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Thread: Graflex Super D Focal Plane Shutter Servicing

  1. #1

    Graflex Super D Focal Plane Shutter Servicing

    I bought a Super D 3x4 with the intention of converting it to 4x5, but it has some problems with the shutter. Unfortunately no one here in London, England seems to have any experience with them at all. If anyone here has some expertise (or knows someone else who does) I'd appreciate it.


    The shutter aperture wasn't winding (anti-clockwise) at all, so I removed the shutter assembly and loosened the big nut (see attached picture) a couple of turns with a flathead screwdriver. This stopped impeding the shutter wingnut, and I reassembled it.



    I managed to get the shutter curtain in the right place so that O, T, A, B, C and D on the mechanism all line up with the correct apertures. The speeds seem correct too, all except for 1/30, which is a curtain aperture of A, and Low tension. This speed runs seemingly correctly, but the aperture doesn't quite complete it's run to the bottom of the focal plane. It stops about 1-2cm short. It seems this is a problem with the spring tension, rather than the positioning of the focal plane cloth, as the placement seems correct for all other speeds and settings (such as A and High tension). As well as this, the spring tension seems weak at this setting, and the wingnut needs a little nudge to move on to O from T.



    Is there a simple way to adjust the spring tension or solve this problem?

    In addition, if anyone has any simple guide to attaching a 4x5 Graflok back to this camera, while maintaining as much frame coverage as possible, that would be my next line of inquiry.

    Thanks for any help!

  2. #2

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    Re: Graflex Super D Focal Plane Shutter Servicing

    You should do a google search for Jo Lommen Graflex cameras. Lots of good info there, including DIY repair work.

  3. #3
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Graflex Super D Focal Plane Shutter Servicing

    Interesting.

    Now you will be making a custom 4x5 or is that 5x4 extension box.

    Horseman sold a 4x5 extension box for their 2x3 cameras, but they do not have FP shutters. I see no reason why that would be a special case.

    I expect this this project is very rarely done..

    However it will be nice once done. As I have both a 4x5 and 3x4 Speeder, which has similar back side construction, I will follow this with interest.
    2022

  4. #4

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    Re: Graflex Super D Focal Plane Shutter Servicing

    Easy enough to tension yourself. There's Graflex service manuals kicking around linked online. Look for one and it will guide you through. I think I linked to one in a flickr forum a couple years ago so you can goole my name with Graflex service manual in the search terms and Google should find the thread with the links.

  5. #5
    Randy's Avatar
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    Re: Graflex Super D Focal Plane Shutter Servicing

    Have you tried the Graflex forum, specifically the Reflex section?
    http://graflex.org/helpboard/viewfor...0bd1f3b5a84c09
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/52893762/bigger4b.jpg

  6. #6
    Randy's Avatar
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    Re: Graflex Super D Focal Plane Shutter Servicing

    Oops, I see that you have already posted there
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/52893762/bigger4b.jpg

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    Re: Graflex Super D Focal Plane Shutter Servicing

    I built a camera like this: 3x4 RB Super_D with 4x5 Graflok back. I didn't keep the rotating feature. I have pics posted here, somewhere in the DIY camera thread, I will find it if need be. I used a 4x5 Graflok back from a speed graphic, and cut it down to minimum possible size. I mounted it vertically, with the "opening" end of the graflok pointing downward. this was so I could mount an RZ67 prism above it and not have it interfere with the back. The max size you get is about 4" wide x 4.5" high with this arrangement. The focus plane is in the same place, basically, so no real need to shim the ground glass.

    With the execption of 2 small corner cuts on the rear brass plate that holds the rotating back, everything was reversible should I choose to do so. I used the mounting holes for the rear brass plate to mount the 4x5 magnesium graflok back, which worked out fine. I did have to use black silicone to fill a few small gaps around the edge, but it worked out fine and removes pretty cleanly if need be.

