Setting up the 2x3 Crown

Discussion in 'Camera Building, Repairs & Modification' started by wombat2go, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. wombat2go

    wombat2go Subscriber

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    This one has the:
    "Century Synchromatic Made by Wollensak For Graflex.Inc"
    "Graflex Graftar f/4.5 103mm"
    and the RH10 back, frame 58 x 67.7 mm and aspect ratio 1:1.7

    The left hand bearing for the focus adjustment was too loose.
    This was corrected (temporarily maybe) by inserting a "slipper" cut from Fuji film.
    The right side has an adjustor; after adjustment and a drop of oil both focus knurls are now quite good.

    The shutter was measured: [ millisec] on an oscilloscope with a phototransistor
    {Speed, Ideal, Measured}
    {10, 100, 95}
    {25, 40, 40}
    {50, 20, 25}
    {100, 10, 15}
    {200, 5, 5}

    So the shutter is in good shape.
    Furthermore, the shutter is the "press' type which does not need a dark slide and is self cocking.

    The only way I can see to use the rise and tilt, is to drop the bed to the tilted down position.
    I did that and adjusted the stops for infinity on the gg, when the scale indicator was on infinity.
    The front standard is locked on to the tilted rack.
    But that has restricted the minimum focus distance to about 10 foot (3m).
    The reason is that, on racking out, the horizontal section of the rack collides with the front standard base, as it moves downwards.

    The axis of the lens was set to the centre of the film frame, then the lens was tilted down slightly, approx 1 ~ 2 degrees.

    The view finder and range finder are both accessible by the left eye only;
    that is my weak eye and I used the other eye for last XX years ,
    so is a bit uncomfortable.

    When I set the camera up as above, unfortunately it will not fold up until the front standard settings are loosened.
    However I still look forward to using it as a travel camera.

    here is a test shot on Kodak Ektar 100 at f/11 and 1/200th
    It looks to me like the lens is a very good one and the photo is limited by my digitization.
    Any comments about this camera will be appreciated.

    https://app.box.com/s/71zle4bsq15813bwvbjf
     

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  2. Kawaiithulhu

    Kawaiithulhu Subscriber

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    graflex.org has the bestest of all information dealing with Graflex :wink:

    The drop-front is designed for use with very wide angle lenses, not for general purpose movements and that's why you're getting kind of stuck in place with a normal focal length. It moves the front bed out of the field of view when the WA lens is normally racked inside the body because of the very short flange distances.

    Rise and tilt are fairly limited, these aren't full field cameras but evolved to be hand holdable instead. Under the lever that locks the front standard in place you'll see a metal spring sticking out underneath (about as wide as your thumb); press that down and you can also do a few mm side-to-side travel too.

    You can also get 120 backs for 6x6 and 6x9, whatever suits your style. And a ground glass sprung back if you want to get precise and want to use 2x3 sheet film (if you can find holders and feel like cutting your own film down).

    And, of course, different lenses. Note that the Kalart rangefinder only works on one lens that it is calibrated for, swapping in a new focal length means having to focus on ground glass or estimate and use hyperfocal distances. Recalibrating the rangefinder is persnickety and not something done often, or at all and just left to match the main lens.

    I like mine a lot. Enjoy :D
     
  3. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Hey, there, meandering marsupial. Did you get a focusing panel with the camera? If not it is useless with anything but the lens on it if the RF is calibrated properly for the lens. If you don't have one you can improvise a substitute from a 2x3 Film Pack Adapter and a piece of ground glass. If you do this you'll need to shim the GG back a film pack's front's thickness to make it coincide with the roll holder's film plane. If you need the measurement, I have a 2x3 film pack and can measure for you.

    Dire warning: always retract the bed fully before trying to drop the bed, bring it back to the raised position, or, especially, close the front door. If you don't do any of these things you risk bending the links that connect the inner (in the box) and outer (on the front door) bed rails.

    The Graftar is a triplet. Believe it or not, in my tests it is the best standard-issue normal lens for 2x3 Graphics.

