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