Deardorff Purchase Question/Condition Question
I am shopping for a Deardorff. Went and looked at one today. Camera is overall good condition. One small detail that I am questioning.
I noticed with the camera closed, sitting upright, that it could 'rocked' slightly on its feet, like a table with one leg slightly shorter than the others. I examined more closely and it appears that the bed is slightly (like 1/16 of an inch) out of square to the back. Looking at it, all I could think is that the gear teeth for one side of the back was one tooth out of sync with the other side.
Does that make any sense? If so, would it be fairly easy to align them again? If it doesn't make sense, what else could it be and is it anything to care about?
Other than that, the movements felt smooth. There was some very limited pitting to the front standard, but I think it might polish off.
Thanks for any comments, or any general 'How to shop for a Deardorff' suggestions.
I can't speak to the 'dorff specifically, but on my other cameras it is not uncommon to jump a tooth on the rack and pinion. On my simpler Koronas it is pretty easy to loosen things up a bit and jump it back onto right tooth. Take a look at what retains the back to the base. If it's easy to unscrew, it should be easy to adjust.
If the price is "reasonable" (for a 'dorff) and everything else looks good, I wouldn't worry about it.
I have two Dorff's. One is an 8x10 I bought new in 1976 and one 11x14. The 11x14 seemed to have the same problem when I bought it. It looked as if one of the gears was out of alignment but it tracked fine. Check the bottom and make sure there is not a hairline crack somewhere. They are prone to this at times. Wood to wood gets candy wax to lube it and lubriplate for the gears. Wipe off all excess gear lube after winding her back and forth several times. I have used NevrDull wading material for years to keep all of the metal parts pristine. My 8x10 is 30 years old next month and you cannot tell that she wasn't made yesterday. Happy shooting!
I have had three V8 Deardorffs. One of the three had the problem that you describe. I was able to quite easily correct the problem and adjust the lash of the gear mechanism although 1/16 inch sounds like more then one tooth. Another one of them had a separation in the bed and I was able to correct that as well.
These cameras carry a mystique for some guys but this isn't rocket science.
Are you loooking for a 4x5 or ab 8x10? If it is 4x5, Jack Deardorff is making new 4x5/5x7 cameras and depending on price it could be the way to go..Evan Clarke
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I am looking for an 8x10. I've tried reaching Jack without success.
Originally Posted by eclarke
I'd suggest emailing or phoning Richard Ritter, who repairs Deardorffs and is very good as well as helpful, and see what he says. It may be something you can fix, it may be something more serious. Given the prices of good Deardorffs these days it would be a shame to buy the camera and then find out that there's a more serious problem than you think. Richard can probably tell you the source of the problem or how to find it yourself and how much it would cost to fix it if it's something you can't do yourself. I've owned two 8x10 Deardorffs, Richard fixed a few minor problems with one of them for about $300.
Originally Posted by wilsonneal
How did you try and reach John? They don't have a website that I know of but they can be reached by phone (219) 464.9748.
Their company name and address is as follows:
D.P.P.I. Photographic Products, Int.
58 W. Lincolnway
46383 - 5522
John M. Deardorff Jr. - President
I tried calling him. Once I suceeded in leaving message on his machine. No return call. A week later I tried again and the machine was full and not accepting messages. His outbound voicemail message indicated that he'd broken his wrist and was not in the shop at the present.
Originally Posted by Capocheny
Originally Posted by wilsonneal
Sorry to hear that... I had to try a few times in order to get ahold of John too. But, keep on trying if your goal is to get a brand new Dorff.
Alternatively, try Jim at Midwest Photo... he might even have new ones in stock. :>)
But, don't give up on finding one! I just bought an 8x10 to go along with my smaller 5x7/4x5 versions and have nothing but good things to say about them!