    IMO 2x3 Graphics' only generally useful movement is 19 mm of front rise. The standard issue normal lenses (also the standard issue w/a and 8" telephoto) don't have enough coverage for full rise.

    Good luck, have fun.
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Using the drop bed for tilting does work, but it's awkward, pretty limited, and as Kawaiithulhu noted, it's not really meant for doing Scheimpflug. The back tilt and rise on the lens standard are really there to get the lens re-centered and vertical when the bed is dropped. That said, it's better than nothing for those times you really want some tilt or rise. And there is no rule that says you can't use the available movements for creative advantage, limited though they are.

    They are fun cameras to use, mine spends too much time packed away. You can buy 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 sheet film from Ilford once a year when they do the special order run.
     
  5. wombat2go

    wombat2go Subscriber

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    Thanks for the useful comments.
    Yes the camera has the correct click-in gg screen and I used it to check the rangefinder and scales.

    I also acquired a Graflite in good condition, and it clicks onto the Crown.
    I am starting to take medium format indoor flash photos , using Pentax flashes in slave mode off camera.
    I have modified an old Pentax flash so it is adjustable to chop right down, just enough to fire the slaves.
    So for this camera a future project is to make a adaptor that screws into the Graflite to hold the little flash in the reflector.
    I will post up results when finished.

    In the mean time I am pleased with this 2x3 Crown, and the quality of its initial images.
     
  6. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Your project with the flash sounds interesting, I'm sure a lot of us would like to see what you come up with.
     
  7. Kawaiithulhu

    Kawaiithulhu Subscriber

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    Oh yeah, definitely do update us!
     
  8. wombat2go

    wombat2go Subscriber

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    To Dan Fromm,
    I have been looking at some photos from my new Graftar f/4.5 103 mm in the Crown Graphic 2x3.
    Rather pleasing, or astonishing to me.
    It is in a shutter which I measure as accurate - "Synchromatic made by Wollensak"

    Before I do so, what are the pro-s and con-s of putting this lens on a lens board for the 4x5 Speed ?
    I can make a recessed lens board , was there ever a 90 degree cable adaptor for the shutter?
    Alternately I might be able to recess the lens well back to get the front standard out past the hinge and use the rear shutter?
    -thanks
     
  9. mopar_guy

    mopar_guy Subscriber

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    Wombat,
    The 103mm Graftar will NOT cover 4x5.
     
  10. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    MM, there's no reason to put the lens on a recessed board if you want to try it on a 4x5 Speed Graphic. I don't know which 4x5 Speed you have. The two most likely are Anniversary and Pacemaker, minimum extensions 65.1 and 66.7 mm respectively. They should easily focus a 4" triplet on a flat board to infinity.

    There's no reason not to use a Graphic with the front standard inside the box. How do you think we use short lenses on them?

    As Dave told you, a 103 Graftar won't cover 4x5. I don't know how large a circle it illuminates, so I don't know whether it will give you negs with exposed centers and completely unexposed corners.
     
  11. wombat2go

    wombat2go Subscriber

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    I am setting up this 2x3 Century with the Graflite Flash handle modified ( but unharmed) with an electronic flash in the reflector.
    There is an existing flash mount on the Kalart Rangefinder that the Graflite clicks on to.
    But that makes it too difficult to reach the press shutter release which is on the right side of the Century Synchromat shutter.

    Does anybody know how the shutter was typically fired on the 2x3 with a Graflite?

    I am looking at photos including the " A Gaggle of Graphics.." on LF forum.
    On the 4 x5 it looks like the red button on the Graflite was used to fire the shutter solenoid.
    But the 2x3 has no solenoid or even space for one. It has a cable release socket pointing out the right side.
    ??
    thanks
     
  12. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

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  13. wombat2go

    wombat2go Subscriber

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    Thanks for the link, Shutterfinger.
    It showed how the Graflite can be mounted on the left side on the strap brackets, so that is what I did.
    That gives access to the shutter lever on the right .
     

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