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Thread: A set of grafmatic questions

  1. #1

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    A set of grafmatic questions

    I have been going through and gathering information on the grafmatic 4x5 film holders (See the next post for some things I found interesting in reading some other threads here. )

    I have a few questions:

    Q1: Is it normal for a septum to be bent at the end? should it be in a particular position in the stack? see picture.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    When reading the instruction sheet, before replacing the septums in the compartment, it says to push up on the sliding plate (fig. 4) - which sounds like ' reseting the film holder' which I have seen mentioned before.
    Q2: is this step necessary on all models? it seems mine automatically have the sliding plate pushed up in towards to darkslide when I open it to reload it.

    Q3: Does anyone know how the film identification / counter wheel works? Mine isn't advancing consistently, and i'd like to fix it. I hear it is easy to remove replace, so hopefully easy to get working correctly.

    Is there anyway to re-cover the film after it has come into position?
    Q4: is the only solution to cycle through the whole pack to get back to that sheet of film?

    (Q5: what was it Linhof claimed was getting scratched?")

    Thanks!
    ~nicholas
    lifeofstawa
    stawastawa at gmail

  2. #2

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    Re: A set of grafmatic questions

    Fun information I gathered, might be helpful to future readers
    (ebay also has a nice information page on graphmatics)

    Related:
    BagMag film packs - 12 or 18 sheaths - "Bag Mags" - "Graflex 4x5 Cut Film Magazine Pack"
    Kinematic 4x5 -holds 10 sheets - finicky
    Fuji Quickchange - 6 or 8 sheets, can be reloaded, sold pre-loaded once upon a time.

    --- reccomendations:
    -check inserts for flatness, particularly at the corners, after each use. Never a jam because of this careful approach.


    --- Make a note of problems
    "Something I have found helpful is to put a pencil check mark on the white tab on the back whenever one delivers a flawless performance. An X when there was an issue. I can easily sort out which ones I know have been most reliable. And on trips carry a small changing bag so you can sort things out without removing the holder from the back of the camera in the light."

    ---light trap check and some CLA tips via Steve K
    - http://www.largeformatphotography.in...=1#post1344644
    "An important to check (if you are handy) is the condition of the light traps... This involves taking it apart by removing the 2 or 3 screws on the inside slide on the pull handle end and the two screws on the plastic stop on the other end of the outer shell, then the inner body will pull out (don't lose the inner bar strips that the screws went into)... Then to remove the darkslide from the inner chamber, insert a feeler gauge where the stop that prevents the slide from coming out to disengage it...

    Look carefully at the felt strips to see if there is and bare/wear spots in especially the ends or old tape residue that might gap the light trap... If good, vac the felt, and clean everything in there, and put it back together... Shine a bright flashlight through the traps to check for light leaks during assembly...

    The hairy felt on the other side (insertion end of holder) MUST be replaced because it's shedding and will end up leaving it's shadow on your film... The good news is that the closed rubber 3/16" thick X 1/4" weatherstriping tape from you home store is a good replacement...

    Remember to always check that the red dot indicator slide is always to be pushed in from the inside chamber or it will dent the sheaths while loading, and insert the sheaths into the holder with the film notch end first in, or it can bend the tips of the sheaths if inserted backwards (on the darkslide side)...

    And check flatness of the sheaths on a piece of glass, and test how a piece of old film slides into them without binding first... And check the outside flatness of the camera mating surface with a straightedge...

    Steve K"


    --- Cycling problems fix:
    my experience so far is that when they jam with the box out cycling film to the back, the problem is weak springs. You can see the offenders, two long leaf springs on each side under the edge on the long side when the box is out. Make them push harder and that fixes cycling problems.

    --- Lubrication
    Good tip re: the Renaissance wax. goes on light with a very thin layer. Don't use anything else. just vacuum and maybe damp wipe.

