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Expanding the Crown Graphic Kit
Old 12-31-2014   #1
graywolf
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Expanding the Crown Graphic Kit

Just in time for 2015, I have ordered a couple more lensboards for my 1952 Crown Graphic. I very recently got a 90mm lens for my Toyo, and figure to use it and the 210mm lens on the Graphic as well.

That will give me:
1. Ilex Acu-Veriwide 90mm f/8
2. Graflex Opter 135mm f/4.7 (existing)
3. Rodenstock Geronar 210mm f/6.8

The Geronar is new enough that it is in a Copal-1 and multi-coated, the others are 50's vintage.

I am going to need 2 pairs of infinity stops, and 90mm and 210mm focusing scales (May wind up having to make the focusing scales). If anyone has such for sale please PM me.

The way the old side mount Kalart Rangefinder works is it is coupled to the 135mm lens. With the other lenses you focus, read the distance from the 135mm scale, then move the track to that distance on the scale for the lens you are using. That of course means you need the infinity stops and accurate focusing scales for all three lenses.

Kind of exciting as I have not been doing much but digital snapshots for my blog for the past few years. My New Year's Resolutions are to get back into photography, and start networking again. Poor health should not be allowed to interfere with life.

Once again, if anyone has spare infinity stops and focusing scales, please PM me.
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Old 12-31-2014   #2
Corran
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Are you shooting all handheld then?
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Old 12-31-2014   #3
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Are you shooting all handheld then?
Mostly that is what I use the Graphic for. I do have the Toyo 45G for more precision work.

In fact I just bought a film pack adapter, with some who knows how old, film in it, a 12x pack of old old Kodak Plus-X, and an old Premo pack film developing tank. I have two plans for that stuff. A video showing how we old timers actually used a press camera in the old days, and I want to look into the feasibly of manufacturing fresh film packs in small quantities.
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Old 01-01-2015   #4
chrism
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Forgive my ignorance—my Crown Graphic arrived this week and I have all of two shots out of it so far!—but don't you loosen the infinity stops and slide them for different lenses?

Chris
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Old 01-01-2015   #5
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Chris - if you wish to use a longer focal length lens, I would leave the infinity stops where they are - Just fold them to the down position to bring the front standard further forward. - Of course, you'll have to focus the new lens using ground glass - with fingers crossed that the front lens board is now parallel to film plane.

For what it is worth - the Kalart RF on the Crown Graphic is usually set up for a single focal length, so why bother moving the infinity stops for the normal lens.
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Old 01-01-2015   #6
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Quote:
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Forgive my ignorance—my Crown Graphic arrived this week and I have all of two shots out of it so far!—but don't you loosen the infinity stops and slide them for different lenses?

Chris
No!!!!

The infinity stops provide the zero for the rangefinder. Without them you can not use the rangefinder. Admittedly old rangefinders may be so dim as to be unusable, but mine has been replaced with "new old stock" guts so it is as good as they get.

There are several points of focus that have to be dealt with if you want the camera to focus accuratedly. First the ground glass and fresnel lens needs to be in correctly. Then the rails need to be set so they are 3mm (1/8th inch) out from all the way back. Then you need to set the infinity stops for that lens. At this point you have a camera that you can focus accurately on the ground glass.

Then the rangefinder (if you have the side mount one) needs to be set for your lens. You set it for the focal length, then infinity, and then for 6 feet. Then you check that it is correct in the middle of the range. If that is not right on, you do it again changing the focal setting a tiny bit. Eventually you will have accurate rangefinder focusing through the entire range.

There are a lot of tiny points to consider in there. For instance, Graflex made 12 different focus scales for the 127 Ektar alone, so you could get one that exactly matched the lenses' focal length (Most companies consider one close enough). These days it is hard to find the exact scale for a given lens. Which explains why I figure I may have to generate custom focus scale for my lenses.

If you want to know more there is detailed info on my Press Camera website, and at graflex.org.
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Old 01-01-2015   #7
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Thank you. Did I mention I'm a beginner with lots of stupid questions?

I have now read of people with several infinity stops and focussing scales attached—I didn't know the former could be swung out of the way. A confession, though: I'm not going to use the rangefinder as I want to use the ground glass. I know.....take away my RFF membership!

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Old 01-01-2015   #8
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Tom, I personally wouldn't try to use other lenses on a Graphic with the "focus and transfer" method, shooting handheld, unless you are pretty frequently stopping down to f/16 anyway. But that's me. I ended up getting a Linhof Technika for that very reason (I love handheld 4x5).

But good luck on your quest to find those pieces of kit, if you go that route. Alternatively, perhaps buying an additional Speed and calibrating the RF for a different lens may be best? I've calibrated about a dozen Kalarts. It's not fun, but doable.

I still have one Speeder, an Army Signal Corps model (green paint, with the matching black lensboard and black Ektar 127mm f/4.7) that I use occasionally. In my stable of hand-holdable 4x5 cameras is also a Polaroid 900 conversion with 135mm Xenotar, as well as two Linhof Techs. I have cams for my 150mm Xenotar, 250mm Sonnar, and 15cm APO Lanthar. I have a 75mm Biogon that I need to get cammed this year.
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Old 01-01-2015   #9
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The focus and transfer method was the way commercial photographers did it for 50 or more years.

I have owned 3 Crowns over the decades, and a Super Technika. Unfortunately I am rather poor these days or I would have another ST, and another Mamiya Universal Press (probably my favorite camera of all times, at least they made me more money then any other camera I owned, they only got sold to help pay medical bills).

