Shooting the Graflex 22..

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by cepwin, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    I picked up a graflex-22 a month or two ago and shot several rolls of film with it. I am having a bear of a time getting those ultra sharp images I expect with a MF camera. In some cases I know it was motion blur but even my best images, shot with enough light where the shutter speed was 1/100th or more they're not nearly as sharp then even my images with my debonair (similar to holga.) Is there something different you need to do when focusing though ground glass? Could it just be the camera...perhaps the focusing lens and the exposure lens not entirely in sync? Thoughts?

    Thanks!
     
  2. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Sounds like it. Try taking shots on a tripod that are far enough away so you can just focus at infinity. Have some detail like a tree or brick building that you could enlarge and examine. Good luck.
     
  3. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    Thanks fotch...that sounds like a plan. I'm also going to develop some pictures of neighborhood Holiday displays that I did use a tripod for and see what they look like. There are some good places I can do what you suggested by my house.
     
  4. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Shoot on a tripod to rule out another obvious source of motion blur. I was similarly frustrated with an old Kodak Duo 645 for a while. Could not get a decent unfuzzy image no matter what. Then I shot on a tripod and found out it was me inducing motion blur.
     
  5. Matthew Rusbarsky

    Matthew Rusbarsky Member

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    Rather unlikely, but possible. If a tripod and careful use of the magnifier in the hood does not improve IQ, something may be misaligned. If the camera was cleaned recently the ground glass may have been re-installed upside down or a lens element may be flipped.
     
  6. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    To expand a little on Fotch's suggestion, find a target -- a brick wall will do --, set the camera up on a tripod with the film plane at an angle to the wall -- 45 degrees is customary --, and focus on a mark on the wall -- I sometimes use a vertical strip of masking tape -- so you'll know where you wanted the plane of best focus to intersect the target. After the film has been processed, look at it with a magnifier. This will tell you whether the camera is focusing where you think it is.

    What aperture are you shooting at? And which lens does your Graflex 22 have? I ask because their lenses, even the top of the line, weren't the best and had to be stopped down to get good image quality. Do your trial at several apertures. I'd do it from wide open to stopped down as far as the lens goes.
     
  7. summicron1

    summicron1 Subscriber

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    http://www.graflex.org/graflex-22/

    i think i have one of these and it never struck me as a high-end camera, more consumer-grade, good for good shots from the local drug store but keep your expectations low. It is VERY possible the lenses are not in synch--any indication of dents? when you focus does the front standard come out evenly top and bottom, left and right?
     
  8. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

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    Pinholes in bellows can make negative look pretty bad/out of focus effects.
    These lenses are very old... not a clean as you may think on the insides... look for haze when looking thought at a light bulb.
    May be out or alinement from general abuse of 6 decades...
     
  9. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    Thank you for the responses . It's actually in pretty good shape. There don't really appear to be bellows as such but perhaps a small light leak or its just a cheaper camera. It's fairly limited in terms of shutter speed.
     
  10. Yashinoff

    Yashinoff Member

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    Post a photo you've taken with it.
     
  11. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    grapflex-wk-3.jpg grapflex-wk-1.jpg

    Here are two images I took with the graflex....I believe these were both were shot using 400asa film. I took a roll this afternoon using a tripod as was recommended but I didn't develop it yet.
     
  12. Yashinoff

    Yashinoff Member

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    The first one almost looks like an element is flipped. The second one doesn't seem to have any area in focus. You might check to see that the lens is screwed all the way into the shutter.
     
  13. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    Thank you for your response Yashinoff. I developed a roll of Fuji Color 400 that I shot Holidays displays on using a tripod there were a few out of focus ones but most were in focus ....here is one of the better ones. holiday2012-1.jpg
    I also checked the camera and everything seems tight. Perhaps this camera is just much more sensitive to motion blur than newer or more high end cameras. One other thing I noticed is there is perhaps a slight light leak on the right side (showing up on the left side of the image.)

    I will be developing the test roll I shot today (T-Max 100) either tomorrow or Monday ...again tripod was used.
     