    --- Counter wheel
    "You can easily remove the counter wheel, I did on all of mine, as it was annoying and added nothing in terms of function for me. It's a reversible mod, so no downside really. "

    --- pros and cons
    some fun information in the pro's and con's post:http://www.largeformatphotography.in...ght=graphmatic


    "One downside is if you shoot 4 or5 shots on a grafmatic leaving 1 or 2 unexposed sheets to use on another day/session then that becomes disproportionately heavy and bulky compared to the single film holder that it effectively becomes. It does work very nicely though if you always shoot in multiples of 6 shots! Also works conveniently if you develop in bunches of 6 like in a Jobo 2500 tank."
    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...=1#post1266364

    'good for hand held rangefinder or SLR/TLR work, nor ground glass focusing. '
    ~nicholas
    lifeofstawa
    stawastawa at gmail

  3. #3

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    Re: A set of grafmatic questions

    ~nicholas
    lifeofstawa
    stawastawa at gmail

  4. #4

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    Re: A set of grafmatic questions

    Seems you answered most of your questions by searching this forum and the Graflex forum.


    Quote Originally Posted by stawastawa View Post

    When reading the instruction sheet, before replacing the septums in the compartment, it says to push up on the sliding plate (fig. 4) - which sounds like ' reseting the film holder' which I have seen mentioned before.
    Q2: is this step necessary on all models? it seems mine automatically have the sliding plate pushed up in towards to darkslide when I open it to reload it.
    There have been some incremental changes to Grafmatic holders, I have a few that don't need to have the holder reset like yours
    and some that need to be reset. Pretty confusing when you load two different ones at the same time.

    Quote Originally Posted by stawastawa View Post
    Is there anyway to re-cover the film after it has come into position?
    Q4: is the only solution to cycle through the whole pack to get back to that sheet of film?
    A film changing bag, but the easiest is to cycle.

  5. #5

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    Re: A set of grafmatic questions

    The bent tips of the sheaths usually come from not loading the film notched end into the holder first, as the open end would hit the darkslide and hang-up possibly causing it to bend when it hangs up, where the bottom edge is folded/rounded and the darkslide slides over it easier... You MIGHT be able to place the bent sheath on a flat wood surface, and tap with a small hammer hitting a block of wood over the dent, as the material is soft... The worst thing would be that the bent sheath might not be able to re-insert into the stack after cycling, as there is only a small slot to re-enter after exposure...

    The film mask counter wheel is coupled by a strong magnet bar under the wheel and another in the counter works... If it does not match the outer counter #, sometimes you can rotate the mask wheel until they match... Easy to remove when apart, by unscrewing the 2 holder screws, remove wheel, and leave bracket and screws on place... And if the wheel does not work, it might be binding, bent, and sometimes one of the bar magnets are gone...

    Another thing that came up for me last week when testing a rebuilt unit, one sheet slightly jammed after exposing in vertical orientation, but I backed off pressure, took camera off tripod turned it upside down while I pulled the magazine slightly out and it went back in the second time... Developed test films and found a 1/2" clear strip on the notch end (and a small scratch) which told me the film slipped from under the sheath springs, so also check sheaths with an old piece of film to make sure it holds the film securely... (I didn't get around to trying to re-tensioning those sheath springs yet...)

    I just went through the process of taking 6 very worn out/broken part units and making 3 good ones out of them... (These were heavily used by an aerospace photographer who shot the entire US "space race" through these...) Very educational process...

    Steve K

  6. #6

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    Re: A set of grafmatic questions

    We were buying the Grafmatics for Linhof. Linhof was experiencing a greater then a 70% failure rate on the new Graphmatics that we sent on to them from the supplier in FL. We were then sent those defective holders back to The Grafmatic supplier in FL. We are still waiting to receieve the credits for the defective Grapmatics that we returned to them. This was back in the early 80s. They were rejected by Linhof for a variety of reasons, mostly scratching or jamming.

  7. #7

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    Re: A set of grafmatic questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Salomon View Post
    We are still waiting to receive the credits for the defective Graphmatics that we returned to them. This was back in the early 80s.
    File a case with PayPal and stop waiting.

    ---

    As for the very first question... That little finger needs to be in when you insert septums loaded with fresh film and push down. Otherwise there is not enough room by "one septum" to close the darkslide over the stack. ... It's designed so that normally it's in when you are loading... but if it's not... push it in.

  8. #8

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    Re: A set of grafmatic questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    File a case with PayPal and stop waiting.

    ---

    As for the very first question... That little finger needs to be in when you insert septums loaded with fresh film and push down. Otherwise there is not enough room by "one septum" to close the darkslide over the stack. ... It's designed so that normally it's in when you are loading... but if it's not... push it in.
    PayPal didn't exist when this happened and neither we nor Linhof ever used PayPal.

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