Thinking of a Speed Graphic

Discussion in 'Large Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Tom1956, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

    Messages:
    2,057
    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Location:
    US
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Mulling over the idea of getting rid of my 2 Pacemaker Crowns and getting a good Speed. Have been perusing through the fleabay putting together ideas. I almost absolutely decided to go for the latest Pacemakers with the top mounted rangefinder because I like the self-contained range light that you can hit with your thumb. No external power source or reaching up and down turning the switch.
    I could switch the 135 Schneider off one of my Crown Specials onto my "new" Speed. THEN a thought hit me that is possibly turning me off the top-mounted Graphic rangefinders and sending me running back to a Kalart. It is a FACT that if you calibrate a Kalart on an 135 Optar, that a 135 Schneider will be off agreement with that rangefinder. Both are rated 135 on the front ring, hence use the same cam, but they are not exact. And your rangefinder will not be right for the other without re-calibration.
    But the top-mounted Graphic is cam-driven There is no way to re-calibrate like you can on a Kalart. I can make a Kalart dead-on perfect. So now, it seems that the top-mounted Graphic rangefinders are not at all necessarily accurate, just because you have a 135mm lens on it and a 135mm cam in it. Seems like a Kalart-model Pacemaker is actually the more accurate model. Thoughts?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
  2. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

    Messages:
    4,135
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Cams for Graphic viewfinders can be made. Wander over to www.graflex.org and use the help forum's search facility. Reading ads is a poor way to educate yourself.

    I take it that you're a one lens, one emulsion sort of guy.

    In a typical outing I use more than one lens on my Graphics. Since calibrating a Kalart for a lens in the field is OUT, I focus on the ground glass. Yes, I could have multiple focus scales, multiple sets of bed stops, use the Kalart (calibrated for the one true lens) as a range finder and transfer the distance measured ... In principle, that is. In practice, I use more than three lenses on an outing, so that approach is OUT too.

    Stop looking for a magic bullet.
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,039
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I'm with Dan on this, I usually use a couple of lenses when out with a Graphic, I have a working Range finder set for a 150mm on my Crown graphic but far prefer to use the GG screen. Often I use a 135mm Symmar so the range finder is useless and my second lens is a 90mm Angulon, often I carry a 203mm Ektar as well..

    Why do you want a Speed Graphic ? Unless you want to use barrel lenses there's no real advantage, otherwise why not look at the Super Graphics, they are a real step up in terms of flexibility, a revolving Graflok back, far more movements and a great all round work horse of a camera.


    Ian
     
  4. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

    Messages:
    696
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2011
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ugh! Now you've got me jonesing for a working rangefinder for my Crown. The rangefinder cable broke soon after I got mine (top-mounted), and so I've been using it as a tripod-mounted view camera exclusively.
     
  5. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,039
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I use my Crown or Super Graphics hand-held quite frequently in Turkey & Greece, lack of a working range-finder isn't an obstacle. I can work very quicly composing/focussing on the screen first.

    Ian
     
  6. wombat2go

    wombat2go Subscriber

    Messages:
    293
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2013
    Location:
    Michigan
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Question about a 2 x 3 Crown with side Kalart:
    When the bed is dropped to the 2nd click to allow for the limited lens movements, is the optical range finder still accurate?
     
  7. Terry Christian

    Terry Christian Subscriber

    Messages:
    696
    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2011
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I may have to waste a few sheets soon and try out that technique of using the GG instead of the rangefinder. Thanks.
     
  8. jp498

    jp498 Member

    Messages:
    1,467
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Location:
    Owls Head ME
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I only use the groundglass on the speed graphics. I tend to use odd lenses which wouldn't be easy to make work with the rangefinder. I also feel good about verifying my image is in focus on the ground glass.

