Modifying B&J Press (4x5") to accept thicker plate holders, i.e. Linhof

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by holmburgers, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. holmburgers

    holmburgers Member

    Aug 13, 2009
    Rochester NY
    Multi Format
    The other day I was quite frustrated to discover that my Burke & James 4x5" press camera does not accept thicker plate holders, specifically a Linhof double pressure-plate holder.

    This holder is about 18.5mm thick, compared to a normal cut sheet film holder which is about 11. When I tried to fit it into the spring-back there was a spontaneous explosion of parts, bending the mounting pins & sending a leaf spring violently towards my thumb, taking out a chunk of flesh!

    Not cool at all...

    However, I happened upon an easy fix that proved to be entirely satisfactory.

    All I did was raise the point at which the leaf spring attaches to the camera back by inserting 1/4" long aluminum bushings/spacers and getting correspondingly longer screws to reach through them.

    The ground glass is still held firmly against the film plane when no holder is present, a normal double dark-slide fits snugly and the Linhof double-plate holder now slides in comfortably.

    The bushings (a.k.a. spacers) were 1/4" long, 1/4" o.d. and an inside diameter designed to accommodate a #6 screw. The screws were metric; 12mm long and M3 x0.5P. These screwed perfectly into the existing holes on my B&J rotating back.

    Very easy to do, cheap, and the result is a much more accommodating back. Might be useful on any number of plate holders, roll film backs or Grafmatics.

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