View Full Version : Service/parts for Graflex Super D. Advice needed, please.

Ole Dyre Hesledalen
7-Feb-2007, 11:07
-Oh my, I just couldn't help it; a nice enough 4"x5" Super D auto-diaphragming model with a Kodak Ektar 190/5,6 showed up for sale and of course I bought the darn thing!
(I know; pretty silly, huh?) So now there's the usual stuff to sort out: Slow, sticky shutter -possibly old age and dead springs, I guess- and then I'll have to figure out how to put a standard type spring back on it. (And what on earth are all those buttons, knobs, levers, cranks and such for?...:))

Do any of you know of any sources for getting parts and/or service for this thing?
Obviously my primary needs are to get the shutter fixed/replaced and to get either parts for a back conversion or having someone put this on the camera.
I'd be very grateful for any information regarding this!
(I guess I also could use any tips and tricks you seasoned reflex Graflex users might want to share regarding the care and feeding of a Super D...)


Mark Sampson
7-Feb-2007, 12:32
Have you looked at graflex.org? It seems that the best Graflex repair person, in the USA at least, is named Fred Lustig, somewhere in Nevada (that's far west). I can't say anything about Europe- but where I live, in the city where your camera was made, there's no one who repairs them.

Glenn Thoreson
7-Feb-2007, 12:32
I'm not sure a Graphic spring back will fit the Super Graphic. There is one old time Graphic repairman left. He has the last remaining inventory of factory original parts. The problem is location/shipping cost. If you can bear shipping cost back and forth to the U.S., the man you want is Fred Lustig, in Reno, Nevada. He has no web presence, just his home phone. Daylight hours (u.S.) only, please. Go to http;//www.graflex.org and pull up a search for Fred Lustig to get the number. Welcome to the world of Graflex! :)

Jon Shiu
7-Feb-2007, 12:52
Hi, Bert Saunders in Bakersfield, California repaired my RB Ser. D shutter and restored the camera very well. He is happy to provide advice on these cameras via email if you want to fix it yourself. You can find his email by doing a google search, or send me a pm and I'll look it up.

Jon Shiu
Elk, California

Ole Dyre Hesledalen
7-Feb-2007, 13:05

Yes, I did find Mr. Lustig's contact info at graflex.org but decided to post here in case someone had any recent information regarding this particular gentleman and his hopefully thriving business. (Yup, Reno is pretty far west from were you -Rochester, right?- and I currently are situated. Funny, this; it used to be northeast of where I previously lived. I'd sometimes go through there on motorcycle rides when I called San Francisco home. :))


Well, that's one more count for Mr. Lustig. I'll see if I can diagnose what kind of back will fit with some modification; it'd be nice to retain the revolving back, though. I'm sure I'll enjoy photographing with the contraption once I get it properly sorted out!

Many thanks to both of you!

7-Feb-2007, 17:15
Forget putting a spring back on your Graflex. The problem is that the ground glass must be matched with the focal plane on the back, and is why they charge big bucks to do it.
Instead get yourself a couple of 4x5 Bag-Mags (be sure to get ones to fit the Graflex back). They hold 12 sheets of film, and change them quickly (like a Grafmatic).

Ernest Purdum
7-Feb-2007, 17:18
I'm a little confused about your remarks concerning the back. Is it that you doubt being able to find correct holders, etc.? They are around, but it might take a little patience to turn them up. Converting to a Graflok back is feasible, but neither simple nor cheap, since it involves readjusting the height of the groundglass. Nice when done, though. (Some Super D's came with Graflok backs.) A standard spring back would be quite out of place on any graflex SLR, I think.

Whether modified or not, the back should still revolve.

The Super D is a capable camera. It would be my first choice if I were out to make handheld LF photos. Enjoy it.

Glenn Thoreson
7-Feb-2007, 17:38
I use "bag mags" and, though slower and more fiddly to use than Grafmatics, they are great items because of the film capacity. You can even mix different film types in one magazine, if you keep tack of what film is in what septum number. If a fellow is really lucky, he would find an 18 shot magazine. I have one for my 3X4 Speed Graphic. BTW, bag mags fit ONLY cameras with the Graflex back, which is what you have. The drawback? Finding one with a good leather changing bag. A good shoe shop could make a new bag. (Are there still shoe repair shops around?) :)

7-Feb-2007, 18:44
Hi, Bert Saunders in Bakersfield, California repaired my RB Ser. D shutter and restored the camera very well. He is happy to provide advice on these cameras via email if you want to fix it yourself. You can find his email by doing a google search, or send me a pm and I'll look it up.

