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Thread: Speed Graphic 4 x 5 Anniversary focus prob

  1. #1
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    Speed Graphic 4 x 5 Anniversary focus prob

    I finally got some sheet film yesterday so today I decided to go out and take a shot or two today.

    While I was out there trying to focus, it seems that going to infinity the camera does not appear to 100% focus at infinity - maybe 99% or there about: enough to see that it is not 100% using the range finder and the ground glass.

    Since I do not have a manual, nor have I ever used this camera before, is there a micro adjustment I can make? It seems to me that for the most part I will be focusing to infinity (scenery shots).

    If I focus on something closer it appears to focus 100% but if it doesnt focus precisely when going to infinity - will the camera be actually 100% in focus when I focus on something closer? (confusing myself here lol!)

    I havent developed that one sheet yet since I didnt have any fixer mixed (do now though) so I dont know if the finale image is actually in focus or not. I'm just going with what I see looking through the g/g and the r/f.

    If anyone knows of a adjustment, please share with me (a photo would be perfect too)! I loved the experience of finally using that camera except for the focus part...Id hate to be turned off from this camera esp after the initial purchase of the camera, purchase of 2 boxes of film (25 sheets each), and some film holders.

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

    Derek

  2. #2

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    Re: Speed Graphic 4 x 5 Anniversary focus prob

    Here's the manual: http://www.cameramanuals.org/prof_pd...nniversary.pdf


    Some instructions on adjusting a Hugo Meyer rangefinder (if you have one) http://graflex.org/speed-graphic/hugo-meyer.html

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    Re: Speed Graphic 4 x 5 Anniversary focus prob

    Did you mean that the rangefinder doesn't agree with the ground glass?

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    Re: Speed Graphic 4 x 5 Anniversary focus prob

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    Did you mean that the rangefinder doesn't agree with the ground glass?
    They seem to agree to me.

    It just might be me but it seems that using the rangefinder OR the gg the focus does not appear to be 100% in focus. Now it would be harder to tell when using the ground glass but it seems to me that the focus does not appear to be 100% even using the ground glass.

    Using the rangefinder the two images -almost- overlap (that a proper term!?) but not quite. Using the ground glass its harder to tell but it just seems to me that the focus is not proper.

    I'll go out now to set up the camera again to check with the ground glass again.

    Maybe I should just develop the film and see! Maybe Im wrong...I shot at F11 so maybe it wont matter? Used a hand held Sekonic meter to meter the scene.

    Thanks for the manual link Barry - I will d/l it. It will definitely come in handy.

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    Re: Speed Graphic 4 x 5 Anniversary focus prob

    With a Speed or Crown graphic, you can put the front standard anywhere you want, you don't have to use the "infinity" stops which may have become uncalibrated due to lens replacement, or just general wear.

    Look at the ground glass, and move the front standard forwards or backwards before you tighten it to the rail. Can you achieve focus on the ground glass that way? You should be able to. If you always focus on the ground glass it won't matter what the rangefinder shows. If you want to use a different focal length of lens than the rangefinder is calibrated for, you will HAVE to use the ground glass anyway. You need to determine-without using the infinity stops on the focusing rail-whether you can achieve focus on the ground glass, and this may mean the front standard will not be up against the stops. You need to fold the infinity stops down so the front standard can move in front of the stops if needed. So see just where infinity is by focusing on the ground glass only, then you can determine if your rangefinder is out-of-adjustment. It is entirely possible that the lens has been changed since the camera shipped from the factory, and a different lens (of the same focal length even) will probably not focus exactly in the same place.

    The easiest way to ground glass focus a Speed or Crown is to find infinity focus by racking the front standard back and forth before you tighten it down to the focusing rail, then move the front standard slightly back towards the camera-in effect de-focusing the image on the ground glass. Then tighten the front standard down, and use the geared focusing knobs to move the standard forward back into focus, which allows you a more precise control of where you place your point of greatest focus.

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    Re: Speed Graphic 4 x 5 Anniversary focus prob

    Gene:

    Thanks for those instructions. I read it ove rand over several times to get it burned into my memory.

    I developed the first sheet and it appears to be a success but its hanging to dry right now so I dont know for sure. The photo is a boring photo of the local mill but I didnt want to drive all over the country side to get that perfect scene to have it not work out. I usually use the mill and a few other locations as test shots when I try new (to me) cameras and films.

