Gowlandflex repair, preferably in Nor Cal?

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Stevo, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Stevo

    Stevo Member

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    The top ground glass broke on my Big-Ass Twin Lens, and I'm having a beast of a time finding a fixer for it. DIY is a bit daunting, so I wonder if there are any Gowlandflex users out there who've found either repairfolk or camera schematics. Peter Gowland and his wife Alice have both passed on, tho' the Web site is still up. The phone numbers on it are invalid, and I've sent two emails with no reply. (They'd had a hired technician a few years ago.)
     

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  2. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Wow, do you have any example images this beast has made?!

    Good luck in finding a repairman. Although, the DIY repair can't be too bad
     
  3. Tomf2468

    Tomf2468 Member

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    I would try Photography on Bald Mountain ( http://www.baldmtn.com/ ). I haven't used them in many years, but was impressed when I did. They are in Davenport, CA (between Carmel and San Francisco).
     
  4. johnielvis

    johnielvis Member

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    the ones with parallax compensation are pretty straightforward...screws on the top/side hold down the top ground glass frame/fresnel in--take out the screws and out she comes--just measure the size an get a cut gg or cut your own down--use plexiglass--it works too.

    yours has the rigid double lensboard, but the top looks like the other models..just unscrew--these are very simple boxes--not easy to screw them up.
     
  5. BradS

    BradS Member

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    Honestly this is a very easy repair. It would just take some time to source a proper ground glass.

    I can fix it for you or help you DIY. I might even have a suitable piece of ground glass...

    Otherwise, I would suggest one of the following:

    ??? (sorry, I forget the name of the) camera repair place in Oakland near 14th and Broadway. They've been there forever and do pretty decent work.
    Keeble and Suchat in Palo Alto. They have a repair counter upstairs with the darkroom stuff. I think they send most of the work out though.
    There used to be a guy on Villa street near Castro in Mountain view - but, last I heard, he retired.
     
  6. Stevo

    Stevo Member

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    Wow, thanks for all the quick responses.

    What's hanging me up is that, for the life o' me, I can't remember how the GG goes in. I did indeed do a partial disassemble, but I thought maybe I'd have to recalibrate the dual focus after repairing. I'll post a pic of the top assembly soon, and hopefully someone can talk me through how to measure. There are a couple of sources I've found via *bay who could cut the glass, not too expensive.

    Brad, I'll look up the Oakland repair place you mentioned & see if they can help. Thanks for offering yourself, but since I don't have a car, it'd be hard to make it out to Gold Country. Then again, if you find yourself in SF, shoot me a message.

    As for posting pics, I've just gotten back to using APUG, but will flesh out my profile soon.
     
  7. BradS

    BradS Member

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    I should have mentioned...I work in Pleasanton and sometimes make trips into the City but, unfortunately, I do not get into the city nearly as much as I'd like.

    The guy in Oakland is a good bet...speak slowly, English is not his first language.
     
  8. Stevo

    Stevo Member

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    OK, with Brad's encouragement, I've delved more deeply & I may be able to do this. Looks like all I have to do is detach the spring that hooks up to the little pulley. Still not sure if GG lays atop the moving framing bit (i.e. with cross-shaped cutout), or if it's set within it. See attached pix.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 6, 2013
  9. Stevo

    Stevo Member

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    PIx of camera

    Pix:
     

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  10. BradS

    BradS Member

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    I believe that the GG lays way on top between the two top strips of aluminum. That squarish plate of aluminum with the cutout cross shape is the parallax thingy...it moves with focus - right?

    The focus screen is going to be rectangular and fit across the whole opening. the top of the glass is flush with those outer aluminum rails...no?
     
  11. Stevo

    Stevo Member

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    Here's the latest: I determined that the GG is set within the aluminum parallax frame (it's about 5" x 4.75") You have to epoxy one edge of the GG --on the pulley mechanism side-- to the frame, while the other side just rides on its rail. You have to be careful because the aluminum deforms easily. I used Devcon highest-strength epoxy and let it set overnight.

    Unfortunately, when I field tested the camera, the taking and focusing lenses didn't jibe. Arrrgh.
     
  12. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Member

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    Replacement ground glass improperly installed, 1% of total focusing error.
    Taking lens f5.6 Symmar, mount shimmed out 10 mm from lens board.
    Viewing lens f4.5 Xenar.
    Lens board not flush with front standard at top when installed, 1.5mm error.
    A 6.7 mm shim between the view lens mount ring and lens board along with correcting lens board error put focus difference less than 1/2 stop from infinity to 6 foot focused distance.
     
  13. ac12

    ac12 Member

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    International Camera Technicians in Mountain View.
    He is still in business. He just did an overhaul of my Copal shutter.

    I remember seeing one of those at the Hayward Camera Show (camera mart). I was tempted to buy it, just for the heck of it.
     
  14. Stevo

    Stevo Member

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    Thanks for the referral to Int'l Camera, but you should note that I now use Shutterfinger (aka Charles: see his earlier post) for repairing the Gowlandflex and my Graphics. Pix are tack sharp and spot on. Charles is indeed a genius.

    BTW the Oakland repair place was an utter disaster. I shan't mention names, but the guy got it to about 85% fixed (if that). Charles had to undo everything and start from scratch.