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vnmunhoz
18-Feb-2010, 14:22
Hi guys,

im brand new to the forum and to 4x5 photography. I have had my eyes on a 4x5 Graflex Super Speed Graphic and from all the info I've collected online, its a great camera. My uses for it would be sports and landscape, and thats why the Super Speed attracted me so much, with its 1/1000th shutter.

The thing is, however, that Ive heard from more than one person that the 1/1000th shutter is a myth and it really doesnt work, aside from being much more expensive than simply getting a Super Graphic.

My questions are

what is the problem with the 1/1000th shutter?

People told me ths shutter doesnt work, but does that mean I doesnt work at 1/1000th or it doesnt work at all? cause if it still works at 1/500th or 1/750th, it would still be a great advantage to have it.

anyway, if anyone can help clarify this for me I'd be very grateful!

thanks!

Dan Fromm
18-Feb-2010, 15:12
Ask y'r question on www.graflex.org, also seek advice from Fred Lustig.

Mr. Lustig lives in Reno, NV. He has no Internet presence, i.e., no e-mail address that he'll let out and no web site, but is in the Reno 'phone book. He has the world's remaining stock of Graflex parts, is highly regarded as a Graflex repairman, and claims to be one of the few people who can rebuild the 1/1000th shutter.

Ask promptly, he's quite old ...

Roger Thoms
18-Feb-2010, 16:33
Definitely check out the Graflex forum. I have a Speed graphic and the focal plane shutter works great, I have used it up 1/500th and have no reason to believe it wouldn't work at 1/1000th. The focal plane shutters are suppose to be more accurate at the higher shutter speeds than leaf shutters.

Roger

Bill_1856
18-Feb-2010, 18:43
The only difference between the Super Graphic and the Super Speed Graphic is the shutter. The 1/1000 between-the-lens shutter is VERY prone to failure, and you'll find it virtually impossible to find anyone to work on it. I'd suggest you get a Super Graphic with a 1/500 between-the-lens shutter, such as a Rapax, Compur, or Copal. Or an older Pacemaker Speed Graphic with the focal plane shutter.

Kuzano
18-Feb-2010, 22:13
I did speak with Fred Lustig a couple of months ago. He has one of my Super Graphics for bellows replacement. He is a very pleasant and forthcoming gentleman on the phone and loves to discuss the Super and Super Speed Graphics. I gather that he rebuilds the Super Speed shutters and that he has stock.

From other sources in the past, I have heard the same complaints on the 1/1000th shutter. Mostly that on a good day the shutter was lucky to acheive 1/750th, and that the shutters were prone to fail.

I don't think that's the story you will hear from Fred, and you really should take the opportunity to call him in Reno. He was helpful and informative to say the least.

Thebes
18-Feb-2010, 22:36
For what its worth I've heard plenty of people complain about other shutters not reaching their rated top speed either.

Really the higher speed is of limited use to most people- it could be very nice if one was using flash to overpower full on daylight, but most people don't need the extra speed badly enough to justify an odd and somewhat problematic shutter. Its not like many people would shoot sports with it today...

Ivan J. Eberle
19-Feb-2010, 06:17
Hummingbird photography and other high-speed flash work are my reasons for following this thread. Other options for high speed leaf sync are few and spendy. (Rollei PQS lenses come to mind.)

Dan Fromm
19-Feb-2010, 07:35
Hummingbird photography and other high-speed flash work are my reasons for following this thread. Other options for high speed leaf sync are few and spendy. (Rollei PQS lenses come to mind.)How high a shutter speed is needed to eliminate exposure from ambient depends on film speed and the aperture used. From Sunny 16 (good exposure at f/16 with shutter speed = 1/ISO), with ISO 100 film @ f/16 one needs 1/400 to put ambient two stops down. This is often enough. And remember that Sunny 16 is for bright daylight; "out-of-doors" isn't always that well lit.

This is why I'm cooked when I want to shoot birds with flash, ISO 100 film, a Questar 700 (t/11), and a Nikon whose highest sync speed is 1/250. Better, in that situation, to use a shorter refracting lens, a TC, and a powerful flash. But I'm still cooked, my most powerful flash, an Agfa 643, has full power flash duration of 1/200. Not that LF is much better for birds without pre-focusing and luck.