    I was tray developing (a first for me) in my dark room using the timer. Imagine my surprise/shock when the timer finished and turned off - which turned ON my safe light!

    A real D'oh! moment to be sure.

    It was on for a few seconds before I was able to react and turn it off. I continued with the process thinking that maybe the film got fogged but it so far doesnt look like it.

    Im sure you all agree when I say this: I *love* that large negative! (ok small by some of you guys but 4x5 is the largest Ive ever worked with!)

    Once the neg drys I'll check it with a loupe and see if I can tell if the focus was ok.

    Derek

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    Re: Speed Graphic 4 x 5 Anniversary focus prob

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Kennedy View Post
    While I was out there trying to focus, it seems that going to infinity the camera does not appear to 100% focus at infinity - maybe 99% or there about: enough to see that it is not 100% using the range finder and the ground glass.
    Once you become more familiar with your camera you might want to (arguably) look into this .,.largeformatphotography.info/forum/showthread.php?p=459308#post459308

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    Re: Speed Graphic 4 x 5 Anniversary focus prob

    There are little stops on the rails called "infinity stops" that allow you to adjust infinity. Of course if you are focusing with the ground glass you don't need to worry about those, just move your standard back (towards the camera body) a tiny little bit and use the knobs to focus.

    In other words, if you can't hit infinity it's because your front standard is too far forward. You just have to move it back a tiny little bit; and you can either set this point with the infinity stops or just move it back and knob focus (easier). I don't even bother with the infinity stops (just removed mine) because they're basically for scale focusing or rangefinder use, neither of which I use.



    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Kennedy View Post
    I finally got some sheet film yesterday so today I decided to go out and take a shot or two today.

    While I was out there trying to focus, it seems that going to infinity the camera does not appear to 100% focus at infinity - maybe 99% or there about: enough to see that it is not 100% using the range finder and the ground glass.

    Since I do not have a manual, nor have I ever used this camera before, is there a micro adjustment I can make? It seems to me that for the most part I will be focusing to infinity (scenery shots).

    If I focus on something closer it appears to focus 100% but if it doesnt focus precisely when going to infinity - will the camera be actually 100% in focus when I focus on something closer? (confusing myself here lol!)

    I havent developed that one sheet yet since I didnt have any fixer mixed (do now though) so I dont know if the finale image is actually in focus or not. I'm just going with what I see looking through the g/g and the r/f.

    If anyone knows of a adjustment, please share with me (a photo would be perfect too)! I loved the experience of finally using that camera except for the focus part...Id hate to be turned off from this camera esp after the initial purchase of the camera, purchase of 2 boxes of film (25 sheets each), and some film holders.

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

    Derek

  9. #9
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    Re: Speed Graphic 4 x 5 Anniversary focus prob

    Derek, the speed is a wonderful camera!!! Congrats on making a great purchase.

    personally, I'd forget the rangefinder and just use the ground glass...

    if you're having trouble with the groundglass image it probably means you aren't using a magnifing loupe. You'll need to remove the viewing hood to use a loupe but it just unlatches pretty easily once you identify the clips at the side of it. They pull outwards to unlatch.

    you may have an underlying problem with your rangefinder not being calibrated to your lens in which case the mechanism might be able to be recalibrated. There's probably something about this at graflex.org

    another option to consider might be using the distance scales which most of these cameras have but again you need to be sure they're correcty aligned for the specific lens and you can check that by using a loupe on the GG image. If the scales are correct you can get pretty good at quesstimating distance very quickly

    As stated above there's no reason to not be able to get focus at infinity because you can lock the front standard at any point on the focus rails. That makes me wonder if you've pulled the standard out to an infinity stop that's set for a different lens to the one you're using. If so, it'll throw out calibration of both the rangefinder and the distance scales. You may be able to get around recalibration but just using the GG properly fixes any of these issues immediately.

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    Re: Speed Graphic 4 x 5 Anniversary focus prob

    Thanks guys for your responses.

    I did not use a loup to help my focus - never thought of that actually - great idea.

    I'll start bringing my loup too. I will also check out that link so thanks for that.

    I didnt scan the first image I took with the camera yet but the second image is OOF but I used the gg only - so maybe use a loup next time.

    It's suppose to rain the next couple days so I might not get another crack at it until Sunday.

    I must say thought even though I've only developed two sheets so far, everything is going exceptionally well as far as developing is concerned so Im happy with that. Except for that one boo boo with the safe light that is.

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