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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by pablogustav View Post
    thanks for all your input on this subject. I do have the 4 x 5 series b that I enjoy very much. But the automatic iris feature of the super 3 1/4"x 4 1/4" is just great for taking photos of my kids (with them always changing position, never sitting still and all)! I just thought this would be a good avenue to explore because I have looked at getting an auto 4 x 5 and the prices for them are getting pretty silly and way out of my range. I just love using these cameras though. I have a burke and james 4 x 5 that I hardly ever use anymore because these cameras are so much fun.
    hi pablogustav

    i have a series d (4x5 ) and have been known to chase my kids around the yard with it
    why not sell the camera you have and get one that requires no modifications ?
    you might get what $$ you need for the super ?
    or use a roll back so you don't need to deal with sheet film and holders ?
    ( i have a roll back taped to the back of my series d and use it all the time )

    modifying a 3x4 to 4x5 doesn't seem too difficult. you need to remove the old back
    and probably shim the new one so it is the right distance to focus correctly.
    maybe ... someone who has done this can tell you the right size shims to use
    and all you need is a back, and a screw driver and some lathe ?

    good luck with your fun project !

    john

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    hi pablogustav

    modifying a 3x4 to 4x5 doesn't seem too difficult. you need to remove the old back
    and probably shim the new one so it is the right distance to focus correctly.
    maybe ... someone who has done this can tell you the right size shims to use
    and all you need is a back, and a screw driver and some lathe ?

    good luck with your fun project !

    john
    All,
    Must be a lack of imagination on my part. You want to replace a smaller film holder with a larger one. You can't put a intermediate plate in there as that changes the length from the light beam separation path at the divergence point. You can't mount the larger back on the smaller body unless the mounting points are within the 4x5 frame area.

    Shimming? Shim what? Move the ground glass on the viewing port? Shimming the back compounds the problem.

    Sounds like a hack job to me. Maybe it's just my lack of imagination.

    tim in san jose (no, you cannot have my 3x4 rb)
    Where ever you are, there you be.

  3. #13

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    hey tim

    i have heard of conversions where the camera had what looked like a funnel
    attached to the 4x5 back to choke it down to 3x4 ..
    and i was under the impression from what people who had this sort of thing done
    ( well sort of half done seeing the fellow who was doing the conversion had a massive stroke
    while the camera was apart on the bench )
    the back needed to be shimmed to keep the film to mirror distance and ground glass to mirror distance
    the same ...

    maybe they were pulling my leg, i am pretty gullible ...

    john

  4. #14

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    Umm, OK although I'm not 100% sure.. again I need to hear back from Bert (at least his advice), but, I've converted the Graflex back on my 4x5 Series D to a Graflok back using an adapter kit that Bert sent me. It's 100% reversible, and it takes less than 1 hour to do. You're taking off the Graflex mount that's attached to a rotating plate and attaching a Graflok mount. Pretty straightforward stuff.

    My guess is that it's a pretty similar situation for a 3x4 to 4x5 mod, in that the thicknesses of the 3x4 Graflex mount is probably not that different from that of a 4x5 Graflex mount, and if the rotating plate on the 3x4 is at the same or very similar distance to the film plane as is the rotatin plate on the 4x5, then it's just a matter of fitting the larger 4x5 mount on the smaller plate.

    Now, if there is a slight amount of 'shimming' that's required, well, it's an SLR, why not shim the ground glass? There's room enough in the GG mounting area for adjustments, at least the mm range.

    The only thing that a conversion is going to do is to *add* to the distance between the flange and the film plane (i.e., the modified 4x5 film plane ain't gonna get any closer to the lens; if anything, it's gonna get farther away.)

    What that means is that to achieve proper calibration in the focus, you just need to set the ground glass an appropriate distance away from the mirror. Again, such a modification would be easy (relatively speaking) and 100% reversible.

    The only non-reversible modification to my eyes with John Minnicks's conversion is the two semi-circular side notches he makes on the sides of the front to accommodate the two knobs on the front standard to allow for tilt. I think that's a fair tradeoff.

