View Full Version : Does anyone calibrate Kalart rangefinders (for a fee)?

15-Jan-2017, 13:38
I was wondering if anyone knew of any reliable, large format specialists who could adjust a Kalart rangefinder on a Busch Pressman for a specific (135mm) lens that I have. The Kalart is in great shape and its calibration to the lens is close, but I need it to be more exact, right down to a 4 foot focusing distance.

Has anyone ever had this done by a trustworthy repairperson and was pleased with the results?

Many thanks,

Lachlan 717
15-Jan-2017, 14:02
It's easy to do yourself.

Google the instructions.

15-Jan-2017, 14:08
I did. I found the instructions impossible to follow. I couldn't even take the cover off. Anyone good out there?

Bob Salomon
15-Jan-2017, 14:08
Bob Watkins at Precision should have no problem doing this.

15-Jan-2017, 14:12
Thanks a lot. I'll ping him.

Oren Grad
15-Jan-2017, 14:25
Bob Watkins and Frank Rubio ("Camera Doctor NYC") have done Kalarts for me. However, close calibration all the way in to 4 feet may be unrealistic to expect from a Kalart. Be sure you communicate that requirement clearly in any query to a technician, and find out whether they're willing to commit to achieving it.

15-Jan-2017, 14:34
Steve Choi at Steve's Camera Repair in Culver City CA.

15-Jan-2017, 15:08

Bob Salomon
15-Jan-2017, 15:54
Thanks a lot. I'll ping him.

You will get a faster answer by calling him.

Neal Chaves
16-Jan-2017, 20:03
The Kalart RF will never be capable of that kind of accuracy because it is adjusted for only two distances, "infinity" and one mid-range setting. The most accurate range finders use a cam with a curved shape that matches the focusing characteristics of a particular lens, Leica, Linhof, TRF Graphic, Horseman, etc. This can be the most accurate way to focus a camera. Cams are sometimes cut at working apertures, taking focus shift into consideration.

17-Jan-2017, 07:47
The Kalart can be calibrated to be accurate at minimum focus distance. I've calibrated the following to Kalarts on Speed graphics and crown graphics, all were accruate at minimum focus distance wide-open: 178/2.5 Aero Ektar, 150/2.8 Xenotar, 135/3.5 Xenotar. In some cases, you have to tweak where "infinity" is if you want accurate minimum focus distance calibration. E.g., in at least one of the above, Infinity wasn't 100% accurate wide open, but became in focus when stopped down to f/5.6 or so. However, it was accurate wide open at minimum distance. (Which is what mattered more to me in those calibrations).

Often times it's tough to use it wide open with a fast lens at minimum focus distance, since the DOF is so shallow, and even the angle of the camera makes a difference (e.g. if the Kalart is not in the same plane as the lens with respect to the subject, e.g. some swing or tilt involved in hand-holding, for example).

Kevin Crisp
17-Jan-2017, 08:18
If done right, I've found the Kalart (side mount ones) rangefinders to be very accurate near and far. It usually takes 2X through the instructions to nail it. I always set them up so that when the camera is opened and the front pulled out to the infinity stops, it is right on at infinity with my most used lens. Which is generally an APO Symmar 135. Saves time.