Changeling1 wrote "The Speed's FP shutter is notorious for not working too well <snip>"
My 2x3 Pacemaker Speed disagrees strongly with you.
The same person also wrote "Setting up the cams for rangefinder shooting was usually done by trained service techs and is no simple feat. "
Eh? Are you sure? I hate to do it, but the process is pretty straighforward.
And did you mean cam as in CAM or cam as in camera? I ask because only to RF Graphics have cams. Graphics with side RFs, usually Kalarts, can be adjusted for a wide range of focal lengths but the RFs don't have cams, so must be adjusted (takes me 20-30 minutes, fiddly iterative process) every time the lens is changed.
Brian, since no one has mentioned it, you really need one of each. A Speed for long lenses -- it has more extension -- and lenses in barrel, to be used with the FPS. A Crown for short lenses -- it has a considerably shorter minimum flange-to-film distance -- and for situations where it will do and the added weight/bulk of a Speed isn't needed.
Since you want to use a 135 that's in shutter, you'd do better to start with a Crown.
Oh, yeah, I have 2x3 Speed and Century, also a Crown, use the Speed and Century appropriately as mentioned above and stacked end to end to shoot with surprisingly long lenses. The tandem's limit is around 500 mm.
Good luck, have fun, and ignore people who allege that the cameras are problematic,
Well, I have and use both. The Speed is an early Pacemaker model and the Crown is a very late Pacemaker model. The Speed has a Kalart rangefinder which allows you to calibrate it to a wide range of focal lengths. It's squinty (to me) but works very well when you calibrate it correctly.
The Crown is a top-rangefinder and is very very comfortable to use. You need a cam for each lens. Cams are difficult to locate. I've given up on the idea of ever using mine with anything other than a 135mm lens.
I use both handheld but usually go with a tripod. Neither are uncomfortably heavy and I am a small guy. The focal plane shutter is great and I use it mostly with barrel lenses on a tripod. Enlarging lenses, projection lenses, pinholes, zone plates.. You can do it all. It's easy to maintain. It's somewhat easy to repair. I get consistent results.
I think I get the most flexibility from the Speed with kalart rangefinder, but the Crown with top-rf is most comfortable to use handheld for me. If you want light, a spring-back will work just as well as a Graflok and save you some weight. My crown with spring back weigh just about as much as a hasselblad 500 with 80mm planar C. Sorry for the ramble, it's just my opinion. Good luck though! Can't go wrong with either as long as it's in good working complete shape.
There are some cams on eBay right now. I've been shopping for a Graphic for a while.
Brian, there were nominally two models of the Super Graphic, a metal-bodied press camera with revolving back. Plain Super Graphic and Super Speed Graphic. The Super Speed Graphic came with a normal lens in a rather fragile Wollensak leaf shutter whose top speed, when it worked, was 1/1000. Hence the designaton Speed.
Originally Posted by brian steinberger
Otherwise, with two key differences, the Super Graphic is more or less a metal-bodied top RF Crown. The difference that matters is that the Crown's inner and outer bed rails are linked and the Super's aren't. This makes focusing short lenses, that make infinity "inside the box," easy with the Crown and hard with the Super. The difference that hardly matters at all is that the Super's RF cams (that word again; please, people, refer to cams as cams and cameras as cameras) are supposed to be easier to change. And yes, the Super has a bit more movements than the Crown.
Now stop asking questions here and go to www.graflex.org and read the FAQs.
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There was an article in View Camera magazine not long ago about modifying a Crown Graphic to allow swing movements. The problem hand held is that the focus will not stay where your rangefinder indicates when you apply swing. So in order to use swing on a hand held large format, you would need to compose using the ground glass instead.
Gordon Moat Photography
- hand-holdable 4x5 environmental portraiture and documentary, industrial, landscape... etc.
- I don't really need many movements. I would like some tilt and or swing though to create a dreamy look.
- I'm not going to be using a flash.
- Basically I want a 4x5 point and shoot rangefinder.
- I have a Fujinon W 135/5.6 lens. Could I get a graphic and use this lens on it? Advantages? disadvantages?
- Do either cameras have a revolving back? If so how does the rangefinder adjust from "landscape" to "portrait?"
- Which camera or model has the best rangefinder?
- Which one is more suitable for hand-held photography?
- And lastly, I know the Crown graphic is lighter and doesn't have a focal plane shutter. Would there be advantages to having a focal plane shutter?
I have used both a speed and crown for 40 years and it seems to me that a Crown will best fit your bill, but the other option is a Bushman which has a revolving back and all metal. Bessler marketed a press camera at one time, might have been Bushman, has build in cams, revloving back, I have only seen 1 or 2 over the years, very heavy. Both the Crown and Speed use the same rangefinder, early models have the rangfinder on the side, later models on the top. Most Crowns and Speeds were camed for a 135mm or 127mm. Your Fuji is a modern lens and may perform bettern than either the Kodak or Wallensacks that were standard. I use a 135mm Ektar which is very sharp for the day, but of late I have been thinking about getting newer lens: Nikon or Fuji. A focal plan shutter that is properly working will give a top speed of 1/1000 or is it 1/1200 of a second while most leaf shutters top out at 1/400 or 1/500th of a second and allows for barrel lens. As already noted the speed has a longer bellows. I hand hold my speed or use on a monpod, some times a little rise but not much. A graphlock back is a nice feature if you want to use roll film, but you need to mask down the viewfinder.
I'm not sure why the rotating back is an advantage for handheld use, seems easier to rotate the camera. These cameras were designed for handheld photography. I think Roger Hicks noted some time back that you can shoot at slower handheld speeds with a 4x5 camera because of both the inertia of the heavier camera and the size of the negative. (I hope I didn't misattribute that).
I've adjusted a Kalart rangefinder before and agree that it really just takes some patience (plus a tripod and a space where you can focus on close and far objects).
The B&J Press and the Busch Pressman both have a bit more movement than the Graphics and rotating backs, though the B&J is not as well made (haven't used a Busch). While I have a B&J and it is lighter and in some ways more versatile, I tend to use the Speed because I like having the second shutter as a backup to my ancient leaf shutters and because it is tougher.
The spring back on the Crown allows me to use a FUJI 4x5 pack holder; the back on my Speed does not.
John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
[QUOTE=DBP;651653]I'm not sure why the rotating back is an advantage for handheld use, seems easier to rotate the camera. These cameras were designed for handheld photography. I think Roger Hicks noted some time back that you can shoot at slower handheld speeds with a 4x5 camera because of both the inertia of the heavier camera and the size of the negative. (I hope I didn't misattribute that).
Good point, and both have double tripod sockets.