    I really like the focal plane shutter. It's my primary reason for using a speed graphic. You don't get with the super. I like the older ones that went from 1/10 to 1/1000 better than the newer ones that only go from 1/30 to 1/1000. But the newer speeds have the graflock back and the 4-sided metal hood, and the better adjustable front standard which are nice. Might need a frankengraphic before I'm done.
     
  9. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

    Messages:
    18,039
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Location:
    West Midland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No it's not, I use the Wire frame finder as that moves with the lens. Not sure about the Baby Graphics but using the wire finders on 5x4 Speed and Crown Graphics there's adjustment for distance, the front part has click settings on Pacemakers, on the earlier Speed graphics the rear sight adjusts.

    Ian
     
  10. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

    Messages:
    2,057
    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Location:
    US
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I'm not looking for any "magic bullet". I am telling you that on 5different Crowns or Speeds I have calibrated--that I have successfully gotten the Kalarts to be so absolutely dead-on within less than 1/8 of an inch of in agreement with the groundglass from 4 feet to 50 feet. I've calibrated these things to where you don't need to use the GG and a magnifier. In other words--perfect. But when I remove the 135 Optar and put on the 135 Schneider, it's off by a good bit. Bothe 135's are marked 135, but they are not exactly. This means that since the top-mounted Graphic finders that use cams cannot possibly be so dead-perfect. The cams are for their marked focal-length lenses. Yes, I can make cams, and yes I am a very meticulous perfectionist worker, but you can sand, file, taper, and labor till you end up in an asylum on a cam and never get it just perfect. The only reason I leaned towards the top-mounted finders is the auto-parallax and the handy push-button beam light. Actually, the top-mounted finders are really plasticy-junky in construction.
     
  11. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    6,662
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    On a SuperGraphic I've found the cam to work fine with both a 135 Optar and 135 Symmar-S.
     
  12. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    3,925
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Actually the nominal focal length of lenses can vary quite a bit. And, if they are mounted in different shutters, their optical centers will be in different places relative to the lensboard. This is why Linhof cuts cams individually, matching them perfectly to their lens, then marking the cam with that lens' serial number. And believe me when I tell you Linhof cams are perfect.
    So unless your Optar and your Schneider are precisely the same focal length, mounted in precisely the same relationship to the lensboard, they never will interchange. It isn't the RF's fault.
    As for getting cams perfect, I cammed a 6" Goerz Dagor for my Linhof. No sweat, just a bit of patience and skill with a #6 file.:smile: If there's any error, I can't find it.
     
  13. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    3,925
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It's possible to shim the shutters re. the lensbord and get one cam to work with two lenses.
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    3,925
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Please tell me how you distinguish one-eighth of an inch on the groundglass at fifty feet, I smell something here...
     
  16. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

    Messages:
    2,057
    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Location:
    US
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    What you smell is a perfectionist who keeps at it till it's perfect.:D
     
  17. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

    Messages:
    1,100
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2008
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Tom, I am with you - that is why I stick with pacemaker/kalart combos. I can calibrate those exactly, and any top-mount rangefinder is not going to be as accurate without huge work in making a perfect cam for it. I go so far as to mate up one lens and one body, and shoot that way (handheld, with rangefinder focusing). I have 2 crowns and 2 speeds, all pacemaker/kalarts. one of the crowns is calibrated to a 135mm, the other will be to a 90mm. One speed is set to work with an aero ektar, the other with a 150. it makes for a lot of extra bodies lying around, but ensures that rangefinder coupling is spot-on. I have shot 2 lenses on the crown, one calibrated, the other not. The only way that works well (handheld) is if the non-calibrated one is fairly wide, thus forgiving depth of field. But focusing with the ground glass is clumsy and cumbersome vs. just using the rangefinder.
     
