Busch pressman Model C

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by captainplanet, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. i came upon a busch pressman model C. it shoots 6*9 sheet film, and is
    a press camera. mine has a broken shutter, and probably plenty more
    that i havent had time to find out, as well as me not having any film
    holders holders. how much would one expect it to cost to fix it or buy
    replacement parts, because i want to use it, but i dont have a lot of
    money.
     
  2. J, please be more specific about what's broken. These cameras are long out of production and they weren't a great commercial success so parts are hard to find. If you want a working 2x3 Pressman, buy a working 2x3 Pressman. But don't confuse a shutter problem with a camera problem.

    Seemingly dead shutters can be resurrected. One shutter wizard who's often mentioned here is Carol Miller, www.flutotscamerarepair.com . Her standard charge is $45 plus return postage. No guarantee that her standard charge will cover what your shutter needs, but she doesn't charge for estimates.

    2 1/4 x 3 1/4 sheet film holders show up fairly often on eBay. Be patient and wait. Note that few emulsions, all black/white, are available in 2x3. One supplier is http://jandcphotography.com , look around on their site.

    No money? Go back to 35 mm or, if you must shoot 2x3, look for a relatively inexpensive "pocketable" roll film camera. 2x3 and larger formats cost more to run than 35 mm.

    FWIW, I was given a 2x3 Pressman many years ago. It had a dead shutter, no lens board, and was pretty beat up. And no film holders. Given a board, a shutter overhaul, and a film holder it would have been usable, beat up or no. I couldn't find a board for it or a roll holder that it would accept. Eventually I bought a 2x3 Speed Graphic, then sold the Pressman for not much on eBay. Not much is better than nothing. I still have the broken shutter and lens, am still happily using the Graphic.

    Good luck, have fun,
     
  3. The 2x3 Busch takes an unusual lensboard (so does the 4x5 model). It has rounded corners and attaches with 4 screws in the corners. An asinine design really. They also have a spring back which makes roll holders difficult. It is possible to retrofit them with a Graflok back as mine has. They are as well made and sturdy as the Graphics. It should be fairly easy and cheap to find a replacement lens/shutter. You can use a lens off any 6x9 folder. My Busch has an Anastigmat Special off of a Kodak Monitor 620.
     
  4. Despite having, perhaps, been unpopular, and having an annoying lensboard design I'd say that the Pressman C is the best-made of the non-Graflex 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 press cameras. It is also a five-minute, zero-dollar job to convert it to a Graflex RH-n/22/23 rollfilm back, whereas a 2x3 Burke & James Watson requires wood removal in two spots to accept similar backs.

    The shutter is probably repairable, fairly inexpensively, as others have noted. If the camera has a coupled rangefinder, and the lens is decent, repair is probably the best bet; if not, a replacement lens and shutter that'll fit the existing lensboard shouldn't be too hard to find. Until I get around to getting the 120/4.5 Tessar that came with my Pressman repaired, I've been using a 105/3.8 Rodenstock Trinar-Anastigmat from an old Welta 6x9 folder.

    Unless the rails have somehow gotten damaged, or the bellows are leaking, there's not much else to go wrong on one of these cameras besides the shutter, except maybe the rangefinder, if it even has one. There's no focal-plane shutter to worry about, or other complications.

    FWIW, the wierd lensboard is held on with three screws, not four; two on the bottom, and one vertically from the top. I see no reason, however, that one couldn't easily modify it to accept a more conventional sort of board, though there's not a lot of room to play with if you've got a large shutter on there... or a flash solenoid.
     
  5. Earlier ones, or at least ones sold earlier used four screw lensboards, while ones made or sold starting in 1948, or 1949, used the three screw kind, though at least some had holes for the four hole kind.
     

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