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  1. #1
    kwmullet's Avatar
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    question about setting a Kalart rangefinder on an Anniversary Speed Graphic

    I've reviewed the Kalart alignment procedures on the graflex.org site and also the scanned copy of the original (1940s?) documentation already.

    I've got a circa 1910-1915 Bouche and Lomb rapid rectilinear lens that I suspect was originally harvested from a Kodak folder. (approx 180mm, US stops 4-128, pneumatic release cylinder mounted on Kodak shutter) I've got it mounted on an Anniversary Speed Graphic. I tried yesterday to set the Kalart rangefinder for it but ran into a 'choice' and I'm not sure what the right way to go is.

    First, I reset the infinity stops. I racked the focusing rail all the way back, then manually moved the front standard forward and back until the the furthest thing away I could find on which to focus (utility poles about a quarter mile away) were in focus on the ground glass. Then, I locked the standard down and moved the infinity stops into position and screwed them into place.

    At this point, the rangefinder was not in infinity focus, so I racked the front standard out enough to reach the concentric screw to adjust infinity focus and after several cycles of adjust/crank back and check, found that that screw doesn't give me enough adjustment to bring the RF into infinity focus at the front standard's current position and thus my quandry.

    The only way I see to get the RF into infinity focus would be to loosen the (hex screw?) at the top of the arm, get it in gross adjustment, then use the concentric screw on the front standard as a fine adjustment. Maybe the docs above spell this out for me, and I'm missing it.

    I want to poll the apug net wisdom before I do something to screw up my camera. Is this the right way to go? Should I loosen that hex screw at the top of the arm that fastens the arm to what looks like a rod going into the Kalart and get gross RF infinity adjustment, or is there something else I should do?

    -KwM-

  2. #2
    juan's Avatar
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    I don't think that's the way to go. IIRC, the hex nut does nothing but clamp the arm to the shaft - it's not an adjustment.

    First though, did the rangefinder work properly with another lens? If so, then you do have an adjustment problem. If not, you may have a problem inside the rangefinder itself.

    The graflex.org information tells you how to adjust the screws on the inside (careful - one is left-hand thread). But the trouble I've found with the rangefinders not adjusting involves the little spring down at the bottom. On my two cameras, I found the little spring to have slipped from the end where it's supposed to be anchored. Moving the spring back into place allowed me to properly adjust the rangefinder. Unfortunately, I don't have my cameras here, so I'm not able to tell you just where the spring is supposed to anchor, but take a look at yours and it should be obvious.

    I'd check that spring before making any adjustments inside.
    juan

  3. #3

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    When I first adjusted the Kalart on my post war Speed Graphic I found that there were five things that could be adjusted. The trouble is that two of them are factory set and should be left alone unless you are absolutely sure they are wrong.
    The first one is the arm - don't move it if you can help it.
    The second is the prism at the bottom. This may be the cause of your problem. It should sit against a set screw that is factory set (don't change it). Mine wasn't sitting hard against it. A bit of gentle bending to the arm it is attached to got it sitting where it should and then I was able to use the regular adjustments to get it working.

  4. #4

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    I don't have my camera in from of me, so I'm going by memory (scary, I know).

    At the bottom of the actuator arm for the rangefinder (where the arm attaches to the bed of the camera) there is a rather large screw head with a slot ground for a coin. This screw is an eccentric cam and provides some gross adjustment for the rangefinder. This screw appears on my Century graphic, but not on my pre-anny 4X5 speed. You may have to rack out the baseboard to almost its max setting to see the screw.

    If your camera has this screw, try messing around with it to get the Kalart set for infinity.

    It's an interesting problem you identify, since when the base is racked all the way in, the rangefinder should be aligned for infinity regardless of which lens you use. The actuator arm for the Kalart is attached to the baseboard, not to the lensboard and acts independently of where you set the infinity stops.