  18. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

    Messages:
    6,662
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    Los Angeles,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, of course. In my case, the difference was so small as to be unnoticeable and not even worth shimming. Nothing a small amount of DOF wouldn't fix. :smile:
     
  19. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    3,925
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No no, while I do not have the finely tuned olfactory skill of a perfumier, I'm quite certain I smell something quite different.:wink:
     
  20. E. von Hoegh

    E. von Hoegh Member

    Messages:
    3,925
    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2011
    Location:
    Adirondacks
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    When I made the cam for my 6", I was able to use a cam from a 150 (6" is 152.4mm) without any peening. I've often wondered if Goerz N.Y. used the drawings from Berlin and called a 150 6 inches and close enough. Anyway, I had only to remove a small amount of metal from the cam to make it match - I shimmed the shutter on the board until I had infinity using the existing stop on the camera for the 150, then filed the cam. The only tools were a file, a loupe, and a magical marker. If the 150 the camera came cammed for is exactly 150, and the Dagor is exactly 6", I should have had to peen the cam slightly near the end. But then who knows what the exact fl of the lens the cam came from was, and how that body's rangefinder was - STIV cams are matched to the lens and body.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
  21. Tom1956

    Tom1956 Inactive

    Messages:
    2,057
    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Location:
    US
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I guess this thread I started is not needed any more. Just won a fleabay auction on a nice looking Speed with Kalart and Graflok, and 150mm Ektar in a Supermatic X shutter for $177. Not bad at all. I'll calibrate the rangefinder for the existing lens, and make translation scales for my 101 Optar when I use my roll film backs.

    I did this to pare down the 2 Crowns I've had for ages. And seriously thinking of getting rid of my ham gear too that I've had for30 years. Maybe a point in life has come to stop having a house full of junk, and getting down on a single interest. I never really warmed up to the Hasselblad stuff I've got either.
    Thanks, people.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
  22. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,280
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco Peninsul
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Reading factory publications readily available on line would have answered a lot of the questions here but that appears to be too easy for some.
    A lens actual focal length is rarely its marked nominal focal length. Due to production tolerances the actual focal length can vary 2 or 3 millimeters either side of the nominal value.
    Graflex Corp. clearly states that each lens is optically measured then a production cam closest to it is measured focal length is chosen or a new cam made if one is not available. Some other camera manufactures call this the cookie cutter method. I do not know how close a lens has to be to the cam but probably less than a mm. The close focus distances will have the largest focus error on mismatched cam/lens focal length. There are 4 Pacemaker cams for marked 135mm lens, P31-132mm, P5-133.5mm, P6-135mm, P7-136.4mm.

    The only adjustment that can be made to a Pacemaker Graphic Rangefinder is the infinity setting which on page 2 of the service instructions says a special cam .437 ± .0001 inch wide is required to set the rangefinder infinity. http://www.southbristolviews.com/pics/Graphic/manual-pdf/TRFService.pdf

    Now, Mr. Precision, the cam follower arm will be a fixed distance from the cam base at any given focused distance regardless of cam marked focal length. If a factory matched lens/cam combination is focused at 15 feet and a totally different focal length matched set are installed on the same camera and focused at 15 feet the cam follower arm that rides on the slope of the cam and moves the movable mirror will be precisely the same height above the cam base. This will hold true for any focused distance.
    A while back I had 3 Super Speed Graphics with factory matched 135mm Optar and cams. Two of the cams were the same P# and the third different.
    There was no calibration information on the Graphic Rangefinder in a Super Graphic. 1 of the 3 bodies had a broken focus panel so I pulled the rangefinder from it. I used another body to establish the infinity point on all cams and measured it. This is the result: http://www.graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?t=4647
    Next I established the cam height at the focused distances on the focus scale/flash calculator built into the camera and the relationship of cam movement from infinity to rail movement when the lens was focused. this is the result: http://www.graflex.org/helpboard/viewtopic.php?t=4653

    Now with a Crown and a matched factory lens/cam one can measure the cam heights and find the bed to cam movement relationship and the procedure to make accurate cams from scratch for Pacemaker Graphics. A Crown is needed as the rangefinder is not functional when removed from the camera body as it is with the Super and trying to measure a cam follower arm height in a Speed would be a challenge. If you were to make all the measurements necessary and post the information you would make a lot of Pacemaker Graphic owners happy. Of course someone could send me a Crown with matched lens and cam and I will do all the work and post the information as I have in the past.