Cheers,

Dan

Robert Hughes
19-Feb-2010, 07:44
Hearing these stories of powerful electronic flash devices reminds me of those WWII aerial reconnaissance planes that took flash photos over France prior to D Day. The whole fuselage was packed with capacitors, which they'd start charging at takeoff in England. I've heard that the flash was so strong and hot it would cause any paper, fabric or other flammable material in the near vicinity to catch fire immediately.

BetterSense
19-Feb-2010, 08:12
Could you elaborate on that? I've heard about that more than one time, but never seen anything substatiating it. I want to learn more but can't find anything. Do you know the name of the missions or any people names I could google?

vnmunhoz
19-Feb-2010, 09:00
i see this thread has changed its course already hahah.. no worries, thanks for all the advice.

I think im gonna go with the super graphic and just hunt down a lens that can reach 1/1000th shutter speed. i figure thats my best bet since its really hard finding a super speed graphic and its the super graphic same camera just cheaper.

thanks again!

Don Dudenbostel
19-Feb-2010, 10:33
I used a super speed for a year and a half back in the mid 70's. The government agency I worked for used 4x5 for basically everything and I had a super speed assigned to me. We shot flash bulbs too. Does that say anything about the department I worked for? I had the shutter self destruct a few times and swapped it for a WWII olive green Speed and never had any more problems.

Jack Dahlgren
19-Feb-2010, 10:54
i see this thread has changed its course already hahah.. no worries, thanks for all the advice.

I think im gonna go with the super graphic and just hunt down a lens that can reach 1/1000th shutter speed. i figure thats my best bet since its really hard finding a super speed graphic and its the super graphic same camera just cheaper.

thanks again!

Finding a lens mounted in a shutter with speeds of 1/1000 is going to be harder than finding a super speed graphic. Copal 0 goes to 1/500, Copal 1 goes to 1/400. Generally the larger the shutter the slower the maximum speed. The reason that the speed graphic is called "speed" is because the focal plane shutter allowed for speeds higher than any in lens shutter.

There may be some esoteric shutter somewhere which goes to 1/1000, but it is likely fragile or already broken and outside your price range.

vnmunhoz
19-Feb-2010, 11:32
How different is the Speed Graphic from the Super Graphic?

I know the super is smaller and lighter, and that was a selling point for me since i do a lot of location shooting, but is the difference that great?

Also, for high speed flash sync, is it better to have a focal plane shutter like the speed or would the super work fine?

thanks guys!

Dan Fromm
19-Feb-2010, 12:35
The significant difference is that the Pacemaker Graphics (Crown, Speed) have linked bed rails. There's a link that connects the outer rails (on the inside of the front door) to the inner rails (in the box). This makes focusing with a wide angle lens that sits on the inner rails very easy. Focusing a lens on the Super's inner rails requires unlocking the front standard, sliding it, ...

There are other differences that others will see as significant. The Super has a rotating back, Pacemakers don't but have a second tripod socket on the side, under the strap. Pacemakers are made of wood, the Super of aluminum. The Speed has a focal plane shutter, Crown and Super don't. Older Pacemakers have only the Kalart finder, newer ones have an RF on top as does the Super.

Go to www.graflex.org and read the FAQs.

The Speed Graphic's FPS is completely useless with electronic flash. Read what I wrote about how to work out the shutter speed needed for use with flash. Remember, in general, flash will be brighter than ambient. If your flash isn't as bright as ambient, you're cooked.

Robert Hughes
19-Feb-2010, 13:11
Could you elaborate on that? I've heard about that more than one time, but never seen anything substatiating it. I want to learn more but can't find anything. Do you know the name of the missions or any people names I could google?
H. E. Edgerton (http://www.nytimes.com/1990/01/05/obituaries/h-e-edgerton-86-dies-invented-electronic-flash.html?pagewanted=1) invented the electronic flash for photography.

