I'm just starting out with this LF thing. I've successfully exposed and developed negatives with no front movements and with front rise. When I tried to use front tilt down however, I ran into a problem.
On the Graphic, to obtain front tilt down, you drop the bed, (use the rise to return lens to neutral rise) and use front tilt up to obtain the desired tilt down. This sounds weird, but Graphic users will understand. My problem is that my 135mm lens will not then focus at infinity because dropping the bed extends the lens away from the film plane. To compensate I released the front standard and pushed it back towards the film plane. The hinge (remember dropped bed) prevents the front standard from moving far enough towards the film plane to achieve infinity focus.
This would just be a problem with this focal length lens, because a wide angle (90) would sit on the rear rails behind the hinge, and a longer lens (150) would sit out farther from the film to begin with and the hinge would not interfere.
Am I doing something wrong here? I'd love to hear from anyone with Speed or Crown Graphic or other drop bed camera experience.
(I know about the Graphlex.org site, but cannot post there because it won't accept an @hotmail.com e-mail address.)
Frank Scheitrowsky (near Toronto, Canada)
It sounds like that's just a problem with that lens. The solutions are either to use a 150mm or perhaps use a recessed lensboard, so that you'll have more room to pull the front standard onto the front rails.
On another photography board, someone suggested reversing the lens standard so that the generous upwards tilt available becomes downward tilt. It sounded too good to be true and sure enough, I think I found the "fly in the ointment" . Reversing the front standard would place the locking wheels for tilt in an inaccessible location behind the bed struts. Now the camera would have front tilt down, but is impossible to adjust!
I also think that maybe possibly, with the plane of focus tilted with the front standard tilted down, I can get from a few feet to maybe infinity in focus with this 135 lens.
Failing that, it would just be best to get a 90 and 150mm lens, or until finances permit this, simply use the 135 without front tilt down.
I'm going to have to wait until it's just not so cold outside to fiddle with this. Thanks for everyone's help, and if anyone comes up with a new idea, please e-mail me at franksbmw@hotmail. I'd like to here from other LF shooters in the just-north-of-Toronto area, and other S.G. users worldwide.
If the lens board has more up than down movement, maybe you can mount the camera upside down? I used to shoot products with a Crown Graphic, but this was closeup work where infinity focus didn't matter. I often slid the front assembly off the rails and swung it here and there, holding it in place with a pair of visegrips.
Solution found: On the Speed graphic with this focal length lens, the focusing track hinge is in the way of the front standard when the bed is dropped and you want to focus at infinity, so you have to rack out the focusing rails until the hinge and the rear rails are engaged in the bed tracks and disengaged from the rear camera body tracks, then drop the bed and back the lens towards the film plane to achieve infinity focus.