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Thread: Graflex Super Graphic back & focusing panel question

  1. #1

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    Graflex Super Graphic back & focusing panel question

    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.

  2. #2

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    Re: Graflex Super Graphic back & focusing panel question

    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.

  3. #3

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    Re: Graflex Super Graphic back & focusing panel question

    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.

  4. #4

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    Re: Graflex Super Graphic back & focusing panel question

    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.

  5. #5

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    Re: Graflex Super Graphic back & focusing panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene McCluney View Post
    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.)

  6. #6

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    Re: Graflex Super Graphic back & focusing panel question

    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.

  7. #7

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    Re: Graflex Super Graphic back & focusing panel question

    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...DLVI%26ps%3D54

  8. #8

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    Re: Graflex Super Graphic back & focusing panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianShaw View Post
    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 with a description and pic of a Super Graphic fitted with a Cambo back (about halfway down the thread).

  9. #9

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    Re: Graflex Super Graphic back & focusing panel question

    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...

  10. #10

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    Re: Graflex Super Graphic back & focusing panel question

    Quote Originally Posted by aardvark View Post
    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.

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