    What would you prefer? A 3x4 that doesn't get used and stays on a shelf in all it's original glory, or one that gets heavily used albeit some relatively harmless modification?

  5. #15

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    hi pablogustav

    see if you can contact the person who posted the photographs of his 3x4 to 4x5 conversion here
    http://photo.net/large-format-photography-forum/00OQrN
    he said it took him 20 mins and it was not difficult

    good luck !
    john

  6. #16

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    My guess is that the "conversion plate" mentioned in the link above comes from Bert Saunders :-)

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by rawhead View Post
    Umm, OK although I'm not 100% sure.. again I need to hear back from Bert (at least his advice), but, I've converted the Graflex back on my 4x5 Series D to a Graflok back using an adapter kit that Bert sent me. It's 100% reversible, and it takes less than 1 hour to do. You're taking off the Graflex mount that's attached to a rotating plate and attaching a Graflok mount. Pretty straightforward stuff.

    My guess is that it's a pretty similar situation for a 3x4 to 4x5 mod, in that the thicknesses of the 3x4 Graflex mount is probably not that different from that of a 4x5 Graflex mount, and if the rotating plate on the 3x4 is at the same or very similar distance to the film plane as is the rotatin plate on the 4x5, then it's just a matter of fitting the larger 4x5 mount on the smaller plate.
    It's not the thickness... it's the size. A 3x4 rb is not the same size as a 4x5. The adapter plates probably won't fit without an adapter panel of some sort. If you have an adapter panel, you have now changed the distance from the film plane to the splitter point inside the camera. Hence the focus mechanism for the 'reflex' will not focus correctly. Kinda like using Mamiya RB67 roll film backs on a 2x3 Graphics. They fit... but the focus is just off.

    tim in san jose
    Where ever you are, there you be.

  8. #18

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    Tim, there is no beamsplitter in a Graflex SLR. There's a mirror. 100%/0%. All of the light goes to the GG, or all of the light goes to the film.

    Most of the recipes for replacing a Graflex SLR's Graflex back with a Graflok back require that the ground glass be shimmed to adjust for the different flange-to-film distance.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by k_jupiter View Post
    It's not the thickness... it's the size. A 3x4 rb is not the same size as a 4x5. The adapter plates probably won't fit without an adapter panel of some sort.
    tim in san jose
    The adapter plate IS what is provided by Bert.

    I'm attaching a couple of images from the instructions that Bert sent me when I converted the 4x5 Graflex to a Graflok back.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is the plate that makes the Graflex back a "Graflex". This is the part that you will remove for safekeeping. You will attach a Graflok back that you acquire yourself; Bert does not supply the Graflok back. You attach the Graflok to the conversion plate, which is the product that is provided by Bert, which in turn attaches to the rotating plate/mechanism of the R.B., seen below in front (the back plate is the plate shown above)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The thickness of the conversion plate is made so that the film plane will be in the same exact spot as would have been the case with the original Graflex back.

    Now, my understanding is that with a 3x4 Graflex --> 4x5 Graflok conversion, it's the same exact idea, except the conversion plate has to be catered to the smaller rotating mechanism plate of the 3x4 Graflex. I'm rereading one of the Emails I got from Bert back when I purchased his kit and this is what he says:

    " You have never said if your "D" model is a 3x4 or a 4x5....need to know that, as the opening and the 14 screw circle pattern on the RB back is different for the 3x4 vrs the 4x5!"

    So I'm pretty sure it means that the configuration of the conversion plate will be different, but the basic concept and the results will be the same; you convert either a 3x4 or 4x5 Graflex to a 4x5 Graflok back, and Bert fabricates the conversion plate accordingly.

    And, to repeat, even IF some adjustments need to be made, it would only involve "shimming" the GG upwards (away from the mirror), which is, so far as camera modifications go, pretty simple and quite harmless.

  10. #20
    Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Bert Sanders built a custom Graflok adapter plate for my 4"x5" Graflex Model D. All 4"x5". No 3 1/4" x 4 1/4" film here.
    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.

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