4x5 Meridian 45B

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by randy6, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. randy6

    randy6 Member

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    I have Meridian 45B 4x5 made in the late 40s serial number 45b1853. The way I understand it there was about only 2000 made. This camera is in great shape except for the lens board which is a homemade cut aluminum 4x4 sq (no light trap) with a 135mm tessar mounted. Could anyone confirm if the board is the same as a graphic view? I would like to find an original board if I could. I think these camera's came with an ilex lens same formula as the tessar. there is a scale on the bed for 135mm and 165mm. This camera has a lot more movements then a graflex so I was also considering mounting (when I can afford) a newer 150mm Schneider set in a copal #0 which I would need a new board for. I think the kalart rangefinder can be adjusted from 90mm to 165mm , correct me if I'm wrong.

    Hope someone can help
    Randy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2011
  2. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Randy,
    A quick perusal of the web seems to show me 45B as a press camera, not a monorail like the graphic view. Check this out It seems to me the question on 4x4 boards is usually whether they have a rolled edge flange, like the later Pacemaker boards or Busch boards, or are flat with, or without a light trap. The last are easy to copy in masonite or, as you have, aluminum. Without a rolled edge, 4x4 is 4x4 is 4x4... what could be different?
     
  3. randy6

    randy6 Member

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    I guess a better question would be is a light trap necessary? Would a flat 4x4 be just fine or would there be a chance of light leaks? I'm thinking the older anniversary speed graflex and the graphic view share the same size board. which look similar to this one.
     
  4. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    The light trap on these boards is a simple rabbeted edge. In the beginning of my trials with home-made boards, I attached a piece of black foam-core board, smaller than the real board by about 3/4" (to allow a 3/8" setback from each edge) and with a large enough center whole to allow the flange to fit through and tighten down on the board itself. In my case it made no difference to the final function, so I stopped doing it. As long as the board doesn't wobble in the standard, I say good enough... but then I'm a lazy bas****. Your results may vary. Try one with a paper negative if film is precious. I had enough donated, out of date film to play with until I got it right. Fortunately, there was never a problem.
     
  5. heespharm

    heespharm Member

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    I used to use a piece of Kydex plastic with felt glued to the back.. No leaks
     
  6. randy6

    randy6 Member

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    Thank you for your replies.
     
  7. randy6

    randy6 Member

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    For Meridian owners. The graphic view camera boards are a perfect
     
  8. Pupfish

    Pupfish Member

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    The Graphic View boards will certainly get the job done. The original cast Meridian boards are prettier, however!

    I made a couple of boards because I had a machine shop at my disposal at the time I acquired my first Meridian. Using a common piece of 1/4" Aluminum plate for a board of my own manufacture, I hogged out a 3/16" deep recess after boring it for the Copal 1-sized shutter. This way I was able to get a rather large-ish 210mm Caltar II-N f/5.6 (same as the Rodenstock APO Sironar-N) mounted to either of my Meridians, and still have it fold it closed with the lens installed. Can't do that with a Linhof Master Technika, AFAIK. For that matter, I understand most modern 150mm's won't allow MTs to close as the lens well on the door/bed isn't as deep. A Nikkor SW 90mm f/8 fits on a flat board, and allows folding up, albeit with a thinner plastic lens cap.

    My second Meridian is a model 45CE-- a prototype that never made it into production. With a much nicer swing and shift arrangement on the front standard, it's now my go-to field camera. The only other 45C that seems to have survived was passed down from a Meridian Instrument Co engineer to his son.

    Both my Meridians came with Wollensak Raptar 135mm f/4.7 lenses. Tessar design, very contemporary to the camera used as a press lens. The 45C brochure shows a couple of prototype cameras other lenses, one an Ilex Paragon and the other an Ektar 203 f/7.7, if I recall without digging it out and looking at it.

    These are more technical than press cameras, however, what with the articulating post backs and huge available rise, tilt and swing. So a modern Plasmat with a bunch of coverage makes the most sense to me for actually using it nowadays. The Caltars are cheap and readily available. The 210mm I've got has slightly more than a 300mm image circle.
     
  9. randy6

    randy6 Member

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    I would like to see some photos of your 45ce I also would like to find an original lensboard
     
  10. randy6

    randy6 Member

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    My meridian came with a 135mm tessar on a homemade board I have a 135mm and 165mm focus scale i would like to have an original lens and board for it. What I've done so far. I've mounted a 150mm symmar in a copal no shutter adjusted to the kalart rangefinder I've had a new strap made for it replaced the ground glass the watson veiwfinder and the leather circles on the knobs. found a cord for the flash gun yes, I have used flash bulbs I would like to get a 210mm next. I've had a linhof which I was forced to sell to get through difficult times and a few other items. before I bought this camera I got to say I'm very happy with the meridian. One draw back I have a grafmatic and I remove the ground glass to attach with 2 homemade pcs of aluminum. I get more use out of it shooting handheld I know A waste of all the meridian's movements.
     
  11. Pupfish

    Pupfish Member

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    Simplest solution for keeping the GG installed while using a Grafmatic on the Meridian would be to add stacked washers or a couple of drilled spacer blocks about 1/4" thick under the leaf springs. You might need longer screws, but these are common enough threads (if I recall correctly 6-32?).

    Using a Grafmatic or Quickloads in portrait mode, I greatly prefer either of my Meridians to the Super Graphic with a top-mount RF I once owned, since with the Meridians I can leave the darkslide oriented up and still see through the RF. Too, the wire hoop action finder is better executed on the Meridians, with a closer approximate view in portrait mode. (With the Meridian style hoop that flips up, one can even install and leave wire frame sliders to it, set for the framing requirements of a roll film back.)
     
  12. randy6

    randy6 Member

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  13. barryjyoung

    barryjyoung Member

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    The Meridian 45B, and possibly a source for lens boards

    I just acquired a Meridian 45B in wonderful condition. What a great camera. Well designed and engineered. This camera was missing two of the pushrods that lock the back in place. I made two replacements on my lathe by using the two originals for dimensions. My camera came with an original cast aluminum lens board made by Meridian. I have an aluminum foundry in my back yard which I am planning to use to make cast aluminum cameras similar to the Meridian but in larger formats. I will be needing a few dozen lens boards and will probably make a pattern and cast some up just like the original Meridian boards. Anybody else interested in reproduction lens boards? They will be terribly expensive, this is pretty involved custom work.
     
  14. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    I just scored the Meridian 45B that was on Ebay recently. Hasn't arrived yet but I am looking forward to trying it out. I'd be interested in reproduction cast aluminum lens boards.
     
  15. barryjyoung

    barryjyoung Member

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    There has been insufficient interest in cast aluminum lens boards to justify the project. Sorry Ed.

    Barry Young
     
  16. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    I finally got to start playing with the Meridian 45B I got. What a great camera. Really well thought out design and execution. It's no surprise after seeing and using one in person why these were considered "the American Linhof". They really are that well made. Amazing for the time. Someone really put some love, care, and craft into the design of this camera. Tons of little artistic details everywhere.

    -Ed
     
  17. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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