8x10 Deardorff refurbishment cost?
I have an NFS 8x10 Deardorff that has seen better days, and would like to get it refurbished. Before I waste a professional's time I figured I'd waste some Ape-huggers' time.
The camera bed is solid, with no splits, and no bottom plate (the camera appears to predate the plates, and takes the older square-cornered lens boards). The bellows is shot, and I know they run around $300. The ground glass is gone, but a satinsnow replacement is probably the way I'll go here. The metal parts are mostly okay, but a little loose and a little wobbly. The rack & pinion are rough, but seem in alignment, etc.
Anyone have a recent price from Jack Deardorff or Richard Ritter for this kind of overhaul? What was the real turnaround time on the work? Is there anyone else you'd recommend?
Seems to me Ken Hough was quoting $750 for a refinish and adjustment, so you are probably north of a grand. You can buy the oldie and goodies for about $1500 -1800.
Congratulations on your new 'dorff!
If it were I, I'd try shooting with it before investing the time and money on rehab.
If the bellows suffer from pinholes, Equinox Photographic has some delightful stuff you can paint on. Or use gaffer's tape. The gears sound like they could use a dab lubriplate and you can beeswax the wood to wood bearing surfaces. Take a sheet of float glass to a stained glass shop and have them shoot it in a bead blasting cabinet. Minimum $$ and maybe a few hours invested to get the thing usable.
Shoot it (I mean shoot with it) and see what happens.
I think you'll be more in tune to what you ultimately want to, or need to have professionally repaired or modified after you've taken the dear old gal out for a spin. New bellows and a satin snow gg are all excellent ideas, but if you're going to wait for everything to come together before being able to use your 'dorff, well....you've got more patience than I. The bellows and gg don't take long to install, but you'll have to order them. Why not use the 'dorff while you're waiting? Gears might be another matter, but you might find that you can get the parts and do it yourself. Check with famous 'dorffmeisters and see if they'll supply the parts and support if the gears don't respond to a little lube. Ken Hough's website gives lubrication instructions and other invaluable info of 'dorffs.
Unfortunately the bellows are totally shot. The wood is scuffed to the point where the finish is almost totally gone, which is fine, but the bellows look like they've been tortured. Flayed, to be specific. Much worse than anything else on the camera.
Bruce's Field Camera Store on eBay has "new" Deardorff bellows for $295. There's no need to find square corner boards. You can use rounded corner boards on the older NFS 'dorfs. I've done it for years. As far as loose screws are concerned, Home Depot has tons of them. If you need knobs, etc, Ken Hough is the man. I've bought more than a few from him. He makes them by hand, and they match the factory originals to a "T." Dean
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
Just a note of caution about using Ken as a Deardorff resource; check first to make sure he has on hand and in stock the items you might be looking for. Also check that he can deliver on any promise he might make.
If your Deardorff needs restoration, I would suggest one of the other well known camera restorers.
Originally Posted by herb
My research turned up Ken's name, and the possible pitfalls. I figured I'd stick with the other guys.
How easy is it to insall a new bellows yourself? Would it come on wood frames, or do I need to re-use the old ones?
Quite a few years ago I picked up a late 1940s 5X7 Deardorff which had been used by a professional studio. The corners of the bellows were thick with a liquid rubber product, so I removed the old bellows and frames (I'm remembering eight wood screws for the rear frame and four for the front. Something like that. It was pretty easy) and sent them to Western Bellows. They sent a new nylon bellows mounted on my frames, which was easily reinstalled.
On my camera, there was a lot of wear at the rivets where the braces for the standards pivot. I sent the camera to Ken Hough. He did a nice job of replacing the rivets and installed a cast aluminum bed plate. I understand others have had delays and other problems with Ken, so I'm not saying this is who to send your camera to. My point is, my camera was made fully functional without a complete strip and refinish. I wanted a camera I wouldn't be afraid to use. If a tight, usable camera rather than a pretty one is what you prefer, don't be afraid to tell whichever professional repairmen you choose this is what you want. I suspect they will fully understand and are probably busy enough, they don't care if you don't want refinishing.
You can also send the camera to:
J. Deardorff Photographic Products Intl.
58 West Lincolnway
They are the "Original" Deardoff Family of Camera Manufacturers (says so... right on their card! )
As for a price... John tells me that they need the camera "in-hand" before they can tell you what it'll cost for repairs/refurbishing.
Also, I've been told that Richard Ritter is really, really excellent!
Richard Ritter is The Man for Deardorff rehabs. Reliable, honest, and reasonably priced.