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  1. #21
    Pragmatist's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Bath, NY
    Medium Format

    Speed away...

    Alex, I believe that you will find that the number you are seeing in the little window refers to a certain spring tension on the focal plane shutter.

    From the looks of it, this was a single slit curtain. This means that only one size opening existed, the shutter speed based on how "wound up" the tension spring was.

    On the left side of the camera (from the front) is that a ratchet I see on the inside of the big knob? Let me refer you to some information on the Graflex D series to get a better feel for how this works. You will also see great similarities to the mechanism of your camera:


    Graflex is somewhat different as it used multiple slits of differing sizes along with adjustable spring tension to achieve the speed.
    Last edited by Pragmatist; 04-26-2006 at 08:05 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: addendum


    When you come to a fork in the road, take it...

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Multi Format
    Thanks Patrick, will check it out.

  3. #23
    Donald Qualls's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    North Carolina, USA (transplanted from Seattle)
    Multi Format
    Quote Originally Posted by Alexz
    I'm almost convinced about the focal plane shutter, except for the fact of the counter this I cannot get the point of.
    The "counter" is probably the slit selector or tensioning indicator -- like the shutter in a Speed Graphic, there would have originally been a table that gave the speeds for each combination of slit selection and shutter tension.

    The presence of a lens in an old pneumatic shutter on a focal plane equipped camera from before the era of synched flash suggests the focal plane shutter has been dead a long time, but replacing curtains isn't terribly hard if you have the specs for the original; it's done routinely by amateurs servicing Speed Graphics (though their shutters may be a little easier to access than this one). If you can get a solid ID on the camera, you might well find someone who can supply the information needed to repair the original shutter, or even repair it for you at reasonable cost.

    BTW, film isn't hard to come by, if you have a processing provider that uses dip-and-dunk or other multi-format system; any 4x5 film can be cut down to 3x4 with a simple slide/rotary paper cutter mounted in a board with stops (for use in the dark, of course). You could go through a box of film in half an hour or so: make one cut on each sheet, then the film goes back into the box while you adjust the stop before making the second cut; toss the cutoffs, and you're ready to load holders.

    You might start a topic in the "antiques and collecting" section here on APUG pointing to this thread -- one of those guys might well come up with the ID you want in a matter of hours, who wouldn't necessarily see the post here.
    Photography has always fascinated me -- as a child, simply for the magic of capturing an image onto glossy paper with a little box, but as an adult because of the unique juxtaposition of science and art -- the physics of optics, the mechanics of the camera, the chemistry of film and developer, alongside the art in seeing, composing, exposing, processing and printing.

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