Ha! My Crown did exactly that, Sirius! It was my first time attempting to use the movements. I was fiddling with getting the rails realigned so I could pack it up, and next thing I knew I had ball bearings flying hither and yon.
Once I found they were part of the top rangefinder mechanism, I was relieved: I use mine as a field/view camera, always on a tripod and using the ground glass.
"Embrace the negative with absolution, your final positive reward." --IQ, "The Province," Frequency
In 1964 I worked for a small daily newspaper. There were only two cameras; a Crown Graphic and a Speed Graphic.
Both of them had the side mounted Kalart rangefinder. Focus with the rangefinder, raise eye to the top mounted viewfinder and push the button on the flash to trip the solenoid on the shutter.
That 4x5 negative was really nice.
I later years I wondered how a camera like that would fare with a modern LF lens, a modern shutter, a better ground glass, and a rangefinder that matched the lens range.
Well put Dan
I've been using a Crown Graphic for about 4 or 5 years, mainly for hand held work but after a lot of frustration I've switched to a Super Graphic. There's been too many ocassions where the very limited movements of Crown & Speed Graphics have meant I've not been able to get the shots I've wanted.
In addition I've first hand experience of the problems using a 135mm Tesar as well as a 150mm Tessar and late Xenar. I'm currently using a 135mm Caltar (Symmar) with the Crown Graphic or Super Graphic and while that has more coverage than a 135mm Tesar/Xenar it's still not a lot so needs care.
Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
Tessars like the Graflex/Raptars/Xenars can be tremendously sharp at f/22-32. However, modern multicoated Plasmat designs in 135mm are also tiny, relatively cheap, have larger image circles, better coatings, and don't require stopping down as far to tame aberrations. Better still, they also come in modern Copal threaded cells so the shutters can be easily replaced or swapped with new or used working ones rather than having to deal with 50 years- obsolete shutters. (Late production Compur threaded Xenars will also fit modern Copals-- but Graflex threaded ones won't without prohibitively expensive machine shop work.)
Longer focal length lenses offer tremendous image circles, and these will often exceed the capability of a Crown. Either the 203mm Ektar f/7.7 or a cheap but excellent Caltar IIN in 210mm are terrific portrait lenses, which might be found for <$200 USD. They're roughly equivalent to a 70mm field of view in 135 format terms... but that doesn't really equate in my book as these longer focal lengths tend to require moves just to keep elements in focus. (In this DOF regard a 210 is the same no matter whether it's on a Nikon or a Crown Graphic)
If you're shooting portraiture you won't need moves. Landscape, you often will. Sometimes moves will be of little help and you'll have to stop way down. Often times, you'll use a combination of moves and the widest aperture you can hold focus near-to-far with (and still be at f/22-32 much of the time).
I have a couple of Meridians which have back posts and swing/tilt moves on both front and rear standards... 15-90˚ drop on the bed... front shift. Much easier moves to use than even a Super Graphic. Back posts sometimes help with Tessars and other lenses having limited coverage as these moves don't move the cone of illumination as do front moves.
Hi, Mr. Fromm.
Originally Posted by Dan Fromm
Thanks for the info regarding flange focal length being a limiting factor, not physical interference with the shutter. But isn't the fact that the front standard of a Speed cannot go back as far due to the fact that the shutter is there?
As far as lens boards being a limiting factor as to what lenses one can use, I was thinking in terms of lenses like my old Schneider 360 or 240mm lenses; big lenses made for larger formats. These would be able to focus on a Graphic, but I am not so sure they could be mounted. Maybe, maybe not. I am not sure, because I use telephotos instead on my Speed and Technika. The big lenses were used on a rail camera.
But the point I was making was that you obviously cannot mount a lens that will interfere with the fit of the lens board, or with the tapered bellows, even if it can be focused on the camera. I certainly cannot mount my old Voigtländer Petzval copy on my Speed, even though it is only about 240mm. It is just too fat.
Last edited by 2F/2F; 06-08-2011 at 04:38 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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So one would think, 2F, so one would think.
