View Full Version : Busch Presman Model D
I've just purchased a Busch Pressman Model D.
This is the one with the rather large rangefinder housing on top.
Do any of you have experiences with this camera and are there any little quirks I should know about?
I am very impressed with the quality of construction. My bellows maker will be replacing the bellows as the existing set, although light tight, has been heavily patched in the past.
I have had Speed Grapghics and Linhofs previously. This Busch seems to fit somewhere in between these two with regards to constuction quality, strength and features.
The only non-obvious quirk that I'm familiar with is that the opening in the front standard is rather small, smaller than the Graphic press models. This can be and issue with modern lenses which tend to have larger rear cells than the old classics.
It's kind of hard to find a better lens than a 127m f/4.7 Kodak Ektar lens in a Flash Supermatic shutter. Extremely sharp while retaining that "classic" look, and it will cover 4x5 nicely if you can resist using any movements. It doesn't require a big opening.
Yes, the Ektar lenses are very sharp but the problem with the 127 is that it only just covers 4x5 as you indicated.
It was originally made for the 3x4 format with which some degree of movement could be employed. With the 4x5 there is very little, if any, movement possible.
My camera came with a Schneider Xenar 135mm f4.7 in Compur shutter. the problem here now exists with the camera which has a very generous rising front that when fully raised may cause vignetting with the Xenar.
The best standard focal length to use would be 150mm as this will allow full use of the movements without vignetting. Of course it goes without saying that wide angle lenses should not pose a problem.
Yup, "press" cameras in general had movements that exceeded the abilities of the favored wide focal lengths. The 135 focal length really matches up best with the 9x12cm metric format.
The Busch Pressman is just about my favorite camera of all formats.
I would suggest that you keep the Xenar lens for rangefinder focusing since it was most likely the original lens and the rangefinder was set up for it. (Maybe at this date it needs some adjusting.) Get other lenses for groundglass focusing.
The Xenar is a perfectly usable lens and can be kept on the camera when folded up. Uses 40.5mm filters by the way.
My particular Pressman has the side rangefinder. I use a Nikon 90/f8, a Rodenstock Sironar-N 135/5.6, and a Fu'jinon-A 240/9 on mine.
Carried an aluminum frame 4X5 Busch for years in the 50's - Great box!
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