Bush Pressman...need help

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Hello all...

Santa helpers delivered this Bush Pressman (2 1/4 x 3 1/4 or 6x9) and supposed to be for display... but it begs me to give it a test drive since I'm a 4x5 and medium format user...I would like to have some help on this camera. 1. Are 6x9 sheet film still available? (reading archives.. Ilford still make it but the store I called told me that Ilford only make it in HP5..on special order and I like to have FP4+)... 2. The camera has a range finder working fine and line up nicely in vetical (up and down) but.. in horizontal it was off and not matching. Is there something to adjust by myself... or forget the thing and use the ground glass? 3. the camera has a 101mm f4.5 Wollensak lens.. is there a way to open the shutter (for focusing) beside to put it on B. ? 4. What other lens for this camera..?

thank you all....and Happy New Year !

-- dan n. (dan@egmail.com), December 29, 2001


Re adjusting the rangefinder, run, do not walk, to www.graflex.org and search there. I take it you have a Kalart rangefinder on the side of the camera, not one on top.

Re lens, ditto. Are you sure it doesn't have a press focus lever? I have a couple of Wollensaks (not a 101/4.5) and most of them do.

Other lenses? Whatever fits, subject to finding boards. I was given a 2x3 Pressman, less board, 10 years ago. Still have it, still don't have a board. Am shooting 2x3 Graphics, which are better supported.

You didn't ask, but you CAN use roll film in a 2x3 Adapt-A-Roll 620, which slips in like a sheet film holder. Again, info on www.graflex.org, and since I wrote the first draft I think its ok.



Oh, yes, the 2x3 Pressman's big advantage over 2x3 Crown/Century Graphics is that it has more rise and gives a bit more extension.

-- Dan Fromm (danielwfromm@att.com), December 29, 2001.

I find that it is rare for the range finder to line up in both directions on old cameras. There is usually an adjustment screw for both. I think the Graflex.org site has adjustment instructions. However, I would check it against the ground glass, it is probably accurate as it is, and adjusting would just make it look better.

There should be a seperate lever to hold it open while focusing. It will be at about the three O'clock position (looking at the lens). You have to cock the shutter first.

If it has a Graflock back, you might find it more fun to buy a 120 roll film back for it. You should't have to pay much over $100. You can get a 6X9 format and you wouldn't have to order film special and you would have a greater choice of films.

There should be a lot of old lenses out there that will cover 6X9. You just need to make sure that you have enough bellows draw for the longer ones.

If you can find an old Kodak Tourist Camera with the good lens (Anastar 4.5) and the 1/800 shutter that is fun. X Flash sinc at 1/800 of a second, and made in the 50s--take that Nikon!

Graflex made a lot of cameras for that format and all those lenses will work. There were some very good Zeiss lenses made for the Graflex XL.


-- Neal Shields (shields@ftw.com), December 29, 2001.

Sorry about the redundancy. In the middle of my typing I went off to dig out a old shutter. Dan is obviously quicker on the keys than I am.


-- Neal Shields (shields@ftw.com), December 29, 2001.

I believe that HP5 is the only 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 sheet film still available from a manufacturer.

-- Chuck Pere (jcpere@aol.com), December 30, 2001.

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