I certainly cannot mount my old Voigtländer Petzval copy on my Speed, even though it is only about 240mm. It is just too fat.
I have a number of lenses in barrel that are much too fat to pass through my little 2x3 Pacemaker Speed's front standard. If you think your 4x5's boards and front standard are small, just look at my 2x3's. Tiny by comparison, but I don't feel deprived.
But and however, if the fat lens has long enough back focus it can often be mounted entirely in front of the board. For more information about mounting lenses in front of a Pacemaker Graphic's lens board, see http://www.galerie-photo.com/telecha...2011-03-29.pdf
You'll see that a lens that looks like it would interfere with, e.g., the lens board sliders, can in fact be mounted entirely in front of the board. Look at how my little Uran-27 is attached to a board. And my 100/5.6 S.F.O.M. and 12"/4 TTH tele too. Fat barrels aren't the impediment they seem. Short back focus, however, can be a killer. Re that, look at how my little 60/14 Perigraphe is mounted for use on my Century Graphic.
Again, there are limits. 4x5 Pacemakers' maximum extension is on the order of 12"; this limits the use of long non-tele lenses on them. My little 2x3s are, of course, shorter still. One solution to this is to use two Graphics set up front-to-rear with a coupler between. I've done it. The longest lens I use on my little tandem Graphic is 480/9 Apo-Nikkor.
Insufficient extension isn't the only limit. As you pointed out, the Graphic tapered bellows can limit what can be stuffed behind the front standard. I've found my 2x3s' gates more limiting. I have a couple of 210/5.6 plasmat types whose rear cells won't go through. Not a problem with a 4x5 Graphic, but it certainly is for 2x3s.
Go be inventive. I've pointed you at some tricks that may let you use your 240 Petzval on your Speed. I say "may" because I don't know the lens' back focus. I think a 4x5 Speed should be able to focus a 240 to infinity, especially with the lens entirely in front of the front standard, but I don't know whether it will focus the lens close enough for your purposes. Ask it, and then you'll know. FWIW, with a little cheating that I'm not going to explain -- finding the trick will be a good exercise for you -- I can use a 305/9 Apo-Nikkor on my little 2x3 Speed.
Great info guys.
The main reason that I’ve chosen the Crown is its light weight that suits well for long hiking. Movement is not entirely necessary, I think, as I am use to smaller formats. But if I ever needed, I now know that there are lenses to adapt.
It depends what you're shooting and how critical sharpness is to your images, a standard 50mm lens on a 35mm camera or 80mm MF camera has greater DOF compared to a 135mm or 150mm on a 5x4 at a similar aperture. This makes movements more important.
Originally Posted by eSPhotos
The Crown Graphic does allow some limited movements in Landscape mode, some people reverse the front standard to allow front tilt without dropping the bed, however the camera then won't fold closed (depends on rangefinder type). I prefer to drop the bed and then tilt the lens back using some rise to prevent vignetting. What Dan Fromm alluded to is how fiddly and clumsy this is compared to a field or technical camera.
The downside of the Speed & Crown Graphics is there's no front tilt movements at all in portrait mode.
I'd estimate that I use movements for about 80-90% of my LF landscapes with my Wista and Super Graphic with 90mm, 135mm & 150mm lenses. Less with the Crown (or Speed) Graphic mainly because of it's restrictions but still for over 50% of my images.
So movements are important which is why Graflex added at least some basic ones.
I may have to get one to see whether its limited movement will cause any grief.
Or, should I be better off getting a field camera with better movement?
Now I am confused ...
esPhoto, you are trying too hard to do the best thing. There's a law of nature to the effect that the first 4x5 camera is always the wrong 4x5 camera, regardless of what it is. Just get a Crown and use it.
After a while you'll learn what you really need to do that it can't and which aspects of using it really bother you. Then you'll be better prepared to look for a 4x5 camera that suits you. And if you don't pay too much for the Crown you should be able to sell it at no or only a small loss.