Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: Grafmatic "45" film holder How tight shoud it be

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    178

    Grafmatic "45" film holder How tight shoud it be

    How tight should the drawer on a Grapfmatic be? Could someone impart their experience with my first Grafmatic that arrived yesterday. Having embarassed myself loading a Hasselblad incorrrectly (until I saw the error of my ways in Youtube) I searched without success for someone using this on Youtube. I have of course gone to a couple sites to acquaint myself how to use the fiddly things because it's obvious that one can easily jam the septum etc. Actually, we have a system not unlike the Grafmatic in our lab camera which cycles 50 of these plenum so i'm sensitive to their fragility.

    My point is that the after the dark slide is removed to place the film for exposure, exposure takes place and the slide is reinserted....this is the part that messes me up...I'm supposed to PULL THE DRAWER OUT (?)
    It's not going to happen, at least not with the Grafmatic in the camera on the tripod because the drawer is very VERY tight. I read several sites to confirm this "pull the drawer out to cycle the plenum" or some such but this would require me to manhandle the ring. I suppose this is a normal condition bec the sleazebay auctions seem to have 'holder lacks ring' descriptions frequently enough for stupid me to take notice. So is the Grafmatic designed to break or do you refocus the camera each time because I can assure you there is no way the drawer is coming out and in to bring up the next septum without disturbing the camera. the ebay site states "It should work smoothly without sticking." re: reviews.ebay.com/GrafMatic-Basics_W0QQugidZ10000000002352428

    1. So, did I get a crappy one or is this the normal condition in Grafmatic-land? I thought I might even ask to return it to the seller for one that works.
    2. Are you supposed to lubricate the drawer and, if this is so, do you use a silicone, a graphite, or spit?
    3. What is the "X" for? I haven't run into an explantion for that yet.
    4. As an aside, I'm assuming the counter-wheel-thingy does nothing in this sequence and is not part of the problem. Correct?

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    The "Live Free or Die" state
    Posts
    893

    Re: Grafmatic "45" film holder How tight shoud it be

    First, the darkslide must be pushed back before you make the exposure. Then press the silver lever into the ring handle and gently pull with one hand while holding the camera to keep the thing from pulling out. It should slide easily. Some of mine are better than others. I have thought about but never tried lubricating one. I expect it could be bad and ruin some film.

    The counter wheel does nothing in this step. It is activated by the little internal lever that is pushed when the recently taken plenum is pushed to the back.

    The X is to show you that you are at the end. Once it is on the X the whole thing is locked. Turn the wheel to the number 1 to unload. Only the newer ones have this lock. If it is on X this is most likely your problem.

  3. #3

    Re: Grafmatic "45" film holder How tight shoud it be

    1. Hard to tell without handling the one you have.
    2. A little dry lube might help
    3. The "X" means you have shot 6 sheets (assuming you started on 1) and locks it so you don't double expose.
    4. Correct.

    Look at this:
    http://graflex.org/speed-graphic/grafmatic/

    Service manual is here:
    - http://www.southbristolviews.com/
    - Scroll down the left frame for "Graflex Manuals"
    - Scroll down the main frame for "Grafmatic 45 Service Manual"

    from:
    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...ad.php?t=23256

  4. #4

    Re: Grafmatic "45" film holder How tight shoud it be

    And it helps to steady the camera with your left hand, maybe even holding the back tight with your thumb. Pull and push the handle --straight-- in and out.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    178

    Re: Grafmatic "45" film holder How tight shoud it be

    Thank you Larry for reminding me about the darkslide. I had read that one can inadvertantly allow light into the other septum/film units which I probably would have done that the first time out.