"During World War II, Edgerton (http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/edgerton.html) was commissioned to develop a superpowered flash for aerial photography (http://libraries.mit.edu/archives/exhibits/nightphoto/index.html). Edgerton's system allowed airplanes to do nocturnal reconnaissance, including otherwise impossible documentation of Axis troop movements under cover of darkness in the weeks preceding D-Day (1944). "

More information from MIT Library (http://libraries.mit.edu/archives/research/collections/collections-mc/mc25/index.html).
http://libraries.mit.edu/archives/exhibits/nightphoto/img/nightphoto-sm.jpg

Vick Vickery
19-Feb-2010, 13:53
Don't hesitate to grab that Super Speed Graphic...its a wonderful metal-bodied press camera with as many front movements as you'll ever see built into a press camera. Its weakness is the shutter on its standard 135mm lens and you'll end up curing that weakness by replacing that lens with a standard 135mm Ektar or Optar in a conventional shutter with speeds to 1/400 or 1/500 after the original 1/1000 shutter craps out on you as it has done to the majority of us Super Speed users. I regularly use lenses from 90mm to 240mm on mine and am very happy with its versitility. While it won't beat my Cambo in movements and total perspective control, it does as well as many field cameras and is fairly light and handy.

vnmunhoz
20-Feb-2010, 09:28
Thanks guys for all the advice!
dan thanks for clarifying some differences, I think the super will suit my needs better.

jack thanks for the insight on 1/1000th shutters, I hope I get a graphic 1000 shutter in good conditions and just do my own maintenance on it, Ive heard from some that the issue most photographers had with it is that they didnt bother to clean and lube it, and without that they do have a very short life span.

vick, im glad to hear see stand up for the super speed! my only concern is its very hard to find, and Ive only found one super speed for $550 whereas Ive got a super graphic on reserve for only $300, both in excellent conditions. Im still undecided if the graphic 1000 shutter is worth the cost of the camera, specially since i dont know if its in pristine perfect conditions.

Vick Vickery
20-Feb-2010, 12:10
Since the Super is the same camera as the Super Speed except without the breakage-prone shutter, I wouldn't hesitate to go with the Super since you've found no Super Speeds around, especially with the difference in price...that shutter is surely not worth $250 extra!

jp
20-Feb-2010, 14:57
http://edgerton-digital-collections.org/techniques/nighttime-photography#

A better summary of aerial flash photography as described. What film speed did they use in aerial photography then?

If it was 100, then the flash had a GN of 2500! (f2.5 aero lens at 1000')

Thebes
21-Feb-2010, 12:02
The prices I've seen on Super Graphics and Super Speed Graphics are all over the board. Don't forget the battery door and electric system- even if you don't intend to use it they do add value if they are complete, and reduce it if they are corroded up. Accessories do not always interchange and properly add value if included. Condition varies widely, and sometimes selling price varies a lot too just due to availability- you can have 6 up on fleabay at once or just two, they all get cheaper when there's been a bunch of them around.

Dan- I don't see the linked rail as a big deal. I suppose it would be nice if using a lens wider than a 90, but my 90 works on the outer rail just fine (need to slide forward then back if dropping the bed, sticks off the back of the rail but grabs well and can focus with the knob). I see the BIG differences as: aluminum body, rotating back, interchangable rf cams, front swing and shift, and if its working the electrical shutter release. Each to their own I suppose, but I don't consider the non-linked rail to be "the significant difference".

Jack- you seem confused. The Super Speed Graphic does not have a focal plane shutter but instead had a 1/1000th leaf shuttered lens, this has often been separated from it over time. This, and the label, were the only difference between Super Graphics and Super Speed Graphics, the Speed Graphic is a very different camera.

Jack Dahlgren
21-Feb-2010, 16:41
Jack- you seem confused. The Super Speed Graphic does not have a focal plane shutter but instead had a 1/1000th leaf shuttered lens, this has often been separated from it over time. This, and the label, were the only difference between Super Graphics and Super Speed Graphics, the Speed Graphic is a very different camera.

I was talking about the speed graphic (w/ focal plane shutter) as a more likely way to get 1/1000th shutter speeds. Maybe I didn't write clearly. But that was all I was trying to say.

bruiser
6-Nov-2010, 20:41
I used a super speed for a year and a half back in the mid 70's. The government agency I worked for used 4x5 for basically everything and I had a super speed assigned to me. We shot flash bulbs too. Does that say anything about the department I worked for? I had the shutter self destruct a few times and swapped it for a WWII olive green Speed and never had any more problems.

Don,

Just a minor point but there weren't any WWII olive green Speed Graphics. The first OD green Speed Graphic was the 1949 PH-47-J followed by the KE-12(1) model in 1953. That later KE-12(1) didn't have the usual Pacemaker Speed Graphic body shutter release and is often mistaken for an Anniversary Speed Graphic. The only OD green WWII 4x5 Graflex was the wooden bodied Combat Graphic, used in the Pacific very late in the war.

Cheers,
Bruce