B&J Press Camera Rangefinder Linkage

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Darkroom317, May 31, 2013.

  1. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    I received a Burke and James 4 X 5 press camera the other day from a person in our local photography club. It is in great condition, but the rangefinder linkage is broken. The man said that the linkage broke soon after he got the camera quite a while ago. Can someone please post a photo of where the arm attaches to lens so I can find out what I am dealing with. I can't find one on the internet that is close enough to where I can where it attaches and what parts are needed for it.

    Kris
     
  2. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    It's not connected to the lins, but rides against a metal tab on the sliding portion of the bed. I removed mine to only use the ground glass.
     
  3. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Member

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    Kalart and Hugo Meyer side rangefinders were used on many makes of cameras and engage the focus rails similarly.
    See: http://lommen9.home.xs4all.nl/kalart/ for good pictures. I found his "improved adjustment" to be close but not perfect for all Kalarts of that type but is indicative of the adjustment necessary to make the RF work properly.
    Hugo Meyer adjustment procedure: http://www.graflex.org/speed-graphic/hugo-meyer.html
    Kalart adjustment: http://www.graflex.org/speed-graphic/kalart-adjustment.html ; http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/kalart_1.html
     
  4. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    The issue is not one of adjusting the rangefinder. The piece that connects the arm to the camera is missing. I have no idea how it connects or if I can repair it.
     
  5. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Member

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    On the second page of the lommen link (first link) above shows all the mechanical doodads that link the RF to the rails.
    My Anniversary Speed has the rail thingamajig riveted to the rails. I think some cameras have it attached via screws in threaded holes at a precise position on the rails.
    Being the gismo is missing on yours and you don't know what to look for buy another complete camera and use this one for parts or look for a set of rails with the gismo attached.

    Finding the rail gismo separate somewhere is an extremely long shot.
     
  6. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    I repaired the linkage. However, the rangefinder is way off.
     
  7. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Member

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    Hugo Meyer rangefinders are for a specific format lens only. They made several different models to cover common focal length in use at the time.
    The Kalart will adjust to focal lengths from around 100mm to 160mm-190mm.
    I have repaired several rangefinders. State the make and exact problem if you cannot get yours working correctly using the previously posted links.
     
  8. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    The image isn't lining up vertically or horizontally.
     
  9. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Member

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    What make?
    With the cover off operate the rail link arm. Does a mirror move?
    No-arm slipping on the shaft, special reset of initial mirror position required.
    Yes-mount camera on a tripod, point at an infinity target at least 5000 feet away, move rails in or out until images are in coincidence vertically then adjust the horizontal.

    If the rangefinder will not make infinity observe the moveable mirror while moving the rail link arm and note which direction it moves with respect to the arm motion. Loosen the arm set nut/screw, run the rails in fully, move the movable mirror to its movement limit in the direction it moves when the arm is moved inward, then tight the arm set screw.

    Post a picture of the rangefinder with the cover off if possible. Some Kalart have a small spring under the rear edge of the bottom prism frame that if off will prevent achieving infinity also.
     
  10. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    Oops forgot to add that. It is a Hugo Meyer 4P. I was unable to get the cover off.
     
  11. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Member

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    Ok, the HM does not have a cover. :whistling:

    The lower mirror should move turning down/inward as the arm moves inward; out/up as the arm moves out.
    The #4 HM is for a 127mm lens. The letter is production code.
    I posted some info on a HM 4C a while back:
    http://www.graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?t=6319&highlight=hugo+meyer
    while everything was fresh and should be of help.
    Disregard the previous arm adjustment statement.
     
  12. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    The camera came "to me" with a 135mm lens but I do have a 127mm lens. Thanks for the information.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2013
  13. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Member

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    Due to production tolerances, which were wider in the past, a lens is rarely its marked focal length. Some lens are designed with shorter than their marked focal length back focus so that they will work on more cameras.
    A 127mm may be optically 123mm to 130mm while a 135mm may be 132mm to 138mm. There may be enough adjustment range of the HM RF that a marked shorter focal length RF will adjust in on a lens that is marked with a longer focal length but optically measures close to the upper limit of the shorter focal length.

    I have a 135 Xenar that infinity focuses a good 5 or 6 millimeters closer than my 135 Optar which has a factory cam for 136.4mm and is spot on wide open. I also have a 127mm Ektar so I plan to see if the HM RF on the Anny. Speed will adjust to the Xenar one of these days.
     
  14. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Member

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    I was able to adjust the HMRF on the Anny to the 135 Xenar. Its a hair soft ( 1/3 stop) at 4 feet and sharp from 6 feet to infinity.