    How tight is your drawer? So tight that it would be pulled out of the grip of the graflok/ground glass of the camera? Should I ask for a return? I agree with the lub but am tempted to use locksmith graphite. It is very tight. There is no "sliding" going on on this end, but rather a pulling necessitating a very firm grip in both hands.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    178

    Re: Grafmatic "45" film holder How tight shoud it be

    Thank you Henry, that is exactly the first url I opened in my initial search I guess I got lucky). Pretty mountains in South Bristol. Gotta go and read where you pointed me. Bye.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Calgary
    Posts
    48

    Re: Grafmatic "45" film holder How tight shoud it be

    No, when you pull the darkslide out, you listen for a click - THEN, you push it back in - THEN make the exposure, the darkslide protects the next sheet of film from light. Then, gently gripping the holder with your left hand, click down the little chrome lever with your right thumb and, holding it down, pull smoothly with you right forefinger on the handle and the inner box will smoothly slide out, stopping with a click (allowing the just shot film to be pushed to the the bottom of the stack), then, slide the inner box back in till you hear a click, and you are ready for the next shot. All the 6 shot Grafmatics I have operate as smooth as silk, and I have never had a moments trouble. They are perfect with a Jobo Expert drum, as they both hold six sheets of film and you can dedicate each Grafmatic to N, N-!, N+!, etc. There should be NO difficulty!

  8. #8
    wfwhitaker
    Guest

    Re: Grafmatic "45" film holder How tight shoud it be

    I once bought a couple of Grafmatics, both of which were tight to the point of binding when I tried to cycle the septums. I removed the septums and lubricated the mechanisms with a product called "Elmer's Slide-All" (as in "Elmer's Glue" with the picture of the happy cow). This product is microscopic particles of Teflon suspended in an aerosol base. Once the propellent evaporates, it's a dry lubricant. My technique was to spray the areas of the Grafmatic where there was sliding metal-to-metal contact. I then went back with a dry rag and wiped away any overspray which might possibly flake off and compromise a sheet of film. Once I worked the Grafmatic three or four times, it was a smooth as butter. The difference was remarkable and I would venture to say that unless your Grafmatic is bent, the same would work for you, too. I would NOT use powdered graphite as it's sure to end up on your film (and it's a mess anyway).

    At any rate, use caution. YMMV. And keep in mind that while this product works well for metal parts, it's really not a good idea to use it on old wooden cameras as the propellent is a solvent which will dissolve old finishes. Don't ask me how I know.

  9. #9

    Re: Grafmatic "45" film holder How tight shoud it be

    Ice Wax for bicycle chains works great. It dries hard. Anything that doesn't will end up on your hands when loading film and thus end up on the film. The worn spots on the septa, springs and slides will show you where it is needed. And, don't forget to push the interior latch in when you replace the septa after loading film.

  10. #10
    3d Visual Effects artist
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Culver City, CA
    Posts
    1,176

    Re: Grafmatic "45" film holder How tight shoud it be

    Quote Originally Posted by Chauncey Walden View Post
    Ice Wax for bicycle chains works great. It dries hard. Anything that doesn't will end up on your hands when loading film and thus end up on the film. The worn spots on the septa, springs and slides will show you where it is needed. And, don't forget to push the interior latch in when you replace the septa after loading film.
    Interior latch? Which one is that? I've had great success with my two grafmatics on my speedgraphic, but I don't know what latch you are referring to?
    Daniel Buck - 3d VFX artist
    3d work: DanielBuck.net
    photography: 404Photography.net - BuckshotsBlog.com

Similar Threads

  1. Film Flatness: The use of different sizes of smaller film inside a larger holder?
    By audioexcels in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 18-Jun-2008, 04:41
  2. Fotoman 5x7 Film Holder - Thickness
    By Paul Droluk in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 25-Aug-2007, 08:03
  3. Wooden 5x7 holder won't hold 5x7 film?!
    By Scott -- in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 26
    Last Post: 12-Jun-2007, 17:34
  4. Will a Grafmatic 4x5 Film Holder and Graphic Film Pack Adapters fit Zone VI
    By Robert Peterson in forum Cameras & Camera Accessories
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 11-May-2004, 16:02

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •