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Thread: Just got a Crown Graphic

  1. #1

    Just got a Crown Graphic

    I just received my CG I bought from eBay. It has the ektar 127 which is awesome because I was hoping to get one with a wide angle. The shutter seems to work OK could probably use a CLA.

    I am impressed by how stout everything feels. It is great to feel how something truly American made with metal feels, if only we were so lucky today.

    I am going to attach some really low quality pictures.

    I have attached a series vi no.28 adapter ring which I believe is 38mm so I can later have a lens hood which is on order. Those of you who have lens hoods on the ektar, mine just kind of popped on I couldn't get it to screw on but it feels like its on solid. Does yours pop on and screw off?

    I am interested in stripping it down to bare minimum for a light weight field camera setup.

    I am interested in getting some feedback about basic maintenance and cleaning that should be done before shooting. Thanks

    Cheers.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails uploadfromtaptalk1417495296333.jpg   uploadfromtaptalk1417495258069.jpg   uploadfromtaptalk1417495320886.jpg  

  2. #2
    Dave Karp
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    Re: Just got a Crown Graphic

    Just so there is no surprise, the box is wood.

  3. #3

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    Re: Just got a Crown Graphic

    I don't think my ektar 127 has front threads, it also runs out of room on 4x5 with very little movement....ask me how I know

  4. #4

    Re: Just got a Crown Graphic

    Quote Originally Posted by johnm View Post
    I don't think my ektar 127 has front threads, it also runs out of room on 4x5 with very little movement....ask me how I know
    I really just need some rise. I read everywhere to buy the series vi 38mm adapter ring. Mine sort of just pressed on to the inside of the lens. Hope I didn't break anything but its on sturdy.

  5. #5

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    Re: Just got a Crown Graphic

    Please don't strip it down... It makes them so ugly- especially the top rangefinder Pacemakers. The amount of weight saved is minimal. I'm guessing the amount of weight removed by taking off the rangefinder, viewfinder and hand strap to be about the same as a ham sandwich and a candy bar. It's nice to be able to use the hand strap to hold onto a camera. It's kind of nice to have an innocent bystander look at your camera and say, "That's a handsome camera" than have them say nothing and think, "Wow. What an ugly piece of crap."

    The Ektar 127 was designed to be the standard lens for the 3.25x4.25 camera. You can use rise to the limits of the Crown Graphic but you are bound to get a little vignetting on the corners. I've never thought that kind of stuff was too objectionable and the corners can be dodged in the darkroom and they are not as obvious.

  6. #6

    Re: Just got a Crown Graphic

    Quote Originally Posted by jbenedict View Post
    Please don't strip it down... It makes them so ugly- especially the top rangefinder Pacemakers. The amount of weight saved is minimal. I'm guessing the amount of weight removed by taking off the rangefinder, viewfinder and hand strap to be about the same as a ham sandwich and a candy bar. It's nice to be able to use the hand strap to hold onto a camera. It's kind of nice to have an innocent bystander look at your camera and say, "That's a handsome camera" than have them say nothing and think, "Wow. What an ugly piece of crap."

    The Ektar 127 was designed to be the standard lens for the 3.25x4.25 camera. You can use rise to the limits of the Crown Graphic but you are bound to get a little vignetting on the corners. I've never thought that kind of stuff was too objectionable and the corners can be dodged in the darkroom and they are not as obvious.
    My reasoning is that I shoot almost exclusively in areas I do not want to draw attention or am isolated anyway, and it would make it slightly more compact, I could store the accessories away so that they don't become in danger of being bumped or bruised on one of my outings. The handstrap will stay no matter what it's too practical.

