Help needed: Tachihara broken part : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

After about 200 pictures with my Tachihara 4x5" camera (I purchased it new a while ago), I got today a problem with the lever that supports the back standard.

Pictures of the broken parts (with the text of this mail) can be found at the adress:

The small metal axis that allow the rotation of the base of this lever seems to have broken due to "scissor effect". Since already a few weeks I had noticed that the camera was a bit harder to unfold. Not very much, but enough to be noticeable. I inspected the camera thoroughly and could not see anything wrong, therefore I attributed the problem to normal wear, or maybe lack of grease on the rotative parts.

Then when I was opening the camera just as usual, I heard a small "click", and the axis of the lever rotation point on the basis of the camera was broken in two ! This axis seems to be riveted into the base of the camera, and I am not sure if is really rotating easily, as there is usually a resistance with rivet mountings. Maybe this resistance is the cause of the problem. I think that a nut and bolt system would be more reliable and easy to adjust.

What I would like to know is how to have it fixed:

1) Send the camera for repair in Germany or in Europe. I bought the camera in the US, but I am not very willing to send it across the Atlantic, especially as it is not covered by the warranty any more. 2) Replace the riveted axis by a low profile nut and bolt ? This will require to machine the lever I suppose, as part of the axis is still in it, and it seems to be welded to the arm itself.

If you have any suggestion, it is really welcome ! Thanks a lot for your help :-).

-- Pierre Kervella (, May 13, 2001


Call a few machinists & get one to look at it and you can probably get a new part made for less than you might think.

-- Dan Smith (, May 13, 2001.

Pierre, it seems your camera had a manufacturing error. The back tilt support arm should move freely on the rivited (fixed) post which is now broken. Obviously, that was not happening and I can't imagine how you could have done something to contribute to this problem. I take it that there are no European distributors of the Tachihara? You might still contact Badger Graphic or Midwest Photo in the States for advice. Your best bet may be to proceed with a competent repair which would require taking the camera apart and replacing the broken post along the lines you describe. There must be somebody within reasonable distance to where you live that does quality camera repair or perhaps fine machine work?

-- mitch rosen (, May 13, 2001.

I had a repair done through Calumet on a Woodfield XM which is a Tachihara labeled under the Calumet name. I purchased the camera through Calumet but they may be able to handle your repair. You might also try AWB at Their website indicates that they repair/refinish older cameras and that they fabricate parts. There is also a largeformat repair site located at Apperently this repair shop specializes in LF and is run by a former Zone VI machinist. I have not had repair work done here but someone else in this forum may have some experience. Finally, is there a possibility that you could do the repair yourself? It appears that you might be able to develop a quick fix by removing the rivet and replacing it with a small diameter binding post.


-- Dave Willison (, May 14, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