Challenge 139 - It's all there in black and white
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 Post subject: Speed graphic...
PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:52 pm 
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Das Kapital
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Nothing gets the ol' creative juices flowing quite like new gear. Here's a speed graphic I got in a trade for a lens I seldom used (value about $100). Just showed up in the mail this morning so I immediately set to work cleaning it up (tons of dust inside the thing! Like 60 years of pocket lint all crammed into the folds in the bellows. Vacuum hose took care of it nicely though.).

I went out and bought a $1.00 magnifying glass to act as an f/3 soft portrait / pictorialist lens, and a $1.50 dog collar to replace the rotting leather hand strap... and now I've got a portable, hand-holdable 4x5. Totally cool. Fits in a small 35mm shoulder bag along with 3 film holders and an extra lens (a real lens for landscapes ;)). The built in rear curtain shutter (a unique feature in 4x5 cameras) does shutter speeds from 1/1000th down to 1/10th plus T (like bulb). And this is from the 1940s (it's a wartime model "Anniversary Speed Graphic" as indicated by the all black hardware. May have shot the posed flag raising at Iwo Jima or something for all I know).


Image

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Speed graphic...
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:38 am 
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Film Shooter
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Hi Walther, that's a nice old camera and you will have lots of fun with it. I use a Crown Graphic (late production), which is not quite as historic, but very useable. It came with one of the original standard lenses, a 135mm Zeiss, which allows the use of the rangefinder. But I collected a lot of those lensboards and can now use a nice selection of lenses with the Graflex. I always thought about adding a Speedgraphic (though I would prefer a somewhat younger modell), because of the shutter. That would allow to use cheap barrel lenses. Does the shutter on your acquisition work correctly? You should at least a Grafmatic film magazine to the camera. That's cool - like a Nikon at full-speed...

Cheers René

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 Post subject: Re: Speed graphic...
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 1:17 pm 
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Das Kapital
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Location: Victoria BC
Camera: Canon 60D, Fuji XP20, odd film cameras
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OK to edit my images: Yes
René_P wrote:
You should at least a Grafmatic film magazine to the camera. That's cool - like a Nikon at full-speed...

Cheers René


Yeah, the focal plane shutter works very well. I even managed a handheld shot at 1/40th that looked alright.

I do want a grafmatic, but they tend to be pretty expensive. Some day I'll pick a couple of them up.

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 Post subject: Re: Speed graphic...
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 1:43 pm 
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Film Shooter
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walter23 wrote:
René_P wrote:
You should at least a Grafmatic film magazine to the camera. That's cool - like a Nikon at full-speed...

Cheers René


Yeah, the focal plane shutter works very well. I even managed a handheld shot at 1/40th that looked alright.

I do want a grafmatic, but they tend to be pretty expensive. Some day I'll pick a couple of them up.


The Grafmatics have gone up in price recently - don't know why. And even at a premium price you often get just a completely ruined one. I have two of those, serving as spare parts depot for the working ones...

Cheers
René

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 Post subject: Re: Speed graphic...
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 2:19 pm 
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Das Kapital
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Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 4:03 pm
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Location: Victoria BC
Camera: Canon 60D, Fuji XP20, odd film cameras
Lens: Tokina 11-16, Canon 17-55
Inspiration: The stuff out there.
OK to edit my images: Yes
René_P wrote:
The Grafmatics have gone up in price recently - don't know why. And even at a premium price you often get just a completely ruined one. I have two of those, serving as spare parts depot for the working ones...

Cheers
René



Maybe you can give me some good advice on something. The speed graphic has a spring tension control as well as a shutter curtain aperture control. The two give you your shutter speed (higher tension & narrow window = faster shutter speed). I'm not sure how to store it though; should I leave the spring at the loosest setting, or tension it up? It does seem a bit hesitant at the very lowest tension setting and I think it may have gotten worse since I've got it (and I've been storing it with the spring released to its loosest position). Could it be that I should store it tightly wound to keep the spring coiled up tightly? Or would that ultimately make the spring even more loose?

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 Post subject: Re: Speed graphic...
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:31 pm 
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Film Shooter
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I would store it, as any other spring-loaded mechanical device: loose. If the spring is under tension all the time, it will finally lose its tension. On top of loose storage you should exercise the shutter in 3 months (or so intervalls), starting at the longer times right up to the fastest speeds. That's what should also be done with leaf shutters in general, which mostly are spring-loaded, too. I am not an expert on that, but that is, what I think, I have learned from more experienced people and which sounds somewhat logical to me.

Cheers
René

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