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  15. Matthew Rusbarsky

    Matthew Rusbarsky Member

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    You can always check focus with a DIY ground glass. Get a piece of plexi or similar and cover one face with scotch magic tape to simulate the surface of a ground glass. The side with the tape is your film plane. Hold that side to the film rollers and compare the focus to the focusing ground glass. If they dont match, I would make sure the ground glass in the viewing hood has not been flipped before I started messing with the lens. Here are a few shots from my 22 with the cheaper 3-element Graflar lens. Not a great lens, but can be quite sharp stopped down a bit. Both were shot from a tripod with a cable release:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

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  16. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    That is about what I would expect from a triplet lenss, Matthew. BTW, when "clik this bar to see the full image" I got a Malicious Web Site warning from Norton. Not sure what that is about but doesn't look good.

    When I shoot old cameras withuncoated triplets I call it "ART". :smile:
     
  17. snederhiser

    snederhiser Member

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    Hello;
    I believe the Graflex 22 is a renamed Ciroflex. First check and see if the mirror is in place correctly. The viewing lens on these had a threaded barrel with a lockiing nut. I believe the viewing lens is not adjusted correctly. A ground glass on the inner film rails, tripod, and a target focused at infinity should solve your fuzzy photographs. Steven.
     
  18. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    Very nice images Matthew. I understand what you suggested regarding using a DYI ground glass to see what the exposure lens sees and comparing it to the focus lens....now to find some plexiglass. I also want to see what quality I got with the tripod in my test shots yesterday I definitely saw an improvement with the image I posted but it's a night shot in color so not exactly comparable to my earlier shots. Thanks for you suggestion and examples.
     
  19. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Charlie, you probably can even just use a piece of frosted sticky tape across the film rails. Plexi or ground glass would be best but quick/cheap solutions might give you a faster answer. Just make surethe tape is taut and lies as flat as possible. Use a loupe.
     
  20. Yashinoff

    Yashinoff Member

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    I wouldn't. I've never had a triplet that soft, even on a 35mm camera. I suspect the lenses are not calibrated to each other or there is some other problem.
    You should be able to get something at least this sharp around f8:
    [​IMG]
     
  21. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    Thank you for the responses! I think the plan is to develop the "test roll" I made yesterday, daytime, B/W and pick up some frosted tape. The other thing I noticed is that the focus lens is adjustable so when it's a bit less windy out I'm going to stick it on my tripod and focus that lens as well. Thanks again.
     
  22. BobD

    BobD Member

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    There's definitely something wrong. The images should be sharper than that. I would first open the shutter and shine a flashlight though the lens while looking through from the other side. This will tell you immediately if there is haze or fungus. Don't just look through it at a light bulb. Use a flashlight. If the lens is cloudy or has fungus or debris, etc, it would need to be cleaned out internally. If the lens is reasonably clean (moderate dust specks are not a big deal) then check for focus calibration issue.
     
  23. Jeff L

    Jeff L Subscriber

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    If you have an old CD case, that'd work. Trim it to size and put some frosted tape on it.
     
  24. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    Thanks guys! Yes, I have plenty of old CD cases. Now I developed and scanned a roll I took with the Graflex using a tripod in daylight...with the tripod it seems not too bad. Here are the samples graflextest-4.jpg graflextest-3.jpg graflextest-2.jpg graflextest-1.jpg graflextest-1-2.jpg

    I'm going check the lens and assuming the weather holds tomorrow do some of the focus tests people have mentioned.
     
  25. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Things are getting better looking!
     
  26. cepwin

    cepwin Member

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    Thanks, yes, I checked the camera and the lens with a strong flashlight and it does not appear to have anything other than the expected perhaps tiny bit of dust (I didn't notice much)...there is nothing growing on it :smile: I also did a test with the makeshift groundglass (CD case with magic tape on it) and it appears to be OK. I also tried clicking the shutter on a tripod and holding it and I did notice some motion when I clicked holding it vs. virtually none on the tripod...that probably explains why the tripod test images did not have the sharpness issues of the previous (handheld) images. Perhaps I'm not steadying it enough when I hand hold it. I did have a thought that perhaps I should consider a monopod as it's less cumbersome than a tripod and would help?