Quote Originally Posted by bdial View Post
I used them occasionally in the military, my recollection is that everybody liked to complain about them, but they got the job done. They are heavy, and a little slow to use because shutter cocking and film advance are not linked. A lot of folks claimed the rangefinders were prone to getting out of adjusment, but I never saw any direct evidence of that. OTH they have great optics and are relatively simple which are attributes with great value.
Later in the USAF, they were replaced by Koni Omegas, not much lighter, but much faster handling, which was nice.
My experiance was similair, foke lore was that in the late 60 and early 70s there was a federal law that gave perferance to US made equipment, which is why the Navy bought Topcon which for time was tagged Bessler and at least the Air Force bought Graflex although the lens were German, I dont recall if the body was made in the US or not. I liked the Koni Omega much better although I recall a time I needed to cover a funeral and the Koni was not as quite when winding the film as the XL and the Chaplin gave a talking to afterwards. I think Graflex was out of busniess by 72 and our repair center had a hard time keeping them service.