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/pic...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.
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.
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°.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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An important question--help fast plz
So today the Speed came, the one with the 152 Ektar in a Supermatic-X shutter. The camera is unusable; back tracks are busted and the focus rail has nothing to hold it on its tracks. Back shutter fair-to-good, semisilver Kalart mirro appears to give second image in rangefinder. Camera is kinda junky, but not total junk, except you can't use it because it needs all new focus rails in bed and body.
But the 152 Ektar glass is very good. It needs to come apart to clean between the elements, but wonder of wonders, it has no "cleaning marks". And while the shutter needs CLA, it DOES operate reasonably well. I paid $177 plus shipping for what I thought was a usable camera. The seller says to send it back.
So the question is, is keeping this purchase worth it for the lens alone, along with a body that will need some more money for a parts-body to fix? Or is this a borderline case where I should forget about this nice lens? Remember, the next Speed I end up with will probably have the standard Optar/Graphex combo.
Open this PDF service manual :
it will open faster if you save it to your HD.
Go to PDF page 38, figure 7 Bed Complete.
Is the rear of the yoke index 3 broken? Yes or No.
Is Index 20 B and /or C , guide-case, left and right broken? Yes or No.
Is Guide, bed Left, index 1, or Guide, bed Right, Index 8 missing or damaged?
Are Block-bed left and right index 10 & 11 good as best as you can tell?
these cameras aren't difficult to fix. I bought two Speed Graphics a few years ago sold as parts to make one good one only to sind one was pre-Anniversary the other a Pacemaker and there's no common parts. I found new Guides on ebay for the rear rails on the Pacemaker, the secret is they are shimmed to allow smooth retraction of the standard. Both cameras are now rebuilt. With a little patience you can get the camera back full functional.
Originally Posted by Tom1956
Only you can decide whether to send it back or keep it, but the lens is worth around $77 perhaps a touch more so you have a $100 Speed Graphic body.
The bed and case guides are made of aluminum. They break when the bed is closed with the yoke not fully retracted into the body.
The case guides are easily made from 1/4 x 1/2 inch aluminum bar stock, a drill, drill bits, and Dremel with cutoff wheel or a thin kerf hacksaw. The case guides were changed to use set screws to align them with the bed guides in place of the shims which were made in 3 thicknesses.
The Top RF Pacemaker Speed is the same basic body as the Side RF Pacemaker Speed.
Thanks. But I know I can repair things, because I can fix anything. That's not really my question. My question is whether my $177 can still be considered a good buy. I really didn''t buy something because I wanted another fix-it project. But I'm liable to, considering how much I'd have to pay for the next decent EBAY Speed Graphic if I send this one back. Thanks.