa004.jpg

    Ian
     
  4. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Thanks Ian and Mike. Here's a photo of the front of my camera. Here have been some awful hack modifications to my camera. One of them is a hole drilled to glue in a huge nut to accommodate a surveyor's tripod. I fixed that. photo.JPG

    I'm thinking of removing the two bolts that hold down the swing of the front standard. As you can see from the photo, you can see 4 metal plates that bolt down the tilt. If I remove those plates, the middle portion will move freely inside the front standard frame.

    Thanks for all the help!
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    It looks like the brass fittings for tilt have been removed, they should be fairly easy to get made. They are like over sized mirror plates.

    Also the bolt and head that control front shift is missing but again it's nothing special really. It doesn't look like it's ever had front swing.

    Ian
     
  6. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Thanks Ian. Now I have to find a fabricator to make the tilt hardware. I think there was a swing/shift because I see a metal trough between the two bolts are. The only front standard functionality is the rise and fall.
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    That metal trough is for the front shift locking bolt, it's actually just a piece of brass on the top for the nut & washer to lock onto (rather than the wood). There's usually a slightly raised section of wood that prevents front swing - in fact the standard runs against it for the front shift.

    It's highly unusual for these cameras to have front swing it wasn't a standard or optional feature, however I know that the original owner of my Aga Ansco Commercial View bought his camera with it added around 1939/40. (He taught at the Clarence White School of Photography).

    IAn
     
  8. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Thanks Ian. I didn't know that. I thought that trough is for both swing and tilt. I just want to restore the movements to it's original capacity. I'm slowly rehabbing it bit by by and try to get some use out of it at the same time. It's frustrating me a bit because I'm used to using a full-featured modern view camera. I do like the wood field cameras. Well designed and engineered. Too bad someone had to take short cuts in fixing this old gem.
     
  9. premortho

    premortho Member

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    I had a 5X7 Ansco until someone burned my house down a few years ago. Most old view cameras don't have front tilt and swing because they used rear tilt and swing combined with front rise and fall. After a Speed Graphic, (no rear movements) I found it easy to use. But I used it for portraits, still lifes and landscapes. tilt was done on the Ansco geared rise, tilt table tripod that came with it.
     
  10. mjs

    mjs Member

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    There were several models of these cameras made; some had more movements, some less. Those sold as "portrait" cameras often had a little front rise but nothing else on the front standard; it was cheaper that way and the immobile front standard was more stable and less prone to vibration, especially when using the heavy, large aperture and soft focus lenses often favored by portraitists.

    I can't tell much from the picture; your camera looks like it once had rise/fall and tilts on the front standard and, if the user thought it necessary to add two bolts to hold it down, I'll bet it had swings and shift as well. It was perhaps modified by a portrait photographer, who rarely use front movements other than a bit of rise or fall.

    Look at the picture of Ian's camera: that metal half-round bit on the side of the front lensboard, on the right in the picture, was what Ansco used to control tilt on the front lens panel. Finding one will be difficult I imagine but all it is is a clamp with a knob to tighten it, installed at the middle of the lens board. Loosen the knob to let the lens board tilt backwards or forwards, tighten up again when you get it where you want it. You ought to be able to fabricate or have someone fabricate a substitute easily enough. Google Ansco cameras and you ought to find photos to make it clear.

    Swing and shift are even easier: there was a center bolt rising up from the bed, with a knob that tightened against the board forming the bottom of the front standard. It passed through a slot in that board, the bottom of the front standard. Loosen to adjust, tighten to, well, tighten. Look for signs that the bottom piece of the front standard once had a slot about three inches (90mm, +/-) long and the width of a solid bolt, or whether possibly it looks like the old piece with the slot may have been replaced by a solid piece of wood. Either way, you ought to be able to add those movements easily enough. The simplest thing would be to simply drill a hole for the bolt in the center of the bottom piece of wood: that would give you swings. Personally, I can't remember the last time I used shift so perhaps in the name of simplicity you don't need it?

    Good luck!

    Mike
     
  11. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Hey Mike,

    Thanks for the response. I'll take your advice on fixing the shift/swing feature. As for fixing the tilt, finding the hardware is going to be a tough one.
    Best,
    Don
     
  12. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Maybe I can make (draw) a pattern for the brass fittings for the lens tilt, they aren't complex and would be easy to have made. As I said before I doubt it had front swing particularly as I think it was originally a later grey model made after the US Government seized Agfa Ansco and manufactire was moved from Bingham.

    My guess is someone stripped it down to remove the paint-work to refinish it as natural wood-work and lost some of the fittings during the process.

    I'll see what I can do over Easter.

    Ian
     
  13. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Hey Ian,

    You're great! I've looked on the internet for other hardware that might work and it's tough. I even thought of installing a friction type hinge where I can loosen to tilt then lock the standard down. If it's not too much trouble, I'd appreciate it.

    No need to do it over Easter. Just when ever you can get to it. I took my camera out in the field last Friday and shot with the camera and I'm getting used to tilt with the back. For landscapes it's fine. But when I shoot tabletop work, the distortion can be a problem. You have a great Easter!

    Best,
    Don
     
  14. Len Robertson

    Len Robertson Member

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    I took several digital snaps of the front hardware on my 8X10 Ansco, and a couple of the 8X10 and 5X7 together:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/78824315@N00/
    The front tilt hardware for both format cameras seems to be the same size, so if you can find a 5X7 with bad bellows or some other defect, you can use the same bits on your 8X10. I'm not sure, but it may be you will need to take the bellows loose from the front standard in order to tilt the frame enough to access the screws holding the tilt hardware in place. Looking at the picture of your Ansco, it looks like you may have one of the metal plates still in place. The thickness of the tilt plates is 1/16". A magnet doesn't stick to the metal, so I'm guessing they are made of sheet brass, then plated. You could leave them brass finish. Cutting the curved part of the plates out with a jeweler's saw and filing smooth wouldn't be very difficult. If you could find an amateur machinist who could mill the curve, it would give a nicer finish.

    Len
     
  15. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Hey Len,

    Those are very helpful tips and pics!

    Best,
    Don