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  1. #1

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    Thinking of a Speed Graphic

    Mulling over the idea of getting rid of my 2 Pacemaker Crowns and getting a good Speed. Have been perusing through the fleabay putting together ideas. I almost absolutely decided to go for the latest Pacemakers with the top mounted rangefinder because I like the self-contained range light that you can hit with your thumb. No external power source or reaching up and down turning the switch.
    I could switch the 135 Schneider off one of my Crown Specials onto my "new" Speed. THEN a thought hit me that is possibly turning me off the top-mounted Graphic rangefinders and sending me running back to a Kalart. It is a FACT that if you calibrate a Kalart on an 135 Optar, that a 135 Schneider will be off agreement with that rangefinder. Both are rated 135 on the front ring, hence use the same cam, but they are not exact. And your rangefinder will not be right for the other without re-calibration.
    But the top-mounted Graphic is cam-driven There is no way to re-calibrate like you can on a Kalart. I can make a Kalart dead-on perfect. So now, it seems that the top-mounted Graphic rangefinders are not at all necessarily accurate, just because you have a 135mm lens on it and a 135mm cam in it. Seems like a Kalart-model Pacemaker is actually the more accurate model. Thoughts?
    Last edited by Tom1956; 10-16-2013 at 01:46 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2

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    Cams for Graphic viewfinders can be made. Wander over to www.graflex.org and use the help forum's search facility. Reading ads is a poor way to educate yourself.

    I take it that you're a one lens, one emulsion sort of guy.

    In a typical outing I use more than one lens on my Graphics. Since calibrating a Kalart for a lens in the field is OUT, I focus on the ground glass. Yes, I could have multiple focus scales, multiple sets of bed stops, use the Kalart (calibrated for the one true lens) as a range finder and transfer the distance measured ... In principle, that is. In practice, I use more than three lenses on an outing, so that approach is OUT too.

    Stop looking for a magic bullet.

  3. #3
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    I'm with Dan on this, I usually use a couple of lenses when out with a Graphic, I have a working Range finder set for a 150mm on my Crown graphic but far prefer to use the GG screen. Often I use a 135mm Symmar so the range finder is useless and my second lens is a 90mm Angulon, often I carry a 203mm Ektar as well..

    Why do you want a Speed Graphic ? Unless you want to use barrel lenses there's no real advantage, otherwise why not look at the Super Graphics, they are a real step up in terms of flexibility, a revolving Graflok back, far more movements and a great all round work horse of a camera.


    Ian

  4. #4
    Terry Christian's Avatar
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    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.

  5. #5
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Christian View Post
    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.
    I use my Crown or Super Graphics hand-held quite frequently in Turkey & Greece, lack of a working range-finder isn't an obstacle. I can work very quicly composing/focussing on the screen first.

    Ian

  6. #6

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    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?

  7. #7
    Terry Christian's Avatar
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    I may have to waste a few sheets soon and try out that technique of using the GG instead of the rangefinder. Thanks.

  8. #8
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    I only use the groundglass on the speed graphics. I tend to use odd lenses which wouldn't be easy to make work with the rangefinder. I also feel good about verifying my image is in focus on the ground glass.

    I really like the focal plane shutter. It's my primary reason for using a speed graphic. You don't get with the super. I like the older ones that went from 1/10 to 1/1000 better than the newer ones that only go from 1/30 to 1/1000. But the newer speeds have the graflock back and the 4-sided metal hood, and the better adjustable front standard which are nice. Might need a frankengraphic before I'm done.

  9. #9
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wombat2go View Post
    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?
    No it's not, I use the Wire frame finder as that moves with the lens. Not sure about the Baby Graphics but using the wire finders on 5x4 Speed and Crown Graphics there's adjustment for distance, the front part has click settings on Pacemakers, on the earlier Speed graphics the rear sight adjusts.

    Ian

  10. #10

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    I'm not looking for any "magic bullet". I am telling you that on 5different Crowns or Speeds I have calibrated--that I have successfully gotten the Kalarts to be so absolutely dead-on within less than 1/8 of an inch of in agreement with the groundglass from 4 feet to 50 feet. I've calibrated these things to where you don't need to use the GG and a magnifier. In other words--perfect. But when I remove the 135 Optar and put on the 135 Schneider, it's off by a good bit. Bothe 135's are marked 135, but they are not exactly. This means that since the top-mounted Graphic finders that use cams cannot possibly be so dead-perfect. The cams are for their marked focal-length lenses. Yes, I can make cams, and yes I am a very meticulous perfectionist worker, but you can sand, file, taper, and labor till you end up in an asylum on a cam and never get it just perfect. The only reason I leaned towards the top-mounted finders is the auto-parallax and the handy push-button beam light. Actually, the top-mounted finders are really plasticy-junky in construction.

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