I just picked up an even NEWER hobby
It's been quite some time since I got into 4x5 and punch drunk love is all I can say about it. I've had a great time learning and every outing is something new. I have yet to get really great shots, but certainly some keepers I love. However, today I went out for lunch and when I came back, an old client of ours dropped of a present "for Jody"
I know absolutely nothing about Speed Graphics and I'm already in love. They need some work and I will now be searching Apug for a whole new set of information. 3 for free. I'm giddy.
Last edited by JMC1969; 02-05-2009 at 05:27 PM. Click to view previous post history.
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.
Wow, what a present !!!! Enjoy it !, Peter
Check out www.graflex.org for speeder info!
Postage to Canada should come to just over $25... I'm good for it.
Enjoy your new toys. Let us know what you learn... I've got GAS for LF.
Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada
Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points
system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...
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Thanks for the link John, Bookmarked.
I'm still at work so not too much learning so far except that I thought I had three Speed Graphics, but one seems to be a Meridian 45 and has a number etched in "B 2075" it has a Hugo Meyer range finder on it. Not that I know what that means. But it does have front standard shift.
This is a great gift!
The two on the ends have coupled rangefinders. They are setup via a linkage arm that moves as you focus. You have to extend the bellows to a preset stop on the rail, then the rangefinder should be accurate. There's a calibration procedure on graflex.org for calibrating your rangefinder. This calibration only works for one focal length of lens.
I have an Anniversay Speed, and use it for "adapted optics" experiments, like alternative glass lenses, pinhole, etc. The curtain shutter is great for this use, since it'll still time exposures from 1/10 sec to 1/1000th.
I don't know what lenses you have, but the Kodak Ektar 127mm, commonly found, is a great lens.
Good luck with these babies, hope to see many images.
That's a great friend you have! Your Meridian is indeed the 45B model, which is rather rare and quite desirable. (Mine is S/N 2569. I don't know of any that number >3000). These date from ~ c.1947, were made in New York, and are among the most wide-angle friendly of folding technical field cameras, due to the inner focusing rail and 90˚ drop bed. The knobs release the back for technical movements in the manner of a Linhof Technika, hence the Meridian's being nicknamed the "American Linhof". I'll dig out up some links for you...
A quick-start user tutorial on the Meridian 45B:
Great article on the Meridian 45A and 45B by Brian Wallen:
(but I'd hesitate to do a Graflok conversion that didn't preserve the rotating V/H back, or required irreversible modifications-- and I have a machine shop at my disposal!)
Nice little comparison chart by B. Wallen showing weights and movements of a few field cameras, incl the Meridian 45B:
How to tighten the back posts if they slip, even with the knobs tightened:
The lens board on yours appears to be non-stock; Graflex Graphic View 4" boards are purported to fit. I milled a couple myself, made a slightly recessed one to in order to shoehorn a Caltar II-N 210mm f/5.6 (Rodenstock Sironar-N) and still get the camera to fold up. A Nikkor SW 90mm f/8 on a flat board also fits (though I had to scrounge a skinnier than stock front lens cap to get it the bed to to latch shut).
Joe, I think the lenses o them are going to be usable once I clean them up 203mm on both cameras w/ range finders. The one w/ a curtain shutter is confusing right now, but w/ a little research I'm sure it will start to make since. It has a very sticky shutter, but I have a little bit of experience w/ fixing them because I have been working on TLR cameras lately. The frustration has been enough there that I really should have learned something by now.
Pupfish, Wow, these are some great and very specific links and I thank you. It is going to take some time to take it all in, but you make this camera sound like it could be a golden nugget dropped in my lap. The rear screw in pegs that hold the back tight are loose, but I had no idea that this feature meant it would allow rear standard movements. I don't know how I am going to sleep for the next few nights I am so excited about these. and to think the man that gave them to me was embarrassed because he thought they were junk. At the same time, he really didn't want me to just dump them and was kinda letting go of his babies. I am going to do what I can to restore these well enough to take some pictures. I can't vouch that the pictures will be great in themselves, but it will be fun and maybe I will inspire other to get back to basics of film.
I'm so excited. I feel like I am talking to myself though. Kinda "preaching to the choir" you know?