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dazedgonebye
4-Dec-2008, 20:53
Is there any reason, when choosing between the various models of Graphic cameras, not to choose the Super Graphic?
I'm liking the idea of a rotating back.

Anything special I should know about these cameras?

Thanks,

Greg Lockrey
4-Dec-2008, 21:01
Nope... it's a great choice. A rotating back is a definite plus with any camera. ;)

David Karp
4-Dec-2008, 21:16
If I remember correctly, it has front tilt too.

BradS
4-Dec-2008, 21:20
it is nice but substantially heavier than a crown graphic. Other wise....the super is sweet!

Asher Kelman
4-Dec-2008, 23:19
Nope... it's a great choice. A rotating back is a definite plus with any camera. ;)

Greg,

I was intrigued by the B&W pano you have as an icon in your post. I clicked on it but nothing comes up! I can't see it on your website. I was thinking it's a stitch or is it?

I'd like to see it larger. Hope this isn't off topic,

Asher

P.S. I did search your website, enjoyed the graphics and the flowers, but alas, missed the B&W photography!

Kuzano
4-Dec-2008, 23:39
The Super Graphic, in addition to a generous front bed drop, also has front swing and shift, but the mechanism to unlock the movements is very obscure. I had a Super a couple of years before I found the front shift and swing. I already knew about the rise, fall (through the judicious use of the front bed drop) and the tilts. In fact there are a couple of workarounds to increase the front tilts both to the front and rear.

The revolving back also removes and exposed Graflok slides for using all the graflok back accessories, like roll film backs and Quickload and Readyload.

The fact is that the Super Graphic I have in my camera cupboard actually has more agressive movements than my Toyo 45AII, with one exception. The Toyo has a more conventional tilt on the back. OTOH, you can accomplish rear tilt on the Super Graphic with your tripod.

I never used any of my Super Graphics with the rangefinder. It's difficult to find the rangefinder cams, since the camera needs one for each focal length of lens. But as a GG viewing camera, it will give you almost as much versatility as any of the wood or metal field cameras out there.

There is an excellent writeup by Stephen Gandy on the CameraQuest web site.

Link:

http://www.cameraquest.com/supergrp.htm

Greg Lockrey
5-Dec-2008, 01:02
Greg,

I was intrigued by the B&W pano you have as an icon in your post. I clicked on it but nothing comes up! I can't see it on your website. I was thinking it's a stitch or is it?

I'd like to see it larger. Hope this isn't off topic,

Asher

P.S. I did search your website, enjoyed the graphics and the flowers, but alas, missed the B&W photography!

Thanks for looking. I don't have much time with updating my website at all since I don't have much spare time. Most of that stuff was put up about ten years ago or so and hasn't generated any real work. The little icon on my post is a 6x12 pinhole image that I did with my new Zero Image 6x12F (serial number 0001, btw) this past hunting season with my yellow lab named Abigail. I recently got back into pin-holing since I first did some in college many moons ago. I also have a 4x5 Zero Image. They are fun cameras to carry around and weigh next to nothing and you don't have to "waste time" focusing. :)

Asher Kelman
5-Dec-2008, 01:15
Thanks for looking. I don't have much time with updating my website at all. Most of that stuff was put up about ten years ago or so. The little icon on my post is a 6x12 pinhole image that I did with my new Zero Image 6x12F this past hunting season with my yellow lab named Abigail. I recently got back into pin-holing since I first did some in college many moons ago. I also have a 4x5 Zero Image. They are fun cameras to carry around and weigh next to nothing and you don't have to "waste time" focusing. :)

Thanks Greg,

I just got a larger icon but large enough to now see the lab and know that here at least, Jim cannot easily upstage you. Aren't pinhole cameras wonderfully light! I was just fascinate with the image and it's fun to see it a little bigger.

Asher

Greg Lockrey
5-Dec-2008, 01:28
Thanks Greg,

I just got a larger icon but large enough to now see the lab and know that here at least, Jim cannot easily upstage you. Aren't pinhole cameras wonderfully light! I was just fascinate with the image and it's fun to see it a little bigger.

Asher

Even tough the dog was about 6 feet from me at the time, the camera's 40 mm focal length sure covers a wide area. I have a print that's a 8.5x17" that looks even better and that is about the max size I think these pinhole images still look good. I'm amazed to how sharp they can be too. Those photographers over at f295 are sure inspiring with such a simple tool.

Dan Fromm
5-Dec-2008, 01:29
Since no one has mentioned it, the Super has one major (for some users) drawback relative to the Pacemakers.

The Pacemaker (Crown, Speed) Graphics' inner and outer bed rails are linked. This means that lenses which make infinity with the front standard on the inner rails can be focused using the focus knobs at the front of the outer rails.

