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  1. #1
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Ansco 8x10 front standard

    I got an old Ansco 8x10 camera and I'm rehabbing it. I 've got new knobs thanks to APUGers recommending a vendor. The next phase is trying to get the front standard to tilt again. Currently is locked down with metal plates. The front swing is also bolted down. I tried to use the camera without these front movements and I find it really hard. I'm just too used to doing swings and tilts with the front standard. My questions is there hardware available that will allow me restore the tilt on my camera?

  2. #2
    mjs
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    can you provide a detail picture of the front standard?

    Mike
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming– “Wow! What a Ride!”

    — Hunter S. Thompson

  3. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    I've two Agfa Ansco 10x8's one with front tilt and swing the other without. Front swing is quite unusual with these cameras and there are special brackets etc fror the front tilt but it's not a simple conversion.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Ian

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    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Thanks Ian and Mike. Here's a photo of the front of my camera. Here have been some awful hack modifications to my camera. One of them is a hole drilled to glue in a huge nut to accommodate a surveyor's tripod. I fixed that.Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm thinking of removing the two bolts that hold down the swing of the front standard. As you can see from the photo, you can see 4 metal plates that bolt down the tilt. If I remove those plates, the middle portion will move freely inside the front standard frame.

    Thanks for all the help!

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    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    It looks like the brass fittings for tilt have been removed, they should be fairly easy to get made. They are like over sized mirror plates.

    Also the bolt and head that control front shift is missing but again it's nothing special really. It doesn't look like it's ever had front swing.

    Ian

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    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Thanks Ian. Now I have to find a fabricator to make the tilt hardware. I think there was a swing/shift because I see a metal trough between the two bolts are. The only front standard functionality is the rise and fall.

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    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    That metal trough is for the front shift locking bolt, it's actually just a piece of brass on the top for the nut & washer to lock onto (rather than the wood). There's usually a slightly raised section of wood that prevents front swing - in fact the standard runs against it for the front shift.

    It's highly unusual for these cameras to have front swing it wasn't a standard or optional feature, however I know that the original owner of my Aga Ansco Commercial View bought his camera with it added around 1939/40. (He taught at the Clarence White School of Photography).

    IAn

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    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Thanks Ian. I didn't know that. I thought that trough is for both swing and tilt. I just want to restore the movements to it's original capacity. I'm slowly rehabbing it bit by by and try to get some use out of it at the same time. It's frustrating me a bit because I'm used to using a full-featured modern view camera. I do like the wood field cameras. Well designed and engineered. Too bad someone had to take short cuts in fixing this old gem.

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    I had a 5X7 Ansco until someone burned my house down a few years ago. Most old view cameras don't have front tilt and swing because they used rear tilt and swing combined with front rise and fall. After a Speed Graphic, (no rear movements) I found it easy to use. But I used it for portraits, still lifes and landscapes. tilt was done on the Ansco geared rise, tilt table tripod that came with it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mainecoonmaniac View Post
    Thanks Ian. I didn't know that. I thought that trough is for both swing and tilt. I just want to restore the movements to it's original capacity. I'm slowly rehabbing it bit by by and try to get some use out of it at the same time. It's frustrating me a bit because I'm used to using a full-featured modern view camera. I do like the wood field cameras. Well designed and engineered. Too bad someone had to take short cuts in fixing this old gem.

  10. #10
    mjs
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    There were several models of these cameras made; some had more movements, some less. Those sold as "portrait" cameras often had a little front rise but nothing else on the front standard; it was cheaper that way and the immobile front standard was more stable and less prone to vibration, especially when using the heavy, large aperture and soft focus lenses often favored by portraitists.

    I can't tell much from the picture; your camera looks like it once had rise/fall and tilts on the front standard and, if the user thought it necessary to add two bolts to hold it down, I'll bet it had swings and shift as well. It was perhaps modified by a portrait photographer, who rarely use front movements other than a bit of rise or fall.

    Look at the picture of Ian's camera: that metal half-round bit on the side of the front lensboard, on the right in the picture, was what Ansco used to control tilt on the front lens panel. Finding one will be difficult I imagine but all it is is a clamp with a knob to tighten it, installed at the middle of the lens board. Loosen the knob to let the lens board tilt backwards or forwards, tighten up again when you get it where you want it. You ought to be able to fabricate or have someone fabricate a substitute easily enough. Google Ansco cameras and you ought to find photos to make it clear.

    Swing and shift are even easier: there was a center bolt rising up from the bed, with a knob that tightened against the board forming the bottom of the front standard. It passed through a slot in that board, the bottom of the front standard. Loosen to adjust, tighten to, well, tighten. Look for signs that the bottom piece of the front standard once had a slot about three inches (90mm, +/-) long and the width of a solid bolt, or whether possibly it looks like the old piece with the slot may have been replaced by a solid piece of wood. Either way, you ought to be able to add those movements easily enough. The simplest thing would be to simply drill a hole for the bolt in the center of the bottom piece of wood: that would give you swings. Personally, I can't remember the last time I used shift so perhaps in the name of simplicity you don't need it?

    Good luck!

    Mike
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming– “Wow! What a Ride!”

    — Hunter S. Thompson

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