    I bought this camera mainly for nocturnal architecture work but also for traditional landscape. I only need a little rise to correct some structures occasionally but I love the 127 perspective so I'm sure I'll learn to cope/mitigate any fall off

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    Re: Just got a Crown Graphic

    Its not a field camera. It's designed for being hand held press camera, and if you want to photograph in places where you don't want to draw attention(I'm thinking crime ridden inner city,) well they work well for that (at least better than most view cameras) They are wonderful cameras and the top mount RF is the best of the best IMHO but for nocturnal architecture, even with a tripod, suspect you're going to have challenges.
    If you want to use movements, and Crowns do have limited movements, you'll speedily run out of wiggle room with the 127 Ektar. The 127 Ektar is really a incredibly fine lens for capturing details, but lacks the acreage for movements.
    For nocturnal architecture you may want to consider a Super Speed (or Linhof if you've got the loot) which offer more movements, coupled with a lens with more generous coverage like a 135mm Wide Field Ektar.
    My 2 cents anyway.
    Edit Not wanting to sound discouraging here! I spent a lovely couple of mornings photographing delightfully funky pre Pearl Harbor attack buildings in Waikiki with a Crown and a 127mm Ektar 'cause that's what I had. It can certainly be done even at night (well, not any more those buildings have been torn down) but if I were investing in a kit especially for nocturnal architecture there are other options worth considering.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  8. #8

    Re: Just got a Crown Graphic

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    Its not a field camera. It's designed for being hand held press camera, and if you want to photograph in places where you don't want to draw attention(I'm thinking crime ridden inner city,) well they work well for that (at least better than most view cameras) They are wonderful cameras and the top mount RF is the best of the best IMHO but for nocturnal architecture, even with a tripod, suspect you're going to have challenges.
    If you want to use movements, and Crowns do have limited movements, you'll speedily run out of wiggle room with the 127 Ektar. The 127 Ektar is really a incredibly fine lens for capturing details, but lacks the acreage for movements.
    For nocturnal architecture you may want to consider a Super Speed (or Linhof if you've got the loot) which offer more movements, coupled with a lens with more generous coverage like a 135mm Wide Field Ektar.
    My 2 cents anyway.
    I don't have the loot lol. This camera ran me about $300 and another $50 for used film holders. Im in for a total of about $400 with shipping. This is my first 4x5 so I'm just getting my feet wet. I think this guy should be able to make pictures that exceed my own ability at this point.

    AA did say the best wide angle lens was taking two steps back.

  9. #9

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    Re: Just got a Crown Graphic

    Quote Originally Posted by RodinalDuchamp View Post
    I don't have the loot lol. This camera ran me about $300 and another $50 for used film holders. Im in for a total of about $400 with shipping. This is my first 4x5 so I'm just getting my feet wet. I think this guy should be able to make pictures that exceed my own ability at this point.

    AA did say the best wide angle lens was taking two steps back.
    You're destined for a lot o fun then! Have you checked out www.graflex.org yet?
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  10. #10
    Drew Bedo's Avatar
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    Re: Just got a Crown Graphic

    RD: You have a good camera and lens set up. It is capable of good photography.


    Generally speaking, I do not encourage severly altering these old cameras when they seem to be essentially intact and in original condition. Back in the 1980s these were being thrown away or sold as junk (OK, I exaggerate some). Now there wre fewer and fewer of these vintage cameras in original condition. .

    If you want one of these cameras as a minimalist self storing camera, please get one that is very poor cosmetically . . .a fixer-upper . . . and fix it up. I have a pre-anniversary that someone resurrected by stripping the leather off, pulling the focal plane shutter and the view finder and rangefinder, . . .hand strap and everything else. Then they filled the voidsand gaps with Bond-O and painted it black..

    When stripped down the wood is sometimes not that great to look at. . it was ment to be covered and a blemish or two didn't matter. I have seen some that look good and some that look less so.

    If you are trying to be low-observable, one of the Polaroid conversions with a Grafmatic might be a good way to go. The "standsrd" lens is often a 127mm. It is self-storing and has a paealax corrected combined range/viewfinder. The un-modified Polaroids are not revered as a classic or vintage camera.

    Anyone else feel this way or am I just trying to pet a unicorne here?
    Drew Bedo
    www.quietlightphoto.com
    http://www.artsyhome.com/author/drew-bedo




    There are only three types of mounting flanges; too big, too small and wrong thread!

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