The Super's inner and outer bed rails are not linked. Lenses that make infinity "inside the box" can be focused only by unlocking the front standard and pushing/pulling it. I can't imagine what the Super's designers were thinking.

dazedgonebye
5-Dec-2008, 05:35
Since no one has mentioned it, the Super has one major (for some users) drawback relative to the Pacemakers.

The Pacemaker (Crown, Speed) Graphics' inner and outer bed rails are linked. This means that lenses which make infinity with the front standard on the inner rails can be focused using the focus knobs at the front of the outer rails.

The Super's inner and outer bed rails are not linked. Lenses that make infinity "inside the box" can be focused only by unlocking the front standard and pushing/pulling it. I can't imagine what the Super's designers were thinking.

So, since I'd like to go as wide as possible, this sounds like it will affect me.
Pushing and pulling the front standard to focus? Can that be done smoothly are am I going to be chasing the focus all the time?

Greg Lockrey
5-Dec-2008, 05:58
It locks down and it's not that difficult. With wide angles you have a lot of DOF to give you margin for error. It will depend also how wide you intend to go too. I've used a 90mm, but don't know if there is an issue with 65mm or wider. Even with the Speed Graphics, there isn't much movement for focus once the bed is dropped down either and you will need to drop the bed unless you want to photograph it. ;)

dazedgonebye
5-Dec-2008, 06:48
It locks down and it's not that difficult. With wide angles you have a lot of DOF to give you margin for error. It will depend also how wide you intend to go too. I've used a 90mm, but don't know if there is an issue with 65mm or wider. Even with the Speed Graphics, there isn't much movement for focus once the bed is dropped down either and you will need to drop the bed unless you want to photograph it. ;)

I do want to go to 65mm and I think that's going to be my major concern with an graphic camera.
Yet another time when I wish I'd been rich instead of so good looking.

Frank Petronio
5-Dec-2008, 07:07
You can use a 65 on a Crown just fine, no worries, in fact they make a lot of sense.

I had a Super once, I found it kind of clumsy as a rangefinder and to get all the related gadgetry to work plus parts are harder to find. Save a few hundred $ and get a bulletproof and lighter Crown! You just mount it on it's side for verticals (or handhold).

Ivan J. Eberle
5-Dec-2008, 07:11
In consideration of the W/A issues listed above I bought a Meridian 45B instead of a Super. Also has a rotating back plus it's got a rack-focusing inner rail independent of the front rail. Back movements too (on articulating pushrods much like a Linhof Technika), which can be quite useful with lenses that haven't got a large image circle. Too, I use the back extension to keep infinity focus on the inner rail with a Nikkor 90mm SW. By simply unhooking the struts, the bed drops completely out of the way, making it among the most W/A friendly technical folding field cameras.

While not as common as SGs, Meridians can sometimes be found for roughly the same price.

It's only real drawback is the lack of a Graflok back (but since I have a darkroom and also a MF camera for roll-film, this wasn't a big consideration for me).

dazedgonebye
5-Dec-2008, 07:16
You can use a 65 on a Crown just fine, no worries, in fact they make a lot of sense.

I had a Super once, I found it kind of clumsy as a rangefinder and to get all the related gadgetry to work plus parts are harder to find. Save a few hundred $ and get a bulletproof and lighter Crown! You just mount it on it's side for verticals (or handhold).

I don't much care about the rangefinder, though I might do some handheld with the standard lens.

How well do they work mounted on their sides? I don't think I need a lot of movement, but I will want some rise and tilt.

dazedgonebye
5-Dec-2008, 07:29
In consideration of the W/A issues listed above I bought a Meridian 45B instead of a Super. Also has a rotating back plus it's got a rack-focusing inner rail independent of the front rail. Back movements too (on articulating pushrods much like a Linhof Technika), which can be quite useful with lenses that haven't got a large image circle. Too, I use the back extension to keep infinity focus on the inner rail with a Nikkor 90mm SW. By simply unhooking the struts, the bed drops completely out of the way, making it among the most W/A friendly technical folding field cameras.

While not as common as SGs, Meridians can sometimes be found for roughly the same price.

It's only real drawback is the lack of a Graflok back (but since I have a darkroom and also a MF camera for roll-film, this wasn't a big consideration for me).


I'll keep my eye out for a Meridian too.

Frank Petronio
5-Dec-2008, 07:30
You might not need much or any movement with a 65.

On its side you can use the shift for rise and fall, and the swing for tilt. Limited but you only need a few mm's for such a wide lens.

It's not as nice as a professional monorail with a bag bellows -- which offers unlimited movements -- but you can fold most 65s into the Crown and have a very rugged, reliable package.