Since you apparently have more than you need (grin), donations are cheerfully accepted. More seriously enjoy your ST's, I would.
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Old 01-03-2015   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrism View Post
Thank you. Did I mention I'm a beginner with lots of stupid questions?

I have now read of people with several infinity stops and focussing scales attached—I didn't know the former could be swung out of the way. A confession, though: I'm not going to use the rangefinder as I want to use the ground glass. I know.....take away my RFF membership!

Chris
No stupid questions, lots of stupid answers out there however.

View cameras do not have infinity stops on them. A press camera is not really a view camera, which is why I have a real view camera as well. The ground glass is there on a press camera more for close up photography. Technical cameras like the Super Graphic, the English MPP, and the German Super Technika are kind of inbetween cameras with view camera movements and press camera handiness.

Anyway while press cameras are limited, they can be lots of fun. Enjoy yours.
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Old 01-06-2015   #11
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Ha! Got the lens-boards today. Have one set of infinity stops on the way.

The holes in the lens-boards are too small for the 210, I will have to ream one of them out. Playing with the 90 for a bit, it looks like the 100 foot vernier on the 135mm scale is about 20 feet on the 90mm lens. I also noticed that I had scratched a 3 foot mark on the 135 scale, I had forgotten I did that. Strangely despite what I read all the time, the rangefinder actually does set the lens that close.

Slowly the kit is becoming more advanced. In the past I have only had the 135mm Optar, 13 film holders, and a 545 polaroid holder, plus the flash guns and several strobes. I can tell you the Sunpak 611 makes the camera weight 10 pounds or so (according to my bathroom scale) instead of 3.5, it is actually worse than the 200ws battery pack strobes I had were. At least with those the batteries were not in the head.

Sometimes I think I am more into tinkering than taking pictures.
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Old 01-08-2015   #12
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Okay, today, I got my 90mm and 135mm approximately collimated, and the infinity stops set. I use my old 35mm SLR with its Grid ground glass as a collimator. I say approximately, because my eyes and glasses have change a bit in the past few years.

I noticed today I was wearing my computer glasses with were ground for 3 feet to see the monitor clearly, and I could read road signs at 200 feet. I guess an appointment with my eye doctor is due.

I need to find my 4x loupe, the 8x shows the fresnel in the Graphic overriding the grid lines.

Still need to get infinity stops for the 210mm lens, and make distance scales to exactly match all three lenses. I would also like to get an adapter to use the Graphic lens-boards on the Toyo G so I will not have to swap the lenses from one lens-board to the other.



Slowly, the Crown Graphic is coming together.
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Old 01-02-2016   #13
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Gee, this came up when looking for some stuff on mathematically laying out a focus scale.

To add on for any who may be interested. I just ordered that third set of infinity stops. 3x what I think they are worth. Sigh!

I see some other stuff I want on the bay right now, but the car gods are demanding a sacrifice of money. Got to appease them, or they will not let me have any heat in the car, and it is January.

Anyway I was looking for those formulas because I want to design real nifty focusing scales and have them laser etched. I have something sort of fancy in mind. A triple base scale with clear overlaying pointers and DOF scales. Of course I can continue to use hand marked scales made out of file folder stickers if need be.
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Old 01-02-2016   #14
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I have been enjoying your website Tom. Good, usable, information.

I have been working with my Crown Graphic for several years now and have never strayed from the original 127mm Ektar. Not that I felt I needed to but it would be nice to have a usable telephoto in the bunch.
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Old 01-03-2016   #15
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Focus scales may be a nightmare. There are something like ten sets for each focal length, because nominal FL is not the same as actual, and for the scale to be accurate you need actual FL. If you buy one, your chances are very high that the one you get will be the wrong one.

I have made my own, on white tape on the camera, from the actual lens' focus distances, on my Century Graphic, and am going to photograph them, clean them up in Photoshop, print them on good paper and laminate them, then stick them in place with doublestick tape. So far they've been accurate, in my preliminary testing.
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Old 01-03-2016   #16
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Pioneer: I used just the 135 for the past20 years, but now I have the 90 & 210 with the Toyo 45G, so I figured, why not set it up so I can use all 3 lenses on either camera. It has turned out to be a long haul job to do at a reasonable price.

Mdarton: focus scales are only a nightmare if you are looking for an original one for a particular lens.Over the years just in 135mm Graflex used Tessars, Raptars, Ektars, Xenons, etc. Then they had f3.5, 4.5, 4.7, etc. Then they made about 6 different versions of the 4x5 cameras. Do you wonder that they had so many different focus scales?

The fact is that if you can measure the focal length at infinity and at 10 feet with some precision, you can then calculate the offsets needed to produce an accurate focus scale for any distances you want to include on it. Adding a DOF scale for a particular magnification is also easy (you actually need a different scale for different size prints, since my usual enlargement is 11x14 a scale for that would suit me). My problem is I studied optics so long ago I have forgotten how to do those calculations. Hence my web search.

The web being what google now is, you can not actually find what you are looking for, but you can find 10,000 other things. I figure that is because they are more interested in selling advertising than they are in helping your find what you are looking for.
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Old 01-03-2016   #17
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Quote:
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...The web being what google now is, you can not actually find what you are looking for, but you can find 10,000 other things. I figure that is because they are more interested in selling advertising than they are in helping your find what you are looking for.
This is the sad truth. It has long ceased to be a useful educational tool. A couple of weeks ago I was looking for information on Meniscus lenses and I finally gave up because of the number of advertising hits for Scientific American and Edmunds Scientific. They must each carry lots of meniscus lenses because after 6 pages I still had lots of their hits.
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