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  1. #1

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    4x5 Meridian 45B

    I have Meridian 45B 4x5 made in the late 40s serial number 45b1853. The way I understand it there was about only 2000 made. This camera is in great shape except for the lens board which is a homemade cut aluminum 4x4 sq (no light trap) with a 135mm tessar mounted. Could anyone confirm if the board is the same as a graphic view? I would like to find an original board if I could. I think these camera's came with an ilex lens same formula as the tessar. there is a scale on the bed for 135mm and 165mm. This camera has a lot more movements then a graflex so I was also considering mounting (when I can afford) a newer 150mm Schneider set in a copal #0 which I would need a new board for. I think the kalart rangefinder can be adjusted from 90mm to 165mm , correct me if I'm wrong.

    Hope someone can help
    Randy
    Last edited by randy6; 01-22-2011 at 04:22 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2
    Whiteymorange's Avatar
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    Randy,
    A quick perusal of the web seems to show me 45B as a press camera, not a monorail like the graphic view. Check this out It seems to me the question on 4x4 boards is usually whether they have a rolled edge flange, like the later Pacemaker boards or Busch boards, or are flat with, or without a light trap. The last are easy to copy in masonite or, as you have, aluminum. Without a rolled edge, 4x4 is 4x4 is 4x4... what could be different?

  3. #3

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    I guess a better question would be is a light trap necessary? Would a flat 4x4 be just fine or would there be a chance of light leaks? I'm thinking the older anniversary speed graflex and the graphic view share the same size board. which look similar to this one.

  4. #4
    Whiteymorange's Avatar
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    The light trap on these boards is a simple rabbeted edge. In the beginning of my trials with home-made boards, I attached a piece of black foam-core board, smaller than the real board by about 3/4" (to allow a 3/8" setback from each edge) and with a large enough center whole to allow the flange to fit through and tighten down on the board itself. In my case it made no difference to the final function, so I stopped doing it. As long as the board doesn't wobble in the standard, I say good enough... but then I'm a lazy bas****. Your results may vary. Try one with a paper negative if film is precious. I had enough donated, out of date film to play with until I got it right. Fortunately, there was never a problem.

  5. #5

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    I used to use a piece of Kydex plastic with felt glued to the back.. No leaks

  6. #6

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    Thank you for your replies.

  7. #7

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    For Meridian owners. The graphic view camera boards are a perfect

  8. #8

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    The Graphic View boards will certainly get the job done. The original cast Meridian boards are prettier, however!

    I made a couple of boards because I had a machine shop at my disposal at the time I acquired my first Meridian. Using a common piece of 1/4" Aluminum plate for a board of my own manufacture, I hogged out a 3/16" deep recess after boring it for the Copal 1-sized shutter. This way I was able to get a rather large-ish 210mm Caltar II-N f/5.6 (same as the Rodenstock APO Sironar-N) mounted to either of my Meridians, and still have it fold it closed with the lens installed. Can't do that with a Linhof Master Technika, AFAIK. For that matter, I understand most modern 150mm's won't allow MTs to close as the lens well on the door/bed isn't as deep. A Nikkor SW 90mm f/8 fits on a flat board, and allows folding up, albeit with a thinner plastic lens cap.

    My second Meridian is a model 45CE-- a prototype that never made it into production. With a much nicer swing and shift arrangement on the front standard, it's now my go-to field camera. The only other 45C that seems to have survived was passed down from a Meridian Instrument Co engineer to his son.

    Both my Meridians came with Wollensak Raptar 135mm f/4.7 lenses. Tessar design, very contemporary to the camera used as a press lens. The 45C brochure shows a couple of prototype cameras other lenses, one an Ilex Paragon and the other an Ektar 203 f/7.7, if I recall without digging it out and looking at it.

    These are more technical than press cameras, however, what with the articulating post backs and huge available rise, tilt and swing. So a modern Plasmat with a bunch of coverage makes the most sense to me for actually using it nowadays. The Caltars are cheap and readily available. The 210mm I've got has slightly more than a 300mm image circle.

  9. #9

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    I would like to see some photos of your 45ce I also would like to find an original lensboard

  10. #10

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    My meridian came with a 135mm tessar on a homemade board I have a 135mm and 165mm focus scale i would like to have an original lens and board for it. What I've done so far. I've mounted a 150mm symmar in a copal no shutter adjusted to the kalart rangefinder I've had a new strap made for it replaced the ground glass the watson veiwfinder and the leather circles on the knobs. found a cord for the flash gun yes, I have used flash bulbs I would like to get a 210mm next. I've had a linhof which I was forced to sell to get through difficult times and a few other items. before I bought this camera I got to say I'm very happy with the meridian. One draw back I have a grafmatic and I remove the ground glass to attach with 2 homemade pcs of aluminum. I get more use out of it shooting handheld I know A waste of all the meridian's movements.

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