ansco buying guide

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by wilson2, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. wilson2

    wilson2 Member

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    I would really appreciate some help from the Ansco shooters.
    Tomorrow I am going to look at an Ansco 8X10 flatbed. Gray color, 12 in.
    f4.5 lens. Also has 5X7,4X5, and a split5X7 back(2x3.5x5). 8X10 and 5X7 film holders. It has F&R swing/tilt. Front rise.
    Anything not so obvious to watch out for ? Although the obvious sometimes escapes me, perhaps the obvious should be listed too.
     
  2. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Check the bellows thoroughly. Based upon my experience with the 5x7, the Anscos seem to be issue free cameras--though I am not a heavy user. By the way, that is one heck of an outfit you shall be looking at.
     
  3. John Kasaian

    John Kasaian Member

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    Try to determin if it is a "Commercial" or "Universal" model(I don't think Ansco actually put labels on these but if you do a search you ought to find photographs of these models which will assist you) or a later one cobbled up from parts and with shorter bellows than a usual 8x10 camera. My suggestion is to stick with the Universal or Commercial models---nice cameras! Perhaps this one has felt the hand of Ansel Adams, Morley Baer, or one of the Westons at one time or another.
     
  4. david_mizen

    david_mizen Member

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    if its a grey one its a latter built unit, as per the above check the bellows properly fully racked out with a bright tourch for pin holes check also for lose screws and missing knobs and for obvious cracks or breaks in the wood almost any thing on these camera can be repaired quite easily except the bellows (but even that can be fixed if you dont mind black tape stuck on them to cover the holes) also make sure the tracks in the base line up properly or the standards may not travel over the join in the bed nicely - these are fun cameras
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    While most "Grey" Agfa Ansco's were made after the company/s seizure by the US Government a few were earlier, it might sound odd but the Deluxe finish was grey rather than the very much nicer polished wood finish.

    Front swing is unusual on these cameras but not unknown, one of mine has it but I've only come across one other with it. The big difference between a the Universal and the Commercial View is bellows extension, a Commercial View extends to 36½".

    Make sure everything locks down and tightens up properly, they are great cameras very usable, let us know how you get on.

    Ian
     
  6. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    It was fairly easy to add swing. A sharp chisel and removing the block up front.

    What lens?
     
  7. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Some Agfa Ansco's came from the factory that way.

    Ian
     
  8. wilson2

    wilson2 Member

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    An update: camera movements,front-shift,tilt,rise. Rear-swing,tilt. Body appeared to be in good condition,
    paint had minimal wear. All the locks work. Bellows appears in good condition couldn't find any holes.
    Hardware is nickel plated. The rear standard does not have the "0" pointer for tilt.
    Lens is a Wollensak Velostigmat series II 12" f4.5. Has a soft focus feature. Shutter is Alphax.

    Areas of concern; The tracks for the rise on the front standard are worn in the most used area to the
    point that the gear skips and pressure must be applied to keep the gear in contact with the tracks to
    use the rise. Bellows is 21", the base will extend much further (7") than the bellows will extend. Does this
    indicate the possibility of shorter replacement bellows ?

    Misc. Kodak 8X10 holders-4, Lisco 5X7 holders-4. Ansco 8X10,5X7 back, B&J 4X5 back. Ansco box.

    Well, any opinions ? Where would one find replacement tracks for the front rise ? Or is it something
    I would have to live with. Would you buy or pass ?
     
  9. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Would you buy or pass ?[/QUOTE]

    *******
    Price?
     
  10. wilson2

    wilson2 Member

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    $375.00
     
  11. tessar

    tessar Subscriber

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    $375 sounds fair. I have an Ansco 8x10 of that vintage myself, heavy but very rigid. The ugly grey paint had been removed on mine, stripped down to the mahogany and cherrywood and nicely refinished. Looks great. The front rise on mine is tricky -- it takes some fiddling, holding the lensboard from below while gently pushing and pulling the knobs on the left and right with perhaps some jiggling of the lensboard up and down. But once it's seated correctly, it's firm. The bellows only extend to 18" from the rear standard because I don't have the focus rail extension (don't really need it) but I do have a recessed lens board in case I want to try out wide-angle lenses. With OK bellows and all those accessories (some hard to find and often expensive) it seems like a good deal. The Ansco box is rare and really essential if you want to take the camera out in the field. I have the B&J 4x5 reducing back too. With a 300mm lens (especially that Velostigmat) shooting it's perfect for portraits.