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  1. #1

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    Refurbishing a pre-1927 Speed Graphic

    I just won a top handle speed graphic in 3 1/4 x 5 1/2 size (is this "postcard" size?). It looks to be in pretty good shape over-all (we'll see how bad the shutter is) but is minus the lens. Anybody know what a "standard" lens would have been for this camera when it was new - by which I mean, what brand/length/etc would it have been sold with? In shutter or not? Also, what sort of film holders do I need for it? I have a bunch of metal ones in postcard format from an ICA Trix - would those work?

    Thanks,
    Dan

  2. #2

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    Are you going to custom cut your film to postcard size?

  3. #3

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    Don't really see what other choice I have. I figured I could try with paper negatives first. It'll probably be on display most of the time but I can see wanting to go out with it once in a while.

  4. #4

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    I would think the normal lens would 150mm-170mm or about 6 1/2 inch lens, in a shutter.
    It's not the camera......

  5. #5

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    Probably on the longer side of that range. Diagonal of the film is 162mm. Here's the front cover of the "manual" - the text itself is not very informative. I just remembered that I have an old McKeown's (1992) - he says it's a barrel lens (but no further specifics).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails speed_10.jpg  

  6. #6
    Akki14's Avatar
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    Aw that picture looks like my 1912(ish) top handle speedgraphic but it's a 4x5 so I can't really help you with an appropriate lens size for your format.
    Maybe you should ask the people over on graflex.org's message board. they're very smart and helped me ID my camera.
    ~Heather
    oooh shiny!
    http://www.stargazy.org/

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akki14 View Post
    Aw that picture looks like my 1912(ish) top handle speedgraphic
    I'd hope so since that's the manual for that era of Speed (I think 1912-1927, which is when the pre-Anniversary models came in) and otherwise I didn't buy what I thought I did (see photo).

    Can you tell me what lens is on yours? At least it might put me in the ballpark. As of right now, my best option in my collection is a 160mm-ish f7.7Kodak Anastigmat in Diomatic shutter, but it's probably a good 15-20 years newer than the camera. Otherwise it's the RR off a No1 Film/Plate Premo. I'd really like to make it look as original as possible.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails !BPG-MewB2k~$(KGrHgoOKjEEjlLmZ(ZQBJ)+RvDQL!~~_1.jpg  

  8. #8
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    My pre-Anniversary Speed Graphic was partially restored last years, it was in terrible shape when I bought it, the leatherette was to far gone and missing, so the box-wood is now naked, the modifications are original, Graflex used to release part finished camera to outside workshops to make Police/Prison cameras and other specials, mine must have ben as a Wide-angle camera but I've no idea what lens it would have used but I'll try it with a 90mm, the range-finder cam is for a WA.



    Ian

  9. #9
    Akki14's Avatar
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    "4x5 Bausch & Lomb-Zeiss Tessar Series 1c. Pat. Feb 25, 1903" is what my lens says. What that means is it's approximately 130mm At least by my estimate at measuring.




    a "willysmb" on graflex.org said
    "The B&L Tessar Ic was one lens poposed in the original configuration. but in Barrel (I have a Press 5x7 with the same configuration 5x8 lens + ACME)
    Since the ACME adaptation come later "

    So maybe that'll help a bit. I guess they weren't too keen on confusing people with focal lengths in press cams back then, since they were suppose to be more or less point & shoot with a little distance range on the baseboard.
    ~Heather
    oooh shiny!
    http://www.stargazy.org/

  10. #10

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    I looked at the serial number and it was 28xxx (i forget exactly what but in the upper half of the 28000s). From the serial number list, I found: "28207 - pre introduction speed – 1911" What does "pre-introduction" mean? In any event, I'd say mine dates 1911-1912.

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