Spped Graphic Shutter Trigger

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Steve Smith, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    A couple of years ago I bought an old Speed Graphic for £25 in fairly poor condition. The focal plane shutter was way beyond repair as was the rangefinder. The vinyl (leather?) covering had been painted red and was peeling off.

    I stripped the body down to bare wood and patched in the holes where the shutter mechanism used to be and I have now got it back together as a simple scale focused point and shoot camera (although it can still be focused using the ground glass).

    My query is about firing the in lens shutters on these cameras. I have seen pictures of Speed Graphics with solenoids set up to trip the shutter but I don't have one of those.

    What method is normally used for this? The options I can think of are to just press the release lever on the lens or use a short cable release.

    It's an Anniversary model (I think) like this one: http://www.imagine-it-imaging.com/Vintage_monochrome/Anniversary_Speed_Graphic_II.jpg

    I could set up something on the lens board similar to the one in this picture.

    I am going to take it out today and shoot a few sheets of film. We have just had a fresh layer of snow and the sun is shining. I can't think of better conditions to test the bellows for pinholes!


    Steve.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2010
  2. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Later models mainly use a mechanical linkage via a cable from a shutter release on the front edge of the body, which I have on my Crown Graphic and neutered Speed Graphic. The cable runs to a trip mechanism on the front standard. However one problem is they don't work well with some modern shutters - Compur & Copal.

    I use my Crown Graphic hand held with a standard cable release.

    Ian
     
  3. DCV

    DCV Member

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    Hi Steve!
    The solenoid you mention was a clever little device that allowed you to trip the shutter from the rather large flash gun. It was an electromagnet that pushed the shutter with the press of a little button on the flash. The solenoid is unnecessary if you don't have the flash. Check out this "nude" Speed right here! Cheers! http://www.cameraquest.com/nude.htm
     
  4. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    Use a short cable release. If you still have the strap for the left hand, you can thread the release through the strap and use the left thumb to operate the shutter. That method leaves the right hand free to brace under the camera bed.
    juan
     
  5. Sjixxxy

    Sjixxxy Member

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    What Juan said is also my preferred method with my anniversary.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Ask Bert on graflex.org. He is a retired Graflex and Graphic repairman. He can guide you through rebuilding the focal plane shutter and may have spare shutters. Of course he can answer any of your Speed Graphic question.

    Steve
     
  7. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Thanks for you replies. I think I will try the cable release with the left thumb method. It's never going to have a focal plane shutter again as I don't have the parts any more and I filled in the holes with some extra wood.

    Despite my thread title, it's a Speed Graphic, not a Spped Graphic!


    Steve.
     
  8. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I'd get or make an L bracket that has a hole for a cable release. It would give you a handle as well.

    Does your camera not have a release on the body, with a switch that select which shutter (front or rear) it will fire? Pacemakers do; I guess Anniversaries did not, or yours has disappeared somewhere along the road.

    You could also just spring for a solenoid, and mount a flash (which also gives you a handle). They are handy devices.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2010
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I don't think Anniversaries had them. Mine didn't and shows no signs of ever having one.

    I have just tried out a cable release and I am going to make a metal clip to hold it just below the top of the side handle at about 45 degrees. I am used to using a left hand shutter release as I use my RB67 with the left hand grip.

    A flash would look cool. I was thinking about building something which looks of the same era but with the flash tube and circuit from a more modern flash. I could hide the batteries and the PCB in the spaces previously occupied by the shutter curtain rollers.


    Steve.
     
  10. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Here it is. It's not pretty but it's ready to go (crappy pictures courtesy of my son with his new fangled I-type electrical communication device):
     

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  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Only the Pacemaker Speed & Crown Graphics (of all the 5x4models) have the release on the body, it was dropped again in the Super Graphics.

    I French polished my pre-Anniversary Speed Graphic. makes it look quite good :D

    [​IMG]
    It's not a standard camera, it wad a modification for wide angle work, so doesn't close up.

    Ian
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2010
  12. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I like the modification with a shorter bed. Even with a lens in the standard 127 to 135mm range the bed is a bit too long (but the ideal size for folding up!).

    I found some similar looking mahogany-a-like wood from an old cigar box to fill in the gaps left by the shutter mechanism. In hindsight I should have left the mechanism in place but it too late now.


    Steve.