Need lens help for Speed Graphic

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by chazz, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. chazz

    chazz Member

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    I have recently acquired a Speed Graphic. It seems to be in pretty good shape except that the lens is a bit cloudy. I'm new to large format......and have no idea what type of lens would fit this camera. I do know that I could use a lens from a Polaroid 110A or 110B......but I prefer to buy from KEH and they don't have one. They have large format lenses......but again, I don't know which ones would fit this camera. Not sure if it matters.....but I'll be using a roll film back. (6X9) As far as focal length.....I'm mainly interested in landscape and old buildings. I will appreciate any advice. Thanks
     
  2. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Try cleaning the lens you have. What is it?
     
  3. chazz

    chazz Member

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    It's a 135mm Graflex Optar 4.7. I tried cleaning it........seems to be on the inside.
     
  4. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Remove the lens cells from the shutter and clean the inside parts too.
     
  5. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    The front and rear cells unscrew from the shutter, then the front cell comes apart. That's a very good lens, it's a relabeled Wollensak Raptar.
     
  6. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    ... and its even better with a lens hood.
     
  7. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    All lenses are better with a lens hood.
     
  8. rawhead

    rawhead Member

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    What others have said. With that said, if the clouding (or fungus) is something that cannot be cleaned, I have here the same exact lens in a good working shutter in a very decent condition that I can offer you for cheap. It's just lying around not being used. Shoot me a PM if you're interested.
     
  9. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    If you are unable to clean the lens and decide to replace the lens, and you intend to use the rangefinder you need to buy another 135mm or the rangefinder cam will not match the focal length of the lens and you will out of focus.
     
  10. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

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    Unless he gets another Optar/Raptar (or lens with identical flange focus distance) he'll nedd to recalibrate the RF anyway.
    Checking the RF calibration should be mandatory on a used camera, as well as checking the GG registry.
     
  11. rawhead

    rawhead Member

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    Like I said, I have the same exact lens I took off my Speed Graphic just lying here waiting to be used :smile: My main dude is the Kodak Aero Ektar 178/2.5, so the Optar really doesn't get to go out at all :smile:

    IMG_0261.JPG
     

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  12. chazz

    chazz Member

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    OK..............I'm back. Note to self. When loosening the screws that hold the lens board in place; keep in mind that there are tiny barrel type nuts on the backside. These tiny nuts, besides holding the lens board in place evidently also hold the bellows in place. There are also even smaller washers that will fall out. These washers are not all the same size. That matters because there is a very tiny shoulder on the screws. Luckily for me.....I realized that at least 4 of those washers were purely ornamental, and they are now decorating my workbench. As far as the lens is concerned.....as far as I could get was unscrewing it from the shutter. I googled an couldn't find info on how to separate it. After the fiasco with the lens board/bellows, all I'm in the mood for now is a Bacardi and Coke. I read where a little bit of cloudiness might not cause any problems anyway. If you tell me this is not true.......then I'll see about buying the spare lens from Rawhead. Thank you gentlemen for all of the replies.

    PS.........I don't even wanna think about calibrating the rangefinder.
     
  13. rawhead

    rawhead Member

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    If the clouding can only be seen when the lens is at a certain angle from the light and/or when you sine a flashlight through the lens, then no, it will hardly have any effect. If the clouding is omnipresent, no matter how you look at it, then it'll cause some contrast loss. Not a huge deal in this day and age if your process includes scanning and PP :smile:
     
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  15. chazz

    chazz Member

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    It's clear in the center and clouded about 1/3 in on each side. I do have to turn it at an angle to see the cloudiness.
     
  16. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    How old is yours?

    Mine only goes to 1/200th.
     

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  17. rawhead

    rawhead Member

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    Then I say don't worry about it, it's gonna take great photos no matter :smile:

    Regarding the lens, mine's from a later model, Pacemaker Speed Graphic. A faster speed is definitely handy when you like to shoot everything wide open like I do :D
     
  18. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    That's why I'm asking.... I typically shoot as wide open as possible all the time.
     
  19. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    Is that the 6-and-some inch one? Because YUM. Would shoot.

    Here's mine:

    speedgraphic.jpg

    Please note the rather awesome way I keep the lens board secured.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2012
  20. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    I haven't a clue. All I know is that its what was on it when I bought it... LOL.
     
  21. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Oh my. To remove the lens and lens board, slide the lens board sliders up and to the left (upper one) and down and to the left (lower one). Left is your left with the camera facing you. Oh my.

    To remove the lens and shutter from the lens board, remove (unscrew) the lens' rear cell (if and only if it prevents access to the retaining ring), unscrew the retaining ring, pull the lens/shutter assembly out of the board.

    To remove the lens' cells from the shutter, unscrew them. If they won't unscrew (normal right-hand thread, turn counter-clockwise to undo), pressing the apparently stuck cell against a tire's sidewall and turning the shutter often works.

    Which lenses can be used on a 4x5 Speed Graphic? There are two limits that matter a lot, one that matters little. The first is the lens minimum flange-to-film distance at infinity. If that distance is shorter than the camera's minimum flange to film distance the lens can't be focused to infinity on the camera. The 4x5 Pacemaker Speed Graphic's minimum flange to film distance is 66.7 mm. If that distance is longer than the camera's maximum flange to film distance ("maximum extension") the lens can't be focused on any subject. The 4x5 Pacemaker Speed Graphic's maximum extension is 317 mm.

    Go to www.graflex.org and read the FAQs. Go to www.southbristolviews.com, find and read the manuals. Go stand in a corner for the rest of the day.
     
  22. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Um, a Graphex shutter's maximum speed depends on the shutter's size, not on when it was made.
     
  23. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Read the engraving on the lens' trim ring.
     
  24. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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  25. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    I did, but I couldn't quite see the smaller number, which is why I asked.
     
  26. ChristopherCoy

    ChristopherCoy Subscriber

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    Then yes, it's the 6 3/8".