Building front tilt on a Agfa Ansco 8x10

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by jon_bergman|1, Nov 18, 2007.

  1. I am offered to buy a Agfa Ansco 8x10. The model hasn't got front tilt and I want to have full front movements. I have seen other Agfa Ansco models with front tilt so I wonder If it would be difficult to find thoose parts.
  2. You would either need to butcher that existing front standard (sigh), or make an entirely new front standard that mounts on that bottom bolt for the front swing. It would be kinder to do the latter. Making it rigid will be the challenge.

    I suppose another approach is to take advantage of the huge lens board area, and build a lens board that tilts! Making that light-tight would be interesting...
  3. Make a slot where the top and bottom pins are on the front standard with the slot going front
    to back on both top and bottom pins. This will allow the top to tilt front and back. Then you
    will have to have two knobs with threads in the center, one on each side to tighten down the
    tilted lensboard.

  4. This is the way they did the models with tilt in the factory. I don't know where the bellows are attached. Was this the way you meant Darcy?
  5. I suggest you adapt a lens board that fits into the front standard as your front tilt. This will mean you do not do violence to your Ansco. The disadvantage is that bellows draw will be reduced which might affect wide angle lenss.

    On a spare lens board mount a smaller tilting board forward of the main board, Connect them with a short set of square bellows. hese can be had from bellows suppliers such as :

    You will need to work out the details but I have seen this arrangement work well in other cases. good luck.
  6. jtk


    Should be easy and expensive for a fine home cabinet-maker to replace the front standard, using identical techniques. Might as well rebuild the whole camera.

    That's a "portrait camera," not a "view camera"...lack of front tilt was intended to make the camera more solid for studio work. There wasn't much product or scenic photography requiring depth of field control, back when that was built. Portraits, architecture...little else.
  7. The Agfa/Ansco with front tilt was the "Commercial View" model. The bellows is directly
    attached to the tilting part. These are not uncommon at all, in fact they are rather
    common cameras. I suggest you try to find one complete and use it if you want front tilt.
    They were sold under the Agfa/Ansco name, and also just the Ansco name. All the Agfa/
    Ansco models have rear swings and tilts, though, and you can approximate a moderate
    front tilt by tilting the camera down, then tilting the back vertical. Does the same
  8. jtk


    Burke and James did this, as did Kodak and Deardorf. One version was a view camera, the other a portrait camera. It made sense at the time. The B&W was probably the best of the lot for portrait studios because it was the most klunky/rugged.
  9. Jon:
    It is difficult to say since the picture you gave is small. Just make sure that your the lensboard rotates on the center of the lens.

  10. If you don't want to butcher that camera, and don't want to buy a different one, here's one easy way around front tilt:

    Focus using the back tilt to adjust as needed. THEN, tilt the whole camera until the back is vertical, and raise the front to get the picture framed correctly again.

    By the way, you can also add a 1/8" piece of wood or hard board (or whatever) under the front standard to get it to clear the "lip" at the bottom front, so that then you'll have front swings too.

    Hope this helps.
  11. One more thing: That huge lensboard dimension has enough room that you could conceivably build (or have built) a front tilt adjuster that would take regular 4x4" lensboards.

    But really, the above poster is right: Why not just wait until you find another one that has all the movements? Or just live with it as-is -- they're great cameras either way.
  12. I have the same camera and will be dealing with the same problem. Here's my suggestion. Cut the center out of a lens board producing a frame that still mounts securely in the front standard. Build another lens board to fit loosely inside the hole in the first lens board. Attach two pins that protrude to the sides from the middle of the inside board. Rest them on bolts that have been inserted from the back extending out the front of the outside frame. This will produce your tilt. Put a washer on each of the two bolts, secure with wing nuts for locking and create a small bag bellows on the back for a light seal. You now have your tilt. And without modifying the camera
  13. The Eastman Commercial View (a magnesium version of their wooden 2D,which was very similar to your Ansco) had an extension lensboard with a bellows on it, and the lensboard attachment on the front; thus giving front tilt. If your camera has the same or larger lensboard size as the 2D, you could adapt the extension board from a Commercial View. Always assuming that you could find one for sale.

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