Jon Shiu
Elk, California

i would second mr sauders.
he is a very nice guy, and
very knowing when it comes
to graflex cameras.


ps i have and use a rb series d (4x5) :)

Leonard Robertson
7-Feb-2007, 20:10
As you are located in Europe, it may be worthwhile to contact this gentleman in the Netherlands: http://www.xs4all.nl/~lommen9/parent.html
His site is devoted to press style cameras, but reading his wonderful site shows how much he loves Graphics. Since the shutter in your Graflex is more or less the same as a Speed Graphic, he may be willing to work on your camera, or know someone in Europe who can.

Here is a site with a scan of a Graflex instruction book: http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info.html
Go down to "Instruction Manual for Graflex Cameras (SLR's)"

This site has a copy of a Pacemaker Speed Graphic service manual:http://www.southbristolviews.com/pics/Graphic/graphicmanuals.html
If you know anyone in your area who does camera repair, they may be able to clean and lube your focal plane shutter with the information given in this manual.

Ole Dyre Hesledalen
8-Feb-2007, 09:00
Jon, Bill, Ernest, Glenn, John and Leonard:

-Thank you very much for your replies and recommendations!
It's certainly good to know of several possible people to consult regarding parts/service and modifications,
and of course the links to manuals/repair handbooks are very valuable to someone with a camera like this.
I'm starting to look forward to getting on with this project!

The reason I'm looking to get a standard type back on this camera is that I'd like to use my regular polaroid holder and
my nice, new 4"x5" film holders with the Super D.
(Trying to keep the amount of gear down to an acceptable minimum, you see...:) )

If anyone could tell me if the lever next to the camera operator's left thumb should release the mirror AND trip the shutter, I'd be very happy.

Again; thanks for your help, guys!

Leonard Robertson
8-Feb-2007, 10:58
Ole - Yes the lever on the left side normally releases both the mirror and the shutter. However, referring to this page: http://www.cameraeccentric.com/html/info/graflexcatc/p4.html
The part labeled D is a slider that can be set so the left side release only triggers the mirror, and then the shutter is triggered by M. Much like a mirror prerelease on a 35mm SLR. There is a chance the slider on yours is set to the "mirror release only" position. The slider D (at least on my non-Super D) can be difficult to slide back and forth, but you should be able to move it on your camera.

Ole Dyre Hesledalen
8-Feb-2007, 11:57
Thanks, Leonard!

-You were right on the mark there; I didn't figure this little lever arm for being a sliding kind of thingy.
Works very nicely now!

8-Feb-2007, 19:21
I remember seing a guide on the web about lubing the focal plane shutter of a speed graphic. maybee on graflex.org. The shutter on my super D is very similar to a speed graphic. If someone was poor but handy they might try it. Just make sure to keep all the parts so if you mess it up you can send it to someone who knows what they are doing.

8-Feb-2007, 19:22
speaking of graflex SLR's, I really hate the wingnut they use for winding the shutter. Would be much easier if it was a round knob.
(gripe off)

william linne
8-Feb-2007, 19:30
Dude, with all due respect, screw a bag mag. I used those for years and dust was always a problem unless I had the leather bag replaced. All those 60 year old decomposing leather bags really produced a lot of dust. The smartest thing I ever did was having SK Grimes replace the back of my cameras with a 4x5 Graflock. I have access to all modern emulsions and Polaroid films. Just my two cents....


Ole Dyre Hesledalen
11-Feb-2007, 07:33

I've taken the Super D apart and will recondition most of the mechanicals myself.
And yes; it's indeed tempting to find another -maybe roundish?- solution to the winged shutter-aperture selector/curtain winder.
If my right wrist had a couple of more joints in it, the existing number might work some of the time...


I've come to the conclusion that I'll go with the same solution you chose; Graflock back it is.
I've eyed a friend's Crown Graphic back to evaluate how much machine shop work I'd have to do
to get a back of similar heritage onto my camera, but maybe it'd be better to have Grimes do this.
How much did the conversion cost, if I may ask?

Thanks for your input, guys!