Information on a Burke and James Monorail Camera : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I was just given a Burke and James Saturn 75 monorail camera. The camera is in like new condition. I am told that it is a 5x7 camera, but it has a 4x5 reducing back. It also came with a Schneider Symmar 150/265 convertible lens which is in need of lubrication and adjustment. Since I already own a Technika V, I don't really need another 4x5. I am interested in using the camera as a 5x7 and am wondering if anyone can tell me how to aquire a new back for it or if it is possible to make one ( as a last resort ). My enlarger is a 4x5 and I felt it might be fun to experiment with contact printing the 5x7 negs.

-- Bill Lester (, June 21, 2001


You can find them every once in awhile on Ebay but you might have to make one. Go to and get some ideas of construction. Emailing some of the people will be pretty beneficial also. There are a number of these sites and also a camera makers forum. Couldn't find the web site but I'm on the forum through email so I'll send you the site as soon as I get one.

-- Scott Walton (, June 21, 2001.


As the above post noted, there is a cameramakers web page. I'm not sure if it's still active but they do have an archive of posts. At any rate, here is the link:

You might also take a look at the list of homemade camera web pages I posted several weeks ago:

This should give you a good idea of what's involved in making your own back. If you have any specific questions on making a back, drop me an e-mail. I've built several and I can give you some help on design, sources for parts, wood, etc.

Finally, you could try adapting a back from another manufacturer. I think that would be easier than finding a B&J Saturn. Most used LF equipment retailers carry backs so I would take a look at Midwest, KEH, Stephen Shuart, Pacific Rim, Lens & Repro etc. (Take a look at under used-LF-backs. As recently as yesterday, they listed a generic 5x7 marked down to about $35.)


-- Dave Willison (, June 21, 2001.

Bill, Here is the email forum for camera makers:

-- Scott Walton (, June 21, 2001.

I also own a Burke & James Saturn 75. Please note that backs from other B&J 5x7s (such as the Rembrandt Portrait cameras, which are plentiful) will fit the Saturn 75 with no modifications.

-- James Meckley (, June 23, 2001.

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