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  1. #1
    bliorg's Avatar
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    New project, 4x5 Field Cam...

    Hi, all -

    Well, I've wanted a dedicated 4x5 for a while now. Against all odds and inflated BIN prices, a beater project 4x5 came up for sale on eBay last week. Not quite a true basket case, it still needs a good deal of TLC to make it usable again, but the price, relative to a complete and functional 4x5, was too good to pass up.

    It's patterned after an English view camera, but after quite a bit of research, the hardware and configuration suggest to me it's a Japanese-made Asanuma King half plate camera:



    There's no back; the previous owner had tried to fit a Graflex spring back to it instead:



    Unfortunately, he removed the top piece that the plate holder slid into. I'll need to remake that piece before I can build a new back (). But, I'm looking forward to having a real 4x5, and this looks like a fun project. I'll be blogging the whole thing, too.

    The camera shipped yesterday; I'm crossing my fingers for tomorrow's mail...

    Scott

  2. #2
    bliorg's Avatar
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    More research indicates that the Asanuma King has triple extension to 20", which is a darned good thing. Also, while the existing back looks very poorly adapted, it seems that both clips are in place to hold the back. If my thinking's right, that means the original owner cobbled the Graflex onto the original plate back. If that's true, I should be able to slide the plate back out and either use it directly or as a pattern for the 4x5 spring back. And I think the springs from the Graflex back will be usable for the spring back, which means less metalwork for me.

    This is all pending receipt and inspection, but the photos are pretty encouraging!


  3. #3
    bliorg's Avatar
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    Oooh - found a nice board of black walnut in the garage. Fairly straight-grained; I think it'll make a fine back. And some lensboards...


  4. #4
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    It's a bit like the half plate camera I bought recently. I'm going to make a 5x4 back from scratch, but I've rebuilt an early Speed Graphic back and know what wooden parts I need. I also have a spare Pacemaker 5x4 back attached to a 10x8 reducing back that I don't use so that's another option.

    Does yours fold like this ?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails fc007.jpg   fc006.jpg   fc005.jpg  

  5. #5
    bliorg's Avatar
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    Yes, it should fold similar to yours, Ian. I won't have it in hand for another day or two, though. There will be other work to do as well - patch/replace the bellows, adapt the base for modern tripod mounts, cleaning, refinishing. But the cameras appear very similar. Yours is quite the looker, BTW.

  6. #6
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    The Graflex spring back looks like a Terminator bionic leg or something. Probably useful but it ain't pretty.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  7. #7
    edp
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    The work you did on the Vageeswari 5x12 looks good (seen on your blog).

  8. #8
    bliorg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerevan View Post
    The Graflex spring back looks like a Terminator bionic leg or something. Probably useful but it ain't pretty.
    Yeah - needs to go. The springs may prove useful, but it needs a proper, wooden back, doesn't it?

  9. #9
    Jerevan's Avatar
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    Yes, if I had a spare 4x5" back I'd send it to you, just to see the Graflex go! The only thing I got is a 5x7" Kodak back.
    “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” - Lao Tzu

  10. #10
    bliorg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerevan View Post
    Yes, if I had a spare 4x5" back I'd send it to you, just to see the Graflex go! The only thing I got is a 5x7" Kodak back.
    I appreciate the offer! Truth be told, I'm looking forward to fabricating the back from scratch. Kind of a hobby.

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