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Thread: Focus question on very old speed graphic

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    Focus question on very old speed graphic

    This is my old speed graphic, a Folmer & Schwing pre Kodak mde in about 1910 or '11. It was given to me by a friend on Long Island in New York nearly 30 years ago. It has seen a lot of use and I have always imagined it must have been a newsman's camera in New York City. It's focusing knob is very worn and I wonder who owned it and what photographs it must have made. I have modern cameras but I want to use this for a while. ...My question is: There is no focus lock on this early camera as there is on my later Crown. Once I have focused, if I let go of the focusiong knob and move the camera, it easily racks out of focus. Does anyone know of a way to put some friction on the rail so it will stay put once I let go of the focusing knob? I realize I could use a clip of some sort if it were on a tripod, but I want to use it hand held. I am hoping someone out there has had experience here. Thank You...Robbie

  2. #2

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    Jan 2002
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    Re: Focus question on very old speed graphic

    Trying for photo..

  3. #3

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    Re: Focus question on very old speed graphic

    Here we go..
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A-SPEED GRAPH 1.JPG  

  4. #4

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    Re: Focus question on very old speed graphic

    One more...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A-SPEED GRAPH 2.JPG  

  5. #5

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    Re: Focus question on very old speed graphic

    Ain't they wonderful?!! Try some really heavy grease on the rails.
    Wilhelm (Sarasota)

  6. #6

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    Jan 2002
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    Re: Focus question on very old speed graphic

    Thank You Bill. I thought about that and then I worried if it got hot (I live in Florida) that the grease might start oozing around inside the camera. Perhaps there is a grease that tolerates high temps...

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2,482

    Re: Focus question on very old speed graphic

    You're probably right thinking that the focusing knob is very worn - also its pivot. Try to stiffen the pivot - either squeezing what is around it or making it thicker. Difficult to say without a picture of the mechanism. Forget about grease to make it stiffer though.
    GPS

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
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    Re: Focus question on very old speed graphic

    Of course, the camera may be so old and worn that it just won't hold focus, in which case you have to decide how much time & effort you want to put into working with it. Maybe you can figure out some workaround to the slipping focus clutch, like external clamps, etc. Or get new parts machined, or trade parts from newer cameras, or just put this one on your shelf and get one that's not so beat. Good luck.

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