Naked speed graphic.

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by JohnRichard, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. JohnRichard

    JohnRichard Member

    Messages:
    263
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Location:
    Lexington, K
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I saw someone had stripped all the leather off and refinished the mahogany under. It looks AMAZING! Anyone else seen this? I think itakes it look a little less "press" and a little more asteticaly pleasing. Its purely a vusual thing, but also an excuse to overhaul your speed. I'd post a pic, but im on my phone. . .
     
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,039
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  3. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,084
    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Location:
    Ryde, Isle o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
  4. Jim Rice

    Jim Rice Member

    Messages:
    227
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Location:
    Jackson. MS,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  5. WayneStevenson

    WayneStevenson Member

    Messages:
    145
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I never did like the look. I was thinking about it when I got mine naked and seen the work involved to put new clothing on. But I pushed forward and never gave up. Heh.

    8311708657_3c9375d29a.jpg
     
  6. Drew B.

    Drew B. Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,023
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Location:
    The Cape
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    This is an old thread...but it's an interesting topic. I've had one for awhile but don't use it much...and will start stripping it down, soon, to its basic elements. I like the idea of painting it some unique color...but what I'd really like to do is turn it into a wide angle camera...shortening it's bed...maybe adding a bag bellows...and lowering it's weight...hmmm...
     
  7. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,172
    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Ever heard of drillium?

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Drew B.

    Drew B. Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,023
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Location:
    The Cape
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I suppose I could cut out the bellows and eliminate the lens to lower the weight...
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,084
    Joined:
    May 3, 2006
    Location:
    Ryde, Isle o
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Needs the accompanying book - How To Use Apostrophes !!


    Steve.
     
  10. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,135
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hmm. How wide angle?

    I ask because what you propose to do is quite a lot of work for no gain. This because with the original issue bellows fully compressed the front standard will be at the back of the inner bed rails so replacing the bellows with a shorter one or truncating the rails won't reduce the minimum extension.

    I take it y'r Speed is a 4x5. The 4x5 Anny's minimum extension is 65.1 mm, the 4x5 Pacemaker Speed's is 66.7 mm. If you want to use a w/a lens with shorter flange-to-film distance and still use a 4x5 Graphic, a 4x5 Crown's minimum extension is 52.4 mm. It will let you use some really expensive w/a lenses such as a 47/5.6 SA-XL. The Crown's minimum extension is 0.3 mm too long for a 38/5.6 SA-XL to make infinity, but that lens doesn't cover 4x5.
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,039
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Drew, my WA ore-Anniversary Speed Graphic works well with a 65mm or 75mm Super Angulon, I wouldn't want to go wider. I've not worked out what the rangefinder's been set-up for. The original lens used must have had greater coverage.

    Aa few years ago there was a special wide angle MPP MkVII for sale on ebay with the top of the body cuta away in a similar fashion, the owner had ordered it modified specially by the factory for WA architectural work.

    Once I've moved house and set up my darkroom the next project is a WA camera to shoot 5x4 and 6x17. I'm using some Graflex parts like the trackbed and focus mechanism from a Pacemaker Graphic but have modified a Super Graphic front standard to fit as this will allow better front tilt and swing. I need to be able to use a 75mm SA for 6x17 work, and a 75mm to 210mm for 5x4.

    Ian
     
  12. Drew B.

    Drew B. Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,023
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Location:
    The Cape
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    75 is as wide as I want...as I own one as well as a 90. Just need to lower the weight and bulk. May get the surgical gloves out this week...
     
  13. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,135
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    If you want to refinish, refinish away. You don't have to do anything else to use a 75 on the camera. There's not much you can do to reduce weight besides removing the range finder (not very heavy) and the focal plane shutter.

    If you want an ultralight 4x5, get a Toho. That's Toho with a h, not Toyo with a y.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. dehk

    dehk Member

    Messages:
    890
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2010
    Location:
    W Michigan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I didn't know they are mahogany, mine definitely didn't feel like it. But if they all are, tempting.
     
