View Full Version : Is there a shop that can customize a Crown Graphic?

Teodor Oprean
22-Sep-2012, 18:33
I would like to send my Crown Graphic with top mounted rangefinder to a shop that will calibrate the rangefinder, infinity scale and infinity stops to match a Caltar II N 135/5.6 for handheld use. Is there a technician or shop in the US (or even Canada) that you can recommend for this kind of service?

22-Sep-2012, 22:06
Well, I'd start with Fred Lustig in Reno Nevada... If he's still repairing Graflex, He's the man in my book. He's done work on Super Graphics for me. He has enough NOS and Good used parts to do most anything. I'd bet Fred could field strip your Crown blindfolded and put it back together in less than 15 minutes.

As I recall the story about Fred... he used to work for Graflex, and he purchased a bunch of inventory when they ceased production on the Graflex line. (not sure how correct that all is... everything is getting a little fuzzy... uhh,.... is that you Mable... Uh .... Wutt?... Dam, I thought she was gone??)

Fred has had some health problems and has been down for a couple of years 4-5 years ago. I've had him do work as recent as 3 years ago. He was quick on the work he did for me. He is listed in the telephone listings for Reno... Fred Lustig.

You may have to source a cam for the 135mm lens. Last time I talked with Fred, I can't remember if he told me he can cut cams... He did say he occasionally has a couple, but only coincidentally. I have seen references on the internet to patterns for cams for the Rangefinders on the Super Graphic. I don't know about the top rangefinder on the Crown. Once I discovered the extra movements on the Super Graphic, I never bought any of the older Graflex bodies.

Here is an example of one such article about adjusting the top rangefinder, and illustrating the cam:


Just go to google or yahoo and search rangefinder cam patterns crown graphic or adjusting rangefinder crown graphic

Good luck

22-Sep-2012, 22:54
I talked to Fred earlier this summer about cutting a cam for me. He says he'll do it, I just decided to go in a different direction.

23-Sep-2012, 06:16

Robert Budding
23-Sep-2012, 06:45
SK Grimes can do just about anything that you can imagine. I've had them do a few routine things.


Frank Petronio
23-Sep-2012, 07:01
Thanks for that Steve Camera link. Some of the repair techs, like my friends at Camera Wiz or elsewhere, won't do Crown rangefinders because of a lack of parts, etc. even though they are excellent techs. Different strokes... And having owned a bunch a Graphic cameras, I HATE mucking with their rangefinders and have no clue how to set up a Kalhart successfully (I've read it all and tried it all too, freaking impossible!)

23-Sep-2012, 07:28
Frank... Steve Choi and his people (I think two of them) have always done great work for me. Not cheap, but quick and flawless quality.

23-Sep-2012, 07:29
mike zack ( zack's camera repair )
in pvd has a machine shop inhouse and also works on graphlex/graphic cameras.

Teodor Oprean
23-Sep-2012, 16:09
Thank you to everyone for your help. I will contact the repair technicians in a couple of months. Probably it's best to do that after the Christmas holidays.

The inspiration for me was this youtube video in which the reviewer says that it is possible to upgrade the rangefinder to match a modern lens:


I think that the Caltar II N 135/5.6 is the closest counterpart upgrade to the original Xenar 135/4.7. It's just as small and lightweight, with the advantage of multicoating and a 200 mm image circle.


2-Oct-2012, 06:47
Good suggestions already but I must add another: Ken Ruth at Bald Mountain. My Speed Graphic took a tumble during a night shoot this summer. He came highly recommended and I'd never heard of him prior. www.baldmtn.com/