    ______

    The Graphic Rangefinder uses a brass tube with two different length rods, one either side of the cam, 43 balls and 43 spacers, and another rod at the bed end. On the Pacemaker version the bed end has a plastic cap that should be a pressure fit. There are many reports on Graflex.org help board of the plastic cap coming off and the balls and spacers falling out. If the cap has come off and you have lost some or all of the balls and spacers then make new ones. I posted the measurements for the balls and spacers in a response on graflex.org help question at one time, I do not remember which one.

    Neither the Kalart, Hugo Meyer, or Graphic Rangefinder are accurate with the bed dropped. Rangefinder operation is based on rail movement forward and dropping the bed pulls the rails forward more than they would be if the lens was focused with the bed at 90°.
     
  23. jerrybro

    jerrybro Subscriber

    Messages:
    296
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I bought a Pacemaker Speed with Kalart years ago as my first 4x5. Still have it and use it, but I have never taken a picture using the FP shutter. I followed the instructions online and aligned the RF, but I have never relied on it for a photograph. I wear a fedora but I've never tried to be Weegee-like with the Speed, like many, my LF photography tends to be not action packed. My other 4x5 is a Toyo monorail with the short rail, I've used this much more than the speed. I like the movements and the versatility, I dislike the size and the handling. The Speed I carry like a lunchbox, the Toyo comes in a footlocker. I have often thought of going the opposite way of the OP and trading the Speed for something that would give me the best of both worlds, versatile and compact.
     
  24. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

    Messages:
    973
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Location:
    Ajman - U.A.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I also bought Pacemaker Speed Graphic 4x5 as my first ever large format but without a lens, so then i bought Crown Graphic [Not sure which model or version] coming with Optar 162mm Wollensack lens, i took that lens to put it on SG, but i never used both to shoot anything until now, because i didn't shoot film much since last year 2012 and much less in 2011 after dad death and losing job, also because i bought Shen Hao 4x5 in 2010 to be my main LF camera which made me to forget about SG/CG.

    This year i bought Optar 135mm f4.7, the shutter doesn't work good enough for slower speed and not sure if i will have issues later at higher speed, i bought it because it was so cheap, wish i can fix it by myself if possible.
     
  25. shutterfinger

    shutterfinger Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,280
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2013
    Location:
    San Francisco Peninsul
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    http://www.southbristolviews.com/pics/Graphic/manual-pdf/GraphexShutterService.pdf
    The Graphex shutter came in 3 versions, no flash sync, full flash sync, X flash sync only.
    The linked service manual is for the full flash sync version. The X flash sync version flash sync is similar but simpler.
    The no flash sync version has no flash sync parts and the steps for the flash parts can be skipped.
    The shutter will die and may not be repairable if used until it stops working.
    White lithium grease works fine where grease is called for.
    Watch oil, gun oil, TriFlow are good oils for shutters.
    Extra fine powdered graphite can be used on the shutter and aperture blades especially on their pivots.
    Too much oil or grease acts like glue and slows a shutter down.
    Take pictures as you disassemble the shutter, it makes reassembly easier.
    Alternative, send it to me for servicing.
     
  26. TareqPhoto

    TareqPhoto Member

    Messages:
    973
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Location:
    Ajman - U.A.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Aww, thank you very much!

    I will wait and see my options, either i do it by myself, or find an authorized trusted service person.

    I know one shot that do repair old cameras locally, i found it by a coincidence, but i didn't check what kind of old cameras they can repair, i may take my Mamiya 7II and my Optar 135mm and see if they can fix them both, if not, then i can wait until next year and plan to visit USA again and find a near service center to where i will arrive/stay there, pity i couldn't travel there this year.