    Rick.
    Rick Jason.
    "I'm still developing"

  5. #5
    kwmullet's Avatar
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    I read through the Kalart doc again and they also indicate that the L bracket in which the concentric screw sits on the focusing track is moveable if you loosen the screws (two, I think) that hold it there. I'm going to try that next. Seems like mucking with that set screw at the top of the arm is just plain the wrong thing to do, so I won't.

    Back when I had a Crown Graphic, I mucked with the wrong thing trying to get the rangefinder to work better and emptied all the little tiny tiny bits out of the hollow tube that goes from where the cam sits the bottom of the camera body. What a bloody mess it was and hours of squinting and hunting in cracks of floorboards. (where are big hefty cafeteria trays when you need them, eh?) I think it never worked right until I finally took it somewhre to be fixed. Sure do want to avoid something like that this time around.

    Back into the breach, dear friends... (trans -- off the the front yard with the camera and tripod to get some good adjustment going)

    -KwM-

  6. #6

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    I hate it when you disassemble something and there is a SPROOIING followed by a faint tick, tick tick as little bits hit the floor and/or ceiling. You know you're in trouble when you look at the part and it looks the same. You can't even tell where the little bits came off. Reminds me of my efforts at shutter repair.

    Don't be afraid of the graflex or the Kalart. They are both pretty straightforward.

    Rick.
    Rick Jason.
    "I'm still developing"

  7. #7
    kwmullet's Avatar
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    well... I looked at the screws on the L bracket holding the conccentric screw itself in, and it looks like the heads are either unslotted or the slots are worn off. The graflex.org doc mentions an undocumented screw under the prism. There's three or four screws under there, but I think it means the silver one on the underside of the surface that actually holds the prism.

    A couple of things for future searchers, the screws holding on the kalart RF cover are NOT under the plate for the flash bracket. They are the screws at each corner of the rangefinder that go into the body itself. I had thought those screws might unscrew the rangefinder itself from the body, but that's not the case. Also, it seems that to check your work, you can only do so by putting the cover back on the rangefinder. makes sense, but no one seemed to mentioned that in my docs.

    back to the porch... I think I've almost got it infinity adjusted.

    -KwM-

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricksplace
    I hate it when you disassemble something and there is a SPROOIING followed by a faint tick, tick tick as little bits hit the floor and/or ceiling. You know you're in trouble when you look at the part and it looks the same. You can't even tell where the little bits came off. Reminds me of my efforts at shutter repair.


    Rick.
    It's even worse when you hear the SPROOIING and don't hear the followup tick, tick, tick. In my house that's usually followed by a string of obscenities and a suggestion that everyone steer clear for a while.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  9. #9
    kwmullet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwmullet
    [...]
    back to the porch... I think I've almost got it infinity adjusted.
    -KwM-
    managed to get infinity focused. About the only thing I could use for a target was some power lines, but managed to get it adjusted. Once I pulled the RF outer housing and cleaned everything up, the RF was very bright. uh... too bright. I think the thing that I cleaned that looked like glass with haze on it that I dutifully cleaned off was reall some sort of beam-splitter glass, and now I can barely make out the image from the second/lower RF window. I think I'll have to replace that.

    Anyway, for some reason, once I pulled off the housing and cleaned everything up, turned out I was able to get a good infinity adjustment by adjusting the concentric screw on the focusing rail.

    Got 15-ft adjusted too, and now I think infinity is slightly out of wack and ran out of time. Got a couple of sick kids home today, so it'll have to wait several days until I can try and make more progress on adjusting this. One day, I'll hopefully have enough time management skills that things like flu, pinkeye, and school vacations won't impact photo projects.

    -KwM-

  10. #10
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    KwM,
    When i adjust my kalarts, I first use the rangefinder to focus on infinity. Then I move the lens on the rail until it matches as close as possible to the rf and lock it down. I can then make small adjustments to get the infinity just right.

    If you focus with the lens first, it it likely to be so far away from the rangefinder infinity that you have to make big changes. I think that is what happened to you.



 

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