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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2013
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    FS: 1964 Graflex Super Graphic with Synchro-Compur Shutter, Schneider 135mm lens!

    If you're looking to complete your Graflex Graphic collection, or just in the market for an entry-level 4" x 5" field camera, here's one to consider!

    This is the Graflex Super Graphic, the final model in the Graphic line. This specimen, serial number 656329, dates from around 1964. The precise dating of Graphic cameras is a bit difficult; when Graflex received an order, the date would be entered and a block of serial numbers allocated. So, it's possible for a particular specimen to have been produced weeks or even months after receipt of the order. However, 1964 is the approximate age of this specimen, as determined by a listing I downloaded from the graflex.org website (it has since been removed for reasons unknown).

    This specimen last saw use with a police dept. CSI unit; their dept. serial number has been etched on the front rail. The camera is missing the ground glass hood; it could be popped out as a unit, unlike other models where it was firmly attached to the back. This model has a rotating Graflok back, so you can attach other film carriers that you might have. The paint on the back was severely worn and chipped; I have repainted it using "Flex Seal", a rubberized coating that, when applied carefully, resembles the pebble grain of the leatherette used on the body.

    The original Graflex shutter and lens, typically a Rapax or Graphex shutter with a Wollensak Optar or Xenar lens, have been replaced with the more desirable Synchro-Compur shutter and Schneider-Kreuznach 135mm/f4.7 lens! The shutter fires crisply, the speeds sound accurate (I really need to build that speed tester!), and there are no issues with the lens.

    The body and mechanics are in good working condition. The top-mounted rangefinder is mostly functional; it's operated by a thin, metal strip that comes into contact with the front rail. The strip has a slight curve cross-wise (similar to that of a tape measure) to help keep the strip rigid as it slides back and forth, making a 90-degree turn as it does so. Right now, the rangefinder gets hung up at close focus (4'-5'); you can use a finger to move it forward if you're focusing at a distance closer than 5'. Polishing of the strip might reduce to stop its hanging up, but I don't anticipate it being a major issue to anyone intent on using the camera.

    The front standard has the full range of movements: rise and fall, shift, pan and tilt. The front bed drops, a feature found on previous Graphic models. The bellows is in good condition and is light-tight.

    The camera has an electrically-operated shutter release feature; it's that small, red button on the top left of the body. Requiring two (2) 22.5v Eveready 412 batteries (NEDA 215 compatible), pressing the button activates a solenoid in the front standard. This solenoid then activates a mechanical release built into the back of the lensboard, firing the shutter. The lensboard on this model does not have that mechanical linkage, so the electrical shutter release, while operational (I've put 2 new batteries in it, and you can hear the solenoid operate when the button is pushed), won't work as designed. You might look for the appropriate lensboard on that big auction site, though I suspect they will be hard to come by. This feature is for the shutter only; it will not fire a flash (a 3-hole jack is present on the low-right side of the body for a flash handle).

    The standard optical rangefinder is clean and appears to be accurate. This model uses small metal cams that are lens-specific to get accurate distance readings; you can find replacement cams on that auction site, and there are a few guides about making your own if needed.

    Overall, I'd rate the cosmetic condition at 85-90%, with the mechanical condition at 90% or better. Someone had the foresight to upgrade the shutter and lens, so that's a plus. All in all, a nice specimen, even with the missing hood.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here's a photo of the back before I repainted it (I'll try to get a new photo tomorrow). This shows the rotating feature (lever operated):

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Finally, here's what an original mechanical lensboard looks like. When you get the camera, remove the lensboard and press the red button. You'll see a small arm pop up, which would have caused the mechanical linkage on the back of the lensboard to then fire the shutter:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm asking $275 + $17 S/H (USPS Priority Flat Rate Large Box) for the camera. The batteries were about $20 each, so please keep that in mind. The Eveready 412 was used in a variety of electronics from that period, such as tube radios requiring 45v, so they might come in handy if you find a treasure from that period at a flea market or swap meet!

    I'll also include two (2) 4" x 5" film holders with the camera. They still have film in them from the police days, but I'm not sure if they've been exposed or not. My guess is no, but who knows? You might find crime scene photos on them if you develop them!

  2. #2

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    May 2013
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    Okay, lets try $225 + $17 S/H. I need the money!!

    Please make payment via Paypal to: dr.david.child@gmail.com.

    Also, as promised, here are 2 pix of the repainted back; note the resemblance to leatherette! Now it's a bit more shock-resistant and non-conductive as well!!!

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	72773 Upper-left, showing the rotating back lever
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	72774 Right edge of the back; nice pebbling for better grip!



    PS: I don't have Internet access at home, so I won't see any questions until tomorrow.

  3. #3

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    May 2013
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    I've had a closer look at the rangefinder issue. I've determined that unless the metal strip, which contacts the front standard, is in direct alignment with the metal tube leading to the rangefinder mechanism, it will bind up.

    The entire mechanism train is as follows: a metal arm on the front standard contacts the metal strip; if you should move the standard backward, the arm pushes on the strip. At the other end of the strip is a pin, and this rides in a groove cut in the tube leading up to the RF mechanism. Inside the tube are small balls and segments (ball-segment-ball-segment-ball etc.); these are not connected to each other. They are very short, allowing them to make the turn inside the tube. At the end of this is a rod, about 1" long, and finally a pin connected to a spring. The lens-specific cam rides in a 3" groove cut in both sides of the tube; it sits between the spring & pin and the 1" rod. A lever rides on a gentle arc on the edge of the cam, and this lever is connected to the scale on top of the camera.

    I suspect the problem of the RF hanging up between the 4" and 5" marks can be solved by lightly filing the sides of the strip, so that it has a very slight hourglass shape. Leave about 3-4mm of the tip alone, then taper after that. By doing so, you give the metal strip some side-to-side movement; there's no friction along the entire length of the strip.

    I'll leave it to the buyer to make such an adjustment. If it fails, you can probably find some flat spring steel to make a replacement strip. It will need to be very thin, but spring steel has good flexibility while retaining its strength and stiffness along its length, necessary to transmit the force of the arm at the front of the strip to the pin at the back.

  4. #4

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    May 2013
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    Bump!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Bump!

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Estonia
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    181
    Good camera with a good price from a good seller - grab it while you can!

  7. #7

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    May 2013
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    Price drop! $200 + S/H, but just one (1) 4x5 film holder!

  8. #8

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    May 2013
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    Last price drop!

    $175 + S/H, camera alone (no film holders).

  9. #9

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    May 2013
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    Bump!

  10. #10
    fra
    fra is offline

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Sub 35mm
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    14
    Looks so nice, PM sent.

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