    All in all it's a great hand-held portrait rig. I use mine with an RZ67 prism on top which gives right-side-up viewing, and covers about 70% of the frame or so. I built a new front standard to take various larger-sized custom lensboard choices. My main lens is an 8" Pentac f/2.9 which reaches infinity perfectly yet also close-focuses to 1-2feet or so. It also takes a Nikkor 270-T just perfectly, and also reaches infinity where it should. Close-focus is a bit more limited but can still do a pretty tight head-shot. I also use it some with a 360 Tele Arton, which needs some extra extension, but can go from infinity to about 5' close-focus distance.

    -Ed

  8. #8

    Re: Graflex Super D Focal Plane Shutter Servicing

    Quote Originally Posted by EdSawyer View Post
    I built a camera like this: 3x4 RB Super_D with 4x5 Graflok back. I didn't keep the rotating feature. I have pics posted here, somewhere in the DIY camera thread, I will find it if need be. I used a 4x5 Graflok back from a speed graphic, and cut it down to minimum possible size. I mounted it vertically, with the "opening" end of the graflok pointing downward. this was so I could mount an RZ67 prism above it and not have it interfere with the back. The max size you get is about 4" wide x 4.5" high with this arrangement. The focus plane is in the same place, basically, so no real need to shim the ground glass.

    With the execption of 2 small corner cuts on the rear brass plate that holds the rotating back, everything was reversible should I choose to do so. I used the mounting holes for the rear brass plate to mount the 4x5 magnesium graflok back, which worked out fine. I did have to use black silicone to fill a few small gaps around the edge, but it worked out fine and removes pretty cleanly if need be.

    All in all it's a great hand-held portrait rig. I use mine with an RZ67 prism on top which gives right-side-up viewing, and covers about 70% of the frame or so. I built a new front standard to take various larger-sized custom lensboard choices. My main lens is an 8" Pentac f/2.9 which reaches infinity perfectly yet also close-focuses to 1-2feet or so. It also takes a Nikkor 270-T just perfectly, and also reaches infinity where it should. Close-focus is a bit more limited but can still do a pretty tight head-shot. I also use it some with a 360 Tele Arton, which needs some extra extension, but can go from infinity to about 5' close-focus distance.

    -Ed
    Brilliant! Was it necessary to remove or cut any of the box's insides to get larger frame coverage? Is this even possible?

    I am anticipating installing a new front standard. It would be great to have one with tilt and shift movements, but I'm not sure where I could nab one of these from.

    Also, I note you said you used it hand-held, I've seen these cameras with strap lugs installed so they can be held with a camera strap like a TLR, have you got any idea where one could get installable camera strap lugs?

  9. #9
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Graflex Super D Focal Plane Shutter Servicing

    The 3x4 is so much smaller and lighter than the 4x5, it'd be fair to give up a tiny bit of frame coverage to get use of the common 4x5 film options. The 4x5 has a 5x5 viewing groundglass, and I like the square medium format TLR shape, so I'd be perfectly happy with a little bit of crop if it came to that. If you put a 4x5 back on it, you could post the photos on here!

  10. #10

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    Re: Graflex Super D Focal Plane Shutter Servicing

    no modifications to the inside of the box in my case. The rotating back means you get the full 4" dimension no problem. Squaring off the brass rotation-plate base required 2 small cuts to the brass, but that's all. It gets about 4.5" in the long dimension, 4" in the short dimension. The limiting factors are the rollers and the path of the shutter curtain, so no - that's about as big as it can get without major surgery.

    I skipped the whole tilt/swing movements in the front standard - I didn't really envision needing them, and it's more complex to build it that way.

    You could use strap lugs from a speed graphic/crown graphic probably (the ones for the leather side-handle). I haven't put lugs on mine yet. I was trying to figure a way to get a Linhof grip on there, and use the cable release to trigger things, but I haven't quite got that sorted yet. I don't want to drill holes in the body if I can help it, which makes it extra complex in my case. If you don't mind drilling/tapping into the body, its' easy to add grip/strap lugs/etc.

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