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  1. #1
    Chrismat's Avatar
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    Crown Graphic focusing problem.

    I recently purchased a Graflex Crown Graphic with two lenses: a 90mm 6.8 Spiratone Weitweinkel Anastigmat and a 165mm 6.3 Ilex-Calumet Caltar and a couple of film holders.

    I'm having trouble focusing using the ground glass, all I see are the image in round circles but complete image on the ground glass. It gets better the longer the distance between myself and the camera but that defeats the purpose. It's worse with the 90mm lens. Am I using the incorrect lens board? It's a standard metal plate one with 'Special' written on the top.

    I'm new with large format but not a complete novice. I have a monorail and recently had a Graflex RB 4X5.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Chris M.

  2. #2

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    Oh, my. Oh, my. No one has told you about infinity (also called bed) stops. Go to www.graflex.org and read the FAQs, they'll describe them.

    If you're lucky your Crown is set up for the lenses you have and will have two sets of bed stops, one pair close to the bed's hinge and one pair some distance in front of it. If you're unlucky it will have just one set.

    To focus the longer lens to infinity (more or less, the stops may have to be relocated), flip up the far away stops, pull the front standard out (slide it on the bed rails) until it butts up against the stops. If the stops are set for the usual "kit" lens they'll be a little close to the film plane for y'r 165 but the camera will have enough focusing travel to reach infinity and somewhat closer.

    If there are two sets of bed stops, pulling the front standard forward to the near in set should put it at more or less the infinity position for y'r 90. You'll have to drop the bed and use front rise to center the lens on the gate.

    Under no circumstances try to close the camera until the front standard has been pushed as far back as possible on the inner bed rails and the rails are as far back as possible (use the focusing knobs). If you fail to do this and try to close the camera you will bend the links that connect inner and outer bed rails. Only one repairman in the world has new links and he doesn't sell parts. Always make sure that the front standard and bed rails are as far back as possible before closing a Graphic.

  3. #3
    Chrismat's Avatar
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    Looks like I'm unlucky, there is only one bed stop.

  4. #4
    Terry Christian's Avatar
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    If you had pulled out the front standard all the way out when you opened the camera, and you have difficulty achieving focus, try pushing it back in roughly halfway and attempt to focus again.

  5. #5
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Your problem is not with the equipment, rather the need to learn how to use it. None of us were born with this knowledge either, someone had to teach us. You have come to the right place. Also as suggested in post #2 visit and join both www.graflex.com and http://www.largeformatphotography.info/forum/
    Warning!! Handling a Hasselblad can be harmful to your financial well being!

    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  6. #6
    Chrismat's Avatar
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    I've been on the graflex website before, time to go back and I will definitely be checking out largeformatphotography.info.

    Thanks for the advice!

  7. #7
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Adjust the front standard position so that the distance from the film to the lens is roughly the same as the focal length of the lens as a starting point.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  8. #8

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    On my speed graphic there are some small tabs that flip up next to the rail to stop the front standard going all the way out, its about 1/3 along the rail, pull it out to there and use the focusing knobs on the side of the bed to them focus. Pulling the front standard alllll the way out is only good for macro shots etc where you would need the bellows extended.

  9. #9

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    Chris, If you want an extra set of infinity stops for a second lens, there is a used pair for sale on Ebay.

    The item # is 360512411112. It's a buy it now at $19.99 with $2.80 shipping.

  10. #10
    Chrismat's Avatar
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    Thanks Alan, much appreciated! I just bought them.

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