Graflok Back on a Busch Pressman C

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by Tom Hoskinson, Oct 7, 2005.

  1. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    This summer I acquired 2 Busch Pressman C cameras. One is a pristine late model camera with quick release lens board. It is also complete with all the original equipment (including a 105 mm Voigtlander Color Skopar in a Compur shutter).

    The second camera is an older model in excellent condition EXCEPT FOR THE FACT that the previous owner modified the camera by removing and losing the OEM spring back and ground glass. BTW, the lens is a very clean 101 mm Kodak Ektar.

    I received the camera with a Suydam 120 rollfilm back held on by a couple cabinet door fasteners.

    I am currently embarked on a project to install a complete 2 1/4 X 3 1/4 Graflex Graflok back on this camera.

    I have a complete Graflok back in hand and I have removed enough of the "modified" Busch Pressman back to check the compatibility. Looks like the Graflok back will align with the Pressman and fit without difficulty.

    Has anyone out there tried this conversion?

    I've seen posts describing backs and adapters for the Pressman that were built from scratch, but haven't found any reference to this particular hack.
     
  2. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    Tom, I have a Busch Pressman C original and very nice. It has a spring back and I would like to have a graflok back. I found a spring back, just the back, and I am thinking of how I will rebuild it as a Graflok back. I want to be able to use roll holders and the Graf 23's are really a tight fit. If I am cleaver enough I can use film holders and roll, Graf. Let us know what you come up with. I too think it would be more usable.
    Curt
     
  3. glennfromwy

    glennfromwy Member

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    I know it's been done. What I don't understand, however, is why. A 125.00 (+/-) back on a 50.00 camera never made sense to me. I have several C models, one with a Suydam held on with scews and washers. Very accurate rangefinder, so no need for the ground glass panel. Takes great photos, too.
     
  4. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Tom, I'm sort of with Glenn. I know its been done, don't see why or how.

    I see that you have a 2x3 Graflok back in hand, which is a large part of the battle. They're hard to find and expensive.

    When I had a 2x3 Pressman I took its back off and tried to fit my 2x3 Pacemaker Speed Graphics' back to the Pressman. Short answer, the two bodies' dimensions differed so a back for back swap wasn't possible. I b'lieve that the 2x3 Busches with Grafloks that I've seen on eBay had the Grafloks attached to a thin panel that attached to the cameras' bodies.

    There's no disputing tastes, so I won't advise you to give up on your Busches, get a pair of 2x3 Graphics (one Speed, one Crown or Century), and not look back. But that does seem the easier course. When I had mine, I was greatly frustrated by the difficulty of finding lensboards.

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
  5. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Hi Dan!

    I already have a pair of 2 1/4 X 3 1/4 Graphics (Crown and Century).

    My spare Graflok back is off of a Century Graphic.

    You wrote: "I b'lieve that the 2x3 Busches with Grafloks that I've seen on eBay had the Grafloks attached to a thin panel that attached to the cameras' bodies."

    My disassembly of the Busch Pressman C back revealed a thin metal panel attached to the camera's body with 4 screws (the Busch bellows is attached to this metal panel).

    My 2 1/4 X 3 1/4 Graflock backs are also attached by 4 screws - different hole locations than the holes in the Busch metal panel, but same size screw holes. The Graflock dimensions are the same as the Busch metal panel and the alignment is good.

    It looks like all I will need to do is drill 4 holes in the Graflok to match the hole pattern in the Busch.
     
  6. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Tom, how did you remove a Century's Graflok? Hacksaw? I've always thought it was integral with the body, as mine seems to be. Did you mean Crown and type Century? Remember, the Century body is molded plastic.

    Thanks for describing your Busch. It isn't quite like what I remember mine to be. Mine's back attached to the wooden body with four screws. The plate that held the back of its bellows was set inside the box.

    As I said, there's no disputing tastes. One of the reasons I've standardized on Nikons for 35 mm still and on Graphics for 2x3 is that standardization reduces the amount of gear I have to carry to the field. Nikons are ok cameras with an ok range of lenses, but this is true of all of their competitors. Graphics are ok cameras, but so are all of the other 2x3 press cameras. Since Nikon and most of their competitors have a proprietary lens mount, sticking with Nikon (could have been Canon, ... ) saves me from having to carry other brands' bodies to be able to use their lenses. Graphics have their own lens boards, don't match the others. Again, sticking with them saves me from carrying other little wood or metal boxes around ...

    By all means do what pleases you and be happy. I'm too lazy, perhaps also weak of back, to follow your example.

    Cheers,

    Dan
     
  7. Tom Hoskinson

    Tom Hoskinson Member

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    Hi Dan, I did not remove the Graflok back, I bought the complete back on eBay. It was advertised as a Century Graflok Back...

    I obviously was not thinking clearly when I called it a Century Back...

    As I write this, I am looking at my 2 Graphics (Century and Crown).

    On the Century, the Graflok back is integral with the body (molded plastic).

    On the Crown, the Graflok back is separate and made of metal (held on with 4 screws).