BrianShaw
5-Dec-2008, 07:36
I don't much care about the rangefinder, though I might do some handheld with the standard lens.

How well do they work mounted on their sides? I don't think I need a lot of movement, but I will want some rise and tilt.

If you want to go handheld the RF and the electric release of the Super is fantastic. (I can attest to many years of success and enjoyment. I've had lots of success with the 135 Optar and both 4x5 sheets and roll film.) It is required, though, that you have the Super lensboard, cam, and working capacitors. If you have all of that there is not problem (I don't quite know what Frank is implying to be so 'fidddly', though.)

Super works just as well mounted on the side as mounted normally, but with the revolving back mounting on side isn't required.

Using short lenses, though are much easier as Herr Fromm mentions, with the linked set-up. I don't go as wide as 65, but with an 85 I've found it easier to both find infinity position and then focus on GG with my Anny than with the Super.

lecarp
5-Dec-2008, 07:58
So, since I'd like to go as wide as possible, this sounds like it will affect me.
Pushing and pulling the front standard to focus? Can that be done smoothly are am I going to be chasing the focus all the time?

I used a Super for HABS (Historic American Building Survey) work for many years.
If I remember correctly it is possible to drop the bed, tilt the lens stage back, then the regular focus rail will move in and out of the body. This was sufficient with a 90mm
angulon but I doubt it would be practical with a 65mm. Another thing to remember is that with the super the revolving back moves the film plane a little further back than with a non-revolving back, this distance combined with the depth of the compressed bellows could be a problem with the 65mm as well.
They are a great camera, I never had any problems after 15 years of heavy use and it still looked good too.

Frank Petronio
5-Dec-2008, 07:58
What I meant was that if the electric release is working it's great... but a lot of them (most?) aren't

paul08
5-Dec-2008, 08:02
You can find rangefinder cams for the Super used from time to time (ie, at Gandy's www.cameraquest.com). Although you don't need the RF for handheld pictures, it's nice for working fast. The slightly smaller Busch Pressman came with one of two adjustable rangefinders, depending on the date of the camera, but they're not adjustable on the fly, so you have to determine which lens you'll use with it. With an old-style flash grip attached, my Pressman is comfortable to use for hand-held work, and fun. I use the original infinity stops for the 135mm, and have marked stops with a sharpie on the rail for the other two lenses I mostly use with the camera (a 165 and a 240).

Bill_1856
5-Dec-2008, 08:37
I find the Super Graphic too "fiddley," whereas the earlier Crown seems properly designed for eary use. I agree with Frank's first post in this thread about them.

BradS
5-Dec-2008, 09:26
If you're mainly interested in shooting with short focal lengths, the graphics are probably not a good idea. Sure, people do use short focal lengths with Speeds and Crowns and even the Super Graphic. It can be done but it is usually an excercise in patience and frustration. You'll be much happier with a proper field camera. There are lots of good deals around right now. Look in the classifieds right here... you may easily find a used Shen-Hao or Tachihara in excellent condition for what a super graphic would cost.

Press cameras are wonderful for thier intended purpose - which is to shoot big negs handheld. I have two and love them. I'll often grab the RF focussed crown instead of the 35mm SLR. However, they have limited application. They are a pain to shoot wide.

BrianShaw
5-Dec-2008, 10:27
What I meant was that if the electric release is working it's great... but a lot of them (most?) aren't

Ah... yes indeed! I was blessed by getting a fully functional camera back when they were cheap and then blessed again by it staying in operable condition.

Kevin Crisp
5-Dec-2008, 11:11
I've had a speed, a crown, and two supers at various times. My bottom line(s):

1. Speed -- I didn't use the rear shutter, so it was thicker and heavier than a crown. Sold it.

2. Crown -- Wonderful camera, use it with a modern plasmat 135 and with the Kalart I can adjust the rangefinder precisely to match the lens. I use it with bed scales for three lenses. (135 + Repro Claron 210 + 90 mm Angulon, in a small bag with the camera.) The wire hoop finder frames for all three automatically. I use it handheld often and also put it on the tripod when traveling if I have the time. A relative pain to use for horizontals on a tripod.

3. Supers -- works better as a field camera than the Crown due to extra movements and rotating back. (Though the crown has front tilt and front rise, which is enough 90%+ of the time for me.) Not as convenient to hand hold as a Crown and the electric shutter release often has problems so you use a cable release. Sold them both. If I'm going to use a relatively heavy camera for 4X5 field use, not hand held, then I'd rather use a Tachihara, a Zone VI, a Wista or an Ikeda.

Kirk Fry
6-Dec-2008, 19:44
I have a super, crown, and speed. I always seem to end up using the crown...... Unless of course I am doing something serious and then I will use my ARCA or my old CC400. For hand held work nothing much beats a crown. K