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aardvark
31-Dec-2008, 12:35
I have a Super Graphic that is missing the focusing panel -- the previous owner improvised one by mounting a ground glass in a Polaroid film holder. This is my first LF camera, and so far it's more of a project than a tool. I would like to get a proper replacement for the missing focusing panel, but Super Graphic parts are not so easy to come by... so I have a few questions:

1. Is it possible to use the Graflok focusing panel from a Speed/Crown Graphic in a Super Graphic back? As I understand it, Grafloks are supposed to be "universal" but the Super's revolving back looks very different from the Crown/Speed backs.

2. Has anyone tried replacing an SG back with the back from another manufacturer, like a Cambo or Toyo/Omega?

3. I have seen Fred Lustig's name mentioned on this forum as a Graflex parts/repair guru; is he still active?

Any information appreciated -- Thanks.

Gene McCluney
31-Dec-2008, 13:07
Are you missing the whole back piece that contains the ground glass, or are you just missing the ground glass? If just the ground glass, that is easily replaceable.

BrianShaw
31-Dec-2008, 13:12
It would be much easier to just get a fresnel and GG than switching back parts around. Both are findable on ebay, or maybe at Midwest in columbus OH. Even if the fresnel isn't an official Graflex fresnel there may not be much of a thickness difference so it might work just fine. A fresnel I bought years ago from Edmunds was EXACTLY the same thickness as the Graflex fresnel I paid many mroe dollars for from WD Service, way back when they were the last remaining Graflex repair shop.

I haven't had dealings with Fred for several years. He is an older man and when I needed a repair he was recovering from an illness so I had to wait several months. I thought I read somewhere that he was still working, though. Only a phone call will give you a certain answer.

EDIT: Oh... good question Gene... I may have incorrectly read that just the GG is missing.

Dan Fromm
31-Dec-2008, 13:13
Fred is still alive and active, although quite aged. I believe that he's in the Reno, NV telephone directory. Find his number -- it is posted somewhere on graflex.org -- and call him.

aardvark
31-Dec-2008, 14:05
Are you missing the whole back piece that contains the ground glass, or are you just missing the ground glass? If just the ground glass, that is easily replaceable.

I'm missing the ground glass frame as well as the glass itself.

What I have on the camera is both halves of the rotating back (i.e. the back that is attached to the camera, and the part that actually rotates. The rotating part has a pair of metal sliders that would hold the ground glass frame in place.)

BrianShaw
31-Dec-2008, 14:20
Uggg. that could be tough to find. As Gene thought, you are missing the entire focussing panel. The metal sliders don't really hold the focussing panel on - they hold Graflok accessories, like roll film holder, on. The focussing panel has a couple of chrome arms that are spring loaded. The ends fit into the two elongated "holes" in the rotating part of the back... and hook onto the pins.

BrianShaw
31-Dec-2008, 14:45
This is similar to what you'll need. It is from the older Graflok back and will not fit the SuperGraphic. The SuperGraphic focus frame is taller. The price is rediculous but I point you to this so you see approximately what the focus frame looks like. If you already know what it looks like, I hope you get a good laugh from this guys pricing!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=300283855831&category=11813&_trksid=p2773.m263&_trkparms=algo%3DSI%26its%3DI%26itu%3DUCI%26otn%3D40%26po%3DLVI%26ps%3D54

aardvark
31-Dec-2008, 16:25
This is similar to what you'll need. It is from the older Graflok back and will not fit the SuperGraphic.

Thanks, Brian -- So the focusing panels on Speed/Crown Graphics had different dimensions than the Super Graphics? Obviously they are differently shaped, with the Super having a focusing panel that entirely covers the surface of the back.

Because all the backs had to accept the same standard film holders, I'm thinking that the dimensions of the film holder opening must be the same, and also the distance between the sliding plates that hold accessories in place. But the distance between the two spring arms, or their position relative to the film holder opening, could very well be different -- I don't know if this is part of the "international standard" Graflok design.

