Speed Graf 127mm Lens shutter issues...

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by bibowj, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. bibowj

    bibowj Member

    Messages:
    121
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Hi everyone! So I recently bought a Speed Graphic off the bay that was in decent condition and came with the 127mm kodak. I tested the lens through all its speeds and it SEEMS pretty dead on. However, when I run polaroid through it, all the shots are signifigantly over exposed... In afternoon light, i have to shoot at 400 f16 or above to not blow out ISO 100 film.. but my meter calls for 100 and 4.7...

    So my question is this, #1 is it common for lens this old to be a little slow at some speeds (1 second seems dead on) #2 how do I check that this is indeed a crapped out lens (Im all film now and the only meter I have is the L508 that Im using) #3 is there any way to tell if my meter is working the way its supposed to? (I metered correctly by the way..in fact, did two shots metering for the sky and one for the darks to see if I could get it in )

    I was going to shoot a portrait with it this week, but now Im nervous to use real film w/o being able to at least meter it...

    Thanks everyone!
     
  2. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

    Messages:
    2,266
    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Location:
    Metro DC are
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    To see if your meter is close,
    go outside in miday full sun and see if it matches somewhat on "sunny 16" or (sunny 11).

    Those shutters most certainly can run slow. I believe there are 2 separate gear trains (or a least an escapement) so if slows speeds are close does not necessarily mean the faster speeds are.
     
  3. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

    Messages:
    20,108
    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2003
    Location:
    local
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
  4. bibowj

    bibowj Member

    Messages:
    121
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    As suggested, I took my lightmeter out and tested it against what that chart said for a coudy down..and it was perfectly at 1/100 and F8 ish.. and then in more direct sun with clouds (ie not full sunlight) it went to F11... so it seems to be working. Sad to say that my lens must be slow in the fast end:sad: Makes me sad, cause I really liked it...
     
  5. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    17,055
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Sounds like the shutter just needs some routine maintenance.
     
  6. vpwphoto

    vpwphoto Member

    Messages:
    1,205
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Location:
    Indiana
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    IF it is consistently slow... just compensate.
     
  7. PaulC

    PaulC Member

    Messages:
    26
    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    How did you "test the lens through all its speeds"? Watching it click open and shut is no good at all, you can't tell the difference between 1/100s and 1/25s by eye. You need a shutter speed tester. There are instructions on making one here http://www.baytan.org/prak/shutter.html or you can buy a ready-made one for $20 or $30 by contacting Attila who runs MFLenses.com, a friend of his makes them.

    I've tested loads of old shutters with this sort of kit, a few of them are bang on, some of them are consistently off by a certain amount, some have certain speeds that are wildly off while other speeds are right. I've got 1930s shutters that are perfect and 1970s pro-level shutters that are way off. Unless you know what speeds the shutter actually runs at, light metering is a complete waste of time.

    Also, the top speed is almost always a lot slower than stated. A variation of about half a stop would have been considered within factory specs.