PDA

View Full Version : Speed Graphic Focusing



shapirophoto
12-Dec-2008, 17:12
So I have another problem... It seems that the rack focus, (knobs at the front of the rail) on my speed graphic are stuck... They won't let me rack OUT, they'll retract in just a touch, but are completely stuck (jammed) as far as racking out goes... Any ideas? Any DIY ways to fix it? The camera is definitely still usable, but fine tune focusing is really tough when you're just sliding the front standard by hand along the rail.

Any help will be appreciated!

Thanks!

-as

al olson
12-Dec-2008, 17:25
My baby Speed has a little set screw near the knurled knob. Make certain that that is not too tight. Also I believe that most of the larger cameras have a locking lever. Are you sure that is in the unlocked position?

Bill_1856
12-Dec-2008, 17:53
The focus locking lever, just inside the right focusing knob, is easy to accidentally engage.

shapirophoto
13-Dec-2008, 00:41
The focus locking lever, just inside the right focusing knob, is easy to accidentally engage.

I've tried the lever in both positions and it still won't rack out... any other ideas?

Andrew
13-Dec-2008, 05:44
was it working before or is it a problem since you got the camera?
if it's an old camera, is the mechanism just too dirty to move?
my crown was pretty well jammed when I got it and it responded to thorough cleaning and a little lubrication...

jnanian
13-Dec-2008, 09:49
can you unscrew the rails with the front standard still in the box
and clean off the teeth under of the rails and ...
and the threaded thingy that the focus knobs are attached to
that moves the rails forward and back?
sometimes as andrew said, they get gummed up enough
and they don't allow thingy to turn or the teeth on the underside of the rails
are gummed up so they can't move forward or back.
i can't remember what i cleaned mine with ( wd? )
and then a dab of white lith-grease or clock oil it was cleaned?

good luck!

shapirophoto
13-Dec-2008, 11:23
was it working before or is it a problem since you got the camera?
if it's an old camera, is the mechanism just too dirty to move?
my crown was pretty well jammed when I got it and it responded to thorough cleaning and a little lubrication...

Yeah it worked before, but it was squeaky. Maybe I'll try taking it a part a bit and cleaning it out...

shapirophoto
13-Dec-2008, 11:35
Okay I got the rail off and as soon as it was off the focusing levers turned easily... but once I seated the rail on the track again they bound up again.. *sigh* Any ideas?

Jim Graves
13-Dec-2008, 12:04
So I have another problem... It seems that the rack focus, (knobs at the front of the rail) on my speed graphic are stuck... They won't let me rack OUT, they'll retract in just a touch, but are completely stuck (jammed) as far as racking out goes... Any ideas? Any DIY ways to fix it? The camera is definitely still usable, but fine tune focusing is really tough when you're just sliding the front standard by hand along the rail.

Any help will be appreciated!

Thanks!

-as

The total movement possible with the fine focusing wheels is just 3/4 of an inch ... are you getting that much movement?

shapirophoto
13-Dec-2008, 12:07
The total movement possible with the fine focusing wheels is just 3/4 of an inch ... are you getting that much movement?

Not not even, but however before the bound up I could rack out a long ways, the rails extended past the front of the bed... It could focus out quite a bit....

SaveBears
13-Dec-2008, 12:11
Are you sure the focus wheels are engaged correctly, if your one of two teeth off, the camera will jam, take it apart again and count the number of teeth on each rail, I have had this happen before on cameras I have bought, they were a couple of teeth off and would not move, also make sure there is no grit and grim in the teeth on the rail. As they wear, they can jump on the track...

Andrew
13-Dec-2008, 13:37
The total movement possible with the fine focusing wheels is just 3/4 of an inch ... are you getting that much movement?

I've just measured off mine and the movement is 95mm which is near enough to 3 + 3/4 inches

the mechanism is pretty simple and I can't see anything much to go wrong except accumulated dirt/corrosion, lack of lube, or mechanical distortion of the components

sure there's no rubbish caught in the gearing or the slots the mechanism slides thru?
or that a component of the rack and pinion is excessively burred over? [could be fixed with a jeweler's file]
or maybe there's a large component warped from abuse by a previous owner?

if you really aren't finding the solution but the rest of the cam is working fine there's always the option of coughing up the bucks and paying someone to fix it for you...

Glenn Thoreson
13-Dec-2008, 13:53
Check the short rail guides inside the camera body. They get broken from improperly closing the camera. If the top of the tiny slot the short rail rides in gets broken, the short rail will tilt and jam when you try to rack the focus out. I hope that's not what it is, as those little short guides are next to impossible to find. If the short rail does not hit the slot in the door guides, and the short guides aren't broken, there are shims under the short guides to align the focus rail slots.

Jim Graves
13-Dec-2008, 13:59
I've just measured off mine and the movement is 95mm which is near enough to 3 + 3/4 inches

the mechanism is pretty simple and I can't see anything much to go wrong except accumulated dirt/corrosion, lack of lube, or mechanical distortion of the components

sure there's no rubbish caught in the gearing or the slots the mechanism slides thru?
or that a component of the rack and pinion is excessively burred over? [could be fixed with a jeweler's file]
or maybe there's a large component warped from abuse by a previous owner?

if you really aren't finding the solution but the rest of the cam is working fine there's always the option of coughing up the bucks and paying someone to fix it for you...

Oops ... you're right ... I just re-checked the Speed Graphic I've been using for over a year and found that the back of the bed was misaligned and preventing the back portion of the bed from moving onto the front rails ... good discovery for me but probably isn't Shapirophoto's problem.

Andrew
13-Dec-2008, 14:06
good discovery for me but probably isn't Shapirophoto's problem.

but, isn't it great that someone is getting benefit from this dialogue !!! :)

Andrew
13-Dec-2008, 14:24
EUREKA, I've found it.... !

here's a 6.25 MB download of an old graflex service manual, this might help:

http://www.southbristolviews.com/pics/Graphic/manual-pdf/servicemanual.pdf


or there's a list here of the manuals on the site here for anyone who wants a browse: http://www.southbristolviews.com/pics/Graphic/graphicmanuals.html