I'd be grateful if someone would take the time to measure the distance between the spring arms of their Speed/Crown focusing panel, so I could check this against the measurements of my Super Graphic back. That would give me an idea whether or not it's worth trying an older focusing panel. If the arms of the older-type focus panel can lock into the SG back, I might have a better chance of finding a used part that works.

Also, I just found this thread on photo.net (http://photo.net/large-format-photography-forum/00EV1q) with a description and pic of a Super Graphic fitted with a Cambo back (about halfway down the thread).

DW Ludwick
31-Dec-2008, 16:47
You can make the Speed/Crown Graphic back work, but you will have to remove the Glaflok sliders to make it fit and it will be a little tight.

You can also use a Cambo back, I use one on my Super Graphic and it will fit with the Graflok sliders in place. You may need to do some shimming to make sure the GG and the film plane are the same.

Good luck...

BrianShaw
31-Dec-2008, 16:55
I'd be grateful if someone would take the time to measure the distance between the spring arms of their Speed/Crown focusing panel, so I could check this against the measurements of my Super Graphic back. That would give me an idea whether or not it's worth trying an older focusing panel. If the arms of the older-type focus panel can lock into the SG back, I might have a better chance of finding a used part that works.

5 and 1/2 inch center-to-center
or
130 mm center-to-center

I didn't think about removing the Graflok sliders like DW mentions... maybe that would work. The regular Graflok focusing panel seems to show up more often on ebay than I'e ever seen SG focussing panels.

The Cambo panel is also an interesting idea.

BradS
31-Dec-2008, 23:09
call Fred Lustig. I talked to him a few days ago. He is definitely still active! And...I bet he has the part you seek.

Kuzano
31-Dec-2008, 23:40
This is similar to what you'll need. It is from the older Graflok back and will not fit the SuperGraphic. The SuperGraphic focus frame is taller. The price is rediculous but I point you to this so you see approximately what the focus frame looks like. If you already know what it looks like, I hope you get a good laugh from this guys pricing!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=300283855831&category=11813&_trksid=p2773.m263&_trkparms=algo%3DSI%26its%3DI%26itu%3DUCI%26otn%3D40%26po%3DLVI%26ps%3D54

WOW!!!!!!! That's outrageous, and it doesn't even have the frame with the graflok sliders. I've seen these (just the ground glass carrier here) go for $35 to $50 on eBay frequently.

This seller is insane, or something akin...

Or... perhaps???

I have one with the springs broken on the chrome retainer arms...... Hmmmm..... $250 anyone?

BTW.... I have two Supers... one complete and one for parts... but only one has a gg back piece. Which measurements do you need, since I have a Crown back complete (the one with the broken springs) and the Super back?

Kuzano
1-Jan-2009, 09:31
I just pulled out my Crown (w/graflok back and ground glass/hood piece) back and my Super Graphic parts camera.

1) The ground glass and hood is dimensionally the same as the space for it on the Super. It fits in the space nicely.
2) The chrome arms do not line up with any hooks or pins on the Super back.
3) It looks like a good machinist could remove the appropriate hooks from the crown back and install them on the Super back. It would involve some precise drilling and threading of the two tiny screws for each hook on each side. The space is there to do this.
4) alternately, one could have some slots machined in the side of the Crown GG/hood and hold it in place with the Graflok slides.

If you were going to use primarily graflok style shooting, the slots for graflok would be the preferred method and then just discard the hook/springs on the sides. Since I mostly shoot roll film backs OR Quick/Ready loads.... The grafloks only method works for me.

Neither one of the alternatives I suggested would impair the revolving mechanism so far as I can see.

If you would like to see some photos of the Crown GG/hood sitting in the space on the Super, let me know and I will post a couple.

It is certainly do-able. It also gives me another solution on my parts camera toward making it whole... THANK YOU for raising the question. It also gives me a way to salvage the revolving mechanism to put it on another camera.

aardvark
1-Jan-2009, 17:36
Thanks, everyone, for all the information, it's really helpful. I think I'll pursue a Cambo panel for this camera, as they seem to be more readily available than Super Graphic panels and offer the possibility of using a reflex viewer as well.