  16. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,280
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco Peninsul
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    All cameras made by Folmer and Schwing Manufacturing Company from their beginning in the late 1890's through 1922 are made from Honduran Mahogany, covered in XXX Moroccan leather with silver plated brass hardware.
    1923 the hardware plating was changed to paint.
    1947 the body covering changed to leatherette, aka Naugahyde until the end of the company in 1973.
    1949 saw the introduction of a Bakelite body camera, the Century Graphic, a 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 similar to the Crown Graphic. All other 2x3 and larger format cameras remained Naugahyde covered Mahogany with various platting or paint on brass hardware.
    The thickness of the body covering is figured into the size of the other camera parts so when stripping a body the back, bed, FPS roller bearings and control plates have to be shimmed the covering thickness to fit and work properly.
     
  17. dehk

    dehk Member

    Messages:
    890
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2010
    Location:
    W Michigan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    Thank you for the info, so according to you mine is mahogany! I should make it to match my guitar! :tongue:
     
  18. Drew B.

    Drew B. Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,023
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Location:
    The Cape
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Good info...especially on the shims...
     
  19. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,039
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It's low grade Mahogany more like box wood, definitely not the kind of mahogany used for furniture etc. There's someone who added a nice veneer finish and that looked superb, it should be easy to find via Google.


    Dan, one advantage of modifying a Speed Graphic to make a wide angle camera is you overcome the problem of needing to drop the bed to prevent the ends of the rails appearing in the image, this occurs even with a 90mm f6.8 Angulon on a 5x4 Graphic. It also makes the camera very much easier to use.

    Ian
     
  20. toolbox

    toolbox Member

    Messages:
    17
    Joined:
    May 7, 2012
    Location:
    Montana
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I thought they switched to a synthetic covering in 1955 with the new body style... I have a few late '40s/early '50s Graphics that are definitely covered in leather.

    I did the "naked" Graphic thing a few years ago on a Pacemaker Crown...the leather was trashed, so I figured it would be a nice way to make something nice out of what might otherwise just be a parts camera. I don't know what kind of glue they used, but...wow. It won't peel off. You can't scrape it off. Using a razor blade won't work because the wood is soft and it's too easy to dig into it. Even the solvents I use for stripping the decals and pinstripes off cars didn't work. Ended up using AN ELECTRIC SANDER to remove it. First a fairly coarse disk to get the bulk of it off, then hit it with the 1/3 sheet orbital to get the rest. Horrible mess. Even doing it outside, I got this 50 year old leather dust all over everything. Really, it's a huge mess. Unless you have a wood shop with dust removal, it's going to get all over the place. And of course, the metal parts like the front bed and side plate have to be finished (I used wrinkle paint to match the inside of the bed and back). I finished the wood the same way I do with old gun stocks...three or four coats of hand rubbed linseed oil. It turned out pretty nice.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ended up selling it to a guy in Hong Kong lol. I have a couple other ugly duckings on the shelf...maybe I'll do another one some day.
     
  21. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,135
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yeah, sure. It ruins a perfectly good camera for other uses and it requires making a focusing mechanism for the inner rail. Me, I just drop the bed.
     
  22. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,280
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco Peninsul
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Use Steam. Wet a cloth or sponge almost to a drip with very hot water. Place saturated cloth on a section of the body for 3 to 5 minutes. Using a straight edge rigid blade putty knife scrape the covering off. Leaving the wet cloth on too long results in the covering turning to goo and the grain of the wood starts to raise.

    2 1/4 X 3 1/4 RB Series B made in 1949:
    A5.jpg A7.jpg F.jpg
     
  23. toolbox

    toolbox Member

    Messages:
    17
    Joined:
    May 7, 2012
    Location:
    Montana
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Nice! Now you tell me :tongue:. Mental note made for future reference...
     
  24. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,039
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've one of those (postcard size) Graflex reflex cameras to rebuild, after I've rebuilt a few British SLRs, and a dozen or more shutters :D.

    [​IMG]
    This one's been recovered just needs final assembly after I fitted new shutter curtains - the shutter and mirror box is modular so much easier than Graflex cameras, much more modern shutter design as well (despite being older).

    [​IMG]

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 21, 2014
  25. Sibben

    Sibben Member

    Messages:
    10
    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2013
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Wow. That's pretty!
     
  26. WayneStevenson

    WayneStevenson Member

    Messages:
    145
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks. :wink: