Repairing top mounted rangefinder on Speed Graphic 4x5

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by eubielicious, Jun 3, 2006.

  1. eubielicious

    eubielicious Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I have a Speed Graphic which is working beautifully in every regard except that the rangefinder (top mounted variety) seems to have uncoupled itself, in that the central image isn't moving at all when I focus.

    Does anyone have any experience in dealing with these? Or any ideas where I can get more info - Googling doesn't seem to have brought anything up.

    I get the impression that the top-mounted variety of rangefinder is the most difficult to adjust.

    Thanks,

    Euan
     
  2. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    You might take a look over at graflex.org and read through the information contained there and also their chat board, there are many over there and I know that they have discussed the rangefinders a lot, in additon one of the guys there maintains a download library on manuals and such.

    R.
     
  3. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    It's possible that the cam popped loose (or isn't there) or isn't seated properly.
    That would cause that problem. Check underneath the rangefinder housing, there should be a metal flap on the inside top of the body. There should be a spring and a pin, with a metal 'cam' in the middle.. If you push the pin, the rangefinder image should move..

    Hope that atleast gets you started in the right direction.
    Whatever you do, don't mess with the inside of the rangefinder yet.
    Don't touch the mirrors, the half-silvered one is ridiculously fragile. If you touch it, you stand a great chance of wiping the coating off and turning it into a clear piece of glass :sad:
     
  4. Len Robertson

    Len Robertson Member

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    This page: http://www.southbristolviews.com/pics/Graphic/graphicmanuals.html has a service manual for the top RF Pacemaker rangefinder. It is thirteenth down the page. I agree with Phillip about checking the cam first, especially if the RF was working and suddenly quit. If you solve the problem, please post and let us know what it was.
     
  5. eubielicious

    eubielicious Member

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    Fantastic - loads of information there for me. I think the problem I've got is that the plunger part of the rangefinder is stuck. I've tried a squirt of WD40, which hasn't worked so far.

    Euan
     
  6. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I would never use WD-40 on any camera part, that particular oil is very prone to attracking dirt and in the long run can cause far more problems than it can solve.

    R.
     
  7. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    Roxi is right. WD-40 appears to be a very thin penetrating oil. It actually is more like a grease suspended in a solvent. When the solvent evaporates, what is left gums up cameras, locks, and many other things.
     
  8. eubielicious

    eubielicious Member

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    Ooh. I did give the part a little squirt, but I wiped up around and won't do that again... :rolleyes:

    Euan
     
  9. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Too late... the damage is done ;-) Try wiping up with alcohol or lighter fluid (benzene) to get as much off as you can.